The folks of the Gold Coast are certainly a creative bunch.
You only have to pop down to The Village Markets, meander through the boutique stores popping up in every suburb, or even jump on good ol’ Google. Even though you might be shopping online, your hard-earned moolah is definitely staying local when you purchase from these inspiring brands who are just making, creating, and sourcing rad stuff.
Launching late last year, Mazarine Aqua not only sells functional, yet gorgeous and on-trend cossies and feminine wetsuits for the active lady, but is also on a mission to inspire women to get in the ocean—a double whammy if we ever saw one. Burleigh-based founder, Amanda Couzner has an overwhelming connection to the ocean and a passion to share that with others. Sporting a background with Surfing Australia, and a love for watersports, Amanda is creating a beautiful community by bringing together ocean-loving girls right here on the GC through her regular Aqua-tivities events.
Pip Harwood is not just another Kiwi that has flocked to the sandy shores of the Gold Coast. She probably swam here, such is her undeinable love for the ocean. With an apt name, SeaGypsea is a self-taught underwater photographer that has mermaided her way around nearly every Pacific Island capturing the most unbelievable photos of untouched atolls in paradise. Split shots are her thing, but she also dabbles in underwater fashion, where she makes the subjects look beautiful whilst being completely submerged—and that’s no mean feat. If you want to add something a little exotic to your living room, then we suggest you check out Pip’s wall banners, cushions, and framed prints online or, if you are in luck, you may just catch her at The Village Markets—if she isn’t island hopping, that is.
Tess Wilcox, the beauty, brain, and braun behind Ames (pronounced ah-mez) Collective resembles a modern-day gypsy queen. She is a happy wave slider and pavement rider and is somewhat a vagabond, or you could say, one of those nomad types; travelling the world and picking up bohemian loot in the form of Morrocan pouffes, Berber bags, leather goods, and vintage clutches. The brand is based around the love of a gypset lifestyle, looking up and embracing life in the most simple of ways. You will find her in the garage of her lush treehouse of a home, making her signature “Soul Deck” skateboards which have truly made a name for themselves here on the Coast. Custom made to reflect your personality, they are pieces of art that should adorn your wall rather than the footpath.
The Freedom State
Based in the beachside hub of Burleigh Heads, what was once just an online retailer now boasts a beautiful brick and mortar store that is your one-stop shop for expressing your inner gypsy and bohemian creativity. The Freedom State pride themselves on supporting local designers that you may or may not have heard of, but ones that belong in your life and your closet. Also stocking well known brands such as Spell & The Gypsy Collective, Free People, Fallen Broken Street, Stone Cold Fox and Arnhem—it might just be the best place to shop for your Bluesfest getup. Just sayin’. If you are one of those gals that just needs to try before you buy, you will find The Freedom State tucked away in the Old Burleigh Arcade (near Cold Rock—as if you needed an excuse). For everyone else, you can shop here.
The Salty Merchants
The inspiration behind the Cooly-based brand, The Salty Merchants was to offer niche products and services that the corporates couldn’t or wouldn’t. What started as an alternative fin company producing high quality and authentic single and twin fins (for surfboards—not fins for your feet, duh), has slowly blossomed into other products that fit with the beach gypsy lifestyle. Their most recent addition to the range are Boutique Brollies that are made once and made to last. Classic designs with timeless style make this investment all the more worthwhile when you know it will probably last forever and protect you from the nasty hole in the ozone layer. Plus, they just look super rad on the sand—there’ll be #noregrets with this purchase, we promise you.
The Beach People
Sisters Victoria Beattie and Emma Henderson are the beautiful brains behind the cult brand, The Beach People; a carefully-curated selection of luxe beach essentials. Although originating from Tweed Heads, it’s close enough to the border that we can claim them as part of our incredibly talented creatives on the Gold Coast. Inspired by a family of entrepreneurs and an old 80s-styled towel that was left at their house as children, the sisters only planned to have a small online store so they could start a family. Fast-forward three years and the brand is going from strength to strength and is now stocked in over 16 countries worldwide, with an office and warehouse in the USA, a brand new petites range for the little ones, and The Beach People Bazaar; an online marketplace showcasing beautiful items that complement the brand.
Violet Gray Design
Based out of a restored 1977 caravan in the Gold Coast hinterland, is an empowering jewellery brand that’s yet another sister success story. Alexandra, the now creative director, was floating through the Turkish Seas when she gathered all of her jewellery, cut it into pieces and made a blessing strand for her older sister who was about to have her first child. From there, both her niece and the brand, Violet Gray Design, were born. Much more than a jewellery brand, each piece has been hand-made with love, to act as a daily reminder of positive change with proceeds from every purchase going towards a humble birthing unit in Ubud, Bali. Such is the beauty of the duo’s soul, it’s a no brainer this is translated through their elegant and feminine pieces which empower women one necklace at a time.
Archer and Archer
You could safely say Troy Archer and his wife Sarah have almost done it all. Between them they have forged a fruitful career from singer/songwriter, artist, marketing director, designer, model, and photographer. It’s surprising they had space for another passion—the shared love for interiors, furniture, home accessories, and spaces in general. Testing the waters they began with an offering on a Facebook page of vintage items they had collected over the years from perusing op shops, garage sales, and second-hand stores. Today they offer a mix of new and used items at Archer and Archer, and, in the words of Troy, “If it’s beautiful, unique, creative, has a story to be told, is born from passion, and is something that we personally love, then we will offer it to you.”