In case you are still in denial, it’s almost Christmas, and what better way to contribute to the ebb and flow of our beloved Gold Coast than by spending your gift giving dollars shopping small and supporting the little guys!
We stopped by The Village Markets to shine a light on a handful of the insanely talented vendors who are a part of Gold Coast’s much-loved designer market. So, with just three markets left until the big day (Sunday, December 4, 11, and 18), don’t forget to grab your gift list and swing on down to Burleigh Heads State School to spread the local love and keep your money on the Coast.
Brave & Fearless
This Gold Coast mum to one-year-old Koa is a beautiful example of a local success story. Spawning a loyal following via The Village Markets, and exploding into other markets thanks to the power of Instagram, Rachel Harvey designs and creates cool threads for the “rad little lad” from tees, to muscle shirts, boardies, beanies, and dribble bibs. Typical baby blues have been replaced with acid wash and dark fabrics; a recipe for success with Brave & Fearless now distributed in NZ, US, UK, and Singapore. You know you’ve made it when your label finds its way onto the racks of Donovan Frankenreiter’s own store, The Barn808 in Hawaii. If you miss Rachel at The Village Markets, Brave & Fearless now has a permanent storefront and warehouse in Township Drive, Burleigh Heads alongside other local kid brands, Bambooloui and Tribe 9.
Have A Nice Day
Jake Diaz is the face and hands behind the adorable wooden educational toys, Have A Nice Day. Making a permanent sea change from Sydney’s rat race to the sunny shores of the Gold Coast earlier this year (can you blame him?), Jake traded traffic snarls for more precious time with his young family. Designed and painstakingly handcrafted from sustainably-grown plywood, Jake’s low-tech, old fashioned toys are a perfect Chrissy gift for three to six year olds. Lightweight and flat-packed if you need to pop ‘em in the post, there are helicopters, spaceships, and a Noah’s Arc which your little lads (or gals) must first build and then use their vivid imaginations to bring to life.
Gold Coast-based Bryce Pierpoint is the unlikely smiling face behind female swimwear line, Marloe. A full-time architect by trade, he’s grown up surrounded by the industry—his mother assisted family friends to launch Sunburn, before moving to roles with Seafolly and Baku. Marloe is Bryce’s creative outlet on the side, and while mum is his inspiration, Bryce has gone it alone, hand sketching his designs, sourcing high-quality fabrics, and overseeing his swimwear be printed and handmade in Australia. He’s done a smashing job, and we’ve totally got our eyes on a few gorgeous pieces from his summer KONA range—a thoughtful Christmas gift for the fave lady in your life!
Raised in Burleigh, we reckon Jarro Dartnell would have seen his fair share of changes over the years. He’s a second generation surfer with a solid background in the surf fashion industry, but it was his grandfather’s eclectic pirate bar, adorned with dive helmets and other nautical flotsam and jetsam, that inspired his funky brand and designs. This salty sea-dog style is a common theme across Jarro’s logo tees, long-sleeved shirts, and caps. A near permanent fixture at The Village Markets’ Sunday soiree, Lobster Shanty’s most popular print has Burleigh Heads stamped under the logo, making it a fun souvenir pressie idea to send to friends or family near or far.
Drift Trading Co.
Forget those ridiculously overpriced fragrant candles you’ve seen in the shopping centres and home wares stores, shop local this Christmas and support the gorgeous couple behind Drift Trading Co. While husband Paul Martin specialises in bespoke recycled timber furniture and accessories, it’s wife Lou’s homemade candles (at just $20 each) and gift boxes ($30 to $35) that are hot sellers at this time of year. We took home the Thai lime and mango candle, but the festive-inspired White Christmas or Butterscotch Pudding candles (warning: you’ll wanna eat ‘em!) are perfect stocking stuffers for that Secret Santa or aunt you just don’t know what to buy for.
Salty Merchants Boutique Brollies
The sunny characters behind Salty Merchants are some of the coolest cats on the Gold Coast. While Lachlan Leckie started out making single fins for a hobby, it was his partner Megs, who hung on the beach watching him longboard, that suggested they branch out into brollies. You’ve likely already seen these uber cool and super durable vinyl or canvas umbrellas popping up around GC cafes, and they make the ultimate Chrissy gift for your fave person. Love what they do? Keep your eyes peeled as Salty Merchants are soon branching into home wares (think: oversized floor cushions and deck chairs) with their unique designs created by graphic artist Lachlan.
While Nikke Horrigan enlisted his dad’s wise words “never follow advice from experts, follow your gut”, after choosing a career in fashion over a safe blue-collar job in the mining industry, ironically it’s his dad who’s still his biggest critic. Nikke’s story is a pretty incredible one—he used to get fabric samples sent to him while in remote locations underground mining, and is now working a construction job in the neighbouring subdivision just so he can come home on lunch breaks and tend to his sales orders and emails. Rather than giving your money away to a multinational, shop at TVM for distressed denim jeans, quality tees, and cool flannels for the style-conscious gents in your life, all while supporting one local man’s dream! Nikke describes his label’s style as effortless, rugged casual, with pieces that are grungy and minimalistic. We say HAWT.
If you’ve frequented The Village Markets, there’s a good chance you’ve scoped out the curious hand-made wares at Zylo. With an interior design and 3D digital media background, Jacinda Sceresini has been a staple at the markets for three years now, spruiking her one-of-a-kind hand-designed and laser-cut products that make perfect Christmas gifts (and are lightweight too, if you need to post). We’re digging her felt and cork coasters, milestone growth cards, etched and hand-painted wooden wall art, and bespoke jewellery, with wall clocks being Jacinda’s biggest seller.
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, 1750 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
When: Last three markets before Christmas are Sunday, December 4, 11, and 18; 8:30am to 1pm
These are just a handful of the talented locals you can find chasing their creative ambitions at The Village Markets. The best way you can help? Shop small this Christmas, it’s our challenge to you.
Photo Credit: Brooke Darling for Metropolist