Fresh Creative Entertainment

From roller skating and flash mobs to huge group entertainment, there is nothing that Chantelle and Benji Fava-Leeks will let stop them from doing what they love – performing!  Catching a big break in 2010, Chantelle wowed the audience AND the judges of Australia’s Got Talent and took the show by storm, from there it’s all about keeping fit, raising four beautiful boys and bringing more entertainment and sparkle into each day!

WHAT IS… Fresh Creative Entertainment?

Fresh Creative Entertainment devise and produce amazing entertaining concepts Australia wide.  We also provide workshops and touring productions, plus we were also invited to entertain at Canny Group’s amazing new office for their launch party in February last year.

HOW DID FRESH CREATIVE ENTERTAINMENT COME ABOUT/TO LIFE? 

Chantelle started the business as Rolling Entertainment and had her big break on Australia’s Got Talent in 2010.  To shake off the roller skating only image, she rebranded to Fava Productions in 2014, and Benji became more involved than just one of the performers.  He officially partnered Chantelle in 2018 and this year the company took its final shape as Fresh Creative Entertainment.

Moving our company to Canny sparked this image shift.  Mandy pushed us to achieve far more than we could have ever imagined and putting us in contact with Roxie Bennett who was instrumental in establishing who we are and why we do what we do.

IF YOU HAD TO PICK ONE THING… what do you love the most about your job?

We are all about the creative.  We love watching an idea develop from inception to final product!  Seeing the audience/participants reaction and the passion in our performers.  We also love being able to create work for the arts industry and nurture young talent.

IS YOUR JOB EXCITING… or do you just dress up in costumes + get to play on roller-skates all day?

Isn’t dressing in costumes and skating around exciting?!  We think so!
We are pretty lucky to work in an industry where each day brings something a little spectacular, breathing fire, acrobatics, dancing and even pretending to be Aussie bogans in our theatre show, Memoirs & Mullets.  It’s not all glitz and glamour however, we also need to fit in raising 4 boys, keeping Xero reconciled & costumes clean … so that part is pretty ‘normal’.

LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE… what’s planned for the future of Fresh Creative Entertainment?

Well Covid-19 has definitely been a challenge for the entertainment side of our company.  We look forward to re-opening the Potato Shed season with Memoirs & Mullets when restrictions ease and hope to start performing for live and online events later in the year.  In the meantime, we are redirecting our focus to teaching more circus and Musical Theatre workshops as well as offering hump day entertainment for office’s when staff return.

TELL ME MORE… how do I get in contact or find out more about Fresh Creative Entertainment?

INSTAGRAM // https://www.instagram.com/fresh.creative.entertainment/

FACEBOOK // https://www.facebook.com/Fresh.Creative.Entertainment/

WEBSITE // https://www.freshentertainment.com/

E-MAIL // chantelle@freshentertainment.com + benji@freshentertainment.com

Colour Muse Design

Lauren McDonnell has always had a passion for arts and crafts and it was also a way to help her sleep after busy nursing shifts in the emergency department.  It wasn’t until she was 36 weeks pregnant that she decided to start studying graphic design and she hasn’t looked back since!

WHAT EXACTLY IS… Colour Must Design?

Colour Muse Design is a graphic design business, offering a broad range of services from print media, logo design, custom illustrations to mural paintings, book design and wedding stationary and decor.

HOW DID COLOUR MUSE DESIGN COME ABOUT/TO LIFE?

Colour Muse started originally as a way to help me sleep after busy nursing shifts.  I then decided to undertake a Diploma of Graphic Design while 36 weeks pregnant!  I started doing small jobs for family and friends and then broadened my scope by starting social media accounts (massive step for me).

I’ve always loved art, creating things and obsessed with very bright colourful things.

I never thought I would make such a big career swap, that I’d only ever be an appreciator of art and creations, but here we are!

HOW LONG… how long has Colour Muse Design been up + running for?

1st January 2017 I started advertising on social media accounts for friends and family.  It was the top of the ‘to-do’ list for that new year! Three months later I started receiving weekly orders and haven’t stopped since!

EVERYBODY HAS SOMETHING… what do YOU love about your job?

I love the freedom and flexibility of this job.  I’m able to work at night once my daughter is asleep, of an afternoon after a nursing shift or weekends at the beach or you yangs.  I can take work with me camping and sitting by the fire or I can sit at my favourite cafes and sketch away.  I am very passionate about creating affordable art and design and mostly I just love adding colour to everyone’s life.  I love seeing things be turned from boring and dull to bright and energetic.  I think art can me used as a healing method and good design can aid a business to next level success.   As I have branched out I have also met some truely admirable people who have now become friends.

IS YOUR JOB/S EXCITING… or do you just do arts + crafts all day?

Arts and crafts are as exciting as being an emergency nurse, sometimes I think even more so! I’m often caught saying I wish there was an extra day in the week called ‘artday’, and I could honestly do this job 7 days a week if I could.  I get such a thrill when I’m approached to start a new job or meeting a new client.  I love delving deep into my thoughts to bring a concept alive and truely appreciate when the client gets as excited as I do about brainstorming and talking through ideas.  Not to mention seeing the client’s reaction with the final design, concept or painting.

LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE… what’s planned for the future of Colour Muse Design + what keeps you motivated in these troubled times?

Just before the pandemic hit I had been busily creating and sourcing a lot of items to hire for weddings and events which will launch once the world is back on track.  I’m currently working on a website build so that the business will be able to run while I take off with my family on a trip around Australia and work remotely! We are also currently working on some huge projects at this point in time, so it’s really reassuring that people still believe in small business and supporting locals throughout this world-wide tough time.  I am lucky to have a backup career, but Colour Muse has been receiving order after order since this ordeal as people are taking the time to set up their businesses correctly, style their homes and appreciating hand crafted gifts like no other time in history.  I’m also using this down time to set up my business admin and organisation side of things- it’s only taken a pandemic to get myself sorted!

TELL ME MORE… how do I get in contact + find out more about Colour Muse Design?

You can find me at @colour_muse_design on Instagram and facebook, @colour_muse_art for commission based canvases and coming soon at www.colourmusedesign.com.au

 

 

Okki

Okki is a grown up version of Fiona McPherson’s previous childrenswear label that was fiercely successful, known as “Oishi-M”.  Okki was born from the demand of her glorious customers + the curiosity of adapting her famous designs into a womenswear brand… safe to say that she is bursting to unleash her complete unfiltered kookiness into her passion for her garments that are created from the inside out.  Coupling this ethos with uncompromising workmanship, it imbues each garment with a rich + race character + quality.

HOW LONG HAS OKKI BEEN UP + RUNNING FOR?

Two and a half years, Okki has been adorning and flattering a myriad of lovelies.

EVERYBODY HAS SOMETHING… what do YOU love about your job?

I get to create.  I am living my dream career.  Intrinsically, there is nothing else I would want to be doing.  If I was really going to push myself into another career path – it would be architecture. When you think of it though – I create all of my patterns in auto cad just like architects create their designs/patterns for buildings – basically I would be doing the same kinds of things in a different industry.  Makes sense I guess.  I simply love and adore what I live and breathe every moment of “da business”.  The good the bad and the ugly… I’ve learnt to love it all… it all propels you forward in whatever way you need it to.

With Okki, I get to come up with big ideas and work towards them.  This year I will be getting back into childrenswear.  I love it!  It’s something that I can unleash my complete unfiltered kookiness into and celebrate it.  We all love colour and love the idea of wearing the same garment with different twists… but as adults we let fear get in the way of what people may think if I stand out. Whereas, people tend to live these outlandish dressing goals through their kids.  Okki is for the creatively curious and OkkiD is for the kooki kids that just love rambunctious colour, patterns and all the good stuff.

Yup… I’m living life like a kid in a candy store.

IS YOUR JOB EXCITING… or you just play with clothes all day?

There is not one day that I have encountered whilst running Okki, that I have dreaded getting out of bed and going to “work”.  I say “work” because I really feel like I’m not “working”… I love it all. It’s hard work running a clothing label, designing, spec-ing designs, drafting patterns, making samples, refining samples, improving patterns, making fabrication samples, photo shoots, creating and thinking up ideas for photo shoots, cutting bulk fabric, sewing production whilst, talking with potential wholesalers, fabric suppliers, accountants [I love mine btw], bookkeepers [mine is gold and I love her dearly], PR guru’s [also… I love mine… just say’n]… brainstorming and creating marketing campaigns, applying and following through with markets, trade fairs and their stall designs etc…

This business is hectic and big and the opportunity is huge.  BUT most of all I love every bit of it.

What I have learnt through my experience is that you need to surround yourself with knowledgeable, experienced, quality professionals who take the things that you are not glorious at [and really don’t want to be] to give you the space to be creative and let your skills speak volumes.  My ducks are lining up and the professional positions that I have needed to fill have been carefully curated… now it’s “go” time.

LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE… what’s planned for Okki?

Okki has a big year ahead!  I’m launching OkkiD, Okki’s kidswear label.  This is an extension of what my old kidswear brand was with pattern refinements and new creations to spark intrigue, joy and comfort in every kids life [and their parents].  The clothes are all constructed on the premise that they will grow a size with your child… be good enough after a couple of hand-me-down moments to still wear due to being made out of quality fabrications, and the patterns will grow with your child.

Whilst launching OkkiD in April, I will also be endeavoring to inject new styles and fabulous-ness into Okki, whilst running our Geelong based factory and our growing employee base.

TELL ME MORE… how do I get in contact + find out more about Okki?

Please feel free to email me on fiona@okki.com.au OR check our our socials…

WEBSITE // www.okki.com.au

INSTAGRAM // okkicollective

FACEBOOK // okkicollective

Bright Minds ELC Bannockburn

Hanging up her longtime hospitality apron, Belinda East did the research on her home town, Bannockburn, which is the third fastest growing regional town in Victoria and the need for a private child care centre.  So that is exactly what she did, officially opening Bright Minds Early Learning Bannockburn in September 2017 and she hasn’t looked back since!

SO… WHAT IS BRIGHT MINDS ELC BANNOCKBURN?

Bright minds ELC is a 167 place children’s service’s centre with long day care and 3 year old and 4 year old kindergarten.

HOW DID CHANGING FROM OWNING HOTELS TO AN EARLY LEARNING CENTRE COME ABOUT + to life?

We were in hotels prior to having Bright Minds and were looking at venturing into some kind of other business.  With the growing population of Bannockburn, it is the third fastest growing regional town in Victoria, we thought maybe there was a need for a private child care centre.  So we hung up our hospitality aprons, did some research and found that there was a high demand for a private operator to enter the market… and so it began!

HOW LONG HAS BRIGHT MINDS ELC BANNOCKBURN BEEN UP + RUNNING FOR?

We officially opened in September 2017.  Before that, it took about 18 months of red tape and Government bodies to get approved.  It was a long, difficult process but we just dealt with it one step at a time and eventually got there!

EVERYBODY HAS SOMETHING… what do YOU love about your job?

It’s always a pleasure to go to work for me!  Being part of the community and being able to help parents is definitely the thing I love most about my job!  We employ around 45 full-time staff now so my job [most days] is managing staff and the issues that arise from that, if any!  I do fortnightly payroll and manage the financial side of the business as well.  We have a fantastic director, Jodie, who treats our business like it’s her own, a wonderful 2IC and full-time admin officer, so the centre basically runs itself without too much input from me now.

IS YOUR JOB EXCITING… or do you just look after other people’s kids all day?

Haha, don’t let my educators here you say that!  The industry is very regulated so most of my staff have a Diploma or a Bachelor in Early Childhood.  We tend to employ more qualified staff than what is regulated, we feel it delivers better programs and more experience gives depth to our service.

The notion of “just looking after kids” is long gone.  Our staff are well trained in educating all ages of children, from the babies room right up to kindergarten.  I think our 4 year old kindergarten program is one of the best, it not only educates the children through play but it also gets them socially/community aware and prepared for their schooling years.

LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE… what’s planned for the future of Bright Minds ELC Bannockburn?

We are off to another busy start to the year with numbers filling up quickly again after our kinder children left for school at the end of last year.  So I guess physically, there is nothing left to do to the business, it is fully set up and developed.  We are constantly learning, researching, trying to improve our programs and processes, so that is always an ongoing mission which keeps us more than busy.

HOW DO I GET IN CONTACT… find out more + check out your amazing centre?

We are at 17 Archer Way, Bannockburn.

You can call 52 921 931 or email enquiries@brightmindsearlylearning.com.au to book a tour or come have a look at our centre.

We have a Facebook page “Brightminds Bannockburn” and our website is www.brightmindsearlylearning.com.au

We would love to see you x

Revitalize Lifestyle

Jo Surkitt created Revitalize Lifestyle to create sustainable positive change in the workplace, facilitating a whole range of corporate wellness programs as well as working in her clinic seeing clients 1:1 which then simply developed into including workshops and lifestyle wellness retreats.

SO.. WHAT IS Revitalize Lifestyle?

I created Revitalize Lifestyle to create sustainable positive change in the work place, facilitating a whole range of Corporate Wellness programs as well as working in my Wellness clinic seeing clients 1:1.  It then developed into including workshops and lifestyle wellness retreats.

HOW DID REVITALIZE LIFESTYLE COME ABOUT + to life?

I previously worked in the travel and tourism industry which I loved.  However, the travel industry was highly stressful, we usually worked 12-14 hour days, 6 days a week and travelled extensively around the world, it was a thriving industry, however after contracting Schistosomiasis in Africa I became very unwell and the disease lead to me having CFS and Fibromyalgia amongst other conditions.  In 1999 I had to resign from the travel industry and was bedridden for months until I took my health into my own hands and enrolled into a Naturopathy degree and a few years later Revitalize Lifestyle was born!

HOW LONG HAS REVITALIZE LIFESTYLE BEEN + RUNNING FOR?

I began Revitalize Lifestyle in Melbourne in 2002 before moving to the Surf Coast in 2006.

EVERYBODY HAS SOMETHING… what do YOU love about your job?

Meeting people from all walks of life and assisting them to achieve their health, wellness and life goals/vision.  My favorite part is witnessing the transformation in my clients, seeing them create a positive mindset that allows them to change all aspects in their life.  Being able to provide clients with strategies and techniques that they can use on a daily basis to allow them feel healthy, full of energy, motivated and focused.  It’s inspiring to watch and I love that I can be a part of their journey.

IS YOUR JOB EXCITING… or do you just get to sit back + with bunches of people at retreats all the time?

It’s always exciting, inspiring, fun and rewarding.  Every retreat and workshop is different as each group of people bring different experience, personalities and ideas with them and I tailor each workshop and retreat to what my clients need and want.

LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE… what’s planned for the future of Revitalize Lifestyle?

Some exciting workplace programs and retreats will be released this year and I am presenting at various national conferences which is always fun.  I am also very excited about a Wellness Adventure tour that will be released later in the year.  Keep your eyes peeled.

HOW DO I GET IN CONTACT… find out more + check out your amazing work?

WEBSITE // www.revitalizelifestyle.com

EMAIL // revitalizehealth@bigpond.com

LINKEDIN // Jo Surkitt

INSTAGRAM // @Josurkitt

FACEBOOK // @JoSurkitt

We All Rotate

Steve Beatty was trekking near Everest base camp when the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake hit and he experienced first-hand the desolation inflicted onto the beautiful Nepalese people.  A month passed following the devastation of the earthquake and Steve was still in Nepal, rallying financial support from back home in Geelong.  He successfully raised enough month to send essential supplies by the truck load to remote areas that desperately needed it.  It was life changing for the communities, but also for Steve and that’s how We All Rotate was born.

 

WHAT IS WE ALL ROTATE?

We All Rotate is an Australian registered Not for Profit charitable organisation that focuses its operations entirely in Nepal.

We provide financial aid and educational opportunities for children and families living in poverty, and those struck by tragedy, loss or abandonment.  We source appropriate schools for children who have never stepped foot in a school before, or we negotiate with the child’s current school to form a partnership where we pay and cover all educational fees for that child moving forward.

We do this through a unique and personal sponsorship program. Sponsors pay a monthly amount and through this they provide the gift of an education, and they get regular updates and progress reports, videos and pictures from us and their sponsored child.  Sponsors also get the privilege of watching their involvement impact and completely change the lives of a child and their family.  As of November 2019, We All Rotate have over 90 students in our sponsorship program, and we will have more children in the coming weeks who have been evaluated as being in urgent need of sponsorship support for their education.

We also work to reduce the stigma, social injustices and poor healthcare surrounding menstruation in Nepal.  In rural areas we run health information classes for women and students, and provide reusable sanitary wear products made in Australia by an incredible team of volunteers.  In Kathmandu we also run classes in schools informing on women’s health and hygiene, menstruation and self-care.

In 2019 we started running Adventure Leadership and Teamwork treks for our sponsored students.  Students 14 yrs and older have the opportunity to participate in a trek into the Himalayas, where they see first-hand the beauty of their own country,  as many have never moved far from their homes.  They participate in games and activities that foster team building and leadership skills, and they are challenged physically with long days of trekking, and mentally with their own self-discovery and ability to face and overcome challenges.

We also provide financial aid periodically to those desperate for hospital treatment and surgery.  This past year we have helped a young boy get treatment for 3rd degree burns to most of his body, when he was caught in a house fire that claimed the life of his mum.  We supported a young girl with spinabifida that had created a large growth on her spine and left her incontinent and therefore a social pariah, and threatened to take the use of her legs into future.  Her intricate operation was a success, she is no longer is incontinent, she can return to school, and she will now not lose her ability to walk.  We covered costs of surgery, medication, food and toiletries for 4 year old girl violently attacked by her step father.  She needed immediate surgery and a part of her skull removed to release the pressure on her brain.  We monitored and supported her progress for months until she was given the all clear to go home.  We can only help these people because of the generous donations we receive – the support has been amazing.

HOW DID WE ALL ROTATE COME ABOUT + come to life?

We All Rotate was born out of the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquakes when I [Steve Beatty, now CEO/Founder of WAR] was trekking near Everest base camp and I saw first-hand the devastation and desolation inflicted on the beautiful Nepalese people when the earthquakes struck.  I stayed in Nepal for a month following the earthquake and rallied financial support from home in Geelong, and raised enough money to send truckloads of essential supplies to remote areas that desperately needed it.  It was life changing for the communities, but for me also.

Upon returning home I was unable to forget the scale and impact of the tragedy I had witnessed, and I was determined to continue helping the Nepalese people in some capacity.  In 2017 I registered the charity, and was guided and supported through the process by Canny Group.

EVERYBODY HAS SOMETHING… what do YOU love about you job?

Although my contribution to We All Rotate is entirely voluntary, this is the most rewarding job I have ever done.  I now reside permanently in Kathmandu, and I get to see firsthand the lives changed through education and support.  I’ve learned that my presence in a room beside a mother or father who have reached desperation point, and just listening to their story, can be extremely supportive – and I love doing that.  I also love sharing with our sponsors stories and videos that highlight the impact they’re making, and how their generosity is life changing – and I love seeing friendships grow between sponsors and the sponsored child and family.

IS YOUR JOB EXCITING..?

Yes it can be, but it can also be very hard and emotionally draining at times.  Seeing the hardship, and not being able to help everyone is tough.  Coming across children totally abandoned, and intervening in domestic abuse cases and sexual violence cases is heart wrenching.  I’m currently dealing with grandparents who are looking after their 6 yr old granddaughter after both the mother and father have abandoned her.  Now the grandparents no longer want her and we are desperately working on finding a solution to this.  Soon that little girl will be safe, in school and cared for. Yes, my job is exciting!

WHAT IS PLANNED FOR THE FUTURE OF WE ALL ROTATE?

We will continue to grow, but gradually.  We have no desire for We All Rotate to become a large organisation; my plan is to continue to operate as we do and do it well, for the sake of our sponsored kids and for our sponsors.  Our sponsors often make a real financial sacrifice to assist a child each month, and our ability to be able to sustain a close relationship with them is also important to us.  Additionally, although we have a very active social media profile, we intend to grow that presence with future social media use, and when funds allow, with website design features.

We will run at least two leadership and team building treks per year for students.  One for girls and one for boys, and we are considering offering this as a fantastic opportunity for key individuals wanting to travel to Nepal and participate in the trekking program and offer their skills as a mentor.

We continually are being asked by schools within Kathmandu to run our women’s hygiene training classes, and also have now been requested to initiate “appropriate behaviour between the sexes” classes.  Schools have seen the rapport and respect we have with the kids – and they want more!  In the future with funding we can provide resources and wages for local Nepalese women who can assist WAR to roll this out on a larger scale.

HOW DO I GET IN CONTACT.. find out more + look at being a sponsor?

If you would like to hear more, be involved, donate or sponsor we would love to hear from you.

FACEBOOK + MESSENGER // www.facebook.com/weallrotate/

EMAIL // weallrotate@gmail.com

WEBSITE // www.weallrotate.com

InStyle Gardens

If you’ve been tuning into Channel 9’s 2019 season of The Block – The Oslo, you will know that Jesse + Mel took out Outdoor Living Week and we can proudly say that they couldn’t have done it without our man Joel Barnett of Instyle Gardens leading the way + taking them to first place!  Joel has followed The Block for 6-7 years and has always wanted to enter as a contestant, but little did he know that his Easter break was about to be a dream come true when he received the phone call!

WHAT IS INSTYLE GARDENS?

InStyle Gardens in a landscape construction company based in Grovedale but servicing the entire Greater Geelong region.  We’re one of only about 10 landscaping companies in Geelong who have their Domestic Building registration (DB-L) in Structural Landscaping which means we’re allowed to construct landscapes over $10,000 and can build anything within the landscape construction field, such as decks, pergolas, retaining walls etc.

HOW DID INSTYLE GARDENS COME ABOUT.. + to life?

I started as an apprentice with InStyle Gardens in 2006 after working for another company as an apprentice for 15 months.  I was qualified in 2008 and in November 2009 I bought the business name off of my boss and have run it as my own since then.  It’ll be 10 years since I took over on the 9th of November this year.

HOW LONG HAS INSTYLE GARDENS BEEN UP + RUNNING FOR?

The business had been running for a couple of years before I started, it started in 2004 and has always been a similar size business.  When I started there was one qualified landscaper [the boss] and three apprentices.  We currently have two qualified and three apprentices [one third year and two first years, one being a mature age apprentice].

IF YOU HAD TO PICK ONE THING.. what do YOU love about your job?

I love the variety in landscaping.  Our role encompasses every construction trade there is just about.  We build decks, pergolas, retaining walls, paving, pool paving, timber feature walls/screens, dry stone walling, irrigation, garden lighting, painting, soft landscaping [soil, mulch, plants], real and fake turf, steel work, concreting.  It’s quite amazing when you sit back and think of all the things we can do as landscapers.  Not all landscapers do it all, but I like to have well rounded staff who can do anything, so I get my staff paving straight away, and it’s quite satisfying seeing their skills develop.

IS YOUR JOB EXCITING.. or do you just get around in the garden all day?

Definitely exciting!  Not all jobs, but most of them.  Almost four years ago I changed the trajectory of how I wanted the business to run.  Back then I would just accept any job, had no plan of what work I wanted to be doing but then I decided I wanted to work on the high-end projects for top designers.  So, I started doing anything I could think of to get our name out there, including entering a competition at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show where a garden we designed and built came second in 2017 and third in 2016.  We’ve also exhibited at the Pool and Spa show and built other gardens designed by other landscapers at the Garden Show.  In the past 18 months the work has paid off and the top designers from Melbourne are getting us to build their creations.  I get super excited when they send me their plans because there’s such a massive difference in the quality of a top designer, versus your average Joe who does designs.

CORRECT US IF WE’RE WRONG.. but did we see you running around this season of The Block?

You sure did, and running is quite an appropriate word!  It was mayhem.  I’ve been a Block fan for 6-7 years and have always wanted to go on as a contestant, so when we were asked to go on as part of the Landscaping team for Jesse and Mel in House 5 this year, I couldn’t have said yes quicker!  The request to go on came at 10pm on the Wednesday before Easter, and they wanted us to start Easter Monday/Tuesday.  So, we had one business days’ notice.  Luckily it was just a 5x5m courtyard, which coincidentally is the size of the first 5 gardens we’d built at the Flower and Garden Show, so I was comfortable that we’d have enough time to build it in the time frame available after seeing the design.

What I didn’t realise was there was scaffolding in the courtyard which didn’t come down until 1.30pm on the Friday, and the reveal was 9am Sunday with only 10 hours’ worth of noisy power tools allowed [you can use the quieter tools anytime].  We found out the scaffold wouldn’t be down until Friday on the Wednesday, so I spent Thursday [Anzac Day] at our shed in Grovedale, building the framework for our courtyard design, and then disassembling it and taking it up to The Block and building it like a flat pack.

The help we had from Jesse and Mel, and their builder was invaluable, they’re without a doubt the hardest working contestants on the show.  I’ve never met anyone who works as hard as Jesse. After the first Friday on site, where we worked from 7am until 11pm, I was exhausted and sore the next day, and he’d been doing that for 9 weeks straight!

Thanks to the design being a beautiful, but simple one, we managed to not only finish on time, but scored two 10’s and a 9.5 to take the win in our first ever room on the block!

I’m a big proponent of a great design being the key to the win, but someone must build it, so I was quite ecstatic with our teams work.

LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE.. What’s planned for InStyle Gardens?

The future still revolves around getting work for top designers and creating beautiful landscapes that they design.  I’m gradually starting to make plans so that I can spend less time on the tools, so I’m wanting to create a list of procedures that our staff will be able to follow to ensure everything is done exactly as I would want, without me being there – I just need to make the time to start!

I’ve also considered long term possibly getting into pool construction or design, but I’d like to really nail the construction side of things before adding anything else to our repertoire.

HOW DO I GET IN CONTACT.. find out more + check out your amazing work?

We’ve got a website at instylegardens.com.au which has some photos of past projects and Garden Show designs we’ve built but Instagram is where you’ll be able to see the current projects we’re on and how they come together, as well as past projects.

I absolutely love the Instagram community and post on their regularly.  The person who recommended us for the Block is a pool builder from Melbourne who I’ve spoken with on the phone a few times about the pool and landscape industry, but I’ve never met him in person, and Instagram is where we first started communicating after following each other.

 

BANG Fitness Adventures

Matt Jolley spent a lot of years working in the welfare sector, trying to help people from challenging backgrounds to improve their lives, and now he get to do that in ways that allow people to achieve more meaningful and potentially life changing results.  Starting out as a personal training business, Matt Jolley’s first adventure was with a Kokoda Trek in 2011.  The following year was when he added in his long-term dream of a Bali Fitness Adventure and the rest is history!

WHAT BANG FITNESS ADVENTURES?

BANG Fitness Adventures is a wholly Australian owned business where fitness and health meet adventure, where DOING is more important than just talking about it, where making AWESOME things really happen, achieving the big goals is what we do every day.

From a corporate Adventure Training Camp to a week-long BALI Fitness Adventure, we make it happen for you, your team, your business because YOU want it and are tired of not having it happen.

HOW DID BANG FITNESS ADVENTURES COME ABOUT.. + come to life?

BANG Fitness Adventures started life as my personal training business, boot camps at the beach and personal training, but I realised that training people to ‘get fit, lose weight, tone up’ was not going to help them achieve long term success.  Helping people achieve big goals and working with them to learn the skills to set big goals, break them into bite size chunks of success to achieve more than they thought they could is how we now operate.

HOW LONG HAS BANG FITNESS ADVENTURES BEEN UP + RUNNING FOR?

BANG Fitness Adventures started in 2003 as a personal training business and we started our first adventure with a Kokoda Trek in 2011.  In 2012 we added our long-term dream, a Bali Fitness Adventure [we completed our 11th Bali Adventure last month!] and in 2013 we added the Iconic Great Ocean Walk to our calendar and have completed 35 of them!

We now have over 35 Australian events, from Grampians and Wilsons Prom Walks, to walks in Western Australia, even climbing Mt Kosciuszko in New South Wales and trekking near Wineglass Bay in Tasmania.  We also offer Half Day Hikes, local walks over 2-4 hours to allow people to give our adventures a try to see if they like it and to build up their confidence.

We have 13 different international adventure events in seven different countries – Indonesia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan and Sri Lanka

EVERYBODY HAS SOMETHING.. what do YOU love about your job?

I spent a lot of years working in the welfare sector trying to help people from challenging backgrounds to improve their lives, and now I get to do that in ways that allow people to achieve more meaningful and potentially life changing results.  I don’t just sit behind a desk and tell people how to do it, I go with them and experience their success alongside them.  But it’s always about the client and their experience – just being around people when they get the results they’re seeking is great fun!

IS YOUR JOB EXCITING.. or do you just get to lounge around, traveling the world?

Not every day is chock full of white water rafting in Bali or cycling in the Golden Triangle region in Northern Thailand!  There are lots of early starts and late finishes with my personal training which I now operate out of In-Sync-Fit gym in Fyansford.  Every day I have the opportunity to help someone get what they want out of their life.  It’s not about making people the fastest or the fittest, it’s about helping them use what they already have to best effect and to help them develop the skills they need to progress in their lives and careers.

WHAT IS PLANNED FOR THE FUTURE OF BANG FITNESS ADVENTURES?

We continue to look for new adventures for our clients – we like to create experiences that aren’t your regular holiday – challenge by choice activities and trips that will create awesome memories for people who may never have thought themselves capable of what they can actually do.

We also have lots of Adventure Weekends which allow people to get a taste for it over a weekend, a combination of the adventures, fitness coaching, motivation and nutrition advice, which is great for people who are time poor [but we can help them find more time!]

HOW DO I GET IN CONTACT.. find out more + check out these awesome adventures?

You can easily get in touch with Matt Jolley, Director

M // 0400 207 303

E // info@bangfitness.com.au

WEB // https://www.bangfitness.com.au/adventurecalendar/ [our Adventure Calendar is a great way to see what we have coming up]

SOCIALS // BANG Fitness Adventures: https://www.facebook.com/BANGFitnessAdventures/

Lucas Built Geelong

Working from the ground up, Matthew Lucas started as an apprentice chippie like many others, then a sole trader under another builder.  Focusing mainly on Surfcoast designer houses, then moving onto commercial sites before being promoted to a site manager position for a smaller volume builder managing a whole different range of projects.  Matthew Lucas of Lucas Built Geelong admits that it’s all of these experiences that have essentially led him to wanting to create a brand of carpentry more closely to his heart that’s main values are quality, consistency, honesty and reliability.

WHAT IS LUCAS BUILT GEELONG…?

Lucas Built Geelong is a local carpentry company focused on offering high quality carpentry services to custom designer builders and their clients.  Our team pride themselves on producing high quality workmanship and offer an experienced and reliable service every time.

HOW DID LUCAS BUILT GEELONG COME ABOUT.. come to life?

After working as a sole trader for many years, and realising there was a demand of high quality carpenters within the area.  I thought it was time to take the next step and create a skilled and focused team of carpenters that could handle a bigger demand of higher quality work.  Growing my business working with skilled tradesman as well as giving the opportunity to young keen apprentices to learn the trade and come on board has also been extremely rewarding.

HOW LONG HAS LUCAS BUILT GEELONG BEEN UP + RUNNING FOR?

My company is 12 months old.  I personally have been in the carpentry trade since 2002.  Working from the ground up I started myself as an apprentice chippie myself, then became a sole trader under a builder who focused on surf coast designer houses, to then working on commercial sites for a bit to becoming a site manager for a smaller volume builder managing a range of different projects.  All of these experiences have essentially led to me wanting to create a brand of carpentry more close to my heart that’s main values are quality, consistency, honesty and reliability.  My market is essentially for boutique builders and architecturally designed projects.

EVERYBODY HAS SOMETHING… what do you love about your job?

There are lots of aspects I love.  Being outside, managing multiple sites, and building rapport with the builders and other trades people on each job.  I enjoy being creative with my skills, thinking and developing and teaching my team with the skills they need to finish the job to a high standard.

The best part is seeing results from the days’ work and completion of the build knowing we have been a part of the journey.

IS YOUR JOB EXCITING.. or do you just follow the same building plan every day?

By working on custom designed homes, every house is different.  Therefore we use different building materials, design styles and site locations, whether its Geelong based, Surfcoast or Bellarine Peninsula.  Lucas Built Geelong gets to experience a wide range of variety which is what we love.

WHAT IS PLANNED FOR THE FUTURE OF LUCAS BUILT GEELONG?

To grow the team and take on more boutique builds in the Geelong and Surfcoast areas. To develop more relationships with builders that share our values.

HOW DO I GET IN CONTACT.. find out more + have a squizz at your work?

You can easily get in touch with myself Matthew Lucas, Director

M: 0438 947 215

E: lucasbuiltgeelong@gmail.com OR

Social Media – Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/lucasbuiltgeelong

Furry Tails Mobile Hydrobath

Jacqui Smith, like many of us had hit a road block in her career and was on a journey to discover what her real passion in life was.  In a bid to find some inspiration, she typed the word ‘dogs’ into JobSeek and eight months later she is the trusted furry-god mother to so many amazing puppies and pooches!

WHAT IS FURRY TALES…?

Furry tails is a locally run dog washing/grooming business that comes right to your door!

HOW DID FURRY TAILS COME ABOUT.. come to life?

Furry Tails was born out of a sheer love for dogs and their happiness.  My dream wasn’t fully realised until I had hit a roadblock in my career.  While on a journey to discover my passion, I had typed the word ‘dogs’ into JobSeek hoping to be inspired, and that’s when a mobile dog wash company popped up!
This sparked the idea, and I realised this could be the career I had always dreamed of.  I started investigating further, and volunteered at a veterinary clinic assisting in the grooming of the dogs.  It was so great!  I found that my love of dogs and their wellbeing had led me to the perfect job.  I have a background in graphic design so used those skills to create my branding.  I wanted it to be to be clean, eye catching and fun, so I recreated something I had been drawing since kindergarten, a dog under a rainbow.  And that’s how my furry tail story began!

HOW LONG HAS FURRY TAILS BEEN UP + RUNNING FOR?
Eight wonderful months

EVERYBODY HAS SOMETHING.. what do you love about your job?

Being a furry god mother to all the wonderful dogs out there and being able to pamper them and make them sparkle!  PLUS I get to pat all the dogs which is just the dream and I meet so many lovely people on the way.

IS YOUR JOB EXCITING.. or do you just play with dogs all day?

It’s definitely exciting because I play with dogs all day!  There is a lot of excitement that comes with visiting new/returning dogs and getting to know them.  Most of the dogs are fantastic and take a bath like a champ, others can be tricky but that’s why I always have a wide range of locally made tasty treats with me at all times!  I win them over.  Some dogs can be cheeky but I try to create a positive experience for all my furry tail creatures so that they enjoy their bath time.

WHAT IS PLANNED FOR THE FUTURE OF FURRY TALES?

My hopes for the future are to grow the business and expand my customer database around Geelong and surrounds.  I have plans to expand the business into other areas, for example, home-made dog treats, cologne sprays and hand-made dog collars.

I see Furry Tails potentially expanding into a franchise down the track.  I’d love to give other people the opportunity to work at an amazing job that is super fur-fulling.

 

HOW DO I BOOK AN APPOINTMENT.. get in contact + find out more?

Give me a call or text on 0404 706 506 to book an appointment!

You can also check me out on Facebook – furrytailsmobile OR browse the cute dog pictures on my Instagramfurrytailshydrobath

Just One Thing. Imagine (jot.I)

Kim Bradbury isn’t just a mum-preneur, she isn’t just our very own Business Manager AND she’s featured on Domain.com.  Determined to provide a real solution to our worlds waste problem.  That is the driving force behind Just One Thing. Imagine (jot.I) and believing in the most ordinary products that can make the biggest impact.

 

WHAT DO YOU DO AT JOT.I? – where did you start to where you are now?

At jot.I, I take unloved and unwanted pieces of clothing and turn them into something completely new…bags.  One of my favourite things when designing a new bag, is to make sure it retains a piece of what it once was – which I hope brings a smile to my customers.

I started with a small idea for a shopping bag – supermarkets were advertising that they were going to stop single use plastic bags, but would replace them with a different type of manufactured bag, which seemed a little counterproductive to the environmental problems that the world is facing – and I knew that I didn’t want to manufacture a bag in a factory, I wanted to create something that might make a difference to the world in which we live.  So I thought about fashion waste and how we as a country discard on average 23kg of textile waste per year, much of which ends up in landfill, despite donations to charity shops; and so, I looked for a way that I could use clothing to make a shopping bag, that might in some small way, leave a positive impact on the world.  That’s how Just One Thing. Imagine (or jot.I for short) was born.

The solution I came up with, was a shopping bag made entirely from a men’s shirt.  It still has the placket and the pocket, which I think is fun and it wraps up neatly to fit in a handbag or sit in your car, and is secured by the cuff of the shirt, making it 100% recycled.

From this one idea, I now make satchels, totes, lunch bags, phone stands, sunglass cases…anything I can think of to make sure I use every scrap of material and ensure I am a true zero waste business.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN UPCYCLING/RECYCLING + REDUCING WASTE… and making master pieces?

This question was a bit of an eye opener for me, because I officially started upcycling when I started my business in October 2018.  However, when I look back, I have been doing this since I was a little girl.

One of my strongest memories as a child is sitting with scraps of material that were left over from garments that my Mum would sew (I am lucky by the way, to have a very talented seamstress for a Mum) and I would wrap the scraps around my dolls to create what I thought was the most wonderful couture outfits.

Then when I was a teenager,  before I threw out any clothes, I would always try them on and consider if they could be re-vamped with the talents of my Mum, before I threw them out.  This often meant that dresses became a top, or a long skirt became a mini and I always had a wardrobe that was filled with one of a kind pieces.

So, looking back, I guess I have been upcycling all of my life, but now I have a child of my own, I take it a little more serious as I want to leave a legacy for him that we can be proud of.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?

In one word… creating and problem solving.  I love looking at an unloved piece of clothing and then turning that into as many useful everyday pieces as I can.

My favourite so far has been coming up with the idea to use the extra men’s shirt cuffs that I had left over from my shopping bags and to incorporate them into a functional part of the design for my sunglasses cases.

WHAT IS your SECRET.. to being a mum-preneur?

Family and friends.  Without their honest feedback, encouragement and support – I wouldn’t have had the courage to become a mum-preneur.

 

To check out Kim Bradbury’s website to go: https://justonethingimagine.com.au/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jot.imagine/

OR have a read of Kim’s feature on domain.com.au : https://www.domain.com.au/living/the-rise-of-the-hobbyist-796778/?utm_campaign=strap-masthead&utm_source=domain-homepage&utm_medium=link

Redcat Academy

Since the day I finished school (here in Geelong at St Joey’s) I have constantly striven to follow my passion for martial arts training.

 

What is Redcat Academy?

Our Academy is a thinking-centered martial arts school.  Our focus is on empowering people to prevail in the great ‘game of life’ through the practice and study of martial arts.  Our school is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu focused – which allows us to create the perfect environment to challenge people, provide them with world-class self-defense skills, all while teaching them to problem-solve and discover inner-resources they never knew existed – whilst having a lot of fun.  Bonus outcomes also include, achieving optimal and functional fitness, making new friends and leaving some of life’s stresses at the door.  Our approach is very holistic.

Tell us a little about how Redcat started; and what’s the thinking behind the name?

Since the day I finished school (here in Geelong at St Joey’s) I have constantly striven to follow my passion for martial arts training.  At the age of 18, already obsessed with training, I headed overseas and began an international training odyssey, that saw me training in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Japan, China, the USA, brazil and a number of other countries.

Although that journey has never really ended, eventually (after 10-12 years), I settled down and opened up an academy here in Geelong.  That was a result of me realizing, that perhaps my true vocation was in teaching – rather than just training or competing.  Teaching others, gives me immense satisfaction – and I have put as much work and effort into honing this skill as I have into the physical aspects of my martial arts training.

The name Redcat originated from my time spent in South East Asia, where my nickname was ‘The Cat’ – due to a reputation I had for having ‘nine lives’.  And now, 40 years later, the name of our Academy enjoys a re-purposed version of that name, in that I think all people grow and develop through various ‘versions’ of themselves, as they make their way through life.  None of us are the same person we were five years ago – we become better problem-solvers, we learn develop better and better immunity to stress and drama, our model of how the world works and how we can work with that model becomes increasingly more sophisticate as time goes by.  In a way, we all have nine lives … many more in fact.  And so … Redcat Academy. Go Cats!

Speaking of the Geelong Cats? Do you work with our home team?

Yes we do!  They are a wonderful group of young men we some very forward thinking leadership overseeing their development.  The coaching staff are committed to shaping young men into being great community-conscious citizens, athletes worth emulating, if you like.  I work with the team on occasion (pre-season grappling training, etc) and regularly with some of the coaching staff.  It is a privilege.

Apart from your work at the Academy – do you work for or with any other organisations?

Again yes.  I have done a lot of work for the Australian Military – at both ADFA and Duntroon – developing unarmed combatives packages and training their trainers.  I have done similar work for staff at Quantico in Virginia (USA) and law enforcement agencies in a number of countries.  I have also done a lot of work conducting seminars for other martial arts school and organisations – and have been averaging more than 100 seminars a year for the past two decades.  Our schedule is very full; but we love it, the work is very, very rewarding.

How long have you been up and running as a business?

Around 35 years now!

What do you love about your job?

Almost everything.  I love the people, the challenge of it all.  I love the problem solving that comes with the training.  I love seeing ordinary people transform themselves into the extraordinary.  I am very fortunate in that a lot of high-profile people want to send time with me on the mat, from movie stars like Chuck Norris to sports legends like Tana Umaga (ex All Blacks Captain) or local guys like Jimmy Bartel or Nigel Lapin, to name a handful.  I love spending time with people who have gone above and beyond in their own lives – it’s a pleasure for me to hear their stories and take note of what they did that others wouldn’t or couldn’t do.  So I guess, I very much enjoy the variety that my work offers.

What do you find most exciting about your job?

The people.  It’s all about the people!  I also love the constant research and training that I need to do to stay on the cutting edge of developments.

What is planned for the future of Redcat Academy?

I love it just the way it is.  I have had many lucrative offers to work full-time abroad but have always turned them down because I just love working locally.  I am a huge fan of Geelong; I may travel intermittently (for very short periods of time) but I love being here on the Redcat mat through the week.

How do I get in contact or find out more about Redcat Academy?

Located in Geelong: 159A Malop Street – Geelong City

We also have a Facebook, Web and Blog presence:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Redcat-Academy-186071291409810/

Web: http://www.redcatacademy.com.au

Blog: http://bjj-australia.blogspot.com

Ph: 52233666

 

John Will

Redcat Academy