Feature Article: The Retreat Studio

July 9, 2018

Midway through last year, I dreamt up the idea of a beautiful retreat space to work – to dream up big ideas, to create, to think, to strategise, to breathe. Something inspiring. And quiet. And of course, Instagrammable.

I was finding that between the daily chaos of motherhood, life and running a business there was little time and space to work “on” my business and “on” myself. All those crucial elements of any great business (and life) like brainstorming, goal setting, creating strategies, planning and thinking big, wild, creative thoughts. These game-changing activities were scattered randomly amidst full schedules + a cluttered mind.  There was just never enough time to do this work properly and I found it difficult to prioritise. And even when I did set myself a half day to do this type of high-level thinking and work – sitting in my workspace at home or in the office just didn’t cut the mustard so to speak. There were too many distractions, too much day-to-day right in my face.

So in about September last year, I scoured AirBNB for a property that could provide me with 2 days of solitude to focus on this work. I had a list of requirements – not too far from Melbourne (1.5 hours max), quiet, inspiring, beautiful aesthetic, content + photo worthy and above all, affordable. What did I find? Not a hell of a lot. There were many beautiful properties of course, many of them with 3-4 bedrooms etc and well in excess of $600-750 per night. And that seemed to be the issue – I really couldn’t find anything small and accessible. So after an extensive search, I finally found something in the Dandenong Ranges and off I went.

I drove up on a Tuesday morning, stayed the night and came back by 4:30 pm on a Wednesday to pick Luka up. Was it really worth going away for 1 night and those two days you might ask?? It was a total game-changer. In fact, in that time I did ALL the thinking, creative, strategy, and planning for the entire Work.Life.Mama rebrand. Work that quite frankly would have taken me MONTHS to get through at home. But it wasn’t just that. It was the joy of having such a considerable chunk of time to focus on my own thoughts without chaos and distraction. I went for bush walks, drank coffee from the cutest local organic cafe, made pasta + drank red wine. Ideas flowed freely and I felt so inspired. And best of all, not rushed. I worked until at least 10 pm, had a bath and an amazing sleep, waking up to birds chirping and getting straight back into it at 7 am for another full day.

I came back not only focused, motivated, refreshed and organised for our rebrand ahead but quite determined to create this type of space for our work.life.mama community. A space to stay and relax, to nourish or to work. A space to promote a new way of working. A space that ticks all the boxes.

So when our tiny space in Rosebud on the Mornington Peninsula came up for lease, I had to have it. I know the Peninsula well and it has my heart, I also couldn’t wait to incorporate the local community and our fave brands into the project. The timing was horrible and we worked our arses off (collectively) to fully renovate it and have it ready in 6 weeks. And it’s everything I dreamt it would be and so much more. It’s everything I was looking for that day and couldn’t find.

The Retreat Studio is a multi-purpose space suitable for short stays, wellness retreats, location hire for content creation and photoshoots and it’s true purpose – a space to work on yourself and your business. We offer a number of packages to support including coaching and strategy add-ons to help you make the most of your time away and get laser focused.

So today, I realised one of my dreams, so that you can realise yours.

Welcome to The Retreat Studio.


Article by Ina Odak, Founder of Work Life Mama + The Retreat Studio

@work.life.mama | @the_retreat_studio



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