5 minutes with the owner of The Craft Parlour.
5 minutes with the owner of The Craft Parlour.
If you haven’t set foot inside the pretty white cottage on the highway in Palm Beach, you’ve been missing out.
The Craft Parlour, baby of local lass Rachael Valentine, offers an array of arty workshops from macramé to mandala drawing, with the intention of bringing the community together to celebrate creativity.
We chat with Rach about the stunning studio space and her plans to make the world a little bit more sparkly.
How long have you lived on the beautiful Gold Coast?
I moved here briefly in 2001, then went overseas for three years and ended up settling back here permanently after my adventures.
What do you love most about our seaside city?
It’s relaxed vibes, the small town feels and accessibility to everything and of course the sunshine and beaches.
What’s The Craft Parlour all about?
Community vibes, connecting to yourself and others, stepping outside your comfort zone to try new things that might be on your creative wish list or to try something new that you may have never heard of before like Kokedamas (which are cute plants covered in a moss ball). It’s a place for coming together unleashing your creativity and also a place for celebrations with your girl gang at things like crafty bridal showers and baby showers.
What can people expect when they visit?
Quality workshops in an uplifting inspiring studio space with epic teachers who are leaders in their craft. Homely welcoming vibes, making new friends while sipping on herbal tea and nibbling on Tim Tams and scones! We promise you will leave smiling and feeling more passionate about life!
Where did the idea come from?
I dreamt up the idea of The Craft Parlour about five years before we opened our doors. I wanted an outlet where creatives could share their passion and skills and inspire others to find their own and of course, so I could hang out with these types of people on the daily to fuel my own creativity.
Why is it important for the Coast to have something like this?
It’s not just the Coast that needs these types of studios, I think every state and every country around the world should have creative hubs just like ours, the more people crafting and connecting to their true authentic creative self the more exciting, sparkly and humble this world will be to live in.
What were you doing before you went into the craft biz?
I had a lot more time on my hands that’s for sure. I was sewing a lot, dreaming up opening The Craft Parlour, riding my bike in the sunshine by the ocean and running my other business Hattie.
What exciting things have you got happening for the rest of the year?
We are working on a lot of new concepts and have just started offering pop up bridal and baby showers outside of the studio plus there is another overseas craft tour in the pipeline! It’s all very exciting times in our crafty world right now.
Best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
Fill your life with good people that bring out the best version of yourself. Go on adventures and try new experiences. These are the real nuggets in life that will bring you happiness and keep you feeling young and free.
Being a Gold Coast local we have to ask your favourites…
Beach: Greenmount and Kirra
Café: Little Mali for epic take away salads and avo toast to eat by the seaside.
Restaurant: Tupe Aloha is always fun times and delicious cocktails.
Weekend hangout: The Craft Parlour all weekend, every weekend is my weekly ritual
The Gold Coast’s local art scene has blossomed exponentially in the last few years. Galleries, installations and murals have popped up all over the Coast and local artists are making themselves known both here and on the national scene.
If you’re looking for a unique way to spend a day on the Gold Coast, we’ve got just the answer. Here’s a list of local galleries to help you get your art fix.
Wayne Sorrenson Gallery
World-renowned landscape photographer Wayne Sorrenson opened his very own gallery in Miami in 2020 so we, the lucky Gold Coasters get to peruse his breathtaking art anytime we like. Within the gallery, there’s a huge selection of framed artwork to purchase, as well as a range of gift ideas including acrylic blocks, greeting cards and calendars to name a few. It’s all absolutely magical and a lovely stand-in for the international travel we aren’t allowed to do right now.
Where: 40 Lemana Lane, Miami
Anthea Polson Art
Anthea Polson Art specialises in contemporary emerging Australian art and sculpture, including investment works. A regular exhibition programme showcases the work of emerging and established contemporary artists.
Where: 29 Tedder Avenue, Main Beach
Maverick Hair & Art Space
Maverick is a small gallery hosting community art exhibitions and events throughout the year. Headed up by artist Byron Coathup and partner Hayley, the space (also boasting a hair studio) caters for art and design lovers and offers beautiful gifts for purchase from both near and far. Don’t be afraid to head up the stairs and check out the gallery.
Where: First Floor, 1/17 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
The Hive Burleigh Heads
The newest of the bunch, The HIVE was opened very recently by Jo Ellings, a Gold Coast artist who has been creating stunning works for over 30 years and is now sharing that talent with the likes of us. Within the gallery you’ll find an array of stunning works to take home with you or, if you’d like to stay awhile why not grab a ticket to one of their workshops and become an artist yourself. There’s also a regular meetup and music night if you want to meet some like-minded folks.
Where: 5/3 Park Avenue, Burleigh Heads
Level Up studio + gallery
The space is designed to provide access to art experiences for young people and adults within the local community and beyond, through public programs hosting a range of creative activations, such as art workshops, artist talks, school holiday workshops, networking events and an exciting monthly exhibitions program. Emerging artists can apply for space and we can all pop in there to check out the magic. So good.
Where: 72-82 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
The Walls Art Space Miami
The Walls is an interactive space that began in 2012 aiming to serve as a hub of creative practice, critical dialogue and innovative thinking around contemporary art. Their annual program focus is to curate monthly exhibitions in conjunction with their successful local artist in residence program.
Where: 4/18 Mountain View Avenue, Miami
Created by the good people at ArtWork Agency, AW Space is a pretty art gallery slash workshop slash event space showcasing the work of a team of folks whose names you’ve no doubt heard uttered once or twice. They are Claudio Kirac and his equally impressive partners in crime Paul Bow and Laura Strange. All talented within their own rights, the team have combined their forces to create a stunning space filled with beautiful works. Do yourself a favour and get in there.
Where: 2/53-55 Cronulla Avenue, Mermaid Beach
Stop in for a delicious brunch overlooking the ocean and take in the collection of local art and handmade goodies next door while you’re there! The space combines works by local artists with a new store filled with locally made homewares, clothing and creative pieces.
Where: 275 Boundary Street, Coolangatta
19Karen Contemporary Artspace
A stunning space filled with bold new art (and all for purchase!) by emerging, mid-career and established Australian and International artists. Exhibitions curated by Terri Lew rotate regularly, ranging in style and genre from pop culture, surrealism, realism, street art, abstraction and to the still undefined.
Where: 19 Karen Avenue, Mermaid Beach
The Gold Coast’s premier cultural precinct, HOTA (Home of The Arts) has been showcasing visual and performing arts since 1986. With an array of exhibitions, cinemas and dining/bar facilities, there’s something for everyone throughout the entire year. In 2021, we saw the precinct increase in size with an incredible new six-level Gallery that attracts with world-class exhibitions (including Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and more) plus a showcase of incredible local artists.
Where: 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
A refurbished warehouse (a piece of art itself) in the heart of Currumbin Waters, Dust Temple and its creative space Hinge Gallery hosts local, national and international artists, musicians and poets. There’s also a fantastic café / coffee shop, so stay awhile and soak up the creative scene.
Where: 54 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters
Long before healthy food became hipster, Helen’s Heavenly Bulk Foods was serving up delicious, good-for-you treats in the heart of Burleigh.
Since 1997 Helen Gibson has been a prominent figure on James Street sharing her love of healthy food including nuts and seeds, baking goods, herbs and spices, teas and powders, Acai bowls, smoothies and fresh juices.
Recently the space next door became available so Helen jumped at the chance to move the juice bar to accommodate her loyal customers who come from far and wide for her goodies.
Helen’s Heavenly Wholefoods Café serve a great range of healthy wraps, sandwiches and salads some of which are gluten free and/or organic.
They also have an unfairly delicious range of raw treats and protein powders available for purchase.
Both the store and café are constantly buzzing with bikini-clad beach goers, mums and bubs and those looking for fresh, delicious food and a passion for health you’d be cold hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
Stroll off the nearby Burleigh beach for a healthy takeaway treat or spend some time in air-conditioned comfort and watch the world pass by.
Having always been ahead of the curve in terms of providing delicious, healthy treats to Gold Coasters, Helen’s Heavenly Bulk Foods is the gift that keeps on giving.
Hours: 6.30am to 5.30pm
Address: 2/29 James St, Burleigh Heads QLD.
Words and photos by Kirra Smith.
Ah markets, how we love thee. Temporarily transforming all our very favourite sun-soaked haunts into stall-laden shopping meccas so that we can get amongst the good vibes, gather fresh provisions and snap up meticulously crafted unique creations from talented local makers.
And for our troubles? Top it all of by refuelling with a hot coffee, fresh smoothie, or the obligatory extra-large serve of Poffertjes.
There’s something (or many somethings…) for everyone and best of all, you’re supporting local – and isn’t that what it’s all about!
Here is a who’s who list of our fabulous local weekday, Saturday and Sunday markets here on our beloved Gold Coast.
The Village Markets
An award-winning platform for small creative businesses, The Village Markets host curated markets encouraging collaboration, creativity and good vibes. With clothing from the coolest designers, jewellery and accessories, homewares, rack sales and amazing food, these curated lifestyle markets are run like a well-oiled machine.
The bi-weekly pilgrimage to Burleigh’s beloved institution is one of the GC’s longest-running markets, with this year TVM marking its 15th in action being testament to this (we still remember the very first…and this makes us feel old), our advice is you’ll blow your dosh every time, and we’re not even fooling ourselves when we say we’re just gonna hit them up for a ‘quick look’… *money with wings emoji* x10
Where: Burleigh Heads Primary School, Burleigh Heads
When: First and third Sunday of the month, 8:30am – 1pm
HOTA Farmers & Artisan Markets
The stunning HOTA grounds offer an equally picturesque and conveniently central spot to convene and soak up some #sundayfunday good vibes and a whole lot of local goodies. Thanks to a little transformation into vibrant (literally and figuratively) cultural hub, the Bundall site is also home to a hotted up weekly market offering which has become one of the Gold Coast’s numero ono community events.
They’re passionate about local farmers, makers, bakers and growers, with in-season farm-fresh produce, delicious artisan foods, boutique fashion, handcrafted treasures and live music. Nestled against the backdrop of Evendale Lake and the surrounding parklands, the kids can take a dip while you sit back and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere (read: eat fresh pastries and sip hot coffee). Bliss!
Where: HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
When: Every Sunday 6am – 11.30am
There are options aplenty when it comes to farmers markets around the Coast to source your fruit, veggies, locally made goods, plants and of course, brekky and caffeine. Supporting local farmers with both organic and conventional produce, you’ll get the feel-good factor as well as the taste-good factor! A ritual for many locals on weekends, it sure beats hitting the mainstream grocery retailers. Plus, the best thing is, you’re spoilt for choice with a number of different locations to hit up.
Where & When: Helensvale State High School – every Saturday from 6am – 11am at 243 Discovery Drive, Helensvale; Marina Mirage Farmers Markets – every Saturday from 6.30am – 12pm at Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Dr, Main Beach; Palm Beach Currumbin High School – every Saturday morning from 6am – 11.30am at PBC, Thrower Drive, Palm Beach; Burleigh Farmers Markets – every Saturday morning from 7am – 12 noon at Burleigh Heads State School, Cnr West Burleigh Rd &, Lower Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads.
Still the biggest market in Oz, Carrara Markets house over 300 stalls. Discount shopping at its best, there is literally nothing you can’t find from fresh produce, fashion, homewares, pots, plants, bric a brac, cars, souvenirs, arts and crafts and everything in between. Perfect for the family, there’s buskers, pony rides, a baby animal farm, bungy trampolines, mini golf, face painters, and even a new walk-in Butterfly House.
Where: Gooding Drive, Carrara
When: Every Saturday and Sunday, 7am – 3pm
Emerald Lakes Gourmet Food and Craft Markets
Feeling a bit fancy? Described as a complete alfresco gourmet shopping experience with an international ambiance, head to Emerald Lakes for some of our region’s best street food and fresh produce. It’s also one of the few markets available for a mid-week meander to replenish the larder with quality essentials – with Australian seafood, grain fed and hormone free meats, free range eggs and home-baked goodies all on offer. Plus stock up on gorgeous candles, melts and a myriad of unique crafts, all handmade with love and arguably, still *somewhat* essential.. bc vibes are important too.
Where: Emerald Lakes Complex, The Boulevard, Carrara
When: Every Thursday, 3pm – 7pm
Surfers Paradise Beachfront Markets
No prizes for guessing where these markets are located. Mere footsteps from the sand, they’ve been an iconic Gold Coast shopping and cultural experience since the mid-90s. Featuring artisan and traditional Aussie goods, fresh produce, gourmet provisions, handmade wares and more, they showcase our best growers, makers, characters and creators. When you’re done, Surfers’ melting pot of restaurants and bars are a hop, skip and a jump over the road.
Where: The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
When: Every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights, 4pm – 9pm
Gold Coast Art & Craft Sunday Markets
Lining the beachfront at four beautiful GC locations (Broadbeach, Coolangatta, Burleigh Heads and now Paradise Point), these markets have been a local fave for over three decades. Whether you’re shopping for gifts, souvenirs, art, craft, the ingenious or the weird and the wonderful, it’s here. A-buzz with atmosphere, there are over 150 stalls showcasing original Australian-made products, fresh produce, yummy food and live entertainment.
Where & When: Kurrawa Park – The first and third Sunday of every month from 8am – 2pm at 155 Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach; Queen Elizabeth Park – The second and fourth Sunday of every month from 8am – 2pm at 60 Marine Parade, Coolangatta; Justin Park – The last Sunday of every month from 8am – 2pm at Burleigh Heads; Esplanade North Park – The fourth Sunday of every month from 8am – 2pm at Paradise Point.
The Sanctuary Markets
On The Village Green at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, you’ll find these popular markets. A nod to the GC’s multi-culturalism with local and international foods plus cool arts and crafts, you’ll also be wowed by our best homegrown entertainers. The venue is fully licensed (translation: let’s wine), featuring craft beers exclusively from Burleigh Brewing Co, and vinos courtesy of Sirromet Wines.
Where: On The Village Green, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, 28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin
When: Every Friday, 4pm – 9pm
The Organic Gold Coast Farmers Market
Every Sunday morning you can get your fill of organic, spray-free fruit, veggies, ready-made eats (we’re all about easy eats), organic cosmetics, organic clothing…basically, if it’s organic and it exists, it’s here! It’s the perfect place to spend a sunny Sunday morning and load up your basket with treats that will not only make you feel good, but help the planet too!
Where: Merrimac State High School, 3 Dunlop Ct, Mermaid Waters
When: Every Sunday, 6am – 11.30am
Hide & Seek Children’s Market
Those familiar with the Hide & Seek Children’s Market from its former Elanora and Robina locations will be thrilled to learn the concept lives on thanks to a new home in Upper Coomera – with the same signature blend of unique and skilfully hand-crafted creations, all designed with parents and mini-me’s in mind.
The curation of clever local creatives and artisans brings us cute clothing, accessories, toys, décor, furnishings and more. Bop along to all-day live music, grab some bites from local food trucks and wear the kids out with a range of activities. If you love on-trend goodies, rare finds and spoiling your little loves, you won’t be disappointed.
Where: The Well, 58 Highland Way, Upper Coomera
When: Third Saturday of every month from 8am – 12pm.
There’s only one thing better than a market and that’s a vibin’ night market. The Coast’s OG laneway dining experience hosts food vendors of all nationalities in the one space, take your entrée from Spain, your main from Thailand, and sweets from France. How multicultural of you! With farshon (fashion – but we just like saying FARSHON) and accessories from local designers, these markets have cool factor for days.
Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami
When: Every Wednesday, Friday & Saturday, 5pm – 10pm
Broadwater Pavilion Markets
A newer in-stall-ment to the GC’s market scene, Southport’s open air market by the sea is quickly establishing itself as a fave among Northern residents with stacks of fun for the whole family. There’s plenty of entertainment for the kiddos, with face painting, henna, hair braiding, character appearances all frequenting the lineup.
While those who have aged out of face-paint demographic (#tear) can hunt for some hand-crafted wares with all manner of scented, ceramic, and sewn goodies on rotation from local stallholders. Bonus for paw-rents: they’re pet friendly (on lead), so bring your pup along for a paw-some day out.
Where: Bathing Pavilion Lawn, Marine Parade, Southport
When: The third Saturday of every second month, 8am – 2pm
Jack Evans Boat Harbour Waterfront Markets
Another one of the newer kids on the proverbial market block, the picturesque Tweed promenade snaking by the Boat Harbour waterfront was just begging for local stallholders and their crafty creations to set up shop and complement our leisurely Saturday strolls.
A stunner of a spot for the Southern GC (four-legged friends invited also!) to congregate with live music, artisan food vendors, hand crafted treasures and boutique fashion stalls a plenty. After you’ve shopped up a storm, cool off with a spot of paddle boarding as the glistening water beckons.
And if that hasn’t worn out the kiddos, the fortuitously placed new foreshore playground should do the trick.
When: Jack Evans Boat Harbour Market: first Saturday of every month, 8am – 1pm. Night Market: second & fourth Friday of every month, 4pm – 8pm
Where: Wharf St, Tweed Heads