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summer dreaming

the jacket

 

slow travel

We did it!
Climbed to the top of the Dome at the Florence Cathedral.

And boy oh boy it was a glorious and exciting feeling, seeing the city of Florence at golden hour from the highest point, in all its glory, as the church bells were ringing! Weaving our way up the narrow steps, a steep (but alluring) climb, especially for little legs and a baby on your back, but we made it.

We booked an incredible home, perched on a valley and over looking the Tuscan Hills about 40 minutes out of Florence. The thing we have learnt is this: ‘Slow Travel is the best Travel’. None of this ‘visit a city and pump out the sites in 2 days..’ its not realistic with kids, and you wont end up enjoying any of it (or remembering any of it).

If you have limited time, pick one place, and do it well. Seriously, the amount of times I’ve heard ‘I need a holiday after my holiday’.. Why? Because you spent your time filling your precious days with things you can now only remember by scrolling through your insta feed.

Take a breath and enjoy the notion of slow travel. Don’t get a take away coffee, sit down and drink it. Don’t drag the kids through the 5 top museums, pick one, and soak it in. Luckily for us, time is on our side, so we are embracing it, and making sure we get to do and see all the things, but at the pace that works for us all.

For example, we stayed in Florence for 7 Nights.. and this is how our days went.

Wake Up. Breakfast. Family play in the garden.
Around 11am. Oak to bed. Joel to work. Poppy and Wren home- schooling.
Around 1pm. We prepare and eat lunch all together.
Around 2pm. Head in to Florence, for ONE activity. Museum or a Church, Walking the Streets. Etc.
Dinner in Florence.
Home to Bed.

The kids need time to play, they need time to work and they need time to explore. Three key ingredients to making a day on the road flow.

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Tick all these things in the day, and we are pretty much guaranteed energetic, happy kids.. who are willing to walk and adventure (without pressure) around new cities and places.

Try to do a city all in one day, and we can pretty much guarantee by lunch they are exhausted. We lose our travel flow and they don’t want to visit another attraction or wander down another cobbled street, and the weight of their little hand in ours is heavier than carrying 5 bags of oranges, as they pull us towards home.

So take your time, travel slowly, and focus each day on QUALITY over QUANTIY.

And when all else fails EAT GELATO Joel and Rach xx

postcards for south france

postcards for south france

instinct

Leaving Italy was hard. We fell in love with everything it

offered us.. and we had an instant connection with the

country. The landscape, the food, the people, the art,

the siestas, the food, the culture, the villages, the history.. did

i mention the food… oh my gosh, everything was magical.

We are learning so much as we go, and one thing we

have learnt is to ‘fiercely follow our instinct’.

 

There is something inside every one of us, that voice, that

feeling, that calls you to listen, and to trust! And there’s

nothing like travelling with 3 small children, to really test that

little feeling deep within.

 

The amount of times things don’t go to plan; struggling with a

language barrier where no one speaks English; or being the

only Westerners in the remote Chinese village; or the GPS not

being able to find your Airbnb address; or working out the

currency exchange only to realise you paid four times as much

as you should have… things are forever crossing our path,

where we have to make quick decisions.

And this is one of the things we actually LOVE about being on

the road.. we are activating our instinct and running with it.

And thanks to our listening, EVERY house we have stayed in,

EVERY thing we have said ‘no’ too, and on the flip, EVERY

thing we have said to ‘yes’ too, has worked out perfectly..

Air BNB has been our best friend. We have stayed in the most

incredible homes all around the world. Not by chance,

by instinct.

 

How? We don’t just choose the first house that

appears, or the one that’s the cheapest or the one that’s going

to look the best on an instagram photo (ha ha ha).. But

knowing how important a sense of ‘home’ is to making this

trip work smoothly, we fiercely follow our instinct, and make

sure every thing aligns before we hit the ‘book’ button. The

most important investment for anyone travelling long term

with kids should be your accommodation, the place you call

home. This can take hours and hours of endless planning and

‘letting things rest’.. but we know that when we settle on a

decision its going to be the right thing for each member of our

little tribe.

 

This applies to our business too..

Who’s the boss? We are.

Who makes the calls? We do.

Who works super hard? We do.

So first and foremost our instinctual decisions will always be

the best for our business!

 

Did everyone think closing our thriving boutique store and

travelling around the world was the best decision?

No, of course not.

But something inside of us, that voice, that feeling, knew that

it had to be done! And boy, oh boy, the fruits of that decision

are far greater than we could’ve dreamed.

 

So, my travel tip (and business tip):

LISTEN.

to your instinct.

because something can align with 1000 people, but if it doesn’t

align with you, dont do it.

Love Joel & Rach

postcards for amalfi

postcards from amalfi 

 

date night

Barcelona. Its 36 degrees. The European summer is upon us. We

are staying in a home you would actually believe was once the

home of Frieda & Diego. Bold paintings fill every inch of the

turquoise walls, the red chairs sit imperfectly around the wooden

table adorned with a yellow jug of bright pink flowers, and upon

the wrought iron beds are crisp white linen sheets, embroidered

with red symbols, and a mound of velvet plush cushions with

oversized tassels. It’s the perfect introduction to Spain.

After a day slipping in and out of the pool, surrounded with

terracotta pots and charismatic cacti, we were actually on schedule

for an early dinner and an early bed.

Like every house hold with 3 young children the bedtime routine

can take anywhere from 20 minutes to three hours. But with well

worn out little limbs, and sunned noses, every one was sound

asleep by 8pm. This story could end here, and we’d all be feeling

pretty happy. High fives all round.

 

When travelling around the world, Rachel and I don’t get a lot of

time one on one. The roles of Husband/Wife/Parent/Business

Partner seamlessly become one, and we are constantly dancing

between conversations about business, home schooling, new

campaigns, travel destinations, all whilst cuddling a child or

cooking a pasta.

 

So tonight was our big night… our first official Date Night in 6

months. We couldn’t go out dancing the flamenco till 2am, we

couldn’t even duck down the street to the local bar. But what we

could do was catch up with the rest of the world and watch…. “The

Greatest Showman”.

 

This has literally been 6 months in the making. When we landed in

Indonesia at the start of the year I said to Rachel, ‘We are going to

have so much time together this year, every night we’ll put the kids

down and just hang out.. lets watch The Greatest Showman and

learn all the songs and sing them to each other’. HA!

Now, on the 10th of July, sprawled out on our Frieda bed, fan on

the highest setting, eating potato chips and drinking San

Pellegrino, I flipped open the laptop and we watched it… All.

Why is this important? Because we did it.

We work really hard every day on our business and our beautiful

little family. We are constantly making choices that will shape the

stories we will be sharing for years to come. The stories our kids

will be telling of their childhood. We thrive off travelling, and

designing and parenting.

 

When we packed our lives, our family and our business in to five

suitcases people would farewell us by saying ‘have a nice holiday’.

But what they didn’t realise is that this isn’t a holiday, its our every

day life. Our home is now just all over the world. And we always,

ALWAYS, get asked on our social media, ‘how do we do it all, travel

the world with a family and business?’

 

And the answer is simple. This is our chosen lifestyle.

You have to be willing to work hard, on all fronts, and enjoy each

moment as they come your way. We were not at all sad that it took

6 months to watch a movie together, it actually made us realise

how productive we have been as a team over the last six months.

While we weren’t watching a movie, we were planning a wild

adventure along the ancient Tea Trail in China, or designing a new

collection, or laying next to our little ones, singing them to sleep.

And when the right moment came to sit and watch the movie, it

was perfect.

 

Choose how you want to spend your days, and remember today is the story of tomorrow.

Joel and Rach x

postcards from china

 

miami mood

 

byron muse

cactus dreaming

BTS / Birds Of Passage

Birds Of Passage

Behind the Scenes / Birds Of Passage Campaign Shoot

Down the slopes of the sand dunes, in the heat of the day, we ventured to a secluded beach along the Great Ocean Road to shoot our Campaign Video for Birds Of Passage. It was truly incredible.

The sun sent hues of warmth, the ocean was vibrant and the wind was wild.

We set up our little site, had platters of delish food to keep the team happy and we threw ourselves in to creating some magic moments on film.

The vibes were so high, and our team was truly the dream team! Such incredible and creative people to work with and what we’ve created is something truly beautiful.

Shoot Directors & Stylists – Joel and Rachel Cooper / Cinematographer – Michael Roberts

Assistant – Kate Mayes / Models – Remi Goldrick, Amanda Hill, Emerald Martin and Penne Thornton

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Birds Of Passage

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Birds Of Passage

Birds Of Passage

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Birds Of PassageBirds Of Passage

~ A Brief History ~

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I remember it like It was yesterday. It was late Jan, the summer of 2010, the Port Fairy sun was cooled by the sea air. We had been in and out of phone reception all day, and by the time we’d surfaced from the beach and come back to the car, salty hair and dry lips, we noticed 3 missed calls on our phone. It was the real estate agent.
We had been approved. We were opening a shop.

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2 years before this moment, living in the smallest little cottage with a sage green wooden door. We were told we had to move. They were knocking it down to build town houses. The apple tree in the backyard was nearly as big as the house. We had been selling our one of a kind dresses and bags at local markets, so we thought we’d bring the market to us. So before the house was demolished, we threw the first official Frank & Dollys party. We painted the walls. Put hooks in every spare spot, and adorned the house with all our hand stitched cards, table cloth dresses and vintage fabric bags. Inviting all our friends, and their friends, and the people passing by. We drank Champagne, sold our wares and made the most of the moment.

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Come forward now to October 2016. Another moment in time, where Frank & Dollys took a leap. 25 women, all dressed in our Horizons Of Gold Collection. The most cohesive collection we had ever created. A film crew, a hair and makeup artist, assistants, racks of clothing, and the buzz of something truly magical. A feast that we will never forget. A collection that marked change. A moment that saw creative community come alive.

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And here we are now, with so many stories to tell. Of very very small beginnings. Of a desire to simply offer something truly creative and unique.. pieces with soul. With 3 children by our side, an stunning boutique in Garden St, a whole lot travel in our wings and writing the first blog entry, on our increble new website. That over time will be filled with stories. Stories of the past, that will hopefully inspire. Stories of present time, full of colour and musings. And stories of times to come, adventures that will unfold. Here’s to all that, and more.

Log Joel and Rach

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Ethical Fashion Australia, © Copyright 2020 Frank and Dollys Pty Ltd.