Bali Babe: Bertie Coad – The Jane Doe who is putting her name on the map

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Every week I sit down with an inspiring island babe to have a salty talk about life on the island. This week I’m talking to Bertie Coad, founder and former owner of vintage store Jane Doe and current founder/owner of Vietnamese restaurant ‘Leroy’s’.

// About this Bali Babe
Name: Alberta Coad (Bertie)
From: Melbourne, Australia
In Bali Since: September 25th, 2015

How did you fall in love with this island?

I’m not sure I really fell ‘in love’ with this Island, I just somehow made my way here. I’d been here on holidays multiple times as it was a fun, relaxing holiday spot. I liked the freedom and that you didn’t have to be so serious all the time.

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What made you eventually move to Bali?

I was stuck in a bubble in Melbourne – anxiety, drugs, materialistic items and the same old boring routine. I had connections with Potato Head so I hassled them to give me any job available so I could try something new. Although, I didn’t really understand what I was getting myself into eg. moving somewhere alone.

They said they’d fly me over whenever I was ready and put me in the creative office to find me a spot for an internship. A few weeks later, I turned 21, thought ‘fuck it’, booked a ticket and was out of there in a week. 

What is it that you do here (work wise), can you tell us a little more about your journey?

I’ve had a pretty amazing adventure here work wise– I am a stress head when it comes to my future and how I am going to set myself up.

I first moved here with an internship with Potato Head as their Social Media Manager. Three months in, they offered me the job. I stayed another 4 months and after wanting to smash my computer over my head, I finally left.

Then, I got myself a job as the Store Manager at Kim Soo which I LOVED. I worked with a beautiful product, a beautiful family and met many great people. It was during this time though that a comment was made that woke me up ‘You are here to puff pillows and chat to people’.

Fuck this, I thought, I am so far past this stage in my life.

As the world works in funny ways, I found myself opening a business with another Aussie chick. We both shared the same idea to open an Op Shop in Canggu, and in a few months we had opened ‘Jane Doe’.

We stocked super cute vintage items with a bit of a modern twist including consignment brands from all over and some of my designs. Again, as the world works in funny ways – shit happened and I sold my half over to my partner.

After that, I hit a stage where I was like ‘Oh shit, now what?’. I took two months off, traveled with my man and came back and started my current project.

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My beautiful boyfriend and I are now opening ‘Leroy’s’, a Vietnamese Restaurant in Canggu. I feel my first business lead me to this, I learned a hell of a lot about opening and running a business, but a hell of a lot more about myself.

So, let’s hope this kills it and I can retire at 30 and drive a Mustang with 20 dogs…

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What was the hardest part of moving/living here?

As I said before, I didn’t understand what I was getting myself into moving here. I am a bit anxiety ball and I really struggle to do daily things alone. I didn’t really move here because I had a calling, or I fell in love, I moved here to test my anxiety and that was throwing myself into the deep end – moving somewhere alone.

The hardest thing for me here is my anxiety. I see so many people doing things alone – meals, sunsets, shopping  – and I struggle with this. Every day is a test for me, but I find each day I slowly heal myself because I am on my own lil’ journey.

I also really struggle not having my close friends here, I have beautiful friends here but it’s a bit different.

How does a random day on the island look like? Can you run us through a day in your life on the island?

Right now, my life is a bit crazy opening this restaurant. We like crazy though!

I’m up by 6:30 am and straight to the gym. Back home to cook breakfast and jump back into bed with my man and three doggies. Then, we’re up by 9 and out organizing the restaurant and at the construction site. Then, walk the dogs, home to cook, then smash out a few hours of Netflix. Super content with the grandma life.

What is it you love the most about living life in Bali?

Not being so consumed about what designer handbag I’m bloody wearing. But also the freedom, not working a 9-5 for someone else.

What do you miss the most from your hometown/country?

I seriously miss my girlfriends, smoking weed, Tim Tams and driving my car. And my parents, gotta put them in there.

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What surprised you the most about Bali and the life here, is there something you didn’t expect or weren’t prepared for?

I wasn’t prepared for any of it. I’d been here for holidays but normally around Seminyak. I didn’t know where Canggu was or the large expat community here.

I was surprised about all the lone travelers, people from all over the world on their own journey.

Also that there are so many amazing opportunities here.

What are your future dreams and goals here on the island, what would you like to achieve?

My goal is to open a successful restaurant and see where that takes me.

What would you advise anybody who wants to move to the island of Bali or want to move to another country in general?

Do it, do it, do it and make sure you do it. This place changed me in a great way and I’m sure we all say it, but I truly learned who I was deep down as a person, but I have a lot more to learn.

Follow more of Bertie and her island lifestyle on Instagram: @bertiecoad