I am the newest addition to Emma Kate Co - and believe me, when I say this has been a goal of mine for some time. Lucky for me, throughout twist and turns, the working of fate has let this little piece of magic [confetti filled, shimmery magic] fall into place.
Words: Carly Stephan
There’s something about the Byron Shire region. Ask anyone who’s been, and they’ll describe some kind of delightful experience or absolute favourite place that you have to go to when you’re there. And that list seems to be growing by the day. The indigenous Arakwal Bumberlin people know the region to be a healing place. They say you visit the region for healing - and once you’re healed, you need to move on, or, you must heal others.
Both Em and I had just had a whirlwind few months, and a bit of healing and relaxing time was calling for both of us. She: launching several collections, a runaway success Kickstarter campaign, a new collection, trade-shows, and an ever-expanding business – me; concluding eight months of travel and adventure with my partner throughout India and Nepal, while running a burgeoning spiritual coaching business online, imminently launching an online program, and trying to ground myself back into Australia.
The healing we were craving: quiet time, rest, soulful chats, heart-bursting vistas and delicious food.
We found all of these and more, at the iconic Halcyon House, in Northern NSW. It’s very name (Halcyon) means idyllic and peaceful - and this hotel delivered both in spades.
The moment I had nabbed my ticket for The Design Conference, my very next thought that came to mind was where I might call home for two nights in Brisbane. After already experiencing a number of MGallery by Sofitel Properties, Brisbane’s edition - The New Inchcolm immediately sprang to mind.
Sitting on the outskirts of Brisbane’s CBD in Spring Hill, the hotel’s prime position on Wickham Terrace comes with quite a history. Once a private medical practice, and preceding that in the 1800’s, the site of a private residence belonging to Dr Thomson - accomplished doctor, scientist, astronomer, psychologist and pioneering photographer - in 1988, the final incarnation came to be a boutique hotel. The heritage listed establishment underwent a major refurbishment and expansion in 2014, growing from 26 to 50 rooms and striking a beautiful balance between respecting time gone by, and total welcoming the latest mod cons and hotel features you could hope to find (Nespresso machine, check!)
Words: Brooke Zotti
A couple of weeks ago, Emma and I took a flight up to sunny Brisbane to immerse ourselves in two days of unbridled creativity at The Design Conference. Needless to say, our decision to take time out from the busyness of studio + everyday life, and to dedicate time for learning was well worth the trip!
As the third conference (held annually by the guys at Analogue Digital Agency) this year’s two-day event featured presentations from a series of creatives hailing from near and far, and from a range of different disciplines within the design industry. It was a wonderful chance to connect with like-minded people and just be surrounded by the creativity of others.
After emerging from the bubble and compiling our creative ah-ha’s and other rushed notes scribbled, here are ten key takeaways we brought back and would love to share with you – on side projects, dream chasing, the future of design and everything between, in the pursuit of a creative life.
Hello, dear readers! I'm stopping by with some BIG news today.
It's about something important - and necessary. An investment in my brand, and a huge jump into new, unknown territory for me too! This post is a callout to you - and your networks, if you may know of just the right person... Eighteen months since launching, I’ve managed to handle these early days of business solo (with some amazing support and big cheerleading from friends/family, a wonderful intern, and outsourced help here and there at more hectic times to get by).
Lately, I've grown beyond what I can handle alone. So I'm looking for someone to join me - as my creative right hand - office expert - studio fairy - personal assistant (you can pick the title!)
As the 2017 summer shifted into the first days of Autumn, I hit the road with my camera and my love, to explore some more of Victoria. Already eight months into Melbourne living, I feel I’ve barely scratched the surface of what there is to see, do and explore beyond Melbourne itself. So we set out to cover some more ground, with our itinerary’s core focus around tasting our way through the Goldfields and Spa country of Victoria.
Like a progressive dinner, except across the entire day, we started with breakfast in Ballarat, then made it over to Daylesford for a long, relaxed lunch, and then ended up in Castlemaine in time for dinner. With only a short drive between each destination, there was plenty of time for detours and other adventures along the way. Here’s what we got up to - on our plates, and beyond!
A few months deep into Melbourne living, an email landed in my inbox from Accor Hotels, inviting me on a trip involving two nights in my own home town of Adelaide to experience two boutique hotels in the MGallery by Sofitel collection. I had to stop for a second and make sure I had read the email right (- I had!) Because while Adelaide city and the Adelaide hills are beautifully familiar to me, the experiences on the itinerary were certainly anything but. A wine tour, garden picnic, scenic helicopter flight.... sign me right up!
Before I knew it, I was on the way. I was invited along on the trip with some beautiful girls - now new friends - Shellie [@ironchefshellie], Clarice [@brigadeirochoc], Angela [@thegirlswhoatetheworld], Yan [@msyan_] and Mel [@TheTiaFox] making the visit all the more memorable!
It was early November and I had just emerged from five immersive days off the grid somewhere in a tiny, industrial town in the Guangdong Province province of China, overseeing the manufacturing of my 2017 planners. With my beautifully supportive Mum in tow, helping me oversee the entire, complex process, we were welcomed to stay for two nights at the Island Shangri-La before making our way back to Australia. We stepped inside the marble oasis of the Island Shangri-La Hong Kong lobby, and the overwhelm and chaos of the past week promptly fell away.
After a paradoxically baffling but productive time in China, the idea of two nights to kick back and reconstitute ourselves with hotel pillows, good coffee and lots of champagne in a world of old-school elegance and unparalleled luxury…? Well, there were no words to describe quite how magic and surreal this sounded. Over our two night stay, we ate, drank, rested, explored every corner of the hotel, rested some more, and did very little else until we checked out from our city sanctuary.
Beyond croissants, I love my morning coffee as much as the next person. But, you know, I thought about the saying that goes something like “coffee keeps me going until it’s time for wine” - and then I realised, what 'time' is that referring to precisely... and why wait at all anyway? Jacobs Creek have recently launched Le Petit Rosé. This rosé is French in style, but made in Australia. The beauty is that rosé, unlike any other wine, lets you have a little bit of fun! Whether that’s making frosé, making rosé cocktails, have it for brunch... or just drink it in coffee cups, as I decided to!
When I lived in London, a few years ago, I first called home the unassuming borough of Hayes in Zone 5 (technically Kent, not actually London). Every single weekday, I would make the hectic commute from my sleepy street into the heartbeat of the city, by an overground train bound for London Bridge. I would step off the train, pause momentarily and gaze up at The Shard - Western Europe’s tallest building - towering three hundred metres above me, in awe. Then, I would throw myself back into the thick of rush hour madness.
In 2014, I specifically remember hearing that Asia Pacific’s leading luxury hotel group Shangri-La had opened inside the building. It was something about the idea of floor to ceiling glass, so very high up that caught my attention. I vividly imagined the views from up there in the clouds, back to earth... the meandering bends of the River Thames; of seeing Tower Bridge from birds eye; of the tiny humans who might stand still and look up in wonder, like I did everyday.
Ever since, staying with Shangri-La Hotel, At The Shard London, has been high up and steadfast on my ‘one day’ hotel bucket list.
Sometimes the world works in beautifully mysterious ways, and fast forward on a few years, this past September I found myself back in London and for us to be welcomed by Shangri-La as guests on our final night in London. Needless to say, our night beautifully surpassed every hope and expectation.