Founder of Gold Coast brand Raie Eyewear
Founder of Gold Coast brand Raie Eyewear
She’s the Gold Coast gal who saw a gap in the market for affordable, fashion-forward sunnies and set about making her dream of owning a business a reality.
Gemma recently launched her debut collection and we absolutely love the laidback 90s vibe Raie Eyewear is all about.
We sat down for a chat with the local designer about the inspiration behind the brand and her advice for anyone looking to start their own label.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
For 20 years!
What do you love most about living here?
The Gold Coast offers such a flexible lifestyle with so many opportunities! Being able to walk to the beach every day never gets old. The Gold Coast is filled with so many creatives and like-minded individuals. Every day you see new and exciting small businesses launching here.
Tell us about your business Raie Eyewear…
Designed in the laidback coastal town of the Gold Coast, Raie Eyewear sunglasses draw on aspects of global fashion, art and youth culture. Raie Eyewear Sunglasses are made to inspire a sense of fashionability and functionality with each wear. Exclusively available online through our website, I designed the styles for women like myself. We started off with simple elegant designs and colours and have heard so much great feedback from girls wearing our eyewear all around the world!
How did it come about?
Studying public relations and marketing at university I was constantly writing essays and studying theory which didn’t suit me as I am such a practical person! Throughout university, I interned and worked at a bunch of PR Agencies and independent e-commerce brands which developed my understanding of the different aspects of running a business and grounded my aesthetic of feminine fashion styles. I have always had an obsession with sunglasses and unfortunately, there weren’t many of my favourite eyewear brands producing the designs I was after! I would always be hunting online in my spare time for a reasonably priced, good quality pair of sunglasses which were sun safe and fashionable! Since launching my debut collection this year, I have had so much feedback from girls all around the world about how happy they are I have created simple everyday pieces!
Why is Raie Eyewear the perfect Christmas gift?
Unlike clothing which is so fast and trend-driven (you see your wardrobe change so many times a year), sunglasses are a staple for every day. With the dangers of the Gold Coast sun always kept in the back of my mind, Raie Eyewear is made with 100% UV protection, protecting your eyes from UVA and UVB radiation. As many people spend long summer days at the beach, it’s so important to take care of yourself in the sun!
Who is wearing Raie Eyewear?
Raie Eyewear was designed for girls like myself who are fashion-forward, design-savvy and love quality products. As Raie is sold online, it’s for the girl who loves to online shop and is inspired from scrolling through style and interiors online. Inspired by 90’s style rectangular and cat-eye shades, the sunglasses are made with versatility in mind, to be worn as streetwear straight to the sapphire blue waves at the beach.
What advice do you have for someone looking to start a fashion label?
Just do it! It takes ALOT of trial and error! In this day and age as well, I would suggest always keeping sustainability at the forefront of your business too!
What’s the plan for the little bit of 2019 we have left?
Coming up to Christmas we are super busy here at Raie. Keep an eye out as we are launching a new design very soon! We’re always looking to expand our range and ask our customers what they like to see from us!
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Restaurant for dinner: Rick Shores in Burleigh Heads, Frida Sol in Palm Beach and Social Eating House in Broadbeach
Coffee spot: Barefoot Barista in Palm Beach, The Salt Mill in Currumbin and Stable in Currumbin
Cafe for breakfast: Highline in Palm Beach, Alfreds Diner in Mermaid Beach and Down to Earth Café in Palm Beach
How does your weekend usually look: I usually start my weekend with a long bike ride, then I’m laying by the water somewhere along with the coast – usually DBAH, Tallebudgera or Palm Beach. You’ll find me enjoying a margarita and Thai vinaigrette oysters at Rick Shores for dinner with friends. You can always find me at the Village Markets on a Sunday morning!
A new week means a new excuse to treat yo’self and there’s no better way to do that than with some sweet local brands. From threads to swimwear and accessories, we’ve rounded up a collection of Gold Coast goodies that we know will knock your socks off.
Olas Supply Co.
Established in 2016, Olas Supply Co is the product of two people with a shared loved for travel and adventure, wanted to branch away from their regular Monday to Friday jobs and try something different. Inspired by the founders adventures and grown from the soul of traditional villages along the coast of Central and South America, Olas Supply Co. offer a unique style Gold Coasters love.
Violet Gray is the love child of Australian Designer, Alexandra Olsen. Her pieces are simple, delicate and created from high grade metals (soon to be 100% recycled and fair trade) and genuine gemstones. The concept for each piece is deeply rooted in spirituality, connection, romanticism and symbolism, making them sacred and powerful to wear. Alex and Violet Gray started their journey at The Village Markets five years ago and since then has grown to be loved worldwide.
What started as a daydream in 2009 quickly turned into an independent Australian lifestyle brand that has since been featured in the pages of Instyle and OK! Magazines. The Gold Coast based bohemian fashion label specialises in exotic handmade leather bags, wallets and clothing inspired by local designer Brie Shinn’s love of travel and exploration. The colourful and unique pieces resemble every creative women’s wanderlust, bringing a sense of mystery and adventure into the lives of wearers.
Created by Ellie Hopley, Shuturp is a quirky fashion label that has quickly become much-loved the world over. With hand drawn art adorning t-shirts, caps and clothes for the kiddies, the brand is easily recognised and very colourful. Many of the pieces also have uplifting slash hilarious slogans on them too. Everything is part of a limited drop so get in quick.
The Lobster Shanty
Now something for the fashion-savvy men amongst us, introducing The Lobster Shanty. Jarro Dartnell is the brains behind the Australian beach-oriented fashion label and clothing store. Inspired by his Granddad Jims’ love of the sea, Jarro created his own boutique range of signature tee shirts and snapbacks while the store offers a wide array of seasonal essentials for the like-minded adventurers with brands such as Brixton, Obey and Santa Cruz.
Grace Loves Lace
For women of style, substance and originality, Grace Loves Lace specialise in unique, free-spirited and timelessly sophisticated luxe wedding dresses handmade from only the finest French and European lace and silks. When it’s time to slide on that ring and pop the champagne, you can’t be in any ordinary dress, you NEED Grace Loves Lace! Only the best on your big day, Sweetheart!
Tourism on the Gold Coast has reached a whole new level with the recent launch of The Undercurrent, a fashion label dedicated to showcasing the city through the eyes of locals. The brand made its debut with a collection representing five suburbs (Burleigh, Mermaid, Surfers, Currumbin and Coolangatta), each of which is printed with a local artists’ work depicting iconic landmarks and incorporating the things they love about their area.
The Gold Coast is known as the bikini capital of Australia and for good reason with labels like Myra Swim producing the goods. Bianca Elouise launched Myra Swim in 2014 and since then she hasn’t looked back. Inspired by the sun, surf and the sea, Bianca wanted to create a swimwear line for curvier women and as such, has developed an international following including the likes of the one and only Kim Kardashian.
The Weft is a recent addition to the Gold Coast design scene and it’s a goodie. Created by Caitlin Verall, The Weft is all about subtle, beautifully crafted pieces that transcend the seasons in natural colour palettes and fabrics. The latest range Outliers offers everything from the classic Smith ‘90s Dress to the statement Ithica Wrap Dress. It’s a beautiful range of timeless, laid-back silhouettes, with matching separates emerging for the first time.
Born out of a life long love affair with the ocean, boutique Australian swimwear label peony fuses bohemian nostalgia with refined femininity to create swimwear made for chasing the sun. First making an appearance at The Village Markets and now an internationally-renowned brand, peony epitomises summer’s simple joys – diving into the ocean, the smell of coconut oil, the feeling of sand under bare feet and the first bloom of peony flowers, which signal the beginning of summer.
Words by Louisa Ingelheim
The Gold Coast’s newest label The Undercurrent is a brand with a mission, a Gold Coast one. Created to showcase our amazing city through art on something accessible to everyone, t-shirts.
The brand’s name is both a nod to the Coast’s thriving surf culture and the side of the city locals keep hidden.
Through her extensive travels proud Gold Coaster and brand creator, Carly Snodgrass, often came across t-shirts locally designed and capturing the essence of each particular city.
She quickly realised that although the Gold Coast is one of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations, drawing visitors from across the world due to its beautiful golden beaches, thriving nightlife and of course, abundant theme parks, it is also a culturally diverse city with a whole lot more to offer.
And this is the side that should be shown to the world.
Enter the artists. Carly commissioned five local artists – Claudio Kirac, Kiel Tillman, Sarah Beetson, Eric Koo and Byron Coathup – to illustrate their interpretation of the Gold Coast suburb in which they live.
Currumbin, Burleigh Heads, Coolangatta, Surfers Paradise and Mermaid Beach are the suburbs currently represented with more to be added at a later date.
The Undercurrent’s purpose is to work with those who share their passion for the city’s unique culture and offer them the opportunity to create projects on their home turf.
$2 from every purchase will be donated to Surf Lifesaving Queensland who were specifically chosen by The Undercurrent due to the huge part they play in both assisting tourists and the vital role in shaping our city’s culture.
Since 1930 Surf Life Saving Queensland’s mission has been to protect the lives of the millions of people visiting our beaches every year and The Undercurrent wishes to support them in continuing their fantastic work.
The Undercurrent will officially launch online April 1st and you can catch them at The Village Markets this Sunday the 2nd of April from 8.30am to 1pm.
Words by Kirra Smith.