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.
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.
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!
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.
Many years ago, I moved to France without speaking a word of French. I could, as my good friend summarised it at the time, speak perfect “boulangerie” ( – that is, fluently order my pastries, and not much else.) When Jacobs Creek invited me to mix things up and embrace summer, the rosé way, I was obviously more than up for the challenge…
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!
In celebration of the first week of Australia’s summer, and honouring The Rosé Way, I switched up the typically evening soirée for a mid-morning time slot, and hosted a brunch spread. Cue smelly french cheese from the market, croissants and a palette of fruits, some pretty flowers, and the star of the show… Le Petit Rosé, of course!