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Chats with Gold Coast musician Emma Hudson

Ahead of her debut EP release later this year.

Emma Hudson is a talented local musician who at 24, has only just embarked on what’s destined to be a successful career.

The bubbly singer and songwriter performs across the Gold Coast and is set to release her debut EP within the next couple of months (which is definitely going to be filled with good time tunes).

We sat down for a chat with Emma about creating music from emotion and why making the jump is the best thing you can do when it comes to following your dreams.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I was lucky enough to grow up on the Coast! In fact, I’ve lived in the same street since I was a baby.

What do you love most about living here?
The views and the lifestyle. It’s so relaxed and everyone’s so friendly. And I love that I can go from beach from to valley in the same day. It’s wild.

How long have you been a singer / songwriter?
I grew up playing guitar but only gained the confidence to start writing and perform about 18 months ago! Since then, I’ve had so much support from family, friends, and strangers and I’m so grateful for where the whirlwind of a journey has taken me so far.

Have you always known this is what your career would be?
Absolutely not! Music was always a passion, but I actually completed a Bachelor of Psychology before this. I didn’t think there were jobs in the music industry, but it turns out I was super wrong! If I’d have known then what I do now, I would have started this a long time ago!

Where you do you find inspiration for your music?
Whenever I have a strong emotion, songs just kind of pour out of me. Whether it’s love, anger, loss, whatever. My song themes range a lot but the one thing in common between them is that they mean a lot to me. I pour my soul into them.

What have been some of your favourite local gigs to play?
Tonic on Chirn has a special place in my heart. It’s the first gig I ever played and since that day, they’ve become like a family to me. The vibe is so relaxed and the food is amazing too, so that helps.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to make music their career?
Make the jump. It’s not as scary as you think. The music community on the Coast is so welcoming and supportive; if you put the work in, you’ll thrive.

Plans for the rest of 2019?
I’m in the middle of some really exciting stuff at the moment! I’ll be releasing an EP within the next month or two, which is crazy to me. I’m collaborating with some other artists, gigging more, and getting a few other things together that I can’t talk about yet. But a lot is happening!

Tell us your favourites on the Coast:
Cafe for breakfast: Barefoot Barista has a to-die-for acai bowl (did someone say ice-cream for breakfast?)
Coffee spot: Espresso Moto has the best vibe for some creativity flow with my caffeine.
Restaurant for dinner: Harvest Buffet at The Star is my go-to for a cheat night.
How does your weekend usually look? If I’m not gigging, tutoring, or studying, I’m spending time with my son playing games and running around. My life is crazy hectic but I wouldn’t have it any other way!


Chats with Gold Coast artist Dan Mason

The Gold is absolutely brimming with local creatives, some brand new and some having been a part of establishing our local cultural scene.

One such longstanding artist is Dan Mason, a painter who will this week paint a live portrait at his pop-up show The Journeyman.

We sat down for a chat with Dan about his unique ability to create incredible art with knives and what to expect from this weekend’s show.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I went to Miami High School in the late ‘80’s, surfing everyday before and after class. My working/ocean time ritual is pretty much still the same to this day.

What do you love most about living here?
Our clean slice of the Pacific Ocean

Tell us about how you came to be a full-time artist?
While at Uni in the mid 90’s, I worked as an old-school Photographic Retouch Artist (with brushes), designed, built and painted furniture in my garage and always yearned to work for myself honouring the gift of creative consciousness. I took the plunge ‘full-time’ at the start of ’03 after returning home from an overseas trip, where I became scarily ill. It was then that I decided that life’s too short to not do what you love – or at least give it a red-hot go.

What’s unique about your work?
I’d loosely suggest that I’ve spent between 200k-300k hours, with an emphasis on perpetual experimentation and painting in my studio. Remember, they’re only mistakes if you don’t learn from them. My painterly approach has metamorphosised into a delicate attack, with palette knives in hand & thick impasto oil movements.

Tell us about The Journeyman…
Firstly I’m painting a new portrait live in the gallery both days. Hopefully the cleaning bill after I leave isn’t too big! This two-day show is allowing me to connect with collectors who have acquired my artwork from Red Hill Gallery in Brisbane, over the past fifteen years, as well as some new faces. I guess I’m most known for my abstracted sensibilities and there’ll be most of the thick abstract oil paintings that I’ve created from the past twelve months on show AT 2005 PRICES! I’ve been developing my love of portraiture in recent times and will have a few 100x150cm pieces ready to go to good homes too. I’ve also created many very affordable smaller framed works for those who only have small walls to fill. They’re half their normal price for the weekend – that’s two-for-one.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to make their passion for art into a full-time career?
Be good at what you do and work harder than everybody else. Build relationships. Be very humble.

What’s in the works for the rest of 2019 for you?

I’m obsessed with developing my portraiture and painting people who contribute generously to our society. More of this is what I’m aiming for.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breaky: Neighbourhood Espresso, Currumbin Waters
Coffee spot: Dune Café at Palm Beach Parklands
Restaurant for dinner: Balboa Italian in Palm Beach
How does your weekend usually look: Hanging with my wife and two young sons at the park/beach. I love working in my backyard landscaping and gardening on Sundays too – it’s my outdoor ‘man-cave’. If I’m lucky, I get to watch one game of AFL on the box each weekend.

Dave and Abbey Crompton

Sometimes in life, there are people you come across who make your life simpler (and fill it with delicious goodies) and for those people we are very grateful.

Two such folks are Dave and Abbey Crompton, Gold Coast locals and owners of food delivery service Nourish’d –offering gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, nut-free and paleo friendly, home delivered meals. 

We sat down for a chat with Dave and Abbey about how they manage to create tasty meals without any nasties and plans for Australia-wide expansion. 

How long have you been Gold Coast locals?
Abbey moved to SEQ from Tasmania at 17yrs in 2014 & Dave from England at 24yrs in 2009. We were fortunate to be able to move to the Gold Coast in 2014 when Abbey relocated for work at Mantra Group Hotels in 2014.

What do you love most about living here?
Both of us coming from pretty cold climates, we’re big fans of the sunshine! The idea of hitting the beach in winter is pretty unfathomable where we come from!

Tell us how your business Nourish’d got started?
In 2014, we were facing losing another precious Sunday to the grind of the weekly food prep tasks. Long, arduous hours driving to tackle the crowds at the Farmers Markets for fresh produce, then onto sourcing the best grass-fed meat from organic butchers, before finally heading home to meal prep lunch and dinner for the week ahead. We were fed up with it basically, so began researching for a meal delivery service provider that offered healthy, gluten-free meals. We couldn’t believe there were none! So, I quit my job the following Friday to create Nourish’d (originally known as Caveman Kitchen); Australia’s first meal delivery service that offers gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, nut-free and paleo friendly, home delivered meals, which promise all of the flavour and none of the nasties. Voted the number one Best Value for Money Meal Delivery Service in Australia by Canstar Blue (2019), Nourish’d is a family owned and operated business that began as an idea born out of the frustration of all healthy eaters existence – the weekly food prep.

What’s unique about your particular service?
For us, it’s all about creating awesome customer experiences, so everything we do is based around that. From curating a menu worth drooling over, to obsessing about the customer journey through to the website and only working with the best suppliers to deliver an exceptional product and service. We really believe that just because it’s a pre-prepared meal, it doesn’t need to be bad.

What can people expect when they order from Nourish’d?
A whole new level of service – we take care of you like you’re our own family! For us it feels like every time someone orders, we’re being personally invited to dinner in their home and we are really great guests.

Do you cater to people with dietaries?
100%! All of our meals are gluten free, about 80% of the menu is dairy free and we use absolutely no preservatives or processed sugars (only natural things here!). We also have paleo, keto, low-carb and vegetarian options available. There’s something for everyone!

Why do you think meal delivery is the way to go?
More and more for our customers their most valuable commodities are their time and their health – Nourish’d helps take care of both of these. No shopping, cooking, prepping or cleaning – just delicious meals, that are bloody good for you.

What’s in the pipeline for the rest of 2019?
2019 is a super exciting time for Nourish’d. We’ve just launched our new vegetarian menu and are exploring expansion into new territories across the country, and we have some big partnerships in the works!

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breaky: Pinky’s Kitchen & Bar – great for catchups with the girls.
Coffee spot: Teavine House. I work from home (aka coffee haunts) a lot, and I find this spot such an amazing place to get creative.
Restaurant for dinner: The Jungle Mexican Cantina – best fish tacos, best margaritas!
How does your weekend usually look: Our weeks are hectic, so our weekends are pretty sacred family time with our babies. We leave the phones at home and take long walks, usually near a body of water, while sipping good coffee. We have picnics in the backyard, and try to get a couple of partner workouts in. Saturday night is our at home date night where we usually cheat up one of our Nourish’d meals (using our Chilli Con Carne atop homemade fries to make Dirty Fries is a fave!), pop a bottle and chill with a movie.

Find out more here.

Hannah and Todd Watts

If you are one of the lucky people who’ve had the pleasure of owning a pair of UGG’s in your time, you’ve got these two to thank.

Hannah and Todd Watts are the owners of UGG Since 1974. The much-loved Australian business has been in their family since well, 1974 and in that time they’ve amassed a slew of loyal followers from international celebrities to Gold Coast locals.

We sat down for a chat with the pair about making UGGs for Gigi Hadid and how you can get your fur baby printed on your very own pair. 

How long have you been Gold Coast locals?
Todd was born on the Gold Coast and I moved up from Sydney with my family when I was 10 – so we’ve both been in the area for quite a while and have seen a lot of changes in our little city.

What do you love most about living here?
Having our work, our home and the beach all within five minutes’ drive of one another is hard to beat. Plus, the opportunity for small business here is pretty unique and another reason why we love being on the Gold Coast.

How did your business UGG Since 1974 come about?
Our business was started by Todd’s grandfather in Sydney in 1974 (hence the name, UGG Since 1974), and has now been in the family for three generations. Over the years, the focus of the business has grown from being wholesale only, to a full scale manufacturing and retail model where we now have 4 stores within Australia and a growing online presence. While it is common knowledge that UGG boots are an Australian innovation, most people don’t realise that the word UGG in Australia is not owned by any one company, rather it’s a generic name for sheepskin boot (just like sneakers), so just because the product you buy says “UGG boot”, it doesn’t mean it was made in Australia. In fact, 96% of the world’s UGG boots are now made in Asia. We’re one of the only manufacturers in Australia who actually produce 100% Australian made UGGs.

Why are UGGs the perfect winter accessory?
Once you’ve had a proper pair of UGG boots, there’s no way you can go back. Nothing beats the feeling of sliding your feet into your favourite UGGs on a cold winter’s morning. Aside from being crafted from the fluffiest Australian merino sheepskin and being handmade from start to finish on the Gold Coast, buying a good pair of UGG boots from UGG Since 1974 means you can guarantee they’ll be lasting you for many years to come.

Tell us about your customisation options, what’s on offer?
This year monogramming has been the clear stand out, with many locals opting to add their initials on the back of their UGGs or their name in metallic foiling across their sheepskin slides. We’ve also recently launched our custom-made Pet Printed UGG boots, where you can supply your favourite image of your 4-legged bestie and have the artwork printed all over your UGGs. We made a pair of these each for Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik earlier this year featuring their hairless cat – they were certainly one of a kind. You can also change anything from the sheepskin panels to the logo and the top binding, so if rainbow is what you’re after, that’s what you’ll get. We receive lots of orders for sporting teams or corporate groups, since we can craft products out of vintage jerseys or come up with a custom corporate design for local businesses too. The options are literally endless.

Why do you think people are beginning to support Australian made products more and more these days?
Great question! Probably the most satisfying part of our business is seeing the support from our Australian customers grow year on year, and this is because people are taking such an interest in caring where their products are made. It’s all about knowing who has made your products and from what, and supporting businesses which operate here in Australia as opposed to buying products which are mass produced in Asia, where the average wage for factory wages is between $1 and $4 per hour. Any given pair of UGG boots will pass through at least 20 pairs of hands here in our workshop, but if you take it back to the beginning, our products provide jobs for hundreds of jobs in our Australian supply chain: from the sheep farmers to the truck drivers, right up to the photographers to customer service team that assist us on the front line. So few things are genuinely Australian these days and people want to make sure things continue to be produced here for their kids and grandkids to enjoy one day too.

Another important consideration is sustainability, and “buying less but buying better”. By this, people are choosing to invest in things, which have a story behind them, and will last years to come, rather than constantly buying and throwing away cheaper items, which just create waste (both financially and environmentally). We only use ethically sourced Australian sheepskin and put a strong focus on using environmentally friendly processes and recyclables in our packaging solutions.

Everything you sell is manufactured on the Gold Coast, talk to us about your tours…
We open our workshop doors during the week to allow people to see the age-old manufacturing process of sheepskin UGG boots, and since factories in Australia are becoming more and more scarce, our tours have become a hit with locals and tourists alike. Once you see the work involved in making an entire UGG boot from scratch, and the happy faces of our talented craftspeople who do the work, it gives you a new appreciation for products, which are handmade, one by one. Plus, those who grew up on the Gold Coast in the 70s and 80s get a kick out of seeing the old Gold Coast Roller Skating Rink again through a fresh set of eyes (our workshop is located at 23 Christine Avenue, Miami which used to house the old roller skating rink many moons ago).

What’s in the works for the rest of 2019 for you?
We’re in the final stages of designing a brand new retail store in The Rocks which is due to open in October this year, located in the old Coroner’s Court in Sydney (the building itself is more than 110 years old). We’re also launching our sister brand to UGG Since 1974 later this year: enter Wild Wool™, which will feature product lines handmade on the Gold Coast like luxurious leather hats, chunky woollen knits, leather handbags and accessories and of course, sheepskin apparel. Plus, keep an eye out for us during November as we swelter in the heat for about two weeks to install our annual Christmas light display on our site at Christine Avenue, we love Christmas so much that it wouldn’t be right to thank the community for all of their support throughout the year by putting on something for the locals to enjoy come Christmas time.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breakfast: We have to be diplomatic here as we have lots of family in food on the Coast, so that makes it an equal tie here between Bam Bam, Paddock Bakery and Cubby Bakehouse.
Coffee spot: Good Day Coffee in Tugun is normally our weekend stop off for coffee.
Restaurant for dinner: Itoshin (and Little Itoshin) are the winners here and have been for us for a long time
Where do you usually spend time on the weekend? If it’s a Saturday, chances are Todd will be in the surf or on the golf course. I’m usually wandering around the shops somewhere and then we’ll meet up for a cocktail somewhere for sundown! Sundays are our day for trips down south in search of sunshine and salt water.

NB: UGG Since 1974 offer a locals only discount out of their Miami store, so make sure you mention you live close by for a special deal on your UGGs this year. 

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