When they’re not running one of the Gold Coast’s favourite events, The Village Markets, they’re busy juggling life as working mums to five crazy kids (collectively). We sat down with Marissa Bowden (wife to Rick and mum to Stevie, 9, and Pepper, 7) and Sarah (wife to Jarad and mum to Lola, 6, Posie, 4, and Arki, 2) to talk all things motherhood, in celebration of the Month of Mum – May!

Tell us about your business or current role – where did the concept come from, and what’s your business background?
Marissa: I’m one half of The Village Markets, a boutique fashion and lifestyle market and community for creatives established in Burleigh Heads in 2008. My background is in marketing, which is where I met my business partner Sarah. Our love for supporting creative  small businesses, culture, good people and scouting vintage markets inspired us to create our own event on the GC over 12 years ago as a side project whilst both working full-time. We haven’t looked back! 

Sarah: Marissa and I started The Village Markets in 2008 having been made redundant from our marketing executive positions. We felt the Coast lacked a family friendly, cultural event that celebrated local talent and created the concept between jobs. 

What time does a typical day start for you, and what does your morning look like?
M: No day is the same, but generally it’s an early rise for a walk or Pilates and a 20 minute meditation followed by a coffee on the couch – this is my morning routine and I really value this time! This all happens prior to the girls waking at 6:30am when the school routine starts -ahhh. Then once they’re there I head to a co-working space with Sarah and Tayla who works for us. Afternoons are the kids sports and activities (swimming, surfing, drums, touch footy!) and then dinner. When I’m not with my little team I’m doing general mum things or working from my sunny kitchen at home!

S: I try to wake before the kids so I can have a few minutes to wake before they do. Then once their up around 6.30am it’s breakfast, packing lunches and bags, feeding the chooks, getting dressed and then out the door.

If you have 10 minutes to yourself, where do you go and what do you like to do?
M: Usually yoga, swim in the ocean or a surf on a Friday! Head to some of my favourite local stores for a potter, or catch up with a friend for a sit in the sun and a bowl or coffee. I really like my own time. I’m really interested in interiors and we’re planning a house build, so I’m thinking of studying in this area with some of my down-time. Exciting!

S: I would likely meditate. Popping on Insight timer for 10 or 15 minutes is a game changer to get through the afternoon.

If your kids are young, what do you do for childcare? If they’re older, do they do any extracurricular activities?
M: Stevie is surfing, swimming and touch football as well as reading plenty of books – she’s a bookworm and very clever! Pepper is very creative and loves to play little games in her own little world – she fascinates me! She’s started drum lessons and also plays touch footy as well as swimming.

S: My younger ones go to Loving Hearts in Currumbin and Lola goes to school and loves surfing lessons on the weekend.

What do you do for fun as a family?
M: We love camping! Roadtrips, any kind of travel, simple beach mornings and we adore listening to music as a family! Music is our favourite. 

S: We spend time at the beach or creek swimming and surfing, having a fire in the yard with our neighbours or walking the dogs to the park.

What is your favourite thing to do for date night, or to eat out with your kids?
M: We love food! Mexican, pizza, Japanese food, Burgers, even just local takeaway and a picnic – yum. Lately we have been loving a little family dinner at Cara Cara in Tugun or, for takeaway, we like Justin Lane or Pepe Italian for pizzas and Wazen for Japanese. We live in Palmy so we like walking down to Cafoo Izakaya. 

S: We love a sneaky lunch at Jimmy Wahs if we can… we very rarely dine out with the kids but will pop into Pepe Italia Deli at Palm Beach for the cutest bunny pizzas.

Where do you head when you need a girls’ night out?
M: Where the margaritas are good! Justin Lane is always nice for a cosy catch up with the girls and a few too many wines. Or Rosella’s is also great! 

S: Cross Eyed Mary in Coolangatta for delicious pasta with beautiful wines or Greenhouse at Miami.

What’s your must-know fashion or beauty tip for mums?
M: I am useless with beauty, but for fashion my tip would be to hit The Village Markets to shop incredible pieces by local small businesses. We also have a pre-loved designer and vintage Rack Sale and it’s amazing! You can find brands such as Bassike and Zimmerman to Levi’s and PE Nation for as little as $10! 

S: The Village Markets rack sale is a true treasure trove for fashion finds. Some of my most favourite pieces have come from here including a vintage leather jacket and Zimmermann boots.

What’s your favourite place to shop?
M: The Village Markets, Kind Curations at Cornerstone Stores, and I don’t mind a bit of Zara too. 

S: The Village Markets, of course… or online at Daughters of India, Kinga Csilla and St Agni.

Must-have parenting tip or tool?
M: Coffee + wine + girlfriends + intuition + be kind to yourself! 

S: Hello Fresh and Woolworths drive up shopping… game changers!


Imagery by Kirra Smith



haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.