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Shellie Bailey and Andrei Meintjes

Owners of Burleigh’s new mid-century furniture store Collectika know a thing or two about what’s hot in design trends worldwide. Which is great news for those of us who are absolutely obsessed with homewares and particularly those of the vintage variety.

We sat down for a chat with Shellie and Andrei about the stories each piece has to tell and the current design trends they love most. 

How long have you been Gold Coast locals?
Not long at all. We moved up from Sydney in May this year. One of the best things we have ever done.

What do you love most about living here?
The laidback lifestyle – everything is so easy and not at all hectic like Sydney. And the fact that we can access the ocean in one direction, and the hinterland in the other. It soothes our collective souls. And let’s not forget the quality of local and organic food production.

Tell us about your new store Collectika…
We specialise in everything mid-century and vintage. For the uninitiated… things from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. We’re tucked away in a little warehouse in Burleigh Heads, where we curate an ever-changing, eclectic collection of bespoke original furniture, collectibles and decor pieces. From rosewood, to teak, to Italian, Danish and from far away corners of the globe, if we like, we buy it.

How did you come to open a space in Burleigh?
We wanted somewhere that resonated with us personally and Burleigh has a certain bohemian quality, similar to where we’re from in the inner west of Sydney. We were looking for a cosmopolitan beachside alternative to Sydney, and while Andrei was in Burleigh on a TV commercial (he art directs and set decorates for TV commercials for his ‘real’ job) he called me in Sydney and said, “lets move here”… and three years later we did. People seem really open and accepting of us newcomers. We’ve felt welcome.

What’s unique about the products you sell there?
All of our products are at least 45 years old. We assess every item before it comes into the store. If something is in amazing original condition, we’ll leave it as is, to let it tell its story. However, most things do need a little bit of extra TLC before they go to their new homes. We carefully manage the restoration and upholstery process to retain as much of the original integrity of the piece as possible. We’re all about authenticity and character. Many of our customers tell us stories of the pieces they have that have passed through the generations, and that they are using in the same contemporary way as they were then. These pieces are functional and aesthetic – and they surely withstand the test of time. They are not showroom items at all, and are meant to be lovingly used in the home.

From where do you source everything?
We source from around the globe. We’re not locked into any method… it’s an organic thing for us. A lot of our stock finds us, there’s a lot of vintage ‘gold’ to be discovered right here in our own backyard!

What are some interior design trends you love at the moment?
We’re noticing Ligne Roset’s Togo sofas everywhere we look at the moment. Originally designed in 1973, it’s great to see such a design classic enjoy a well-deserved renaissance. Concrete and layers of black seem to be on-trend, which really make a fantastic base for expanding on colour choices with textiles, soft furnishings, and paint finishes. 

What’s the plan for the rest of 2019?
To keep on collecting and selling. We’re hoping to grow our local clientele and get to know them as regulars like we did in Sydney. The fun bit is being able to source items for our customers and in the process, get to know their personal style.

Favourites on the Coast:
Coffee spot: Currumbin Valley Harvest
Cafe for breakfast: Parlour at West Burleigh
Restaurant for dinner: The Currumbin Beach Vikings Surf Club is always a winner for an early dinner… that view!
How does your weekend usually look: A perfect Sunday for us would start by going to an organic farmer’s market and buying all of our food for the coming week. The four of us (we have a 3 year old daughter and a 17 year old dog-baby) would then ride our bikes to the beach and hang out for a few hours, grab a bug roll from Rickshores for a late lunch and come home for an afternoon siesta.

Emily Kafoa

Emily Kafoa is one brave Gold Coast gal. She committed to skating the first-ever floating half-pipe at Buskers by the Creek in 2016, which made history by hosting the structure for the first time in Australia.

We sat down for a chat with Emily about what she’s getting up to at this years’ event and the community group she created, Girls Skate Gold Coast. 

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I have lived on the Coast most of my life, I was born in Tweed Heads so I float around.

What do you love most about living here?
What’s not to love? I live a five minute skate from the beach, there’s some pretty cool skate spots, from the DIY spots to the skateparks especially Pizzey Park. There’s a bunch of waterfalls, we’ve got the best of both worlds.

Tell us what you’re going to be getting up to at Buskers by The Creek…
I will be there with a group of very talented skateboarders, showing off what we can do on the board. Definitely something not to miss!

You founded Girls Skate Gold Coast, what were you hoping to create?
I started Girls Skate Gold Coast to make a place for girls to meet up, have a skate and talk. I also talk about the serious issues in life; including mental health, it’s something I’m passionate about. I want to help others. It’s ok to not be ok and it ain’t weak to speak.

How did you get into skating?
I was given an old skateboard from one of my cousins when I was eight or nine and I was hooked from there.

What have been some of the highlights of your career?
Meeting so many amazing people, travelling, getting the opportunity to organise demonstrations! The whole skateboarding scene is a vibe. Plus getting to take my daughter with me to skate events has been awesome, the skate community treat us like there own family.

What would you love to see happen in the realm of female skating?
Female skateboarding is booming at the moment, it’s going off and it’s only going to get bigger. I would love to see more girls out there showcasing what they can do. Similar to what Buskers by the Creek is doing; letting the girls do their thing on the floating ramp.

What are your plans for the rest of 2019?
Working on some upcoming events… more to come!

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Coffee shop: The Bread Social
Café for breakfast: Jays Emporium in Coolangatta; best home-style breakfast for the price
Restaurant for dinner: Eddies Grub House
How does your weekend usually look: Spending time with my daughter, skateboarding, beach and chill out.

Melissa Findley

By William Patino

Melissa Findley is an internationally-renowned travel and lifestyle photographer, Gold Coast local and passionate advocate for sustainable travel and contributing to charities wherever possible.

Throughout her career she has worked with brands like The Intrepid Foundation, Canon Australia and various worldwide tourism boards. Most recently Melissa was asked to submit an image for LIVIN x Robina Town Centre’s Collective Minds exhibition.

We sat down for a chat with the talented (and delightful) local lass about her own journey with mental health and some of the incredible places her career has taken her.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve been back home for 4.5, almost 5 years now.

What do you love most about living here?
Falling asleep to the sound of the ocean, the national parks + close-by hinterland and taking a cheeky midday swim in-between editing.

Tell us how you came to be world-renowned travel photographer…
My career has been a very organic progression of everything I have ever loved. I picked up a camera as a teen and started documenting life, and I guess I never stopped. I feel very grateful every single day that this is my job, and I love what I do. My camera is an extension of me and my art created with my whole heart on my sleeve.

What have been some of the highlights of your career?
Visiting many countries/ places I have dreamed of, meeting incredible people along the way, learning about new cultures and ways of life, growing and sharing the whole journey with an incredible supportive online community.

One of your images is currently showcased at the LIVIN x Robina Town Centre Collective Minds exhibition, can you talk a bit about your own mental health journey?
As a teenager I struggled with anxiety and depression, learning the art of photography helped me to be present and to shift my focus. Documenting life, different ways of life, the natural world and animals has helped changed my perspective over the years and to realise that the world is beautiful. I aim to share this beauty through my work and hope to connect with people, to inspire them to spend time in nature, persue a hobby or their dreams and talk about mental health. It’s all encompassing, and I owe a lot to the camera in my hands, and the feet I get to walk around the world with + the community who supports.

Tell us about the image you submitted and why…
I submitted a piece called “The Beacon Of Hope.” – A starry night at the oldest surviving lighthouse on mainland Australia. Built in 1848, the Cape Otway lighthouse known as the “Beacon of Hope;” a reminder to all that there is always light. Alongside a piece I wrote when I had come through a very tough period in life:

For the days when getting out of bed was impossible. For the friends who came over uninvited and pulled you out.

For the times you lay on the shower floor crying silently in a ball. For the times you picked yourself up off that very ground.

For your darkest days, when the weight of the world had broken you.

For the times the beauty of the world made your chest swell and feel like it could literally burst.

For the people who tore your heart out and left you alone. For the people who showed up and put the pieces back together with you.

For the times you lied, how you forced your jaw to smile. For the smiles that produced uncontrollable tears of happiness to fall from your eyes.  

For the strength you somehow found.

Hold on; you can make it through the storm.

What advice do you have for someone who would love to become a travel photographer?
Create with heart and soul. Discover what it is that you are passionate about and do that. Be inspired, but do not copy. Slow down, have patience, practise a lot, learn the rules and break the rules. I strongly believe that if you lead with authenticity, you will prevail. It took me many years to get to where I am in my career and I am always learning. I don’t think I will ever stop – and that is the key. Stay curious and passionate.

What’s on the cards for the rest of 2019 for you?
Right now, I am writing this from Mexico City, I’ve spent a month on the road from an assignment in Kenya, through to Tulum, Oaxaca and the mountains of, and now in Mexico City. From here I head to Los Angeles for a meeting and then home for a few weeks before leading my first photography workshop in Nepal for 18 days amongst the Annapurna Himalaya with my business partner Carmen Huter. December is typically the month of the year where I spend time grounded at home, and see my friends and family. I love summer on the Gold Coast.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Coffee spot: Stable Coffee Kitchen
Cafe for breakfast: Cardamom Pod, Brickworks.
Restaurant for dinner: Greenhouse Canteen
How do your weekends look when you’re home: An early morning walk from home around Burleigh Headland, the Palm Beach Farmers Markets, Acai from Salt Mill + time with my friends at the beach or a good book; I love reading. And for all the places I am fortunate enough to travel to for work and pleasure, I truly love the place I am lucky enough to call home and the people that make it so.

Pilates guru Kirsten King

She is the Gold Coast born Pilates guru loved the world over for her unique blend of technical knowledge combined with a passionate modern approach to healing and strengthening the body.

And excitingly for us, Kirsten King owner of Fluidform Pilates (Sydney) and instructor for a slew of professional athletes and celebrities, will this weekend teach one of her high vibe classes at Eden Health Retreat in Currumbin on Saturday August 24th.

We sat down for a chat with Kirsten about what we can expect from the weekends’ event and how we can practice Fluidform Pilates from the comfort of our living rooms.

What’s do you love most about visiting the Gold Coast?
I love visiting the Gold Coast to see my family. My Mum and Dad and other extended family still live here and any chance I get to come back and spend time with them is so special, not to mention I get to go and visit the best beaches in the world. I have so many fond memories of growing up on the Coast, it really is like coming home.

Tell us how your business Fluidform Pilates came about…
I studied for my Pilates certification in the UK and taught there for a little while and then just after my oldest daughter was born my husband and I moved to Sydney. At that time I discovered Fluidform Pilates and began teaching there which quickly turned into me buying into the business and shortly after that buying out the previous owners in full. Since then I have opened a new studio in Clovelly and also just launched Fluidform at Home, an at home Pilates subscription program. My goal is to allow as many people as possible access to Pilates and that is what I work towards across all elements of the business.

Why is Pilates something everyone should be incorporating into their lives?
Pilates brings about both physical and mental change. With a regular Pilates proactive you’ll see your body change as you become stronger and more flexible, posture improves and your body feels and looks better as overall functional movement is improved. Alongside all the physical change comes the mental strength and positivity that comes from improving your physicality. It really is a life changing practice and I see that every day with my clients whether it’s helping them through injuries or pregnancy or simply improving their overall health through regular Pilates.

What’s unique about Fluidform Pilates?
We are for everybody. Anyone can benefit from Pilates and we focus on having an inclusive and supportive approach in our studios and our online program. Our approach to Pilates blends the traditional training with a modern sensibility to create programming that is effective and relevant for current lifestyles.

Tell us about your event at Eden Health Retreat on August 24th…
Last year I had a week at Eden and it was life-changing. I left feeling really inspired to create a Pilates focused Eden experience and this year that is exactly what we have done, starting August 18th. For those who can’t make the full week, we are holding an outside mat class on the 24th that includes breakfast and a Q&A with Sylvia Jeffries and I. The class will be a challenging workout and the Q&A will be a chance to understand more about the way I approach Pilates.

You’re bringing along some exciting guests, what do they have to share with Gold Coasters?
Pip Edwards and Sylvia Jeffries will also be attending the retreat and mat class. Sylvia will be interviewing me for the Q&A and Pip will be joining in the mat class with all our guests. 

How can people who don’t live in Sydney experience your classes?
Fluidform at Home! It is accessible from anywhere in the world via laptop or mobile. We release new workouts and accompanying calendar each month to keep things fresh as well as other special things like a fortnightly Facebook live class or Q&A with me. FFAH is now five months old and we already have the most beautiful community of committed women and men who keep telling us how much they have benefitted from it.

What’s on the agenda for the rest of 2019 for you?
At the moment we are planning some live events across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to give me a chance to meet more of our Fluidform community. Other than that you’ll either find me teaching at one of the studios or spending time with my husband and three daughters!

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