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Brittiny Heyden

Owner and designer at Lakiki Jewellery.

These days the Gold Coast is absolutely overflowing with talented makers, creative and business owners bringing our beachside city to life with their talents.

One such maker is local lass Brittiny Heyden, owner and designer of ocean-inspired label Lakiki Jewellery, a stunning brand made up of unique pieces perfectly suited to our coastal lifestyle.

We sat down for a chat with Brittiny about starting a business after a stint living in Indonesia and a potential new, honeymoon slash Santorini-inspired range.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve been living on the Gold Coast for about eight years but I grew up in Pottsville Beach.

What do you love most about living here?
I love how clean and beautiful our beaches are, and how close everything is, yet there’s still a nice local village vibe.

Tell us about how your business Lakiki came about?
I moved over to Indonesia for 2.5 months back in 2015, which was to create my first jewellery range. I was absolutely in my element while over there, I started hand drawing my first jewellery range and that was it!

Is starting a jewellery business something you’ve always wanted to do?
I have always loved and been intrigued by the design aspect of the jewellery I have collected over the years. I started my business because I’ve always been passionate about drawing and being creative, it may have come from my dad who’s a signwriter, I grew up watching him in his workshop. Drawing each design and watching it come to life brings me so much joy.

You design everything yourself, where do you get the inspiration for your pieces? Honestly, it’s a really weird thing, I just draw and draw and draw. I play with shapes, angles, patterns, and motifs. It’s always been that way for me, right after my head hits the pillow, these crazy designs come into my mind. It’s quite annoying actually because I have to have a book next to my bed to quickly draw otherwise I’d forget! My Silversmith shakes his head because my designs can be quite tricky as they’re all made by hand. I’m in love with the contrast of intricate sterling silver detailing around a beautiful simple, raw stone. I’ve always loved being a bit different, so I try to stay true to myself and design pieces that are different too. I can’t tell you how much I LOVE seeing peoples faces light up when they try them on!

Tell us about the stones you use in your creations and what they mean to you?
I use Larimar, Rhodochrosite and Tibetan Turquoise stones. The signature stone we use in the majority of the designs is Larimar as it’s my absolute favourite stone in the whole universe and I feel so connected to it! It’s not only beautiful to look at, but there is only one place you can get it which is in the Caribbean. We go to huge lengths to source the best quality raw Larimar stone, then have it cut down to small Larimar stones to suit every piece.

Where can we find Lakiki Jewellery?
Our pieces are available online and we are also at The Village Markets at Burleigh Heads State School on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month! We also have a variety of stores throughout Australia who stock us.

What’s the plan for 2019 for you?
My partner Chris and I are getting married! Then off on our honeymoon to Europe! First stop is Italy (which has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember), and to Greece and a few other places, it’s too hard to decide! Maybe there’ll also be a new Santorini inspired Lakiki range come to life….

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Beach: Burleigh Heads
Cafe: Be Somewhere (Burleigh)
Restaurant: Iku Yakitori Bar
How does your weekend usually look: If we’re not at The Village Markets on a Sunday, you will find us at the beach, camping, fishing or having a drink in the afternoon sun somewhere. We are so spoilt for choice on the Gold Coast!

Atlanta Fowler

Atlanta Fowler is the local lass bringing healthy eating back to the Gold Coast in a big way with three thriving health food cafes on the go and several more in the pipeline.

Co-owner of Brio Emporium, with stores at The Oasis Shopping Centre in Broadbeach, on the highway in Broadbeach and at Treetops Plaza in Burleigh, Atlanta Fowler is passionate about showing people that nourishing food can be tasty too.

We sat down for a chat with Atlanta about how to kick start a health and wellness journey and plans for a few new Brio Emporiums in 2019.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I have lived on the Gold Coast on and off for 30 years; both Mark and I went to primary and secondary school here. Despite spending time living in amazing places like the Whitsundays and Florida, the GC is always home.

What do you love most about our city?
The weather, the beaches and the cities laid back, outdoorsy lifestyle makes the Gold Coast an epic place to live if you appreciate your health. This is also probably why there are so many incredible health businesses here. Mark and I spent a couple of years living in Brisbane and really felt like our health suffered because of it. To be able to walk along the beach and even sneak in a swim before you start work is a blessing we don’t ever take for granted. 

How did Brio Emporium come about?
In 2014 when we were living in Brisbane for business reasons, we really struggled to find anywhere local to eat or shop that suited our needs. We would find ourselves driving to one side of Brisbane for grass-fed organic meat, the other side of Brisbane for gluten free this or that, and when it came to finding a dining out or takeaway food option, there was absolutely nothing at the time. Mark had an extensive background in both health and wellness and food production so when a cafe site in Broadbeach was randomly offered to him by someone he knew, he made the decision instantly to trial the business we had long been dreaming about and, the very first Brio was born! A cafe and health market hybrid serving up the Gold Coasts first taste of bone broths and Bulletproof coffees to a very warm welcome. Turns out we weren’t the only ones who needed a Brio in our lives.

For people kick-starting their health and wellness, what tips do you have for eating well?|Eat more good fat. Everyone knows to be healthier you need to really watch sugar content in foods but if you eat chicken breast and broccoli every day you will have no energy. Increase fat content with lots of olive oil, avocados and fattier cuts of grass-fed meats to boost the energy and watch the body fat melt away. Eat a whole-food diet. This simply means avoid anything in packets and eat a varied and colourful combination of produce that was grown or raised rather than manufactured. Reduce your eating windows. The old theory that grazing all day is good for us is definitely out! Instead consider implementing intermittent fasting. The easiest way to do this is simply not eat in the morning (a Bulletproof Coffee can really help with this transition) and only eat lunch and dinner. This has been shown to not only boost fat metabolism but improve overall health and wellness”.

What’s your favourite sugar free treat from the Brio menu?
That is a really tough question, but seeing as we are in the middle of another scorching GC Summer it would have to be either one of our epic FATBOY sundaes made using our own in house Keto ice cream, or our low carb acai bowls. These are lower fructose, completely banana free acai bowls made on tangy berries, loaded with good fat from coconut yoghurt and raw cacao and smothered in our Keto fudge.

What’s the plan for the rest of 2019 for you?
2019 is already shaping up to be a big one for the Fowlers and Brio Food Group. For Brio Emporium we have store number four opening in March and also plan to secure our first Brisbane location before the year is out – which is super exciting! Our loyal Brisbane customers have been on our back about this for years so we can’t wait to finally deliver the goods for them up that way. For Meadow & Marrow we have some really cool new product releases happening this quarter – Mark has been working tirelessly on these for a few months now and we can’t wait for them to hit the shelves. On a personal note we hope to finally get around to planning our honeymoon this year (we were married last March right before we opened our Burleigh & Oasis stores)… fingers crossed!

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Restaurant: We are huge fans of Asian cuisine and fresh seafood because generally it’s super clean and you don’t have to worry about hidden nasties like gluten, dairy or refined sugars. Right now our fave spot would be Jimmy Wahs for sure.
Cafe: If not calling into one of our own stores for breakfast the only other place we frequent is BSKT. We absolutely love what they do – authentic, great quality, healthy food.   It is the only other cafe we know with certainty that we can visit without having to worry about hidden gluten or dairy.
Beach: Mark and I are both major beach lovers – we try to get there at least a few times a week and generally just go to our local at Mermaid.  However for sentimental reasons I will say Miami – this particular beach is super close to our hearts as this is where Mark proposed NYE 2015.
How does your weekend usually look? Between overseeing Brio and our other business Meadow & Marrow Bone Broths we tend to still work most Saturdays, though generally Saturday work is the fun stuff like creating content for social media or driving to Brisbane or Byron looking for the next Brio site.  When you love what you do it never seems like work and we both struggle to NOT work on weekends. However we do always make time to get to the beach and our Sunday morning ritual is always breakfast at one of our stores.


Stephanie Coutts

If you’re a lover of vintage furniture, Moroccan homewares and local art, get excited because we have unearthed an absolute gem in Currumbin.

Parker and Persia is the baby of Stephanie Coutts and her husband Sam, and it’s filled with beautifully refurbished vintage furniture (the work of Sam), authentic Moroccan rugs and wedding blankets and, you guessed it, local art.

Because all of those things are our absolute favourites, we sat down for a chat with Steph about Moroccan honeymoons and furniture collecting.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
About ten years, I moved from Brisbane when I was 20-something and I’ve lived here ever since.

What do you love most about the Coast?
The relaxed lifestyle. Having the ocean at your front door, there’s always something to do, even if it’s just a walk on the beach. I just love it. 

Tell us about your store, Parker and Persia…
We started out collecting retro pieces, nothing that’s of the same quality we have now, but Sam and I would find things on Gumtree and we fell in love with sourcing them. Sam would do them up and then sell them on again. We had part of our honeymoon in Morocco and fell in love with these rugs because they’re so beautiful. Sam’s Dad actually owns the complex of shops we’re in now and we just had so much furniture but didn’t have any room in the house, or the garage or Sam’s parent’s garage anymore, and this shop was vacant. We weren’t even thinking about opening a store, we wanted to open a gourmet sandwich shop and were focused on that but needed to make room in our house, so we put the furniture in here as storage. Eventually I just stepped back from it and realised we already had a shop right here. So it just kind of happened.

Where do you source everything from now?
All over Australia. Gumtree, eBay, word of mouth, deceased estates, plus we’ve got a couple of drivers who scout around South Australia, Sydney and Melbourne because it’s difficult for us to be out picking things up from everywhere obviously.

What are your professional backgrounds?
I was working full time at an Audiology clinic, which I loved, and Sam owns Currumbin Alley Surf School. He wanted to be able to do something creative too because it’s tiring being in the water all the time and this just kind of happened organically.

How does the refurbishing process work for you?
We want everything to look as original as possible. The sideboards and tables and things like that are easy, you can look at pictures or just tell the varnish and oil they’ve used. With reupholstery, it’s a bit more challenging. We have an idea in mind of what we like and what we think other people will like but it’s hard to choose fabrics sometimes because you can never really be sure. It’s so much fun though.

Tell us about the art you stock at Parker and Persia…
At the moment we’re stocking a local artist called Todd Claire who lives in Palmy. We’re going to try and bring in new artists every couple of months and we’d love to keep it local.

Have you always loved vintage pieces for your own home?
I have but the things I used to love were a lot different. I always liked really eclectic things but I think back to my first couch and it wasn’t good. My taste has definitely evolved.

What’s the plan for the rest of 2019?
We’re having a baby in March and we’ll close the shop for a little while and then we’ll just see what happens after that.

Any advice for someone wanting to start their own business?
I think it’s just about being confident and believing in yourself. I was worried this wouldn’t work at first but you can always try and even if something fails at least you tried. Everyone is super supportive down here though so that’s great.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast..
Café: I love Portside
Restaurant: There’s a collection of restaurant in Tugun I love Kahani, Luna Rossi and Sala Thai, they’re quiet little local places and they’re so good
How does your weekend usually look: Sam works every single day, especially in summer, I’m here on a Saturday but any time we get, we usually go to the beach, maybe head down south to Fingal or something

Naomi Spies

She is one of the most prominent businesswomen on the Gold Coast due, in large part, to her thriving business Ruby Communications, a media relations, social media event management and corporate communications agency.

After nine years in business, Naomi and the Ruby crew have amassed a slew of big name clients and rolled out incredible local campaigns for which they’ve won countless high profile awards.

We sat down for a chat with Naomi about winning the 2018 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur for PR and Media Award and her big plans for expansion in 2019.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
For more than 30 years 

What do you love most about our seaside city?
The outdoor and relaxed lifestyle while being an exciting entrepreneurial hub, particularly the arts, cultural and tourism industries.

Tell us how your PR career came about?
I always wanted to be a producer for ABC Four Corners growing up. When looking for a graduate position a publicity assistant position became available at a local PR agency and I loved the diversity, fast paced and exciting working environment of PR, I was hooked.

You own local PR company Ruby Communications, how did the business come about?
I started Ruby Communications almost nine years ago to spread the wings and to keep up with the changing face of the media landscape at the time.

What have been some of your proudest moments with Ruby so far?
The growth of the Gold Coast office, opening our Brisbane office two years ago and our expansion into the Sunshine Coast which is currently underway. Also winning Best Community Campaign and Spirit of the Gold Coast Awards at the Gold Coast Regional Media Awards was a great moment. Recently winning the 2018 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur for PR and Media Award and the 2018 Business Achiever Award at the Gold Coast Women in Business were humbling moments also.

What does a day in the life of a Publicist look like?
It varies but always involves reading, watching and listening to media, lots of storytelling for our amazing clients, client meetings, planning events, photo shoots and lots of fun!

Any advice you’d give to someone looking to start their own business?
Look after people and I find they will always look out for you, always say yes to any opportunity and set realistic and achievable goals.

You recently won huge honours at several Gold Coast awards ceremonies, what’s next on your to do list?
We have huge growth planned in 2019 with the opening of our Sunshine Coast office and plans to double both on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe: BSKT
Restaurant: Ristorante Fellini
Beach: Surfers Paradise
How does your weekend usually look: Pilates, having fun with my two little boys, great food, wine and company.

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