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Rebecca Moffat

Founder of Catwalk to a Cure.

Rebecca Moffat is the epitome of inspirational; diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer at age 26, Rebecca opted for a double mastectomy and, after two reconstructive surgeries and a long, difficult recovery period, she has taken it upon herself to raise awareness for other young women at risk.

On Saturday, April 6th, Rebecca’s event Catwalk to a Cure will take place at Marina Mirage. The afternoon of fun, fashion and fundraising will be celebrated with canapés and champagne at a fashion show with a difference. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation to aid in the research of breast cancer.We sat down for a chat with Rebecca about her inaugural event and the advice she has for other young women who may not think they’re at risk.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I have lived here for three years.

What do you love most about our city?
I love the vibe near the beach. It’s so relaxing.

You were diagnosed with breast cancer at age 26, can you share how your diagnosis came about…
I noticed a lump on my breast on Christmas Day, 2016. I went to the doctor in the first week back at work of 2017. I was sent for an ultrasound, followed by an immediate biopsy. I got the results two days later. Three weeks later I was in for my surgery.

What did that feel like for you?
I was very shocked. Being so young and with no family history, I just didn’t ever imagine that it would be breast cancer.

How has it changed the course of your life?
After the diagnosis, all the plans I had made had to be put on hold. As much as it was a heartbreaking and tough experience, I have also gotten so many positive things out of it as well. I feel like I see things differently now.

Tell us about Catwalk for a Cure…
After being involved in Mother’s Day Classic I wanted to do something more, something bigger to raise more funds for breast cancer research. I started planning from May last year. I was introduced to Robyn Cameron around October and the rest is history! I wanted an event where we could all get dressed up, feel beautiful and have an amazing time. I’m so nervous and excited for the event!

What advice do you have for young women who might feel like they’re too young to be checked?
Early detection saved my life. I was 26 thinking “I’m too young for breast cancer”. Cancer does not discriminate. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Be aware of your body and any changes and check yourself regularly.

How is the rest of 2019 looking for you?
2019 is turning out to be a great year. I’ve got my last reconstructive surgery coming up in early May, I’ve got holidays booked. It’s going to be fabulous.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Beach: I love Surfers Paradise beach – it’s got such a fun vibe.
Cafe: Café 19 at Sanctuary Cove.
Restaurant: Can Tho Kitchen in Runaway Bay
How does your weekend usually look: Housework (how thrilling) and then spending time with the family. I love going to the movies with my husband.

Marissa Bowden

Co-founder of The Village Markets Marissa Bowden is one of the Gold Coast’s most prominent business owners. As if running the much-loved designer markets doesn’t render her busy enough, Marissa is also mum to two beautiful daughters, Stevie and Pepper.

Ahead of Mother’s Day this Sunday, we sat down for a chat with Marissa on all things balance, business and babies.

This weekend is Mother’s Day, how will you celebrate with your daughters and your own mum?

My beautiful mother will be away this Mothers Day unfortunately. There is no The Village Markets that weekend, so I will be spending my day/weekend with my little family (husband Rick and my girls Stevie 5 and Pepper 3), along with my sister and her little fam and my grandmother Joan (86). We are hoping to go for a little weekend escape to a cottage in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Lots of quality family time and a few cheeky vinos no doubt. We love to getaway when we can and have started documenting our family adventures via @the_travelling_tribe_ with a website to come soon.

What do you love most about raising your family on the Gold Coast?

It’s the best! We are so incredibly lucky. We have the most beautiful beaches right on our doorstep, we can stroll up for a coffee barefoot if we wish, it’s warm most of the time so the kids are always outside (or creating masterpieces at their art desk!), we have great local schools and plenty of cultural experiences available. Our neighbourhood is so fun, we can just walk down to the beach and the girls can spend hours playing in the sand with our neighbours kids or scooting in our lane until dark. The city has really evolved and there is such an incredible culture here, I’m excited for our kids as it will only get better.

How has your mum shaped your life?

My mum has been a huge influence, she’s taught us to be humble, she’s taught us self worth and to be happy for other people and to celebrate the achievements of others, she’s compassionate and kind and a beautiful blend of strength and softness. I couldn’t have asked for a better role model, really.

What are some of things you’ve learned that you hope to pass down to your daughters?

That they are the creators of their own destiny, that they can do anything they put their hearts to. That they are perfect just the way they are. That kindness is the most important quality of all.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since becoming a mum?

Patience. Self love.

You co-own The Village Markets, how do you find balance between being a mother and running a business

Still figuring that one out as I go! It’s always a juggle and no two days are ever the same. I just feel so grateful that I have created a business that allows me to be flexible, spend lots of time with my babies and be there for my family, always.

What advice would you offer other mum’s thinking about starting a business?

Go for it!

A favourite piece of life advice you follow yourself…

It’s all about balance.

You’re not a Gold Coast local if you haven’t…

Spent your Sunday at The Village Markets!

Had a couple of beers and fish and chips at Burleigh Headland on sunset.

Surfed Currumbin Alley.

Swam at Tally Creek.

Eaten your weight in Acai bowls 😉

Tell us your favourites…

Beach Currumbin Beach

Coffee Shop: Hide N Seek (Miami), hands down the best coffee on the Coast and the friendliest most unpretentious owners, Mark and Rosie. I also love The Salt Mill at Currumbin for the same reason and their Acai bowls.

Restaurant: At the moment I am loving Rick Shores! Those bug rolls are next level, the staff are great and the view is incredible. I also love Justin Lane for pizza and vino. The Nasi Goreng at Bam Bam Bakehouse is also delicious, and I love that we can sit in the park next door with the kids and they bring it out to you!

Weekend hang: Aside from Sunday’s spent at TVM shopping, eating, chatting – oh and working 😉 – my favourite thing is waking up and going for a beach walk, coming home to our little shack for a brekkie with my fam, heading to the farmers market for our weekly produce, back home to grab the towels and brollie and we hit our local beach for a morning of sunshine and playing, then home for lunch and a family snooze, a couple of cold beers and maybe an early dinner somewhere local with friends.

Jasmine Scarr

The Gold Coast is a land of salt water, sunshine and the perpetual tan but, as we all know, spending hours under those intense rays aren’t exactly good for you.

Enter local gal Jasmine Scarr and her business Bella Bronze Tan, a good-for-you, tan in a bottle that’ll give you that golden glow without the unhealthy effects of too much time spent in the sun.

We sat down for a chat about the recent expansion of Bella Bronze and not being afraid to ask for help. 

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I am born and bred – there aren’t many of us left!

What do you love most about our city?
The laidback lifestyle, cafes, weather and people – I love how friendly people are on the GC.

Tell us how Bella Bronze Tan came about?
I began spray tanning back in 2006 and when the salon I was working in closed down, I went out on my own in 2007 and haven’t looked back.

Who is the Bella Bronze girl?
She is all ages, races, shapes and sizes. She just knows the importance of a great tan and the feeling she gets when she has one is like nothing else.

What’s unique about your product?
I worked hard on creating a blend that suited all skin types, without the nasties. It is vegan, unscented, contains all natural and organic ingredients and lasts longer than most due to its even fade technology.

Jasmine Scarr

You’re about to move to a second Bella Bronze Salon, tell us about it…
We outgrew the first space so we decided to move a mere 300 metres away to a better space and we couldn’t be happier! I also opened our Brisbane salon location in November 2018 – both whilst pregnant so it is time to put my feet up after the launches of both of these. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
To set realistic goals with set timelines and to have a plan on how to achieve them. I have been doing this since I was 10 years old.

What would you say to anyone looking to take the leap into starting their own business?
Know your market, work smart not hard and do your research. And ever be afraid to ask for help – I love nothing more then mentoring those getting started as I had no one to ask when I was a 20 year old taking the leap and I have found that there is so much help via social media groups these days.

Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Beach: Miami
Cafe: Double Barrel Kitchen
Restaurant: Mamasan, Balboa and Rick Shores
How does your weekend usually look? Being 36 weeks pregnant they are now all about nesting! I used to be a social butterfly so I cannot wait to pop on some heels and have a glass of Rosé after the bub is born.

Morgan Walsh

She’s the brains behind two of your favourite local venues, Bonita Bonita and Poké Poké, and now the busiest gal on the Gold Coast is at it again.

Get excited gang, Morgan Walsh is opening a Chinese diner called FuFu and it’s going to blow your minds. It’ll taking up the (rather large) Mermaid Beach space where Burger Fuel, Bernie’s and Ashby Bines Clean Eating Kitchen once lived.

We sat down for a chat about Chinese bento boxes and in-your-face pink velvet.

How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
It has been nearly 12 years now, time goes so quickly these days. I moved over here from Auckland because I’m not really a big city girl. I like the sun, the beach, warm weather and I think once you get a taste of this lifestyle, it’s hard to go back to the hustle and bustle when you can do the same things in a beautiful place. 

What do you love most about living here?
Definitely the lifestyle, it’s just so relaxing. I think being in this industry, there are lots of great opportunities to open venues that have a point of difference and suit the Gold Coast market. Gold Coasters have a certain style; you don’t really find places like Poké Poké in Melbourne and Sydney. People like that restaurant vibe here so it works perfectly with the style of businesses and direction I want to go in.

Tell us about your latest venue, FuFu…
Yes FuFu. Originally the idea was to go Chinese but you always start somewhere and things change. It’s now more of a Chinese diner in style. The fit out is going to be a little bit crazy, definitely in your face and will definitely stand out from the crowd. There’s lots of great modern Asian inspired restaurants already, so rather than compete with that market, I want this to be in the same vein as Poké Poké with that casual feel to it where you can walk off the beach and come grab a quick bite. Nothing fancy just really laid back and fast food made friendly. So the food will be things like bao burgers and cheeseburger spring rolls and a little play on bento boxes. So Chinese style bento boxes which will be a meal for one that has say sweet and sour pork, wonton, fried rice and all as a package, so you don’t have to share and at a really good price. Dining has gotten so expensive so having places that people can come to more often is where I want my businesses to head. We’re going to have Chinese inspired cocktails and some ridiculous milkshakes, all in the same diner vein.

Your venue interiors are always beautifully quirky, any insight on what FuFu will look like?
Think pink velvet because I like the ridiculous. We’ve got a really beautiful service window so we’ll be bringing that out into the middle of the seating area and it’s all very casual. So you’ll go up to order and it will be similar to what you’d see at a market stall. There’ll also be a really beautiful spot to take a photo.

Why Chinese?
All my food tends to lead back to Asian influences. I’ve always wanted to do an old school type of Chinese restaurant. Growing up in New Zealand we always used to go to a little local takeaway and it had all your dirty classics. I didn’t really feel like anyone was doing that style of venue so it’s very much going to play on my childhood. It will be old-school Chinese dishes made funky and fresh.

What inspires you to come up with such unique ideas?
I have a crazy brain. I want to do things other people aren’t doing so I see ideas from lots of different places and try to mould them to fit food that I can cook and food that I think will suit Gold Coast people and what they’ll like. You always start somewhere and it ends up taking a different direction. I thought a Chinese diner was definitely something no one else was doing so let’s do it.

How did your foray into the restaurant biz come about?
I’ve grown up in the industry, my parents have always had little cafes and restaurants back home in Auckland. It was never something I grew up wanting to be as a kid but I got stuck doing it and realised I’m okay at it so I’ve run with it. It’s really rewarding building something and watching it grow from scratch and I’m really proud of all the styles of venues I’ve opened but being in the restaurant game made me realise other passions and things I want to get into too. This will definitely be the last restaurant, there’s no more.

What are your thoughts on the Coast’s rapidly growing foodie scene?
Four years ago when Bonita opened there really wasn’t too much around which is why I got the idea. I wanted the style of venue people my age could go to that was affordable, casual and fun. Since Bonita days, the growth has been a bit crazy. It’s great because it always forces you to stay on your game and you can’t ever become complacent. It forces you to always be better and be pushing to try new things. Competition is good for everyone I think.

Best piece of life advice you’ve ever received?
I think these days what probably resonates more is having balance. It’s good to be driven and want to achieve more but to have down time and really appreciate that is important too. Life isn’t a competition but as you get older you realise you don’t have anything to prove. For me, this year is definitely about down time, spending more time at home, cooking at home, going to the beach more and having more of a life. Just finding some balance.

Being a Gold Coast local, we have to ask your favourites…
Café: I love All Time Coffee, Background – I’ve started going there heaps and they’re really lovely people and Alfred’s has been one of my favourites since day one.
Other than Bonita, I love the crew down at 8th Ave Terrace, they do everything so well
Beach: I live in Mermaid Beach so that’s definitely my favourite
How does your weekend usually look: Really busy. My weekends are usually Monday and Tuesday, which is nice because there are usually less people around and it’s a little bit more chill. I prefer to be at work on the busier days, I like it when it’s chaotic

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