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Bianca Dye

Bianca Dye (image supplied)
Bianca Dye (image supplied)

You may recognise Bianca’s voice before you recognise her, as she is the prominent female voice on HIT 90.9FM between the hours of 6-9am every weekday (alongside her co-hosts Dan & Ben). Her bright and bubbly personality radiates through your ears and you just know she is a Gold Coast sweetheart. We were delighted to ask her a few questions ahead of International Women’s Day to talk all things empowerment, career and of course, her local GC loves.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
On and off for most of my life – I have had three different incarnations of a radio show here too! Ha!

What do you love most about living here?
After living in Sydney’s CBD for 8 years, I just LOVE the laid-back lifestyle these days, which is exactly what the GC offers. Plus, how about the beaches?! And the fantastic foodie scene has definitely grown in the last 10 years and has become my favourite place in Australia!

Tell us about your career thus far.
It’s honestly hard to summarise in a few words. But I actually started as a Marilyn Monroe impersonator at the Paradise Centre here in Surfers Paradise. I then worked my way through radio for the last 26 years – first Sydney with the original Nova crew, then did some time in Wollongong and Brisbane. But now I’m back on the Coast doing my dream job with Dan and Ben at HIT 90.9FM!

What’s your proudest career moment?
That’s a tough one – I’m fortunate enough to have had a few in 27 years! One would have to be being the first daytime announcer to beat radio legend John Laws in the radio ratings in Sydney which was pretty cool! And I was lucky enough to be awarded the “Best Announcer In The Country” Award back-to-back. And I believe, I still hold the title as the only female to do that! Humble aren’t I?!

Is there a specific women’s empowerment moment that has inspired you in your life or career?
One of the best movements I’ve seen online is #keepinitreal. It seems simple but being authentic and honest with your followers and listeners has always been something I have promised; and people relate to you when you admit that life isn’t always great!

Hit Network Bianca, Dan & Ben (image supplied)
Hit Network Dan, Bianca & Ben (image supplied)

Where have you felt empowered or disempowered as a woman?
There’s a lot of stories I can’t share as it would publicly shame people… you’ll just have to wait until I write a book when I’m 90! But I guess feeling empowered is when you have a team of amazing people around you that support you and allow you to be yourself. When you do that for fellow co-workers too that empowers them and creates a great environment where you have each others’ backs.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
International Women’s Day means something different for every woman depending on where they are in their life and in their own world. It shouldn’t depend on which country, household or relationship that woman is in as long as they are ‘free’, with the right to freedom of speech and the freedom to be who they are. This is the day to shout this from the rooftops and celebrate all women from all walks of life…

What is your International Women’s Day message?
I want to remind women that it’s okay to be unapologetically THEM! Whether that’s being a hot mess, loud, fabulous, smart, tired, exhausted, happy, single, divorced, studying or stay-at-home mums (or those who are NOT mothers), let’s just embrace who we are and stop trying to pretend to be something for other people… #BeYOU!

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breakfast: no name lane – it’s just downstairs from work and I love grabbing a super clean scrambled eggs with salmon and greens and the staff are always lovely!
Coffee spot: I use my own ‘Before You Speak’ Coffee Sachets at the station – that keeps me fired all day. But on weekends I love a takeaway iced long black at either Brunch N Co in Broady or BSKT cafe in Nobbys.
Restaurant for dinner: Romano’s in Nobby Beach- they have the most drool-worthy marinara with garlic & chilli. Plus dare I say, best pizza ever?
Bar or pub for a drink: Bar is definitely Rick Shores for a cheeky Margi! And as for a Pub, would have to be Rainbow Bay Surf Club for a dirty Schnitty.

How does your weekend usually look?
It always depends on whether I am playing step-mum for the weekend. If it’s a family weekend, we usually bike ride along the beach front, have a picnic and snuggle with a Disney movie on or a barbecue on our balcony. If I have the weekend to myself, it’s usually yoga first thing both Saturday & Sunday. Following that I love heading to any of the local markets with a takeaway coffee. Sometimes I might go for a hike, catch up with mates or go for a beach walk with a girlfriend. I do also love going to the movies with mum. But when we are feeling adventurous we take our Combi to Brunswick Heads for the night!

Emilly Hadrill

Emilly Hadrill (image supplied)

Entreprenuers are alive and well on the Gold Coast. One Gold Coast local exceeding in the hair and beauty industry is Emilly Hadrill, owner of Emilly Hadrill Hair & Extensions. Starting her first salon on the Gold Coast in 2007 the business has now grown to include four salons nationally and more than 40 staff. While some industries struggled through 2020, Emilly has seen this as her biggest growth year with plenty more to come. We recently caught up with Emilly to chat about how her business has evolved, what you need to know about hair extensions and her favourite places to visit on the Gold Coast.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local? 
I moved to the Gold Coast in 2006 from Tasmania.

What do you love most about living here? 
The temperate climate, the convenience of it being a smaller city but still with plenty to offer, great restaurants, and of course the beautiful beaches.

Tell us about your business Emilly Hadrill Hair & Extensions.
I started Emilly Hadrill Hair & Extensions in 2007 when noticing a gap in the market for a hair salon offering specialised service of hair extensions. This grew to a heavily booked Gold Coast salon with clients coming from Brisbane and other cities for our extensions services. As the demand grew, I made the move to open a small Brisbane salon which we quickly outgrew, so we made the decision to expand to a larger salon space short time later. From here, we started creating pop up salons in Melbourne to test the market and there was huge interest, which led me to open our Melbourne salon, following by the Sydney salon in 2018 to meet the demand of the enquiries we were receiving.

What’s been your journey to get to where you are today? 
I’ve really been learning as I go, I started Emilly Hadrill Hair & Extensions at 19 so it has been a constant rollercoaster of learning curves. Growing the business from working on my own, to having a team of more than 40 has been a big journey.

Emilly Hadrill Brisbane salon (image supplied)

How did you go from being a local Gold Coast business, to a nationally recognised brand?
We built a strong presence and reputation for quality work here on the Gold Coast, which really laid the foundation for us to become a nationally recognised brand. As more clients began to travel from far and wide for our services over competitors who were in much closer vicinity’s, we realised the opportunities to grow and expand our salons to make Emilly Hadrill services easily accessible to more women. Our growth has always been a response to the demand of our clients, so we’re really lucky to have so many incredible women who have backed Emilly Hadrill to get us to where we are today.

Tell us about your proudest business moment.
I couldn’t put this into just one moment, but I am very proud to have created a business that has supported so many hair stylists, especially through COVID. COVID proved how robust the business is, which was really special after 13 long years of building it.

Talk us through your favourite trends for the upcoming season..
I’m always a long hair lover, but I do absolutely love the new bold move of Ellie Gonsalves’ pixie cut. It looks incredible on her (but then again, what wouldn’t?) and I think others should follow her lead in doing with their hair what they’ve always wanted to do but might have been afraid to do as it doesn’t fit the typical mould. And for when one wants it longer again, hair extensions are here!

What do we need to know when considering getting hair extensions? 
We always recommend that your natural hair is at least shoulder length to achieve the most natural results, if you’re aiming to add length and thickness to your locks. It’s also really important to find out what hair quality the salon you’re visiting is using, not all hair extensions are created equal and great quality hair will completely change the look and feel of your hair. Our salons offer complimentary consults for new clients to ensure all of your questions are answered and to help you determine the most suitable extension method for your hair and lifestyle needs.

Emilly Hadrill's Sydney Salon (image supplied)

What advice do you have for anyone looking to start their own business? 
Make sure it’s something you’re passionate about, that doesn’t feel like work. Having a business is extremely hard work – both mentally and physically – so you need to love what it is otherwise you might not want to do it long term.

What does 2021 look for you? 
Hopefully an end to COVID! 2020 was a tough year, so we are all hoping 2021 is a little easier and people can live without any more lockdowns. We have a big year planned with some salon renovations, new packages, lots of beautiful hair, and possibly even another location- but you’ll have to stay tuned on our instagram for updates! 😉

Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Restaurant for dinner: Gemellini in Nobby Beach
Cafe for breakfast: Tarte Cafe in Burleigh
Coffee spot: Tarte Cafe in Burleigh
How does your weekend usually look: I have a 7 month old son so my husband and I will usually take him out for breakfast, then spend the day looking after him for his naps, and spend the in-between going to the beach or catching up with friends.

Before & after Emilly Hadrill extensions (image supplied)

Evette Hess

Evette Hess (image supplied)
Evette Hess (image supplied)

If you haven’t heard of esmi Skincare in one form or the other, what have you been doing? Since its inception, the brand has developed quite the cult following with its cruelty-free, Australian-made, high quality and 100% ethical skincare products. We had the opportunity to sit down with the Gold Coast woman behind the brand, Evette Hess, and speak all things from beauty career to her local loves.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve been on the Gold Coast since my family moved from South Africa in 2004.

What do you love most about living here?
I honestly love EVERYTHING about the Gold Coast, I think it’s the best place to live. The beaches, the weather, that we can swim all year around, everyone is down to earth and it’s also become a hub for new businesses which I really enjoy seeing. It also has a really relaxed atmosphere which is my vibe for sure. You have to live where you can work and enjoy your life at the same time. I’m a massive advocate for this country and the Gold Coast, we are so incredibly fortunate to live here and have all the opportunities in the world at our feet.

Tell us about your career thus far.
I became a beauty therapist in 2006, then went on to teaching beauty therapy, which then lead to me having a job doing advanced skin treatments. All along I fell more in love with people, making them feel good and trying to find solutions for vulnerabilities they were facing daily. I found that treating things like skin issues really required a great skincare AND makeup routine to go hand in hand with these treatments to see benefits. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything that really hit the mark for recommending to my clients, so I decided to create a product that I thought they would find useful. Fast forward to 2021 and we have created over 200 products for our customers now.

esmi Skincare (image supplied)
esmi Skincare (image supplied)

What’s your proudest entrepreneurial moment?
I am so proud of the business and the culture we have at Makeup Cartel. I am proud every day, and I feel incredibly fortunate and lucky that I get to work with the team I work with. They are all amazing at what they do, they are first and foremost amazing humans. So, I am humbled daily by the people that choose to give so much of themselves to our business and that they love what they do. It means everything to me. I am also incredibly proud we are able to encourage, support and add value to people’s lives in a very real way. It’s something I have always enjoyed doing (in Beauty Therapy) but it was always limited to one person at a time – now with esmi and poni cosmetics we can make a real difference in people’s lives through giving them the support and encouragement to believe that real beauty lives inside of us. By providing them a product that encourages self-care, self-love and achieving results they can see resulting in a more confident person.

Tell us about esmi.
esmi is a Vegan, Australian Made, Cruelty-free skincare product. The brand is all about exceptional customer care, making every customer feel like the pieces of gold they are. esmi is about a value exchange where after all our bills are paid, customers consciously choose to spend what is left to ‘treat’ themselves on our product, so we better make it worth their while. esmi is about breaking the wheel of traditional ‘beauty’ products and business society (men in high buildings) telling us what is beautiful. Having a daughter of my own, today has become more important than ever to instil the self-worth and self-love that starts from her behaviour and treatment of others (not appearance) to prepare her for her future.

esmi Skincare (image supplied)
esmi Skincare (image supplied)

What’s by far the most popular esmi product?
We have a few, the Uncomplicated Cleanser, Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum and 24K Gold Nourishing oil.

What’s your personal favourite product from esmi?
This would be like asking which is your favourite child – it’s impossible.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Café for breakfast:
There are a few but I love Le Jardin in Main Beach
Coffee spot: Paper Cup in Southport
Restaurant for dinner: I love Mamasan, Rick Shores and Etsu
Bar or pub for a drink: Rick Shores
How does your weekend usually look? It varies depending on the weather, if the weather is nice, the beach for sure, visiting friends, or if it’s cooler then we might head to Tamborine to a winery or stay home.

David ‘Christo’ Christopher

David ‘Christo’ Christopher is one of the Gold Coast’s best-known radio personalities and one third of the much-loved 102.9 Hot Tomato breakfast team.

Not only that though, Christo recently opened up about his struggle with depression and the platform he created, www.dadswithdepression.com, a space where men can find information and actually talk to one another about their experiences. Which is admirable to say the least.

We sat down for a chat with Christo about his advice for other Dads who might be dealing with depression and the lighter stuff, like celebrity interviews… including Keanu Reeves!

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
My parents moved us all up here from Melbourne when I was 11. Beside a stint of time spent chasing the radio dream, including three years in Townsville and seven years in Sydney, the Gold Coast has been my home for a loooooong time!

What do you love most about living here?
What’s not to love? In my younger days it was brilliant because the nightlife was all on your doorstep and now as a semi-functioning adult, the restaurants and kids events are all so close too. There are loads of new bars and cafés popping up that are kid-friendly and take advantage of the outdoorsy lifestyle, which makes it perfect for raising a family.

Tell us about what you do at 102.9 Hot Tomato.
I’m what they call the “anchor” on the breakfast show. It’s my job to keep the show running smoothly and on time – which is not always easy, Flan and Emily Jade are big talkers! I do all of the “services”, so tell the time and share the temps so people can plan their day. I also do all of the button pushing.

Seems like a pretty good time, what’s a normal day like for you?
Breakfast radio is anything but normal! I’m generally up at 3:40am and then again at 4:00am, after I’ve hit snooze. I’m at the station by about 4:30 to read newspapers and get ready and we go live from 5:00am ‘til 9am. After the show, we generally have meetings to plan for the next day or to discuss events coming up or sometimes we might pre-record an interview. We’re out of there most days by about 11:00am. I try to go to the gym and then depending on whether it’s a kindy day or not, I go home and either spend time with my 3-year-old or try to relax a little until it’s time to do school pick-up. Then, it’s time for my second shift – work of another kind!

How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve always loved the radio; my parents bought me my first radio when I was five and I used to sit and make my own radio shows with a tape recorder. I started my radio life here on the Gold Coast at Radio Metro (it was called Hott FM back then). I just walked in and asked if I could do a show and they said yes! I volunteered for about five years, doing a range of shifts and shows around my full-time job. Eventually I was picked up by Sea FM and I moved to Townsville with my co-host, where I stayed for about three years before landing a job in Sydney. I hosted the breakfast show on The Edge 96ONE for six years and did a bunch of work on their sister stations WSFM and Mix over that time too, before taking a job at Nova, where I hosted a national night show and a national weekend countdown. Those jobs were amazing – I don’t think there was a concert that came to Sydney that I didn’t go to. I interviewed all the biggest celebrities including Rihanna, Elton John and Keanu Reeves. But once we had our first child, Sydney was too much – too busy, too expensive. We wanted to come back home where our family is on the GC. I was lucky enough to score a job at Hot Tomato doing nights before they asked me to switch over to breakfast, where I’ve been with Flan and Emily Jade ever since!

You’ve recently begun speaking about your experience with depression, how did you know something wasn’t right?
It runs in my family, which was my first clue. I was first diagnosed around the time my first child was born. I noticed that I was constantly irritable and irrationally angry for no reason whatsoever, along with the general feeling of not wanting to get out of bed in the morning; I knew something wasn’t right. This coincided with a fight I tried to start with a guy over a carpark in a Sydney shopping centre (I’m so not a fighter), with my then heavily pregnant wife in the car, who said, ‘Um, perhaps it’s time to go and get some help?”

Why do you think Dads experiencing depression is so rarely spoken about?
There’s always this stigma that guys don’t talk about their emotions or feelings. When guys get together you don’t really sit there and say, “Hey mate, how’s your depresh going bud?”. We chat about more surface level stuff. Whereas with women, they generally have a great network of friends who they can unleash to and help work through problems. As men, we just bottle it up with a “she’ll be right mate” attitude. It’s this attitude that’s got to change.

Tell us about the platform you’ve created…
It’s www.dadswithdepression.com. I wanted to create a space where dads – well, really all men, but Dads with Depression has such a great ring to it – can go to find articles and stories about depression. It’s a place where they can go to make comments and talk to other men about their experiences. To help them make informed choices on what they need to do next and what steps to take. I also wanted them to be able to speak freely, so if they’re not keen on posting comments on the site, I set up a Facebook page and a private Facebook Group where we can all go and talk openly about what we’re experiencing and talk to others who are going through the exact same thing. There’s an amazing group of guys already on the site and in the private group who are helping each other out.

What’s your advice for other dads who think they might be experiencing depression?
Go and see a doctor. If you’re not happy with the answer they give you, go and see another one! Call the government’s mental health hotline and talk to someone. Come and join the FB group and take a look at the site. Just do something! There’s plenty out there to help you, so please take advantage of it. Suffering in silence is so exhausting, isolating and lonely. Do something so that you’re not going through this alone.

What’s in store for the rest of 2019 for you and the family?
I have set myself some challenges this year to help with my depression and that is to take myself out of my comfort zone. To do some things I wouldn’t normally do. So far, I’ve climbed Mt Warning and I have a few other ideas up my sleeve. My wife is a writer, so I’m hoping she’ll have some time to finish her first great novel and I want the kids to have a happy, healthy and fun year on the Gold Coast!

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Café for breakfast: Because of my work hours, I can’t go past Randy Wallhole in. Their after-work coffee and cinnamon bagel combo is a winner every time for me.
Coffee spot: I recently discovered Café Hedges that I’ve enjoyed and they make great coffee; The Henchman in Miami also make a brilliant coffee. I’m a coffee lover so wherever there’s a coffee to be had, I’m there trying it out! On a bad day, I have five coffees – not great, but it could be worse right?
Restaurant for dinner: On the Gold Coast we are truly spoilt for choice. I’m a big fan of Cucina Vivo at The Star; I love my pasta and pizza so any excuse to go there is a good one. Hideaway Kitchen & Bar in Broadbeach is perfect for a night out with mates. Hellenika in Nobbys is delicious. And I love places like Burleigh Pavillion and Driftwood Social; they are perfect for taking advantage of the Gold Coast weather and enjoying a Sunday session.
Spots to visit on the weekend: Having three kids, my weekends are pretty full of kids parties, activities and errands so we try and go to different spots and places the kids can play all over the coast. The kids (and the kidults!) are always partial to a visit to Movie World or Sea World as they’re some of the best theme parks in the world, right here on our doorstep – so why not take advantage of them.

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