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Gold Coast charity donating formalwear to students

Full Circle Formals are making dreams come true.

Formals in Australia are a rite of passage, an event that marks the end of our high school years and a foray into adulthood.

It’s one of your first times’ as a teenager you dress up in an absolutely breathtaking outfit (or tux), have your hair and makeup done and get beautiful photos taken with all of your friends.

It can also be very expensive and a financial strain at a time of year that’s already a bit much.

Which is where Gold Coast charity Full Circle Formals come in.

The organisation was created in March 2020 by local business owner Cindy Paterson who has been styling school formals for over a decade with her event styling company and noticed that each year the number of graduates attending dropped due to financial pressures.

This year, as we’ve all obviously noticed, there are a few other factors impacting the affordability of attending formals, making it impossible for some to do so.

The vision of Full Circle Formals is to help as many students as possible by accepting donated formal wear or purchasing second hand formal wear from local thrift stores and having them altered by local seamstresses including Kichi Alterations, then cleaned and presented ready to give students an opportunity to attend their formal stress free and at little or no cost.

Which is absolutely amazing. But another issue arose, in that some students were unable to visit stores due to either a lack of funds to travel to a fitting, lack of transportation or logistical reasons.

So again, Cindy came to the rescue. With a bus.

An old school bus has been purchased and will soon be converted it into a mobile fitting room and storage cupboard, so the team can visit more schools and reach the students that need their help. How good are people.

Currently Full Circle Formals have several drop off zones around the Gold Coast and plan to expand into greater South-East Queensland.

They aim to help not only disadvantaged school students, but also assist in recycling clothing and reducing the footprint fast fashion has on the planet.

There are plans in place to run online raffles, sustainable markets, host fundraising events and activities which will assist in the running of the bus and be able to assist in subsidising some of the students’ formal ticket costs as well.

If you’re in a position to help (ie a tradie that can help with the bus conversion or a dry cleaner that can assist with cleaning of the gowns/suits) this incredible charity, please reach out to Cindy and the team.

Everything helps and you’ll making the dreams of local high schoolers who, let’s face it, have had quite the year, come true.

Find out more here.

9 Gold Coast Op Shops to drop some dollars in

Gold Coast Op Shops (image via unsplash)
Gold Coast Op Shops (image via unsplash)

It’s an experience that gets all your senses going, from that distinctive op shop scent to the rush of excitement you get when you find a pre-loved treasure you know you’ll be calling vintage!

In honour of all the people who do good by donating to op shops or volunteer their time, we bring forth an epic list of the crème de la crème of op shops on the Coast.

Thrifters, get excited, gather your besties and get ready to hunt down some bargains!

Salvos Store, Nerang
So our friends in the outer ‘burbs don’t have to miss out on the bargain hunt we bring to you Nerang’s Salvos Store just off the Pacific Motorway on Station Street. Friendly service and a great range of pre-loved items make this op shop a place to return!
Where: 23-25 Station St, Nerang

Lifeline Molendinar
Bargain hunters, this one will give you all the heart eyes. It is a literal warehouse. You’re guaranteed to walk away from this place with some bargains.
Where: 28 Industrial Ave, Molendinar

Lifeline, Southport
Southport’s Lifeline is the perfect spot when you’re in the mood to dress to impress. They have lots of retro and vintage clothing plus books, shoes, toys and manchester.
Where: 14 Railway St, Southport

Vinnies, Mudgeeraba
Vinnies, another familiar face in the world of op-shopsis a must for affordable and pre-loved items including clothing, furniture, books, music and bric-a-brac. Everything you buy inspires change in your local community, feel good shopping at its best!
Where: 58 Railway St, Mudgeeraba

Pacas Recycling Store, Surfers Paradise
Passionate about conscious consumerism and the preservation of our environment, Pacas encourages us to never pay retail prices – and we oblige! Their massive haul of preloved pieces is sourced from Florida (cool) and they specialise in US designer brands like GAP, Victoria’s Secret and American Eagle. Plus, they get new drops every single Saturday so yes, a little trip to the glitter strip is set to become a weekly event.
Where: 3298 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Pacas Recycling Store (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Pacas Recycling Store (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Salvos, Mermaid Beach
Located just near Soak Bathhouse in Mermaid Beach it’s easy to see why this store has a reputation for being one of the best on the Coast. This place is huge and a veritable treasure trove for thrifters.
Where: Pacific Square, Shop 11/2532 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

AWLQ, Burleigh
This hidden treasure trove located on the lower Gold Coast Highway just around the corner from Commune Cafe is rather small but offers you a good variety of clothing, furniture and home-wares. Plus it’s always a good feeling knowing you’re helping animals in need with your new finds. Show them off in style by relaxing with a yummy coffee afterwards.
Where: Cnr & Lower Gold Coast Hwy & Elder Entrance, Burleigh Heads

Vinnies, Burleigh Waters
Nestled between Harvey Norman and Burleigh Homespace at Santa Maria Court is Vinnies Burleigh Waters. The welcoming staff play a big part of why this op-shop is a locals favourite! Besides great customer service they give you everything you expect from a thrift shop and more.
Where: 11/1 Santa Maria Ct, Burleigh Waters

RSPCA, West Burleigh
Bargain hunters beware… RSPCA’s biggest Gold Coast store is another well kept secret and features furniture, books, toys, music, clothing and even some antiques! It’s pretty easy to spend hours browsing through all the second-hand steals and collectables, but as long as you make it out with some unique fashion items and vintage finds it’s well worth it!
Where: 18 Township Dr, Burleigh Heads

Gold Coast Op Shops (image via unsplash)
Gold Coast Op Shops (image via unsplash)

11 Gold Coast spots with free Wi-Fi

Image supplied by Unsplash
Image supplied by Unsplash

Working from home is all well and fine until you begin to feel the walls closing in, and the only interaction you have with another living thing is when you water your plants.

It’s high time you escape the confines of home — giving your data allowance a break — and finding a break from the norm at one of the many great cafes around the Coast that happens to offer free Wi-Fi. And we know all too well that not all venues offer complimentary internet; and sure, they might have fantastic coffee and eats, but when megabytes matter, you need to know where to head, right?

Luck for you, and us, there are an abundance of hotspots on the Gold Coast offering free Wi-Fi with sides of delicious food and/or coffee. Because science has proven working without data restrictions whilst being highly caffeinated is a one-way ticket to success (and productivity)!

Griffith Street Larder (image supplied)
Griffith Street Larder (image supplied)

Griffith Street Larder
After a morning spent surfing world-class waves, what better way to get on top of things than with some amazing breakfast before diving into some free Wi-Fi courtesy of The Strand. Griffith Street Larder is a great spot to take advantage of this free-flowing data whilst sipping everyone’s favourite Gold Coast roast, Blackboard Coffee.
Where: 85 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Caffeine Kings
Also fully licensed, Caffeine Kings in Miami is better known for its super silky, smooth coffee. After you’ve smashed that deadline, why not stay for lunch too? If you want our advice, the burgers are the business.
Where: 1920 Gold Coast Highway, Miami

Sitting in front of a laptop for too long can take a toll on your health — and sanity — so it’s a good idea to devour one of BSKT’s healthy-as super-food smoothies or one of their many nourishing brunch dishes to keep you fueled to power through.
Where: 4 Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach

BSKT Cafe (image supplied)
BSKT Cafe (image supplied)

Barefoot Barista
Barefoot Barista Palm Beach is a sweet spot to eat an epic breaky, sip a tasty brew, and work the day away. We HIGHLY recommend the always-delicious Crispy Potato Hash: because you need crunchy potatoes paired with smokey pulled ham hock to get you through those mundane tasks.
Where: 15 Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach

Dust Temple
Art gallery, slash coffee spot, come architectural delight, pretty much sums up the space that is the Dust Temple in Currumbin. It’s an inspiring space that will ensure you pump out some of your very best work, all whilst soaking up the uber-cool industrial vibes.
Where: 54 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin

Street Corner Espresso
A locally loved gem, Street Corner Espresso is, yep, on a street corner in Burleigh Heads and just tucked away enough for you to enjoy some quiet, laptop time and a beautifully brewed cuppa or two. It’s a family-owned business, so you’ll always feel welcome and receive a beaming smile or two.
Where: 1/1840 Lower Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Dust Temple interior (image supplied)
Dust Temple interior (image supplied)

Little Mermaid
You could probably stay here all day, what with all the pretty greenery and laidback good vibes. Little Mermaid is your home away from home. After a post-beach swim or sunbake, be sure to bring your laptop and make yourself comfortable!
Where: 2557 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

The Ranchero
Newly opened, this cruisey courtyard space area is just screaming out for you and your laptop to settle in for a cosy session of answering emails and watching cat videos. With moreish coffee and acai bowls from Moreno Espresso and tasty eats from Beats N Feeds, you won’t want to move anywhere else.
Where: 6/36 Central Drive, Burleigh Heads

The healthy treats game is strong here — and so is the Wi-Fi at Blendlove in Southport. Head in there for a raw dessert or two, a strong coffee: sure to invigorate a get-it-done attitude. It’s an awesomely d̶i̶s̶t̶r̶a̶c̶t̶i̶n̶g̶  pretty space to spend some time in too.
Where: 253 Ferry Road, Southport

Blendlove (image supplied)
Blendlove (image supplied)

The Marine Village – Sanctuary Cove
Whether you’re there for boutique shopping or several excellent cafes and eateries, you’ll always have super-fast and free Wi-Fi at your fingertips. We say, buy yourself something exquisite and then make a beeline for somewhere to rest those legs with a coffee, cocktail or even gelato!
Where: The Marine Village, Masthead Way, Hope Island

The Backyard Cafe
The Yard is a little bit of a well-kept secret found between the golden sand of Nobby Beach and the general excitement of Nobby’s main precinct. It’s the perfect spot to get your coffee fix while surfing the web and hiding away from the world.
Where: 17 Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

The Backyard Cafe entrance, Nobby's Beach (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
The Backyard Cafe entrance, Nobby's Beach (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

A new coffee and event space for Burleigh Heads

Gathering for a good cause is one of the most delightful things you can do. Being surrounded by like-minded people, learning about new ways of doing things, new businesses or listening to stories is the perfect bonding experience and one we’ve vowed to take part in more often now that we’re allowed to spend time together again.

All of those things are made even better, if they take place in a pretty space and of course, with a cup of coffee in hand. Which is the exact situation at Burleigh’s new Koast Café, a new coffee spot and event space that you can pop into as of right now.

Technically Koast Café is part of Burleigh Studio, a double-storey venue on Fremantle Street that is decked out in crisp whites and plenty of greenery.

Upstairs you’ll find a meeting-style area that can be hired for mini expos, product launches, women’s group catch ups, birthday parties, you name it. A four hour event will set you back $400 and includes one staff member to assist. You can take food in or have your event catered, so that’s a good time.

The space is also perfect for photoshoots, art exhibitions and workshops.

Downstairs, there are comfy couches, a dining table and a couple of sun-filled corners, perfect for sipping a toasty cuppa.

Which of course is a thing you can also do, as the downstairs area is home to Koast Café where you can pop in for a quick takeaway or stay to sip in peace.

Owner Sandra is also quite the clever maker, so you can take home one of her seagrass planters, a pretty new cushion or a stunning dream catcher if you’re in the market.

All the good things in the one pretty spot.

Pop in for a coffee and to check out Koast Café for your next event.

LOCATION: 28/4 Fremantle St, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: 9am until 4pm Tuesday to Friday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

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