Brooke Raven is pretty much living the dream as far as we’re concerned, having recently opened a stunning fashion boutique in Robina Town Centre.
The newbie, Issue.1 is filled with a carefully curated collection of fashion forward pieces including plenty of Gold Coast brands, Brooke’s personal passion.
We sat down for a chat with Brooke about what it takes to open your very own boutique and local designers to watch out for.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
30 years, I moved from Sydney with my family when I was little.
What do you love most about living here?
It’s an amazing place to raise my family, and whether you love the hinterland or the beach, shopping or the outdoors, everything is only ever 20 minutes away!
Tell us about your new boutique?
Issue.1 is the result of 18 years in the retail fashion business, and getting to know my customers at Robina Town Centre over the past 10 years. It is a carefully curated selection of practical, functional and fashion forward pieces for the modern woman who loves fashion but needs her wardrobe to be effortless and easy to wear. We try on absolutely everything we buy before selecting it, and buy specifically with our customers in mind. We hope it’s a place where women of all shapes, sizes, styles and backgrounds can come and feel comfortable and leave feeling confident and beautiful in their purchases.
You’re passionate about supporting homegrown talent, tell us about some of the local brands you love…
I absolutely love local brands St Helena, Lisa Brown, Dylan Kain, and Valley Eyewear to name a few. I work directly with the designers of all of these brands and love the passion we share for adorning our customers in original, locally designed pieces. I am currently working with local designer Lisa Brown on a custom gown for one of our beautiful VIP customers for an upcoming black tie event, and I just love that I am able to offer her that service because Lisa makes everything here on the Coast in her Mermaid Beach studio.
How do you think fashion on the Gold Coast has evolved in recent years?
The main change I have noticed is the incredible local design talent that has emerged. Ten years ago, there was very little fashion-wise coming out of SEQ and NNSW; now we have so many super successful and talented designers in our backyard and it’s great to see the support that the locals give them
What are you trend predictions for the upcoming season?
We’re going to see the return of khaki (an Issue.1 fave!) and deep plums for winter, with a pop of red and bold florals. Midi skirts are huge, and florals will feature all AW19 and well into Spring. We absolutely love a leopard print, and have a variation of this trend coming through over the coming months.
Any upcoming designers we should keep an eye out for?
Saint Helena from Bangalow – an amazing women’s swimwear and apparel designer. Also keep an eye out for the release of our own issue.1 signature accessories coming through.
Why is it important for you personally to wear and support Australian designers?
To put the Gold Coast on the map for fashion – we have so many amazing designers around us and I am proud to say I’m a GC girl!
Any advice for someone looking to start their own business?
Plan, plan, plan – know who your target market is and tailor your product/service to meet their needs and wants. Be prepared to work until very late most nights and feel the constant guilt between being an awesome mum and wife, and being an awesome businesswoman. Make sure you have support from your family and an amazing team working with you.
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe: Barbosa Deli at Robina Town Centre
Restaurant: Iku at Burleigh Heads
How does you your weekend usually look: To be completely honest, it includes about seven loads of washing, cleaning my house, running around after my three and six year-old children, and doing some cooking for the week ahead. We usually manage to squeeze in dinner at our local Japanese, a family movie night, and a swim on Sunday.
If there’s one place on the Gold Coast where you can both shop up an absolute storm and wander amongst stunning natural parklands, it is Robina; a Gold Coast suburb set slightly back from the coastline and offering a huge variety of eats and experiences.
In honour of showcasing the Coast in all its’ unique glory, we’ve compiled a list of 15 reasons locals love Robina, so you too can experience all the fun there is to be had.
My French Pastries
A venue called My French Pastries needs no introduction but since they’re some of the most delicious pastries around, they get one anyway. Jen and Antonio Marchesi have created something really special here with French pastries made from scratch and taste absolutely divine. Think Key Lime Chantilly, Lemon Meringue, Blueberry and Chocolate tarts, all so very beautiful. There are also life-changing savoury goodies and you’ll want to sample everything.
Where: Robina Quays Shopping Centre, 5/361 Robina Parkway, Robina
Eddy + Wolff
The trendiest of the Robina bunch, Eddy + Wolff opened in early 2019 bringing exceptional, modern Asian eats to the people. It’s a sleek, 22-seat venue by the people who also offer the most delicious eats up north at Can Tho Kitchen and it’s an absolute must-try. The menu is made up of BBQ-style dishes, snacks, bigger plates and sides, all of which are designed to share and hail from Thao and Vien’s home country of Vietnam, China, Japan and Korea to name a few. The drinks list is tight and perfectly curated to match the food with a lemon sake you definitely need to try. One of your absolute faves.
Where: 44 Commerce Drive, Robina
A hidden gem that may just be the reason the term ‘hidden gem’ was coined, Cocotte Dining offers a fusion of French and Japanese cuisines and it is hands down some of the best food on the Coast. Found a little off the beaten track at Robina Quays, Cocotte are producing dishes like Slow Cooked Ox Tail and Beef Cheek with red wine, sake and miso stew and it is a melt-in-your-mouth dish if ever you’ve tasted one. An exceptional spot, get down there and sample their degustation menu.
Where: Shop 16A, 361 Robina Parkway, Robina
Foodie marketplace-style situations are one of life’s greatest gifts. So many edible options in one area, heavenly. The Kitchens is one of those market-style situations with an array of exceptional venues all within the one beautifully appointed area. Think tasty teppanyaki, big old burgers, a vegan foodie venue and even a craft beer bar also offering delicious eats. There is more choice than any one person needs and it is all of the high quality variety.
Where: Robina Town Centre, Robina
The famed German bier bar opened in Robina, much to the delight of locals, slinging giant pretzels, hotdogs and of course, an array of German biers. Not only that goodness, there’s also a ping pong table to hit a few rounds on, a sunlit courtyard and lots of drink and dining specials. Get in there for guaranteed good times.
Where: The Kitchens, Robina Town Centre, Robina
El Camino Cantina
A good time Mexi-joint opened up at Robina Town Centre bringing one of the most colour-filled interiors we’ve ever come across, a menu packed with family-friendly Mexi eats and frozen margaritas (the best thing). El Camino Cantina, The legendary venue is one of four Queensland restaurants and it’s known for neon signage, sweet sombreros and a time you won’t long forget. Gather the crew and get on it.
Where: Robina Town Centre, Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina
CBUS Super Stadium
Home of the Gold Coast’s beloved Titans, CBUS Super Stadium one of the best regional stadiums Australia and it’s ours, all ours. Not only do Gold Coasters spend their weekends cheering on the boys here but we’ve also been lucky enough to watch A-league and international football games, the Nitro Circus and the Rugby 7s as part of the Commonwealth Games. Yay CBUS bringing us all the sporting joy.
Where: Centreline Place, Robina
An old Robina favourite got quite the glow up late recently, transforming it into sleek new venue complete with a deck overlooking the water, a specialised kids area and plenty of good vibes. Robina Pavilion boasts a menu packed with epic eats from woodfired pizzas to stacked burgers and you can also get involved in the impressive cocktail menu featuring the one and only, Mr Consistent. It’s the perfect spot for sun-soaked afternoon sessions with the crew.
Where: 229 Ron Penhaligon Way, Robina
Robina Parkway Dog Park
Obviously one for the locals with hairy mates but if you’ve got one too, we highly recommend letting him or her have a crack at this place. There are all kinds of fun things for your doggo to explore including tunnels and hurdles and they’ll no doubt make a new friend or two in the process. If you don’t have a pooch, get down there to try and score a free pat anyway.
Where: Lot 21, Robina Parkway, Robina
Taboon Modern Middle Eastern Café
Middle Eastern is an absolute favourite, all spice-filled and flavoursome and some of the very best varieties of it can be found right here on the Gold Coast, in Robina conveniently. Taboon Modern Middle Eastern Café has been around for quite some time and the menu is one that must be sampled ASAP. Taboon is Arabic for stone oven and the cuisine draws influence from Marrakesh to Istanbul and Cairo to Beirut. Think authentic hummus, grilled skewers and slow-cooked Moroccan tagines. Everything is absolutely incredible and you must go today.
Where: Easy T Centre, 514 Christine Avenue, Robina
The newest of the bunch is Parkway Coffee by the clever gals who also created Third Base in Palmy. The newbie is similar in laidback, community vibes and is also serving up the same level of tasty brunch eats. Like their famous Egg and Bacon Turkish – a larger (and yummier) version of the B&E roll we all love so much. Pop in and spend some time in the garden devouring all of the goodies.
Where: Robina Quays, 16b, 361 Robina Parkway, Robina
If open spaces and all of the greenery, in the middle of a city no less, is your thing (yes please), Cheltenham Park is a lovely place to frequent. There are plenty of areas to run around with the kiddies or the dog, bushwalking tracks and big leafy trees to stretch out beneath with a picnic and your favourite people. It’s the perfect spot if you’re keen to escape the city but don’t feel like driving too far to find some greenery.
Where: Cheltenham Drive, Robina
Dark Fluid Espresso
A sweet, European-inspired coffee and brunch spot at the East T Centre in Robina bringing big, perfectly balanced flavours and some of the best coffee around. Owned by the husband and wife team who once brought us the very best deli goods at Robina Town Centre, this cafe is bursting with all your favourite breaky and lunch eats with a hint of that European flair you know and love. Plus there’s plenty of parking out front and lots of lovely, welcoming vibes inside. Love.
Where: Easy T Centre, 510 Christine Avenue, Robina
The Sporting Globe
The spacious, sports-themed bar and restaurant made a big splash on Robina Town Centre when it moved in late last year. Within The Sporting Globe there are 50 high definition screens including two, 5m2 screens and a nine-screen video wall, so there’s absolutely no way you’ll miss a second of any sporting action. They’re also serving up perfect sport-watching food, frosty beers and lots of fun. Can it be summer already please?
Where: The Promenade, Robina Town Centre, Robina
Alpine Indoor Climbing
Robina’s state-of-the-art climbing centre is a very good time if you’re looking for a new challenge or simply enjoy climbing things as an adult (same). Alpine Indoor Climbing opened last year and it’s become a favourite of both professional and beginner climbers since. There are varying levels of challenges and you can go across, or straight up, anyway you like really and there are cushioned pads underneath should you lose your grip. Good times.
Where: 86 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina
Words by Kirra Smith