CLARENCE+ The perfect space to get creative
A self-professed chameleon, Hayley Talbot isn't scared of taking risks. After a legal career in maritime and aviation, she moved into marketing and copywriting including penning campaigns for some of the biggest fashion houses in the world.
The poet and author (you can read more about Hayley's debut release on page 23), takes the advocacy she learned in the courtroom to community causes close to her heart.
The environment is one of those - the adventurer, ambassador and keynote speaker on a mission to elevate that cause to be in the forefront of all our minds. Ditto for female empowerment.
In 2017 she was the first person to solo kayak the 400km Clarence River from source to sea, surviving off the land and river. And when you think things must already be ridiculously busy for the mother of two, she holds down two positions, one as national operations manager of James Baroud (camping company) and full time director of Yamba's co-working creative hub Blanc Space (with her husband Mick).
The latter is quite the coup for Yamba with its burgeoning appeal attracting new people to the region every passing year.
While it is technically bricks and mortar, the vibe being projected by Blanc Space is much more than an office to let and work in.
It's a community hub where professionals and creatives can operate independently or collaboratively, its sparse but thoughtful interior providing an atmosphere ripe for inspiration and an exchange of limitless ideas.
When the Clarence born and bred Hayley and her family moved back to the area they needed to find a practical base to work from. "We were going crazy trying to work off the kitchen bench and juggle family life and kids. It was pretty clear we needed an office," she said.
The pair started to talk to other professionals around the area and soon realised they weren't the only ones battling the same thing.
"We're so lucky these days. You can run a business and work wherever as long as you have an internet connection."
She said since opening Blanc Space last year they have met some amazing people.
"Having a spot where to drop in, do some work and cross pollinate and chat has been really cool. The calibre and talent of people in this area has really blown us away."
She said the other facet to Blanc Space was having somewhere they could hold community events and workshops.
They have hosted documentary screenings and live music evenings, and word is quickly spreading about the creative space tucked away upstairs in Yamba's Coldstream St.
"We are getting approached by some fascinating,wonderful people doing incredible things in the world. It's nice to have a little corner of Yamba where we can get them into one room."
She said Blanc Space was a fluid workspace, not the traditional 9 to 5 Monday to Friday office environment.
"People come and go as they please. Some catch up and co-work, others operate independently."
There are multiple working options available from hot-desking at a large communal table, to private offices, as well as a phone booth for personal calls and a photographic studio.
But the rockstar element to Blanc Space is its interior design, an element integral to the philosophy of the place.
"We didn't want it to feel too officey or sterile and even though it is confined in an indoor space we wanted it to feel broader. We wanted a space that, when you walk in at the beginning of the day you were just as excited to go to work as you would be walking into your own front door at the end of the day."
Making the most impact is its colour palette which flows freely throughout the space, the carefully curated mix of raw timber tones and hue of earthy pink chosen because of its calming effect.
Adorning the space are a series of Todd Clare photographs which Hayley said really captured the ethic they were after.
"The artworks and the general aesthetic of the place has been a dream marriage, but we followed our noses really. Friends provided great resources and feedback and being able to co-work with local businesses got us off to a really beautiful start. It's been a team effort from very beginning."
The result is an organic, modern commercial space, one that could easily have you convinced you are working in London or Miami or Copenhagen as Yamba, the interior's international feel something Hayley is happy to hear about.
"That's a lovely compliment. We've had a lot of lovely feedback. We definitely wanted to achieve that, create something that would hold its own in any cosmopolitan city in the world.
"It's really about encouraging all of the lifestyle and beauty Yamba has to offer, stepping in to Blanc Space to do your work in an urbane environment and then grabbing your board and going for a surf."
Blanc Space is a deep work oasis.
Blanc Space enables us all to work in an open collaborative environment with other individuals and businesses. As well as offering private office suites to the growing business or individual who requires a little extra focus.
To compliment the open work spaces and private offices you have access to the inspiring chill out spaces, a private phone booth, kitchen facilities, photographic studios, plus the daily connection with amazing humans who have the potential to change your life.
Hayley is a professional chameleon. After a legal career in maritime and aviation, she moved into integrated marketing and copywriting, and has written campaigns for some of the biggest fashion houses in the world. An author, poet, and slam poet, she takes the advocacy she learned in the courtroom to community causes close to her heart. She is an adventurer, ambassador and keynote speaker, passionate about the environment, and the elevation of women and girls. In 2017 she was the first person to solo kayak the 400km Clarence River from source to sea surviving off the land and river. Hayley is the full time director of Blanc Space alongside her role as national operations manager of James Baroud.
Mick is a global sports marketing and events wunderkind. He has managed international events such as the Billabong Pro in Tahiti, the Hurley Australian Open of Surfing at Manly, and is currently National Marketing Manager for Nike-owned surf brand Hurley.
He spends 50% of his time in Yamba working out of Blanc Space and is a wealth of global marketing knowledge. Corner him for an early coffee in the morning and bounce your business ideas for marketing tips on the fly.