Here, Women Love Tech talk to Grace Brennan about why she launched Buy From The Bush, and how you can support her vision to buy with purpose.
Tell us about what inspired you to launch Buy From The Bush?
I grew up in Sydney, however fell in love with a farmer, so moved to live on a sheep and cropping farm in western NSW when I was about 26. During my time on the land, I have been able to absorb all the wonderful things that the bush has to offer and am inspired to share that with Australians all over the country. My background prior is in community development and as I watched my husband work through this drought I was feeling very helpless. No words or consoling cuddles can detract from the relentless stress and fatigue caused by drought. I desperately wanted to take action and create a solution to this enormous problem of drought. After a friend told me that her family was ‘buying from the bush’ for their Kris Kringle, the seed was planted. I created the Buy From The Bush Instagram page at my kitchen bench after being frustrated with an interview on the radio covering drought and though it was, in some ways, a spur of the moment decision which led to a project that I have largely run on the fly, I would say I have been developing key skills and laying the groundwork for this for most of my working life.
Describe the reason people from the bush need your support
The resilience of our bush communities and businesses across Australia has been inspiring in the face of devastating drought, bushfires and now the ongoing effects of COVID-19. There is an incredible offering of creativity, productivity and innovation in bush businesses. From beautiful boutiques with curated collections of fashion and homewares to farmers diversifying in to creative trades and many talented women running side hustles to generate alternative income streams. However, the large majority of small rural and regional businesses involved in Buy From The Bush don’t have their own website, let alone one with the ability to accept sales.
That’s why Buy From The Bush started as a social media movement, celebrating the amazing talent and ingenuity that exists in rural communities, and now we’ve taken that one step further and launched a brand-new Buy From The Bush Marketplace with PayPal Australia which provides a safe and secure way for rural merchants to connect and sell their products to all Australians. The Buy From The Bush marketplace is about connecting small bush business owners with a broader audience and new customer base: it’s about telling their story, but also selling their beautiful products, and to have PayPal supporting the movement means a great deal to its long-term sustainability which is critical.
How can people help?
Shop with purpose. Every dollar spent with small rural and regional businesses can help protect jobs, help businesses stay afloat and keep the economy moving. People know that when they shop through Buy from the Bush and when they support these bush businesses, money is flowing back into communities at a time that the community really needs support from outside. Through the Buy From The Bush Marketplace, Australians now have an opportunity to support the Australian bush in time for Christmas by discovering and buying from small businesses from all corners of the country and investing in their future. We encourage Australians to shop at the Buy From The Bush Marketplace via www.buyfromthebush.com.au.
What are your future plans?
Buy From The Bush is not about charity, it’s about investment. Our vision for the exciting new Buy From The Bush marketplace is to future-proof these businesses, and we’re excited to bring their stories, and beautiful, unique products to Aussies all across the country. After just one year on from the launch of Buy From The Bush, we’ve created real relationships between strangers, injected hope into isolated communities, protected jobs and undoubtedly saved bush businesses by creating stronger connections and closing the gap between the city and the Australian bush. And into 2021, we’re keen to continue building the Buy From The Bush marketplace as well as our partnership with PayPal Australia, including promotion to their active customer base of more than 8.5 million Australians.