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Brooke Lee

Brooke Lee is one local gal passionate about health and wellness and a packing wealth of knowledge on the two.

She’s a Naturopath who has lived on the Coast for the past eight years practicing a holistic way of healing encompassing mental, emotional, spiritual and environmental health and we are here for it.

We sat down for a chat with Brooke about her top tips for staying healthy this season and the foods we should be eating more of (our favourite).

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve lived in the southern Gold Coast area for the last 8 years. After travelling and living abroad in my early twenties, I came to realise the Gold Coast is one of the most beautiful places in the world and decided I would like to settle here and begin my career.

What do you love most about living here?
The laidback, healthy lifestyle. The beautiful landscape of the Gold Coast encourages people to spend a lot time outdoors being active and taking in the stunning scenery. There is not a lot of hustle and bustle, the locals are friendly and there’s a great sense of community. We have beaches to the east and forests to the west. The natural world surrounds us and I love that!

What drew you to a career in holistic healing?
To many peoples’ surprise I wasn’t raised by hippies. I had a very humble upbringing in the suburbs, with a very conventional family. Dinners were regularly meat and three veg, with the occasional Happy Meal and illnesses were always treated by the mainstream medical paradigm with cough syrup and antibiotics. I also have indigenous heritage, which I feel has a strong influence on how connected I feel to nature and the healing properties of plants. I have always had an interest in health and wellbeing, but I think it was seeing first hand the harsh side effects pharmaceutical medication had on some of my close family members that pushed me into alternative holistic health.

Can you explain some of the things you take into consideration when doing an initial consultation?
I like to gather as much information as I can about what has led to my client’s current state of health, starting all the way back from when and how they were born. I ask in-depth questions about their signs and symptoms, as well as dietary and lifestyle habits. I will also investigate the health and functioning of each body system (e.g. digestion, nervous system, hormones) to determine how poor health in one area may be affecting other areas of the body. This practice is described as holistic – looking at the body as a whole connected system, rather than individual parts. Holistic health also encompasses mental, emotional, spiritual and environmental health, so these aspects will also be discussed in an initial consultation.

We’ve just come into “winter” here on the Coast, what are your top tips for staying healthy during the chilly season?
The most important thing we can do to maintain health over the cooler months is to ensure we are getting enough sunshine. Exposing our skin to sunlight a few times a week increases Vitamin D levels, an important nutrient for strong immune function. Studies have shown low Vitamin D levels make us more susceptible to common colds and flus. Herbal teas are another great home remedy we can use to keep our immune systems strong and avoid catching a cold/flu from those around us. Echinacea, elderberry, thyme and liquorice are some great immune boosting teas. You can also try adding powered medicinal mushrooms to your tea or coffee. Shiitake, reishi, turkey tail and cordyceps, either individually or in combination can help enhance immune function.

Any foods we should be including more of in our diets?
You really can’t go wrong with a seasonal organic whole foods diet. Essentially this is just cutting out processed foods. Processed foods contain minimal vitamins and minerals and high amounts of chemical additives such as artificial colours, flavours and preservatives, most of which have been shown to be harmful to the human body. I also recommend eating a 50/50 balance of fresh raw and cooked foods. This will ensure you are getting heat sensitive vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K from raw foods and minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc and calcium from cooked foods, as heat breaks down plant fibres and unlocks minerals for absorption. Don’t forget to eat the rainbow! Green, red, yellow, orange and purple fruits and vegetables will contain a variety of different nutrients, so make sure you’re getting them all.

What’s your advice for someone looking to begin a career in Naturopathy?
Go for it! It is an amazingly rewarding career. Be prepared to work hard as a Health Science degree is no easy feat and don’t be discouraged by those who don’t have the same values as you, because believe me, there will be a lot of them! Never stop learning, as science is always uncovering new things and be open to new information and ways of thinking because our world is constantly evolving from what we thought we knew.

What are your plans for the rest of 2019?
I am currently seven months pregnant, so I’m planning on enjoying my transition into motherhood. I’m very much looking forward to this next chapter in my life and can’t wait to share all the natural health tips for fertility, pregnancy and postpartum that I am learning along the way.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breakfast: Marie Anita’s and Bread Social, though that’s kind of in our sister shire Tweed.
Tea spot: I love picking up a takeaway chai/turmeric/matcha latte from Flannery’s in Miami and going to sit at the beach. They have a fully organic cafe, which I love as it’s so hard to find in most places.
Restaurant for dinner: Sticky Rice in Tugun, because who doesn’t love Thai food! I find Sticky Rice uses good quality ingredients that don’t leave me feeling queasy or send my heart racing from MSG.
How does your weekend usually look: I am usually up early checking the surf with my husband Dane and our border collie Storm, followed by a cuppa and raw treat from a local cafe after I’ve hassled them about what milks they have available and the ingredients in their food… Yes I am one of those customers. I’ll then head home to have a big breaky and relax before heading out again for the afternoon to catch up with friends and family or go bush walking/hiking through the Gold Coast Hinterland.

Rhea Robertson

She’s the local gal with the voice of an angel and if you’ve not yet had the pleasure of hearing it, we suggest you rectify that quick smart.

Rhea Robertson has been a musician since the age of 12, recently spending time in LA writing and working with producers to create new tunes and this weekend, she’ll perform at HOTA’s highly anticipated Young Hearts Run Free Ball.

We sat down for a chat with Rhea about featuring on the latest Aquaman movie and the warehouse party everyone’s invited to.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I was born on the Gold Coast, but grew up in a travelling family so we moved around Australia in a Kombi van during my childhood. We always called the Gold Coast home and came back here long term for high school. After school I went off on my own world travels before settling back on the Gold Coast a few years ago.

What do you love most about living here?
I love living in Paradise! It’s easy going, the world’s most beautiful beaches, stunning mountains/rainforests just a drive away and everything we could possibly need in between!

Tell us about how your music career came about?
I started writing music at 12, then started performing gigs at 14. At the time I was the youngest kid on the scene performing at the original live music venues on the coast. Being surrounded by older artists who were so encouraging really propelled my passion. By 17, I was gigging every weekend and had already recorded my first EP at the local favourite, Love Street Studios. I had such an amazingly supportive family who have always encouraged my dream to pursue music, I’ve never felt the pressure to be anything but myself and at the core of my being is music, so here we are!

What influences your music?
My music is a reflection of my world. Whether from my own experiences or those around me, but also from exploring storytelling and creating characters. I find I can easily write about an experience I’ve never personally been through by adapting into a character mindset and writing from there. Almost like writing a mini movie but with melodies and emotion! At home you will find me listening to a lot of jazz, blues and Hollywood golden era music. I like music that moves me! In a world that’s becoming so connected by technology but so emotionally disconnected from one another, music for me is a way to keep us human and feeling our emotions to their full extent.

How would you describe your sound?
My sound has changed a lot over the last two years, working with some amazing artists and producers in LA really helped me find a pocket that is uniquely Rhea. Together with Producer Luke Wylde, we are working with a femme fatale style sound that reflects my golden era music passion in a modern world. Moody melodies dancing atop a dreamy alt pop soundscape with hip hop influence.

You’re playing at Young Hearts Run Free this weekend, why did you want to be involved in the ball at Home of the Arts (HOTA)?
I have always been a Baz Luhrmann fan, Romeo and Juliet being one of my favourite films of all time. When I was asked to be a part of this I said yes without hesitation! Masquerade ball fashion, glitter, 90’s, outdoor theatre umm, yes please! The bonus part was being asked to sing Lovefool which is an all time favourite song; I really hope everyone enjoys my rendition!

What have been some of your biggest career highlights to date?
This last year and a half has really been my biggest yet! I spent a lot of time over in LA recording and writing. I am now working with artists and writers I had only dreamed of working with before! I also got to perform at Festival 2018 last year, was a finalist for GC music awards (song of the year and video for the year), was invited to the Q Music amplify songwriters retreat and have been receiving so much radio airtime love from Radio Metro, ABC, 4zzz and Triple J Unearthed. One of my big highlights was featuring on a song that was used in the Aquaman movie. It was a very different style for me and I was being considered against some amazingly talented and well known artists. So to be given the opportunity on such a global scale was really an amazing honour that has opened so many doors for the future.

What’s happening for the rest of 2019?
I started 2019 strong having already released three songs and two music videos, which are available on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes and YouTube etc. I have another new song ‘Take it Slow’ releasing and I am hosting a warehouse party for it on June 14th. Everyone’s invited, 7pm Mobile Barber Shop Depot, Bundall $10 entry. I have DJ Kye Grant, Luke Wylde and the all female dancers from Pink Matter joining me on stage. It’s going to be an epic night!

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breakfast: Cardamom Pod on Ferry Road
Coffee spot: Alltime coffee at Mermaid Beach (plus they have vegan toasties!)
Restaurant for dinner: Doko Demo V in Miami (best vegan food on the Gold Coast, so much variety and affordable too)!
Where do you like to spend time on the weekend: If I’m not in my home studio writing, then the Southern Gold Coast beaches where I can relax with coffee and a good book.

Kiel Tillman

He’s the exceptional local artist whose work you’ve seen on everything from giant murals to beer cans and national clothing brands and everything in between and it seems like he’s only just getting started.

Kiel Tillman is an illustrator, designer, painter and legendary local lad whose clients include international brands like Oakley and General Pants and closer to home, Black Hops Brewing and The Undercurrent.

We sat down for a chat with Kiel about the recent launch of Tillman Creative Co. and working with the WuTang Clan.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
Almost 20 years. Wow, now I feel old. I moved to the Coast to study graphic design straight after school. I grew up in a small coastal town in mid north NSW, called Old Bar. Amazing place but there was not that many options in the way of a creative career.

What do you love most about our beachside city?
I think it’s the balance of lifestyle. I don’t have to commute for three hours a day to an office in the city. I can drive 15 minutes to an office in Burleigh and that still blows my mind. I love that I can work with clients all over the world and still take my kids to the beach after school.

Tell us how you became a full time creative?
It didn’t happen overnight. I spent about 17 years working as a designer in a bunch of different industries. I worked at a printer, designed clothes at Billabong and was Creative Director at Potato Press and was always doing art shows and illustration on the side. With all of that experience under my belt, when my side hustle started to take off, I had the confidence to make the leap and start my own business.

Talk to us about TILLMAN CREATIVE CO., what does it encompass?
TILLMAN CREATIVE CO, is a contemporary brand and design studio based on the Gold Coast, Australia. We specialise in creating custom design brand identities, illustrations, merchandise and murals for clients wanting an originally authentic representation of their company. We work with local and international companies to create visual solutions that fight the noise. .

You work with so many epic brands and companies, what have been some of your career highlights?
Some of our previous clients include Oakley, Corona, General Pants and Wu-Tang Clan – working with WuTang Clan was pretty wild also getting the privilege of creating the Gold Coast mural at Tugun was definitely a proud moment. But to be honest the projects where I see the value that our services bring to our client and their business, that’s always the most rewarding highlight!

You’ve just undergone a complete rebrand, why the change?
When I first started working for myself I was basically working as a freelancer. Now that I have started building my own client base, working on larger projects and contracting other talented creatives to work alongside me, it was time to step it up and brand my own company like I would brand a clients company. It’s awesome to finally have it out there so we can showcase our work and tell the people who we are.

Thoughts on the Coast’s rapidly expanding arts and culture scene…
We have such a flourishing and inclusive creative scene here now. It’s so awesome to see everyone doing so well. It’s evidence that art, design and creative thinking is so important to build community and help a city to thrive.

What’s in the works for the rest of 2019?
I just presented and attended The Design Conference in Brisbane last week so I am super inspired and ready to push TCC and create great things for the rest of 2019! I’ll be releasing more case studies onto the website. We have just produced some TCC merch and aim to create more towards the end of the year. A couple more speaking gigs on the cards. But mostly continuing to work with our awesome clients and creating exciting work for new clients and projects! I’m pumped… Let’s do it.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breakfast: Burleigh Co-Op, it’s nice and close to the office.
Coffee spot: I can’t go past Portside at Currumbin.
Restaurant for dinner: Zipang in Currumbin.
What do you usually get up to on the weekend: Hang with the wife and kids, go to the beach/creek at Currumbin, walks at Tugun and usually sprinkle some work in there too, haha.

Brittiny Heyden

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!

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