All these lovely people selling all these lovely things at the Surfers Festival Byron Bay. Centered around the surfing culture, everyone and everything had a connection to the ocean in one way or another. I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm and approached a couple of vendors in hopes of getting closer to this surfer mentality and complimenting style.
The Sun Lounge
To get into the good spirit, you need to surround yourself with what makes you happy. This is the idea behind The Sun Lounge. The creative mastermind behind this, Heidi and her husband Jim, was “inspired by all things Hawaiiana and all postal love stories” from her now 20 trips to the Pacific Island and wanted to recreate that vibe in everyday surroundings. Until now, Heidi has mostly sold her tropical themed decorative articles online and on markets, but the shop opening up in Gold Coast will serve as the new central location. It is not Surfers Paradise, though. It is a beach, which everyone needs to see at one point in their lives, Heidi firmly believes, but “there is no aloha up there.”
Apart from decorative items, the couple also offers a variety of furniture. It is not just a collection of things inspired by aloha, which they purchase on their annual trip to Hawaii, but Heidi also designs some herself, such as prints of vintage photographs on wood. “It’s our love. […] Our whole life’s about this.” Heidi cannot stress enough how important it is to follow your heart and her words of wisdoms are “it will ultimately draw you in.” So do what you love and think about Heidi’s motto: “today is a good day.”
T & the sea
Theresa loves to turn old rags into beautiful handcrafted items. Her love for sustainability and surfing has led her to create the label t & the sea. It all started two years ago when her boyfriend bought her a sewing machine and she soon created a surfboard cover “to keep it from the sun and the sand”. When she took it to the beach and on instagram, soon everyone wanted to have one of their own and the label was born. But it did not stop with surfboard covers. “It soon spread to bags” and now there is a whole repertoire of purses, shopping bags, backpacks and other handcrafted accessories.
She sells her articles mostly online and all of it is recycled material, such as rugs, duvets and table cloths. “I hardly even buy anything new. If I buy new, I try and make sure it is not made in China, just to support India and other competing countries and I saw it on a sewing machine that’s vintage. An old Singer, so it doesn’t have any electricity.” Sustainability is really the focal point in her work, such as is the homemade factor. “I think if you have something like this it is really unique that no one ever has the same and it’s made with a lot of love and not in a factory. And you can feel really good about it.” Despite the feel good factor, Theresa’s work is simple. She takes something “that looks like nothing and turn[s] it into something useful.”
That Little Love
Why is it so hard to find unique and edgy clothes for the little ones and “filter through stores like etsy and madeit”, this is the questioned that triggered That Little Love. As a consequence a platform was established for moms all over the world “to be able to bring together the people that have real talent and display their work.” The contributing moms, including the founder, come from all over the world, from countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
It has not even been a year and That Little Love has already sparked a lot of interest. Online and on markets between Brisbane and Sydney, That Little Love has put up stalls to market and sell the handmade pieces. The environment is what it is ultimately about: “you get to meet so many different faces from everywhere. […] This sorta adds to the whole idea of the shop, just that relaxed atmosphere.” So this brand is perfect in so many ways, it brings together people and creates a place that is relaxing and where you can bring up happy kids.
Looking at the pretty make up flasks, I was instantly put on a log and had a makeover done by the skilled make up artist Meg Forrester of Evohe. She had already beautified the models of Sydney Fashion Week and other fashion events and shoots. The models are always grateful for this since all of her products are 100% natural, luxurious, organic and thus “good to your skin” so that even girls with skin problems will feel at ease. Staying true to her Australian roots, she uses local ingredients, such as Australian Bush Flower Essences, Naturopathic Herbs and skin-restoring actives. She mixes the healthy oils with powder to create a daily foundation, with which “you can get that flawless look”. It even has sunscreen in it that “lasts up to an hour in the surf”.
Despite the obvious goodness, the name of the brand has a lot of happy thoughts to offer as well. Evohe is a Greek word, but of Egyptian origin and means “Celebration of Life”. This is the essence of Meg’s and her partner’s work. It celebrates the interconnectedness of all beings, which is symbolized in the brand’s logo of the eternal cycle in the shape of the Ouroboros, a circular snake. It all started with two people wanting to create something healthy for the body and grow into a big idea. May it grow forevermore.