Last week we headed to the hills of the Gold Coast to meet up with the beautiful Kat Creasey. Kat’s place is filled to the brim with everything '50s and '60s. From cars, caravans, fashion, and furniture. This retro obsession has flourished into an inspiring business venture, The Design Collective. Read our Q&A with Kat below...
Tell us about yourself?
I'm an event coordinator from the Gold Coast hinterland that creates community music in the park activations from Brisbane to Grafton and everywhere in between to showcase local creatives, vintage stalls, gourmet chefs and talented musicians. I'm currently studying naturopathy and nutrition and hope in the near future to create a blog to share my health journey with the world and help people! I love healthy organic food and growing my own vegetables and herbs. Im also obsessed with classic cars, vintage, retro and anything cool man cave-y style.
When did you start The Design Collective Markets, and how’d you come up with the idea?
Alongside my partner Matt we have owned The Design Collective for 4 years now and prior to that I used to run purely 'vintage' markets in Brisbane. I found that it really limited my audience and the vendors weren't selling a high turn over of products, because the same attendees would come to every market. I decided that we needed to create a brand that wasn't only targeted toward the rockabilly community, but to enthusiasts of all eras. It wasn't until we did a food truck focused market and 1000s of people rocked up that we realised that this was our niche and we had to run with it. We are known for our street food markets that have a very retro feel to them. All of our equipment from staging, to chairs, tables and graphic design has a retro/tropical feel. We now work with various Council entities to produce community events and its been so fantastic for the arts and culture vision for the Gold Coast. Matt and I are very proud of the community that we have created.
What will we find at The Design Collective Markets? When are they on? And where are they held?
Our markets are always focused around chilling out! We never want people to feel rushed or uncomfortable, so we encourage people to bring their picnic blanket and come for breaky, lunch or dinner and meet up with friends. We see familiar faces at each event and people follow us wherever we pop up and we truly love that! Our events are always family friendly and doggie friendly. We carefully select our stall holders to be unique to one another and we have a large focus on handmade and recycled wares. We produce 2/3 events every weekend and we are in a new location each time. Now that we have this glorious warm weather, we will be producing more events for everyone! Hooray!
You mentioned that when you were younger, your dad would drop you off at school in a vintage car and rev the motor in front of all your class mates, haha! Does a passion for vintage run in your family?
For sure! My dad has always had some sort of classic car or hot rod, he used to drop me to school in his bright turquoise Chev ute with orange flames and then my mum would pick me up in her 67 teal Mustang. As the years went on into high school, the cars got brighter and louder. The kids in school didn't understand and I was always so embarrassed. Growing up in Mullumbimby it wasn't the norm. Looking back now I should of been really proud - my folks were the coolest (they still are!)
You’ve clearly got an incredible sense of style and a huge collection of vintage, where do you find all of your treasures?
A part of me thinks that I started doing more and more events to stop myself from shopping on the weekends at other peoples markets! I honestly cannot fit anymore clothing in my wardrobe and it started to get a bit crazy! When I was 19, ABC TV did a story on my collection of vintage clothing and I was contacted by tons of people around Australia wanting to send me things, sell me wares or gave me tips of where to hunt or who to contact - it was incredible! I get a lot of my jewellery still from op shops and garage sales, but its getting harder and harder to find vintage clothing for reasonable prices. I have had great success shopping on Gumtree (especially for 1960/70s fashion) and Facebook marketplace is getting better and better for buying vintage.
What’s your ultimate vintage piece?
I have a beautiful 1960s Alfred Shaheen dress in silver and pale blue with big bell sleeves. This vintage designer has some absolutely stunning prints and this one is a show stopper! I have recently started collecting french 1970s sunnies by designer 'Ted Lapidus' but they have gotten sooo hard to find since the movie American Hustle came out and one of the stars wore Ted Lapidus sunnies on it.
If you could describe your style in 5 words what would it be?
Bright, colourful, earthy, organic & classic
Who is your ultimate style muse and why?
Kacey Musgraves is awesssommeee.. her vintage style, voice and humble down to earth attitude is amazing.
What’s your go to Nine Lives Bazaar outfit?
My best friend Rachel (who is also obsessed with Nine Lives) gifted me with the cutest purple number with big bell sleeves and I wear it ALL the time. But after trying some of these cuties on.. I want them all !!
Where can we find you on insta?
To follow our market adventures @gcdesigncollectivemarkets and to follow little ol' me @theatomicorganicdame