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Nati Trujillo

Gold Coast yoga teacher and podcast co-creator.

Image by Nick Atkins at Hotel Miami

She’s the local gal who lights up every space she steps into, not to mention clever, multi-passionate and creating countless good things for the Gold Coast community.

Nati Trujillo is a yoga teacher, designer and most recently, co-creator of podcast Let’s Wine About It with her pal Emma Hale. Each episode consists of chats about life experiences over a bottle of wine and we are 100% behind that.

We sat down for a chat with Nati about her love of creating platforms for people to express themselves and her upcoming Sri Lanka yoga retreat.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve lived on the Gold Coast since December 2013, always around Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach and Miami.

What do you love most about living here?
My favourite thing is to be close to the beach, the slow life, the people I’ve met here and having amazing places to visit everywhere. That means road trips every weekend! Yay!

Tell us about the podcast you’ve recently started, Let’s Wine About It…
We love wine and realised our best conversations about life, sex and relationships were happening over a glass of Pinot on a Friday night, so we decided to start recording. This podcast is an outlet for us to talk about issues that so many of us go through but don’t always talk about because of embarrassment, frustration or judgement. Our goal is to have our listeners feel like they’re having a chat and a laugh, or even a cry, with their friends over a bottle of wine. There’s no judgement or censors here, it’s just two girls sharing their life experiences, emotions, embarrassing stories and opinions in the hope that people can relate.

Emma Hale and Nati by Nick Atkins at Hotel Miami

Why does the world need your podcast?
I’ve always wanted to start a podcast. A platform where I can just be myself and say what I think without any filters. When I met Emma Hale, I knew I had found my co-host and asked her to be a part of it. I think the world needs Let’s Wine About It because I know there are so many people like me out there that think and feel the same things I do. I think my purpose in life is to create platforms where people can express themselves and feel that they are not alone. I also love that Emma and I have very different ways of seeing and experiencing life, it’s such an interesting thing to see/hear. We have a very special relationship.

You’re also a yoga teacher and a designer, what does a day in the life of Nati look like?
I did my first Yoga Teacher Training in 2009 and I opened a yoga studio in Chile in 2010 and since then I’ve been a full time yoga teacher. I do a bit of freelance graphic design, and I love to draw and do creative stuff. Right now a day in my life starts with yoga in the morning at 6am either by myself or at Hotel Miami with my friends. Then we go for a coffee and hangout until everyone goes to work. I come home and work on my own projects and then I do four to five hours of graphic design a day at an office in Bundall. I come home and either go for a walk, gym or work a little more on my things, create content for yoga/podcast and then cook dinner with my husband and relax.

Tell us about the yoga retreat you’re hosting in Sri Lanka next year…
I’m super excited for this retreat because Sri Lanka is one of the places I’ve always wanted to visit! It’s on in the first week of February with @thearthlinks, it’s a full vegan retreat in Hikkaduwa where there’s also surf and a cool little town for activities. Retreats are something I want to do more in the future because I get the chance to meet people and connect with them on a deeper level and that’s my favourite thing about the yoga experience. I’ll be teaching strong Vinyasa classes, handstand/headstand workshops, backbends and open-heart releasing. Most of all I’m excited about the times in between, where everyone gets to be themselves and that’s when the magic happens. You can still sign up directly with @thearthlinks on Instagram.

You’re a pretty big part of the local Miami community, what does that mean to you?
I’m so grateful for all the people in my life, especially the guys from Hotel Miami – Jessie, Nicka and Darran – they are doing amazing things for the community and they have been so generous and loving to me. Hotel is my home and I’m blessed to be a part of it. The crew at Granddad Jacks are all incredible people doing amazing things too, definitely helping Miami and the Gold Coast become a creative, fun and inclusive scene in Australia.

What advice do you have for someone else who’s multi-passionate and not sure how to make things happen?
My advice is to just go for it. Stop looking at what other people are doing. Stop comparing yourself and start now, today. Baby steps, one day at a time. You’ll get there. Start with a simple goal and work towards that. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and surround yourself with people you admire. And above all, be nice to yourself, don’t feel guilty if it doesn’t happen fast enough. As long as you are doing things that you love and from the heart, you can do anything.

What’s on for the rest of 2019 for you?
Build up the podcast! We just bought new gear and it’s going to be amazing! I want to take the podcast on YouTube, get great people in it to interview and travel. My husband Nico and I are travelling to Chile in November for my brother’s wedding and I can’t wait to hangout with everyone and celebrate. We come back in December to celebrate my birthday and from then onwards it’s a bit crazy until new year haha

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Coffee spot: Burleigh Co-Op, Board Culture Surf Shop, Stable Coffee Kitchen
Restaurant for dinner: Greenhouse Canteen, Justin Lane, Bonita Bonita, Burleigh Pavilion
After work hang spot: Burleigh Hill, Burleigh Pavilion, Apres Surf, at the beach with a bottle of wine
How does your weekend usually look: Always a workout in the morning then brekky/brunch and hangouts at the beach. Drinks at someone’s house and out in Burleigh if we feel like it

Hotel Miami

How good is making new friends in a sweet, good time space while pretending to work but really just watching animal docos? So good, gang.

In an (un)surprising turn of events, you can now do all of those things at the Coast’s sweet new co-working and events space in the suburb that may just be our new fave – Miami.

The gist is this. Lemana Lane is a kind of urban, cool kids paradise that was once only home to mechanics and warehouses hording who knows what. Now though, it’s a place you definitely want to be, what with the recent opening of Hotel Miami and a coming soon gin distillery.

Hotel Miami’s creators realised the areas potential far before the rest of us, nabbed themselves a warehouse space and filled it with all kinds of goodies. There’s velvet couches, handmade desks (ask ‘em how that went down) perfect for Insta-snaps, a dartboard and best of all, a Yamaha parked right in front of a neon sign that reads “fuck yeah”.

Oh and there’s a photo studio too. See, good times.

The idea was to open a space that would allow co-owner Nick to escape from the confines of his bedroom and a cat whose actual name is Winston Smushface.

Jokes. It was so Nick, along with his fiancé Jessie (the boss) and mate Darran, could create a place to hang out with other creatives, “work” on their various other businesses and create a fun little Miami community. They adapted a community event they used to attend in Venice Beach where local businesses would come together and showcase their goods while also making rad new friends.

The point is, you can rent one of those handmade desks for a day or on a fulltime basis (recommended for bulk good times) and there are upstairs offices up for grabs too.

The photo studio can also be hired for any fun projects you’ve got going on and there’s super speedy Internet and everyone’s other favourite thing – air conditioning.

As of April 6th there’ll be an event on the first Friday of every month (dubbed First Friday to make writing about it easier) that’ll showcase local artists and finally bring Gold Coasters the live music we need and deserve.

Whether you’re in the market for a new workspace or not, get down there and check it out, the crew are keen to meet all the like-minded creatives they can muster.

And they’re not bad at hilarious banter either.

LOCATION: 1/49 Lemana Lane, Miami

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

5 Tinder date ideas on the Gold Coast

Couple at The Village Markets, Burleigh (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
Couple at The Village Markets, Burleigh (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

Dating can be HARD, but coming up with unique ideas for what to do on your date can be even tougher. The evil geniuses who came up with Tinder/Bumble/Hinge must be having a pretty good time right now. Just kicking back, feeling responsible for a whole lot of extra love in the world and, let’s not forget, many, many people experiencing disastrous moments that are really only good for drunkenly relaying to friends.

While some of us would prefer to spend every evening at home (Netflix with the dog for the win), it seems Tinder/Bumble/Hinge are the better options for those of us who don’t want to end up alone. In celebration of that, we’ve written a list of date ideas for your very first date with someone you know from six profile photos and one short sentence.

Keeping in mind we’re the people with the Netflix and the dog.

Live Music at Miami Marketta (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
Live Music at Miami Marketta (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

Live music venues
First of all, any person who doesn’t love live music is probably not a person you want to date anyway (in our opinion) and there are very few date stories that begin with “we went to a gig and had a really bad time” correct? So there’s that. There’s also darkness (you know what we’re saying), loudness (in case the chat is lacking) and bulk drinking opportunities. Plus, there is never a dull moment on the dance floor and if you end up getting married, you’ll have quite the first date story to tell the grandkids. Here’s some inspo for epic live music venues on the GC.

Burleigh Hill on a Sunday afternoon
Instead of Tinder/Bumble/Hinge, you could probably meet someone in the flesh there if you’re brave, but we digress (and absolutely wouldn’t ourselves). Obviously Burleigh Hill is a pretty little spot for a date, throw in some cheese and some wine and you’re set. HOWEVER, should the date not be going well, that place is absolutely packed with people wearing outrageous party shirts and throwing various sporting goods around so all you need to do is say you’re going to the bathroom and disappear into the crowd, never to be seen again. You’re welcome.

Couple on Burleigh Hill (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
Couple on Burleigh Hill (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

Market-style food venues
This is a great date idea for the food lovers. So much opportunity for chats about food. Who doesn’t love chats about food? Yes, this could be why we’re the Netflix and dog people but we also bring a lot of quality thoughts to food chats so what are you gonna do. ANYWAY. Roaming around deciding what you’re going to eat when there are options galore is one of life’s’ greatest pleasures. Not to mention you can discuss said options with your date in case there is a lack of any other conversation of substance. Also, you can eat so much you get really full and sleepy and have to go home if, of course, things aren’t going well. Check out our list of Gold Coast markets for some inspiration.

Food Trucks at HOTA (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
Food Trucks at HOTA (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

Any sushi place
Sushi is delicious, don’t deny it. There is something to delight every tastebud and that’s always handy when you’re going on a date with someone you don’t know in any way. So for a list of impressive sushi joints, check it out here. Again, if things aren’t going well (look we’re developing a pattern), it is actually possible to shove at least three pieces of sushi in your mouth at once to a) avoid any possible hope of conversation and b) finish your food and bail, saying you don’t feel the best. Because you probably don’t and for good reason.

Theme parks
Not really a revelation obviously but the Gold Coast has some of the best so we had to mention them. Whether it’s Dreamworld, Movie World or  Sea World it’s highly unlikely you’re not going to have a good time. Fairy floss, hot chips and indulging your inner child are always good times. Maybe we eat too much on dates come to think of it. So theme parks. They’re fun, you can go for any amount of time you like and if things ARE going well (see, we’re positive too) you can grab old mate/loves’ hand at the top of the rollercoaster and awkward first touch weirdness is avoided by terrifying rollercoaster times. If things aren’t going well, you’re stuck way up north with a person whose hand you just grabbed and we have absolutely nothing for that. Soz.

Go forth and get some.

Words by Kirra Smith.

Couple at Warner Bros. Movie World (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)
Couple at Warner Bros. Movie World (image supplied by Destination Gold Coast)

Darran Franks and Nicka Atkins

They are two of the most passionate, creative Gold Coasters you’ll ever meet and, with their powers combined, they opened everyone’s favourite bright pink co-working and event space, Hotel Miami earlier this year.

Meet Nicka Atkins and Darran Franks. We sat down for a chat with the good-time loving (and also super professional) pair about meeting at a silent meditation commune and the big plans they have for connecting the Gold Coast community.

How long have you been Gold Coast locals?
Darran 20 years and Nicka 32 years

What do you love most about our city?
The opportunity!!! We are a city on the cusp of greatness and people are moving to the area in droves. There is abundant opportunity for business as long as you are dedicated and good at what you do.

Tell us how you two met…
Nicka “I met Darran on a Vispassina silent retreat at the Barjuan commune in India. Our eyes met over a hot vegetarian dahl and we knew it was a perfect business partner match.”
Darran “We met at my cousins wedding.”

How did Hotel Miami come about?
Darran and myself had both relocated home from different cities and wanted to create a workspace that felt more in line with a big city feel – an artistic hub where we could shoot/edit/paint and collab on all of our fun projects. We found the location and realized it was perfect. The support for Hotel Miami has been so amazing especially with all the young and up and coming artists.

Why do you think co-working spaces are the go these days…
I think more and more people are working for themselves and becoming entrepreneurs of sorts. The Gold Coast has so many people out there working on a side hustle or new idea. The co-working model works because people like to feel inspired by others at work. Anyone who has worked from home knows it’s handy for a while but nothing beats having others around to bounce ideas off and just to generally have a laugh with. Our little community here have a bunch of laughs and really get things done. There has already been other business formed out of Hotel Miami, which is awesome!

You host events and art shows too, tell us what you’re aiming to create for the local community?
We do. It’s called First Friday’s. On the first Friday of every month we host a local Gold Coast artist to showcase their work. We always make it FREE for the artist and we don’t take any commissions. This has been a huge part of what Darran, Jessie and I consider our success in this business. We feel very fortunate to be in a position where we can help promote homegrown creative talent on the GC. The truth is, there are tonnes of brilliant artists on the Gold Coast, young and old. We would love to see more and more people host art shows and get our towns’ name out there as a culturally forward and supportive community. I could go on and on about this subject but seriously seeing all the awesome people come to our studio and buy art off the walls is a truly epic experience.

How have you seen the Coast’s art and culture scene change over the years?
The Coasts’ art and culture scene has exploded. The people want good dining, music and artistic experiences and there’s a bunch of amazing people in the community making that happen. I’m not going to lie, introducing new and exciting businesses isn’t always easy because there’s no framework to go off when making these spaces however we have experienced very positive feedback from our city leaders and we are very excited at what the Gold Coast is becoming. I can’t wait to see what the GC will have to offer in another five years!

What else do you think we need?
A late night eating scene. A central independent live music venue, more buskers, more forward thinkers, a modern art gallery, more relaxed food truck laws, more spots to enjoy food and drinks on the beachfront that aren’t surf clubs.

What’s on for the rest of 2018 for you both?
We are gonna keep on fighting the good fight and developing our brand here at Hotel Miami. We love the Gold Coast and we love the creative community. Come join us!

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Bar: Cambus Wallace and Granddad Jacks
Beach: North Burleigh
Café: Stones Throw, Burleigh Social
Restaurant: The Scottish Prince, Mr Hizolas
How does your weekend usually look: Nicka: Up early with my new baby boy Abe, we go and do a surf check, talk mum into letting me go surfing and then usually hanging at the Hotel cleaning up and preparing for the next week of mayhem.

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