Andrew Barrett was born in Ireland in 1819 but had set up in business in London as a brush and comb maker by 1846 at 118 Piccadilly.
By 1852 he had moved to 86A Edgware Road. By 1865 he is also listed as a sponge importer and his premises have greatly increased to include 53 Albermarle St, 63 & 64 Piccadilly, 186 Oxford St and 29 St. Georges Pl. as well as his Edgware Road address. By 1880 he had moved from Edgware Road, and Oxford Street which was occupied by Charles Usher who described himself as late Andrew Barrett and conducted a similar business. Usher was likely an employee who set up on his own when the premises became available. Barrett kept the Piccadilly and Albermarle addresses and infact had added premises at 157 - 158 Piccadilly by 1894.
By 1899 his sons had joined the business and they had expanded to 52 & 53 Albermarle St. and 372 Oxford St whilst retaining their Piccadilly addresses. With the exception of Oxford Street, they still had these addresses in 1912. Although Barretts started off, and are primarily listed in the trade directories as Brush Manufacturers, the company expanded and diversified to include trunk making and selling a range of travel equipment. They are know to have retailed silver items made by Henry Cooper & Sons of Birmingham.