Welcome to the Buy Aussie Now marketplace! 6,000 registered Aussie businesses are busy preparing their stores. Check back often to discover what’s new.

Welcome to the Buy Aussie Now marketplace! 6,000 registered Aussie businesses are busy preparing their stores. Check back often to discover what’s new.

CLOSE
All posts
  1. Meet The Maker: Kate Stewart Founder and Managing Director Of Stay Tray
    Meet The Maker: Kate Stewart Founder and Managing Director Of Stay Tray
    Stay tray is a super small, sustainable business based on the Mornington Peninsula about an hour from Melbourne. It’s an eco friendly reusable drinks tray made from 100% recycled plastic. Available as a convenient 2 cup holder and 4 cup holder depending on your needs. It is designed with simplicity, style and sustainability in mind.  The Stay tray idea first materialised as a reusable coffee cup tray to reduce the waste of cardboard trays typically supplied at coffee shops and cafes to help with large coffee orders.  Stay tray is really fast becoming known for its versatility. Yes, it’s great for the morning coffee run plus it also carries standard drink vessels of various shapes and sizes. Drink bottles, juices, smoothies, sports drinks, baby bottles and fast food drinks can all be conveniently carried with Stay tray.  It’s really the extra set of hands you wish you had. We are here to help everyone with their busy lifestyles and to help reduce waste for our planet. Our mission is to encourage the use of reusable drink trays. We deliver sustainable products that challenge the culture of single use, whilst rehoming the worlds plastic waste. How did you start your homegrown business? The Stay tray idea was sparked one day late 2017. I witnessed friends and workmates carrying their reusable coffee cups in disposable cardboard trays. It was painfully ironic, reusable coffee cups being carried in trays that got discarded at the end of each coffee run. The best case was that the cardboard trays be recycled and would still consume energy and water in the recycling process. At worst the cardboard trays would contribute to the 30% of paper waste not recycled and ends up in landfill each year. What inspires you?  My kids. Being a mother of two small children I worry about the future of our planet. What I am leaving for them?. What will it be like when my kids are my age?  What sort of planet will they inherit?   What are the benefits of manufacturing locally? There are so many. Supporting Australian jobs. There are so many wonderfully talented designers, engineers and manufactures right here in Australia! There is no need to go overseas! At Stay tray are truly proud to be Australian made and owned! In fact, we have kept all design, engineering a manufacture within a 60km radius from Stay tray HQ. I can jump in the car and be at my manufactures within half an hour! It is so amazing! What makes the Australian consumer unique? I think the Australian consumer is really willing to support new businesses. Start local and gain some momentum from your local community. Aussies love to support their local community! What is the best business advice you have ever received? Never give up. Every day is different. What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business? Starting my business. Taking the leap of faith to leave a secure job of 17 years and learning all that goes with a new start up. For at least the first 12 months my head was consistently spinning! What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic? We can get through anything if we all work together! What was your first job? Working in a chemist while I was a school Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry? Pantry for sure. Favourite Australian film quote? Tell him he’s dreaming – the Castle Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke? Powderfinger – These Days Check out Stay Tray today and get your own reusable drink carrier! 
    Read more »
  2. Learning From Indigenous Businesses
    Learning From Indigenous Businesses
    Indigenous businesses are so much more than the heart and soul of Australia but a sector that’s on the move. Indigenous businesses are growing at around 12.5% per annum, according to figures compiled by the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT). It’s one of the fastest growing business sectors in Australia. Around 12,000-16,000 Australian businesses are Indigenous-owned, and Indigenous self-employment rates suggest this number will grow by around 2,200 by 2026, according to DFAT. Importantly these brands are empowering First Nation’s people living in remote parts of the country and enhancing living conditions in far flung communities. And every dollar spent on an indigenous brand has the potential to generate $4.41 of social return. "You’re so right about that," says Wiradjuri woman, Fiona Harrison of Chocolate On Purpose - the bush chocolate produced in the heritage listed town of Millthorpe in the Central West of NSW, which is available on the Buy Aussie Now marketplace. "Indigenous business owners give back,“ she explains. "They will sponsor the local sporting team, mentor others in the community, share the knowledge and employ other indigenous people. But more than that - when you spend with indigenous people it’s one more strike at the stereotype that is attributed to us not being able to help ourselves,” she points out. There’s certainly no hardship when it comes to indulging in one of the many treats from Chocolate On Purpose, which is the original organic product, full of natural goodness from the bush and hand crafted. "We use very high quality Belgian couverture chocolate, which contains all of its original cocoa butter - an antioxidant,“ says Harrison. "We then add Australian indigenous botanicals, so the chocolate is the vehicle to carry this goodness to you, which is why  it’s called Chocolate On Purpose,” she says. And another of the benefits of a natural product that’s not pumped full of sugar, adds Harrison, is that it takes less chocolate to feel satisfied and there is none of those post-treat energy flips. Another indigenous brand fully committed to giving back is NATIF - Native Australian Traditional Indigenous Foods, founded by Julie Merlet - a nutritionist and wellness consultant. A social enterprise established in 2015, NATIF is 100% Australian made and owned with the products sourced from native food farmers and harvesters all around Australia. It’s also available on the Buy Aussie Now marketplace. Merlet values the importance of evidence based information about native foods to understand where they come from, how they are processed, the method and ethics of collection and rights of the Indigenous people who collect some of this produce. Apart from educating communities about nutrition and buying their crops, NATIF regularly donates to Children's Ground and Wildlife Victoria. The NATIF products are also delicious including Natif Davidson Plum And Rivermint Tea along with the many tempting herbs and spices, so supporting this brand as a consumer is a wellness experience in itself. The future looks promising for these businesses especially with the  world becoming increasingly health fixated following the pandemic. The natural goodness of indigenous foods will be in much greater demand.  Certainly our ancient civilisations have much to teach us about survival. Buy Aussie Now marketplace also values the growth and potential of indigenous businesses, which is why there’s no fees for them on the markeptlace. As Buy Aussie Now founder Mitch Catlin says, it’s all about encouraging  First Nation’s people to own their own future. ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the media. 
    Read more »
  3. Meet The Maker: Alison Shaw Owner Of Tambo Teddies Pty Ltd
    Meet The Maker: Alison Shaw Owner Of Tambo Teddies Pty Ltd
    Created in Outback Queensland, Tambo Teddies are tenderly crafted from 100% woollen sheepskin, truly an Australian hand-made product. These very appealing, friendly teddy bears come in different styles. There are two teddy families, the Basils and the Tobies; basils are a traditional teddy bear style and the tobies have a chubby physique and come as multi-coloured patch work bears. Find a soft and cuddly Bickie Bear for your newborn or a fully dressed Mr. Stockman teddy bear with his hat, swag, and stock whip. As their personality emerges each bear is individually named after a farming property in the Tambo district. How did you start your homegrown business? Back in 1992 wool prices had crashed, the district was in the grip of a drought and the community of Tambo were challenged to come up with new industry to sustain the economy of this little town. A brain storming session during a workshop developed the idea that Tambo could assist the wool industry, encourage tourists, and create employment by making unique teddy bears from wool pelts and stuff them with wool. Tammy and I have driven the growth of Tambo Teddies since 2014. As a pair we continually examine all aspects of the business with the goal of expanding, improving efficiency and profitability. Production has increased to around 250 bears/other items per week. There are currently fourteen people employed in the business.   Most recently the business has expanded in Toowoomba, with the purchase of a new and bigger Hub building. With plenty of space, great staff and supply sorted, the sky’s the limit. Tambo Teddies will soon be taking on the world! No matter how big we grow, Teddies will always have the same values and support our community of Tambo. We don’t just create teddy bears; we create a Tambo Teddy community! What inspires you?  The excitement of people buying our bears never ceases! No matter how we grow, seeing orders come in, engaging with customers in store or online gives us a thrill. What are the benefits of manufacturing locally? We are Australian made and we are proud of it, there is no compromise, our customers love our products because they are made in Aus. We have had to expand to another region to secure more staff (Tambo only has a population of 380) but the expansion has been fantastic and is enabling us to continue to grow and take on new adventures within the business. What makes the Australian consumer unique? Aussie consumers are proud of Aussie products! What is the best business advice you have ever received? Think outside the square – keep it changing. What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business? Our location – we are in the middle of Queensland’s Outback, in a town of only 380 people. This location and limited population make it difficult finding good staff and presents supply and logistical problems. What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic? Be flexible, always be on the lookout for opportunities What was your first job? Jillaroo Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke? Give me a home amongst the Gum Trees!
    Read more »
  4. My Australian Life: Todd Woodbridge
    My Australian Life: Todd Woodbridge
    Australian tennis legend, Todd Woodbridge, OAM, is among the greatest doubles players of all time, having won 23 Grand Slam doubles titles, including the most Wimbledon doubles titles ever, at nine titles. He was also a gold medalist with doubles partner, Mark Woodforde aka The Woodies at the 1996 Summer Olympics to complete a career Golden Slam.  A warm, congenial man Todd Woodbridge is currently limbering up for the incident plagued Australian Open as a Channel Nine commentator. Originally from Sydney’s Kogarah, he tells Australian Life how it all began. You know what, I had my first tennis lesson at the age of four. In my earliest childhood photos, I’m walking around with a tennis racquet in my hand. It wasn’t even a conscious thought at the time - it’s just what I did. My mum, Barbara, was the instigator of my tennis career because she played competition tennis, three times a week. I tagged along to the tennis courts and I used to hang on the fence, waiting until I could get on the court. There was a number of key stepping stones to becoming professional I had my tournament at six years old, then by the age of 10, I was playing in adult comp with my mum on Saturday afternoons. I played in my first National Australian Championship at 11 years of age and when I was 12, I was off to play in the USA for the first time. I pretty much knew then that this is what I wanted to do for a career. Then I turned `pro’ at 15 with my first Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) ranking point. My favourite court to play is on Wimbledon Centre Court. It’s such a beautifully unique place with a special aura about it and it was a life dream to be able to go and play there. Even as an eight year old child, I’d have my dad wake me up at 11 or 12 o’clock at night, so I could watch two hours of Wimbledon. I’m so proud to have been able to win the Men’s Championships Doubles there so many times. One of the highlights of my career with Mark Woodforde was becoming a member of the All England Club We were offered honorary memberships after our sixth Doubles Title together. Around the same time I met several Royals including Princess Diana, the Duke and Duchess of Kent and lunched with the Duchess of Gloucester. Here I was, a guy from Cronulla and I was mingling in those spaces, I never would have expected that growing up. I’m looking forward to commentating on the Australian Open again. To have the `Open’ go ahead in the time of Covid, after what we’ve gone through in the last few days is a great relief. If we were to have lost the tournament in 2021, it would have been hard to bounce back. So it’s hugely important that it has got up. My favourite place to chill out in Australia is my Melbourne family home. It’s the one place I love the best because I’ve spent so much of my time away from  it travelling. Even during lockdown in Melbourne, I actually thought that being at home was the best. Once we got past three months that’s the longest time that I’ve ever been at home and I loved every minute of it. ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the media. 
    Read more »
  5. Modern Day Aussie Souvenirs
    Modern Day Aussie Souvenirs
    My Grandma collected souvenir teaspoons. Two dark wood racks of them hung neatly in her kitchen, filled with silver totems from towns and tourist attractions around the country. It was hardly a niche hobby among grandparents, great aunts and elderly neighbours. When I was growing up in the 90s at least, everyone knew someone with a waterbed, and everyone knew someone with a spoon collection. I used to love pulling a chair over to the wall to scan my eyes over the embellished enamel badges on the tip of the teaspoon talismans. There was The Big Pineapple and Sovereign Hill; there were spoons from bowling clubs and charity organisations; small towns and big city landmarks; royal weddings and even the Olympics. There were a handful that friends had gifted her from overseas vacations, but the majority of them were local— brassy souvenirs from places and events that people felt was worth honouring in silver, all hung proudly, like trophies of vacation accomplishments. Of course, these colourful fellows weren’t the only kitchen essentials that were tailored into keepsakes. For decades, faded children’s paintings, wedding invitations and gas bills were all pinned to refrigerators with souvenir magnets, like handy postcards from places been. Similarly, kitchen drawers across the country were guaranteed to house a tea towel token from a town visited or at the very least, one with the hardy insignia botanicals of our states in all their spikey, bushy glory printed onto coarse cotton.  From the bulbous desert pea to sprigs of golden wattle, fuzzy bottlebrushes and warmly hued warratahs, these dishcloths were also the perfect gift for anyone visiting from abroad; a perfunctory keepsake of our homeland.  And while these decorative little treasures have dwindled in popularity in recent years; their sentiment still seems relevant: bought locally, to support local. But until we can all move freely around the country again; we no longer have to follow Melways maps or even travel beyond our loungerooms to support small towns and small businesses. The modern-day souvenirs of Australia are just a click away on Buy Aussie Now, and perhaps it seems appropriate in these times that we instead buy a memento of places we wish to travel; to use them like an inspirational mood board of where we want to be, rather than a scrapbook of where have already been. And rather than the kitsch souvenirs of the past, why not consider artworks depicting sights we wish to see; wine from vineyards yet to be visited; candles scented of exotic locations; local tea blends that transport you with a single sip or household products printed with punchy proteas and other national blooms; kids crafts of echidnas and koalas, a pair of laughing metal kookaburras or yes, even a humble printed tea towel that’s far too fabulous to dry dishes with, and is instead hung proudly like those tiny teaspoons of the past.  Shop the trend - Modern Aussie Souvenirs Mclaren Unvaled - Kakadu Plum Candle by Maine Beach, SA Jodie Bilske Creatives - Knotts Crossing, Katherine Rich Glen Olive Esate - Yarrawonga Brekky Tea Me & Amber - Melbourne Tram Linen Tea Towel HeatPack From Tasmania - King Protea Heat-Cold Pack Jo's Desktop - Memory & Snap Cards Australian Wildlife Metalbird Australia - Pair Of Kookaburras ABOUT THE WRITER Anna Byrne grew up in Bendigo in regional Victoria before moving to Melbourne where she enjoyed a decade-long career as a columnist for the Herald Sun, becoming one of Australia’s most recognised lifestyle voices. Renowned for her insightful and humorous musings on the world of fashion and beyond, her take on style is both witty and refreshingly non-elitist. Anna loves musicals, McLaren Vale Chardonnay, the Melbourne footy club and can quote Muriel’s Wedding, verbatim. A passionate campaigner for small business, Anna is excited to join Buy Aussie Now as a freelance contributor.
    Read more »
  6. Meet The Maker: Supriya Owner Of Kiraana
    Meet The Maker: Supriya Owner Of Kiraana
    Kiraana was started with one goal in mind to introduce people to culinary side of India that isn’t talked about much, their native, local, seasonal, regional food sensibilites. These spice blends are inspired by regional India but the approach is global so one can use it in wide variety of cooking, baking, BBQ, roasts, making dips, bread to name a few things. Kiraana's pantry blends have been created after thorough understanding of flavour of a particular dish or region. These are very easy-to-cook, some take no time to cook, and are wholesome and delicious. All the blends have a story and purpose as to why they have been made. How did you start your homegrown business? The idea of doing this business came to me in 2019, but I was busy working and didn’t think much about it, in 2020 when I lost few days of work I had more time in hand to do something about this and so I thought why not. I had been working on my blends for a year, I made 30 different spice blends & 10 pantry blends but finally came up with a list of 15 spice blends and 6 pantry blends to start with. I applied for all the relevant registration, got my designing done by posting an ad online. Got my ingredients locally from Australia and few from India. Got everything setup and started in beginning of nov this year. I have my range in Queen Victoria Market at the moment and have sold few online. What inspires you?  I think what really inspires me is the story behind all the great things in the world. With Kiraana I have tried to bring these stories of different regional cuisines of India  in one place. The other thing that really inspires me is to be true to myself and others. Thats the only way one can keep going I think. What are the benefits of manufacturing locally? You can keep an eye on every detail, when you make something yourself you wanna give the best to your customers. And if you get things made in other countries and then sell them here you don’t know what exactly happened at different stages no matter how much one tells you they had strict guidelines etc. What makes the Australian consumer unique? Australians are open minder, they like trying new things, they love different cultures and as an immigrant I have got so much positive response from people here. There’s no way I could have thought to start something like this I didn’t know people wont be willing to try something new. What is the best business advice you have ever received? Just chip away. You gotta just keep going even if the going gets tough and you have tonnes of doubt and also keep your invoices together. What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business? I think so far the biggest one is to change people’s perception about Indian spice blends and food ethics. I get response from grocers saying how they are not interested in stocking pastes when I don’t even have that on my website. It’ll take a while before people realise what my business is all about but thats ok all good things that time. What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic? That I finally managed to get this business on the floor. What was your first job? News paper contributor & Radio Jockey in India Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry? Pantry ofcourse Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke? Can’t get you out of my head
    Read more »
  7. The New Face Of Online Shopping
    The New Face Of Online Shopping
    Last year was a huge one for online commerce in Australia. With the pandemic sweeping the nation and many us in lockdown, we simply turned to our screens for communication, comfort and shopping. According to statistics compiled by Australia Post, online shopping grew 45 per cent in the year to November 31, with more than 200,000 households shopping online for the first time, in the first 10 weeks of COVID-19. November was the biggest ever month in Australian online shopping history. Buoyed by shopping events including Black Friday and Click Frenzy, 5.5 million Australian households shopped from home.  A new face of online retail has also emerged among these ecommerce debutantes. It’s senior shoppers who are trying online shopping for the first time, according to Steve Kumar from consultancy Retail Oasis. Unlike millennials and Generation X who might shop in a rush of excitement to hit the Buy button and snag a bargain, Kumar believes that older online shoppers makes considered purchases that are the result of careful research. “They’re a lot more cautious, Mr Kumar explained. “Therefore if they order something online they’re a lot more likely to check everything”  before they buy. Hopefully, these seasoned consumers will be carefully monitoring where their products are manufactured. According to research giant, Roy Morgan,  the ‘Made in Australia’ promise is especially important to consumers when it comes to food, complementary health products, building and renovation, pet care, household appliances and beauty and cosmetic products. This introduction of an older demographic makes perfect sense to television personality and finance guru, David Koch, who understands this from personal experience. “My 86 year old mum is doing online shopping and loving it,” says the  television personality and finance guru. “She’s never done it before in her life, although she has done online banking but it’s now just so easy for everyone to shop online.” And it’s set to become even more enjoyable, according to Ryan Menaces, Chief Technology & Transformation Officer at GroupM, which develops digital roadmaps for businesses. Menaces says that that voice enabled smart devices including Google Smart Hub, Amazon Echo Show with Alexa and Facebook Portal, will allow commerce “to evolve from the tip of your fingers to the tip of your tongue”. Users will be able to deliver voice commands to purchase products from their smart home devices. With the pandemic expected to be a part of our lives for many months yet, these devices will deliver a virtual armchair ride to the shopping mall. Certainly, the need for isolation wrought by Covid 19 has given our society a crash course in becoming tech savvy. During 2020 we were not only taking meeting through Zoom but also staging cocktail parties and even going on dates in front of our screens. (Hello flattering, portable lights and Touch Up). All those families separated from their loved ones were also catching upon on FaceTime, which became vital in lockdown in nursing homes and hospital wards. In many situations, mobile devices are lifelines and it seems that there’s no going back. Despite the promise of widespread vaccination against Covid, returning to our favourite shopping malls is not exactly the fun experience that it once was, thanks to mask wearing rules, constant sanitising and checking in. There’s also been edicts like the one delivered by NSW Premier, Gladys Berijikilian to stay away from the CBD during the Boxing Day sales in fear of a rise in recent infections there. Although this sent many shoppers back to suburban strips, many simply scooped up Boxing Day sales on their screens. It’s online shopping that’s given consumers of all ages a viable alternative to risking their health, while snapping up a bargain. ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the media. 
    Read more »
  8. My Australian Life: Georgie Watts
    My Australian Life: Georgie Watts
    Georgie Watts, is the fearless wife of radio personality, comedian and SAS Australian star, Merrick Watts and mother to their two children, Kinga, 9 and Wolfie, 11. This school holidays, the family of four has taken on a challenge surely just as rigorous as an SAS exercise. They are camping out in a small, two bedroom, serviced apartment in Sydney’s Coogee, while they await their newly purchased home to be completed in a nearby suburb.  Unfortunately it’s been a particularly wet summer so far and Covid 19, has also curtailed many activities. When the sun’s out, there’s so many things to do. We’re all outdoors at the beach or doing coastal walks and bush walks. The kids love the Malabar to Maroubra Headland Walk, which is in a National Park. It’s  at the back of an old rifle range so there’s a lot of military bunkers.  It’s winds through some proper scrubby brush when you see loads of animals, You lose yourself in the bush for 90 minutes and it’s a six kilometre loop. That’s been great but when it’s raining, the kids have just been sitting around on their screens.  I think everyone is looking forward to getting back to school in three weeks’ time. I spent my own school holidays in Rio and Singapore. My father was in shipping, so we moved around every four years or so.  I was born in London but then we went to Mumbai, which is the one place I want to return to as an adult. I feel such a pull there that I want to visit for a milestone birthday. Then I finished my high school in Singapore and went to university in Melbourne. I set up The Window Seat blog a few years to document an epic family journey. Some years ago we planned a road trip from Sydney to Perth. It’s a right of passage to drive from one end of Australia to the other, right?  Unfortunately there were no resources for families about where to eat or stay, so  I decided to start my own blog. I wanted people to know it’s great to travel with children, so don’t let that stop you from getting out and exploring. Going on SAS Australia changed Merrick, in good ways. No he doesn’t try to regiment us, thank goodness. But he has applied everything he learnt on the show to business. It’s very, very clever and a change of mindset. I’m so proud of that switch in him. Yes, he does get recognised everywhere and everyone has an opinion of the show. But we’re used to never have a private life ever since he’s been on radio.  Merrick now runs Grapes Of Mirth - a comedy and wine festival. He’s actually studied wine and is a qualified sommelier but this festival is about being entertained by six different comedians as you sit back and picnic in the grounds of a winery. You lounge  on the lawn, eat and drink nice wine and have a really good time with your friends. My favourite place to visit in Australia is Port Willunga in South Australia. We got married there at the Star Of Greece restaurant and it has incredible cliff tops, super white sand and the water is aquamarine. Dolphins swim back and forth during the day. We once had a beach house there and for over 10 years, we drove there from Sydney before it became too hard with a family of four. I would love to have another place there again.  Adelaide is one of the best food and wine secrets in Australia. ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the media. 
    Read more »
  9. Shutterstock
    What Can Help You Return To Work?
    Mid-January: a time when tan lines, your New Year’s resolutions and summer holidays all come to a grinding halt. Suddenly you need to know what day it is, abandon afternoon naps and introduce, gulp, alcohol free days. Of course for many, the return to work will look a little differently in 2021. Because just like those singers, supermodels and sporting greats getting showered in cockroaches in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, this year we’re staying home. While working from home used to be a perk of some jobs, before it became essential for our safety during peak pandemic, the work-from-home culture seems to be the way of the future with Forbes reporting that 70 per cent of the global workforce will be doing so remotely, at least five days a month, by 2025. So with the WFH trend set to continue, perhaps it’s time to reboot your home office, or at least stock up on some new supplies. Just like a bright new pencil case took the sting out of the first day of school, a few new “essentials” might have the same grown up effect. Wall in a day’s work Sick of blank white walls in the background of everyone’s zoom meetings? You are not alone. While interior designers are helping high-end clients create envious backdrops and spaces for their virtual meetings, consumers can get a quick fix with curated shelving, indoor greenery, wall art and decorative murals to project your personality and showcase individual style in your next digital date. Outside In Co. - Poolside Print Greenhouse Decor - Ahural Plant Shelf/Bookscase Another day in the …Cloffice?  Speaking of zoom meetings, one of the biggest challenges of working at home is figuring out how to cultivate your existing living spaces to make it conducive to concentrating. Forget dining tables converting to desks and couches doubling as conference rooms, social media site Pinterest have been quick to note a rise of searches in what they have termed the “cloffice” — a hybrid room consisting of a workspace in your closet. Surely all those clothes make it soundproof for private phone call too? And don’t forget to add some new stationary to your stylish workspace. Jacqui Sloan Designs - Be Still A4 Weekly Desk Planner Jacqui Sloan Designs - Moroccan Tiles A4 Weekly Desk Planner In-activewear It used to be that staying home was a luxury; but in 2020 it became a necessity and our wardrobes quickly morphed to reflect this, embracing comfort over decorum with a stylistic combination of active and loungewear. Rather than buying a new blazer or crisp white shirt for the new working year, invest in some stretchy waistbands and slippers that stay concealed by your workstation in those Google Hangouts. See, there is a bright side to the dull affair of returning to work. Ugg Comfort Me - Classic Ugg Slippers KAT - KAT Pants Black/White Thin Stripe Tea anyone? While you might not be discussing the latest office romance or last night’s episode of I’m a Celebrity around the watercooler, it is important to get out from behind the screen, stretch your legs and take a break from the hard slog. To motivate your break time, why not pimp your tea station with some new Aussie brews — perfect for revitalising your mind and boosting your mood.   Rich Glen Olive Estate - Yarrawonga Brekky Tea Rich Glen Olive Estate - Rich Glen Tea Pot ABOUT THE WRITER Anna Byrne grew up in Bendigo in regional Victoria before moving to Melbourne where she enjoyed a decade-long career as a columnist for the Herald Sun, becoming one of Australia’s most recognised lifestyle voices. Renowned for her insightful and humorous musings on the world of fashion and beyond, her take on style is both witty and refreshingly non-elitist. Anna loves musicals, McLaren Vale Chardonnay, the Melbourne footy club and can quote Muriel’s Wedding, verbatim. A passionate campaigner for small business, Anna is excited to join Buy Aussie Now as a freelance contributor.
    Read more »
  10. Meet The Maker: Elisabeth Noyel & Todd Cooper Founders Of NOE – Natural Organic Ethical
    Meet The Maker: Elisabeth Noyel & Todd Cooper Founders Of NOE – Natural Organic Ethical
    It all started with a completely random conversation on the last day of 2018 at the Woodford Folk Festival. Who could predict that 2 strangers from 2 different parts of the world with totally different lives would meet, instantly connect, and would never spend a day apart from that moment on. When Todd fell in love with Australia and Elisabeth, he decided to bring his over 10 years of expertise in developing natural personal care products to The Land Down Under. His concern and care for the environment resonated with Elisabeth’s love for nature and Todd. Their healthy lifestyle and consumer ethics inspired the concept of NOE, short for Natural Organic Ethical. Partnering with local Australian Businesses and creating a community of conscious consumers, they create and sell plastic-free products and remove 1kg of plastic from the ocean for each product sold.    How did you start your homegrown business? We wanted to create a brand that would reflect our value and bring people together around something we believe in. Taking care of the environment and consuming consciously is something dear to us. Hence, we decided to create the concept of plastic neutrality since we cannot control the whole supply chain. We also wanted to work with Australian businesses to contribute to Australia’s economic growth.   What inspires you?  We are inspired by the positive impact people can have on each other through collaboration. Our approach is simple and collaborative. We are inspired by the stories, the knowledge and the passions of our clients, business partners and customers. It is incredible how passionate people are when we start talking about health, self-care and environmental projects. That inspires us to keep going and develop NOE even more and have a greater impact.    What are the benefits of manufacturing locally? We can establish connection and trust with our partners – There is a good communication and quick turn around. It is easy to discuss deadlines, issues, and payments. It creates a sense of belonging and community, in addition to the positive local economic impacts.   What makes the Australian consumer unique? The Australian consumer is a delight to work with. They are really polite and keen to try new products. They care for the products we are presenting and love hearing a good story that supports the local market. They are inquisitive and want to know what they are supporting. The diversity of Australia makes it a truly unique consumer base. Customers are from all different backgrounds and come with their own self-care rituals, which makes Australia a unique marketplace to operate in.    What is the best business advice you have ever received? Be aware of your competition, know them but don’t care too much. Your uniqueness, your story is what people buy not your ability to copy your competition.   What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business? Starting a business from scratch with no commercial footprint is really challenging, developing and gaining online presence is extremely challenging and requires time, effort and consistency.   What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic? Covid-19 helped us to focus on the business and its foundation. We launched in March 2020 the week of the lockdown. Our plan was to be in stores and do farmers markets to get the product in front of consumers. We have not been able to do it that much. This enabled us to look at social media and truly educate ourselves about it.   What was your first job? Elisabeth: My first job was a strawberry picker Todd: Land preservation on a wildlife reserve.   Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry? Hmmm we are one of those Australian households who have not adopted vegemite in their eating routine. Todd is American and has a LOOOT of Ketchup in the Fridge, many different. Elisabeth didn’t know there could be that many different sorts. Elisabeth is originally from France and has mustard in the fridge, she asks her friends to bring it back from France and buy the Maille brand one.  All of this is in the fridge although mustard can be kept in the pantry.   Favorite Australian film quote?  Todd: “That’s not a knife….Here’s a knife” Crocodile Dundee Elisabeth: “It’s not a house it’s a home, a man’s home is his castle.” (The Castle)   Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke? “The Horses” by Daryl Braithwaite
    Read more »
  11. Meet The Maker: Deb Graham Founder Of Blue Pear Pantry
    Meet The Maker: Deb Graham Founder Of Blue Pear Pantry
    Blue Pear Pantry make a range of award winning pastries from their home kitchen. You can find them in 25+ independent retail stores, delis and cafes across Melbourne and Greater Geelong. Their point of difference is that they only use grass fed beef, free range chicken and farm fresh produce without additives, preservatives or fillers. Using local suppliers first, and direct from the farmer when possible. Since Covid-19 they have pivoted the business to online, offering contact free home delivery as well as collaborating with other foodie friends and included their products on our website to expand our offering, thus helping each other to get through this tough time. Their most recent addition to the Blue Pear Pantry offering is the family pie range – perfect timing with the introduction at the start of Winter. How did you start your homegrown business? Having the desire to re-enter the workforce after having children, I recognised that I had come from a vast background of trades and skills. Like so many teenagers, my food career started at a popular restaurant chain where I enjoyed 15 years of on the job training, practising industry standard benchmark procedures. From there I moved on to be an office manager for a project management company specialising in construction fit outs. By combining all the collective skills I had developed, Blue Pear Pantry was founded. The business ethos based on the idea of supporting local business and offering wholesome food without adding, what we know as; fillers, additives or preservatives. “Home cooking, frozen fresh.” Simple. What inspires you?  Making people happy through the comfort and enjoyment of food. The best compliment is when a customer comes back for a second sausage roll or pie. This makes my heart sing. I get inspiration from knowing that the flavours I have developed sit well with the community and our range covers the needs of today’s diversity, with vegan and gluten free options. I still get very excited when taking pies out from the oven and the top has risen perfectly and I know it will be a delicious mess to eat for someone. What are the benefits of manufacturing locally? Ensuring the growth of our community.  We currently employ one PT employee with another that was to start last week before lockdown. Both local and living in the same shire as Blue Pear Pantry (Nillumbik Shire). Reducing our carbon footprint and saving time on hunting and gathering ingredients and supplies.Having the support of the local community with repeat purchases, referrals. Having the chance to give back to the community with sponsorship of local sporting clubs, fundraising for local schools and community groups. What makes the Australian consumer unique? Australians are pickier with the food that they eat, than the clothes they wear. It’s not in our culture to barter like other countries. We do like to buy with confidence and we do like a bargain or a freebee to keep coming back. If consumers are educated on the quality and benefits to their own situation they will return and recommend to a friend. Aussies like to buy the story. The face and meaning behind the brand. I have experienced this from direct experience when holding an instore tasting. It’s probably the main thing I’m missing during Covid-19 – meeting my customers and introducing my products to new people. What is the best business advice you have ever received? I was introduced to “Johnny” at a food service event and we had an in depth conversation and he advised me to connect with people at the top of my industry and ask them how they got where they are today. Connect with others in the same industry. I later learned that this really nice bloke I was talking to was Johnny De Francesco – food royalty! Seems he was right. I’m now a member of Melbourne’s North Food Group, who have been absolutely amazing to bounce ideas and share resources. I have spoken with the Head Judge at the Great Aussie Pie Competition several times for guidance on improving my products. Thanks Johnny. What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business? When I started Blue Pear Pantry we offered a range of home cooked frozen meals with the values of support local first, premium meats, farm fresh ingredients with no preservatives, additives or fillers. In 2017 we were awarded a Silver Medal from the Australian Food Awards for our ‘naughty’ sausage rolls that probably should not have been on our healthy, home-cooked meals menu. They just tasted good so I included them on the menu. After our first award, it took a year, but we changed the entire business to savoury rolls and introduced a gluten free range also. The challenging part was to re-educate customers about the change. Social media, attending markets and holding in store tastings help considerably.However, three years later, we still get some customers ringing asking for the Vegetable Lasagne!Switching to an online store due to Covid-19, was a very nervous time. I hadn’t previously encouraged an online store for fear of not having the products ready for delivery. Having a commercial freezer onsite gives me the ability to build up stock levels so I will always have stock on hand and complete order on the same day or within 24 hours, including my retail outlets. What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic? I get to spend more time with my kids and hubby. Albeit more yelling and asking them to speak nicely to each other (excluding hubby) but still quality time one can only dream about. Work - Reaching more people with my products! More and more orders come in for home contact–free deliveries. I have recently teamed up with another delivery service of fresh fruit/vege and now they are ordering more of my products, as they have a wider delivery zone that I can manage. This has also had a positive impact on their business, increasing their orders/sales. What was your first job?Age 10 – mowing lawns with a neighbourAge 15 - McDonalds Favourite Australian film quote? That’s Not A Knife – Crocodile Dundee la la la la - BabeYou’re Terrible Muriel – my kids say that too, and haven’t even seen the movie J Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke?Khe Sanh OR Working Class Man
    Read more »
  12. My Australian Life: Simon Katich
    My Australian Life: Simon Katich
    Australian cricketing great and Channel Seven commentator, Simon Katich is so famous in his hometown of Perth that his former school, Trinity College, has a cricket pavilion named after him. This is hardly surprising as Katich has been described as one of Australia’s finest Test openers of the modern era, averaging 50.48 across his 33 matches for the team. He was also considered to be among the world’s very best batsmen during the two-and-a-half years he spent bedded in at the top of Australia’s batting order. The son of Croatian migrants, who arrived in Australia in 1920, Katich learnt much about working hard and self-discipline from his father, Vince, a police detective, who helped track down a pair of serial killers. It was an upbringing which set him up well to play cricket for Australia but it has kept him humble. He once described his batting style as ``shuffling across the crease like a crab”. I first started playing cricket at the age of four on the front lawn at home. The best way of starting any new sport is just to enjoy playing it. I’m often asked how to practice batting at home alone. The best idea is to stand in front of the mirror and do all the shadow batting, all the movements or get a cricket ball in an old stocking.. My first game of cricket was an under-10s match in Perth for my local team, Middle Swans. Even then I knew that I wanted to play cricket for Australia, although there was also a period when I wanted to be an AFL footy player but deep down, I  knew that I was too slow. I always wanted to emulate Sir Viv Richards. He’s one of the greatest Test batsmen of all time. I love everything about the West Indies team of the 1980s, who really brought something extra to cricket then. I’ve had many highlights throughout my career.   Personally it was being presented with my baggy green cap by the late Richie Benaud before my first Test match. And from a team perspective, it was winning  the Test Series in India in 2004, which was the first time Australia had beaten India at home since 1969. Commentating the cricket on Seven has been a great experience. The transition has been very enjoyable. I’ve got to work with a great team of people at the Seven Network and, at the same time, watch some great Test cricket and give my insights into the modern game. I have high hopes for the Third Test. I’m looking forward to seeing an Australian fightback,considering India levelled the series at 1-1 with a win in Melbourne. I certainly think we have a chance of winning if we can get a big first innings score. In the first two Tests, the Aussies hadn’t passed 200 in their first innings, so they’ll be looking to change that. The essential place for me to unwind is at home.  After spending so much time away from Australia and interstate during my playing career, the moments that I treasure the most are being home in the natural beauty of Sydney with my family. ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the me.
    Read more »
  13. What Should Businesses Do In 2021? 
    What Should Businesses Do In 2021? 
    The  new year is the time when Australian businesses set a blueprint for growth. For many, it’s about going back to basics, to ensure they’re on message and staying true to their brand. Working in a pandemic has naturally brought with it extreme challenges in the way that organisations do businesses. Some have barely survived. Border closures have all but decimated the once thriving Tourism industry and have proven that nothing can be taken for granted. So how do we proceed in the rapidly changing environment of a Covid normal world?  Australian Life asked some business identities to tell us their thoughts. "This is the largest reset time, condensed into the shortest period that I have ever seen in last 50 years,” says Mark Bouris - the founder and largest shareholder of home loan company Yellow Brick Road and the founder of small business advocate, mentored.com.au. "If you want to survive and thrive, then there is no time to waste, right now is critical. Not next week, not in a month’s time. Now!”, he insists. "We  all need to reset our business plans in 2021. This reset must encompass a change in the mindset about how we go about our daily business lives. It includes the hours worked, where we work from, product and service delivery,” he explains. "We should be looking at pricing strategies, distribution, brand awareness programs both digital and old school plus, inhouse tech upgrades,”  says Bouris. Television personality and finance guru, David Koch  believes it’s about having a strong online presence.  "If any small business owner every doubted why they shouldn’t have a digital footprint, 2020 should have convinced them that customers are looking for that. You can make your business so much more nimble by having a digital element to it as well. It’s stunning the number of small business owners who don’t focus on having a website and a social media presence, “ he says. "It’s really about understanding the impact of online shopping on your business.  Shopping online and doing business online have concertinaed  the next five years into one year. We’re also seeing the ripple effect of a lot more jobs in the gig economy, which has resulted in huge job growth, ” he points out. For finance commentator, Ross Greenwood, 2021 should be about enriching local Australian communities. “In a year when so many people have been confined to home, the importance of family and local community has become vitally important, “ he says. "This not only means social connection but also using the produce and businesses right on our doorstep. Supporting one another through local consumption helps communities retain money and jobs, giving hope and support during worrying times. Go local any time you can,” he comments. No one understands the effects of career burnout and stress in the current climate quite like Dr Simone Ryan.  i She was once employed 105 hours a week as a surgeon in the Public Health Service. But then one day she had a seizure in the operating theatre. As she fell to the ground, she hit her head on the operating table, breaking her nose and slicing open her face. Waking up in Emergency was the moment she knew everything had to change. She eventually resigned on the back of her Observation Chart. Dr Ryan is now the CEO of Totium  and has looked after the health and wellbeing of many corporations including Qantas, Jetstar, Optus, Suncorp and Morgan Stanley. "As a Specialist Occupational Physician, I’m madly keen on making sure that we continue to keep abreast of how our health affects our work and our work affects our health,” Dr Ryan tells Australian Life. "For businesses that have a `working from home’ request,  I urge them to keep up to date with the recommendations about human contact, surface cleaning and shared spaces. It’s about welcoming people back to the office as early as practicable and when it is deemed healthy and safe,” she says.  "In our clinics, we are seeing more and more people with early signs of reactive mental health conditions because their `home’  might be a tiny studio apartment and they’ve had to spend most waking hours there, as opposed to getting up and out the door each day to their offices (which were previously full of people contact and good working vibes!)” she explains "I’m urging our corporate clients to care for the wellbeing of their people - remembering that the “H” in “HR” stands for HUMAN. Also, we need people to be working from home and not living at work," cautions Dr Ryan. Some business identities have thrived during the pandemic. Fred Schebesta is the entrepreneurial co-founder of comparison site, finder.com.au  and also a young rich lister with an estimated $214 million fortune. "The key focus for everyone is to prepare for new opportunities," he says. "This could be a new job or a new business. After a bushfire you will find lots of new, green shoots. Those green shoots are opportunities. "It’s about doing some research about what has worked and what hasn’t.  The companies that have survived COVID-19 will thrive this year,” he predicts. "Go deeper into them. And learn one new thing really, really well. For business owners, this will help you understand different parts of your business or perhaps find new opportunities in other areas. And for employees, this education can safeguard your job, lead to new career opportunities or you may even start a side hustle.  You should prepare to jump on launching rocket ships,” he counsels. Yes, according to the dynamic  and inspirational Fred Schebesta, in 2021 anything is possible. ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the media. 
    Read more »
  14. The 2021 Trends You Need To Know
    The 2021 Trends You Need To Know
    2021, Can you smell that? The lemony fresh scent of a slate wiped clean. Yes last year might have been the start of a new decade, but I think the consensus is pretty clear that we just wipe everything down with sanitiser and start again. Of course the best part of looking into the future is knowing how we will all think, and more importantly, shop. So, what will we be lusting after and longing for this year? Consider this column your crystal ball. Here are three of the top home living trends which have been tipped by global forecasters.   50 Shades of Grey — and yellow World authority on colour, Pantone has named not one, but two, official colours of the year for 2021. Having tracked fashion, interiors and lifestyle products around the world, the forecasters have settled on ‘Ultimate Grey’ and a bright, acidic shade of yellow, aptly named ‘Illuminating’ as the must-have hues across all categories. According to Pantone, the colour combo of grey and yellow serves as “a message of positivity supported by fortitude,” adding, “this is a colour combination that gives us resilience and hope.” I’ll take some of that! MINO.co - Ample Sweatshirt   AP Melbourne - Elizabeth Mini Tote   More Cottagecore While this trend technically took off in 2020, expect to see a lot more references to “cottagecore”— a calming aesthetic inspired by agricultural and rural lifestyles. Think growing veggie patches, raising farm animals and baking crusty pies to cool on windowsills overlooking sun dappled meadows. The yearning for wide open space has already triggered a “tree change” in Australia as city-slickers hotfoot it to the hinterland, countryside and coastal towns, so expect to see more localised incarnations of the cottage core trend.  Homestead-chic perhaps? Watch this space. Sally Ridgway Designs In Felt & Fibre - Mixed Spice Soy Candles And Soap Make Scents - Teacup, Saucer & Plate Soy Candle   Terracotta First it was rose gold metal accents, then everything from candles to side tables got a marble makeover, now terracotta is having a moment. The earthy tone and matte-finish texture is a natural fit for mid modern-century style. Pots, vases, lampshades and decorative ceramics add warmth to any living space with the shade complimenting this season’s mix of rose pink, sage green and emerald, while its texture adds a layered tactility when paired with crisp linens and buttery soft velvets. And if you are looking for a new skill in 2021, maybe even consider a local pottery class. With hobbies on the rise as people look for creative outlets from their daily stresses, why not channel your inner Demi Moore, and pop yourself behind a wheel in motion instead of a humming laptop for a change. Little Nik - Terracotta Linen Lampshade ABOUT THE WRITER Anna Byrne grew up in Bendigo in regional Victoria before moving to Melbourne where she enjoyed a decade-long career as a columnist for the Herald Sun, becoming one of Australia’s most recognised lifestyle voices. Renowned for her insightful and humorous musings on the world of fashion and beyond, her take on style is both witty and refreshingly non-elitist. Anna loves musicals, McLaren Vale Chardonnay, the Melbourne footy club and can quote Muriel’s Wedding, verbatim. A passionate campaigner for small business, Anna is excited to join Buy Aussie Now as a freelance contributor.
    Read more »
  15. Who Needs Overseas Businesses? Aussies Do It Best In Tough Times
    Who Needs Overseas Businesses? Aussies Do It Best In Tough Times
    An annus horribilis doesn’t even begin to describe 2020. Almost from the beginning 2020 ushered in death and destruction with a fast rising  2 million lives lost worldwide from Covid 19. Countless more have been left with debilitating illnesses. In the pandemic’s wake, businesses and industries have been decimated with unemployment rife, breadlines have formed and the global village is currently under siege. International and internal borders have closed, cities and schools have emptied  with working from home becoming the new normal. The most fortunate among us have learnt to live in isolation but there are so many around the world and in Australia who have not had the luxury of space. Australian Life has asked some of the nation’s business identities what they can take away from 2020?   Kurt Burnette, Chief Revenue Officer and Director Of Olympics at Seven West Media. "It’s been a year that has taught us about the power of communication. Throughout 2020, Australians have used more internet than at any other time in history.  The news sites have provided vital information about the latest virus hot spots and the numbers,  along with practical advice about where and when to get tested. "Free to air television services have become increasingly important as viewers turned to trusted stations along with the commentators and newsreaders they have come to know so well. The figures have confirmed this  with 92% of Australians watching free to air television every month. By year’s end we have started to see an increase in advertising as Australian brands are getting back on track with an incredible 15% growth in advertising in the October to December quarter. "The key words to take out of 2020 are resilience, authenticity and trust with global social networks called into account. With the an overarching need for comfort and some nostalgia in such difficult times, along with faster communication, we’ve created a new working way and attitude to take us into the next decade. At the heart of it all, is the pride in Australian brands and corporate entities along with all of those who call Australia home."   Hayley Birtles-Eades, CEO of Beinc - the Queensland-based brand strategy company. Be the biggest C word! That’s what 2020 has taught me. If there’s one  thing in life and business that has truly made a huge difference to me in 2020 it’s Collaboration! "For example, it was a crazy idea to collaborate with a competitor that saw Beinc raise $126,000 in six  weeks for an incredible charity and our client, Project Rescue Children. So, if you’re ever faced with being unable to find a direction for yourself, start with trying to help someone else. Whilst it’s not exactly a strategy for profits in the bank, it’s a definite strategy for the profits in your philanthropic bank. The impact is even greater when you’re helping others.So see beyond your immediate needs and be a hard out C word!"   James Symond, CEO of Mortgage Broker, Aussie. "It’s all about a return to old fashioned values and the merits of buying in the suburbs, which is one of the take outs of 2020. "Dwelling values continue to rise after a 2.1% drop between April and September, 2020, and CoreLogic’s national home value index is expected to surpass pre-COVID levels in early 2021, with Melbourne perhaps slower to recover than other States after a hard lockdown. "2020 has really shown the merit in buying houses instead of apartments, as there continues to be relative weakness in apartment values, compared with houses. The pandemic has also lead to renewed interest in the healthy aspects of suburban living rather than city living. "Regional area property values will continue to grow, with the border closures lifting demand from domestic investors and lifestyle changers. "It’s all part of the new working from home ethos with everyone wanting as much space around them as possible. We’re actually seeing the re-emergence of the Australian dream of a comfortable house on a generous block."   Monica Saunders-Weinberg, philanthropist.  "In many ways, 2020 has been a reset year - personally, professionally, spiritually and mentally. Inward reflection, communication and adjustments have been relevant for each facet of life. "No matter what, we all understand that health comes first, after all that is the ultimate wealth. I have never been more grateful or proud to be an Australian. I am honoured to be alongside my fellow citizens who have been considerate and mindful of each other, more so than any other country. "As we ride this Covid roller coaster we will have to continually evolve - and I trust  we will find the meaning and lessons from the crisis. Rainbows shine brightest after the storms."   Anthony Bell, CEO Bell Partners and former winning Sydney-To-Hobart Yachtsman.  "As Australian business we showed we could move fast, adapt to changing business conditions and find opportunities in crisis. "From an international perspective, Covid has opened the world’s eyes to the power of innovation that exists in Australian commerce as well as its strong markets in natural resources and property. "Keeping each other safe was our first priority and we led the world in that department as well.  We stayed in borders and spent our money inhouse that secured the livelihoods and welfare of many small, medium and large businesses and the people who work for them." ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the me.
    Read more »
  16. Meet The Maker: Jenny Daniher Co-owner With Business Partner Cathy Owen Of Garlicious Grown
    Meet The Maker: Jenny Daniher Co-owner With Business Partner Cathy Owen Of Garlicious Grown
    Garlicious Grown produce a fabulous range of Black Garlic goods.  How did you start your homegrown business? As a hobby with a friend in the shed and couldn’t believe how good it tasted so slowly ramped it up. One day we decided it wasn’t a “hobby” anymore!! What inspires you? Projects that are done well and foods that are good for you. What are the benefits of manufacturing locally? Money stays in the country and employing local people What makes the Australian consumer unique? Their ability to appreciate true artisan products. What is the best business advice you have ever received? “Stop wondering and just do!” What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business? Realising that in retail, zero response to email or phone calls is not rejection. You have to be continually polite and persistent. What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic? That we truly are very lucky that we live in this country, with lots of space and that our own domestic market for our product is still largely untouched. What was your first job? Working in a hot, sweaty wheat silo in Central West NSW as the “protein tester”! What is your favourite or most used Aussie saying/slang?  “Working flat out like a lizard!” What’s your Aussie spirit animal? Goanna! (flat out like lizard and they go pretty fast!!) Which Aussie Sport team do you support? All of them – cricket, Wallabies, cycling – our house is sports mad!! Especially the GWS Giants in the AFL Who is your ultimate Aussie dinner party guest? Hugh Jackman – he just seems so down to earth, like he knows everyone anyway!
    Read more »
  17. Meet The Maker: Michelle Williamson Founder Of ChamonixRain Organics
    Meet The Maker: Michelle Williamson Founder Of ChamonixRain Organics
    ChamonixRain Organics is an Australian made and owned company that produces natural coconut skincare. They are a brand built on a deep love and respect for nature and a desire to make natural plant-based products of the highest quality accessible for everyone to nurture their skin, the way nature intended. Their products were originally created for babies, however due to an overwhelming demand from adults to develop products targeted at a more mature skin which was just as safe, natural and nourishing, our adult range was created. All products are proudly Australian made, vegan friendly, cruelty free and made using the finest natural and certified organic ingredients to gently cleanse and intensely hydrate your skin and hair. Delicately scented with their unique coconut aroma, these products are sure to leave you feeling completely relaxed in your very own tropical oasis. How did you start your homegrown business? I started ChamonixRain Organics in 2012 when my son was 3 and daughter just 1 yr old. One thing I really struggled to find at the time when my children were babies (both in the UK where I had my son and here in Australia) were natural, plant baby skincare products which were free from soap, parabens, chemicals and synthetic fragrances.  Although many of the options on the market smelt beautiful, they unfortunately contained synthetic fragrances and chemical ingredients. Which I just didn’t feel comfortable using on my babies’ delicate skin. As all mothers do, I only wanted to use the very best for my children. As my mother had made her own natural skincare and cleaning products, I had a very good knowledge and understanding of ingredients both natural & unnatural .... and after doing a lot of research and reading the ingredients on each of the products on the market in both countries... I set about developing and perfecting my own range of natural coconut baby skincare. Whilst developing my baby skincare range, I decided to launch the ChamonixRain Organics brand, selling bamboo baby essential products both online and at my market stall every Friday rain, hail or shine at the ‘beaches markets’ on Sydney’s northern beaches. As it was important for me to focus on building my customer base with these essential products to help grow my database and social media following and ensure a successful launch to my already established customer base. These products included organic breastfeeding covers, bamboo baby towels, wraps, cot sheets, sleeping bags and baby onesies.  The response to our natural coconut baby skincare range was overwhelming, allowing me to then move the business entirely online, selling our natural coconut skincare products here in Australia and all over the world. What inspires you? (inspires your designs, inspires your company, inspires your work ethic?). I have always had a very strong work ethic even as a child in school. I believe this was inspired by my upbringing and is also who I am as a person. I am a perfectionist and have incredibly high standards which is reflective of my products, business and customer service. Nature is a huge inspiration for me. Knowing that my natural skincare products which are derived from nature, are making a difference in peoples lives is both incredibly rewarding and inspiring. My customers are another source of inspiration. With many ideas for new products, coming from their requests.   What are the benefits of manufacturing locally? Having full control on production and quality control. What makes the Australian consumer unique? Our Australian consumers are incredibly loyal. They have a great knowledge and understanding of the benefits that come with using natural and organic ingredients and products – and a great appreciation of premium quality products.  This is evident with their loyalty with many of our customers having returned for a number of years now, and also through their lovely reviews and promotion on Social media etc. What is the best business advice you have ever received? Stay true to yourself and always trust your instincts. They are very rarely wrong. What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business? There have been MANY MANY challenges over the years. But I think the best thing about being faced with challenges, are the new skills you are made to overcome them and the lessons learn through experience.    What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic? The quality time with my family has been a huge positive. As well as the realisation that its ok to slow down was a very welcome lesson. What was your first job? My first full time job was working at the office of Births, Deaths and Marriages. I worked in the births department which was a great job registering births, and issuing birth certificates. Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry?  Fridge. Living in Queesland everything goes in the fridge including flours, etc. Favourite Australian film quote?  “What have you come as”. From Kath & Kim Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke? Khe Sanh – Jimmy Barnes
    Read more »
  18. Photographer: Toby Jones
    My Australian Life: Jessica Adams
    What will 2021 bring to an Australia under siege for most of the year? Tasmanian-based astrologer and author, Jessica Adams, who pens horoscopes for several international publications, predicted Covid-19, in 2019.  She posted on her popular website that a virus would disrupt the world, flagging a key date, January 10, 2020. This turned out to be the day that the first confirmed victim of Covid-19 died in Wuhan, China. Born in Brixton, London, in 1973 Jessica emigrated to Launceston with her parents. They were both school teachers who answered a job advertisement in The Times and embarked on a ship sailing to Australia. Jessica now divides her time between Tasmania, Melbourne and London but headed back  to Tasmania’s picturesque Primrose Sands last February when she had a sense of how bad the virus would become. New South Wales could be in for a very tough start to the year with Covid. The virus is everywhere there. Unless Premier Gladys Berejiklian takes tougher measures, we are going to see the whole of NSW affected by Covid until March 15. It’s that bad, if she does the right thing and brings in tough lockdowns, NSW will still have border control restrictions imposed by the other States but it won’t be so severe.  However it could be an absolute nightmare from mid-January to March. I don’t think there will be a really effective vaccine against Covid I can’t see that happening because the disease is mutating too fast. But  we’ll get better at treating it. The planets are aligned for changes in our political leaders this year. While all seems to be going well right now, Prime Minister, Scott Morrison could be facing an uprising in April from some members of his party amassing against him.  Penny Wong will eventually become the Prime Minister of Australia. It may take a few years, and a move from the upper house to the lower house, but we should look to the generation about to come of age now. They’ll want a woman as prime minister and someone with a diverse background that is representative of the ethnicity of Australians. Penny Wong (Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) is ticking all the boxes. The biggest risk to Australia is globalisation If we stick to a local economy and local travel, things will be fine and go really well. The alignment of the planets is quite similar to one we saw in the 1940s. We will see a boom in old-fashioned 1950s style holidays, in Australia, but updated for the 2020’s. Solar caravans and electric bicycles will rule -  but also tiny eco-houses on wheels so you can live anywhere. There’ll be changes in the Entertainment industry in Australia. Our star will emerge at Eurovision in May with the world watching on. It’s going to be a stupendous Eurovision with interactive, state of the art, Apple TV and Australia will either win or be placed among the top acts.    My journey into Astrology started when I was eight years old, in Brixton I became glued to a TV show called Catweazle And The Magic Zodiac out of nowhere, I became obsessed with this 4,000-year-old system of studying the alignment of stars and planets to predict the future. You’re looking at an ephemeris — a huge collection of data from 1900 to 2050 and searching for patterns. Astrology is just history and history repeats. ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the me
    Read more »
  19. Your New Year’s Beauty Resolutions
    Your New Year’s Beauty Resolutions
    I’ve never been big on New Year’s Resolutions, largely due to my severe lack of patience (if I want something done, you better believe it’s getting done by EOD- who has time to wait until January 1?!), however 2021 seems as good a time as any to change that habit. Whether you love a resolution, a to-do list, or even just set a couple of lofty goals, very few of us can say that 2020 played out quite how we’d imagined (and if it did go exactly as you expected it you, then you have a skill that you should be monetising. Make that your resolution). This in mind, perhaps 2021 is the year during which we can act on the goals we may not have been able to see through to fruition this year. In 2021, I’m setting myself a few resolutions in the area I feel most comfortable- beauty. Here are the changes I’m making to my beauty routine next year in the hopes that they may become lasting habits. Wish me luck! 1. I will reapply my sunscreenI apply sunscreen every single day. Rain, hail, shine, indoors, outdoors, hungover, hibernating, I’ve got SPF50+ on. We’ve been over this already. My downfall? Reapplication. I know I need to do it, I tell other people to do it, but how often do I do it? Nowhere near as often as I should. In 2021, regardless of what I’m doing, I’ll be reapplying my sunscreen (or, on makeup-wearing days, dusting on a mineral powder with high SPF) every lunchtime. 2. I will give my nails time to breatheIt took me more time than I care to admit to rebuild the strength of my nails after I removed my SNS at home when salons closed this year. Now that they are back to full health, I’m reluctant to head back to the salon to send them back into their former brittle condition. I have no doubt that I will eventually make my way back, but in 2021 I will give my nails time to breathe, polish free, between manicures. In the meantime, I’ll be sticking to healthier, 10-free nail polishes and treatments, like those from Australian nail care brand Miss Frankie. 3. I will bring my skincare right down to my decolletage Inspired by the divine Anna Byrne’s 2021 beauty resolution, I too will be bringing my facial skincare down to my decolletage in the new year. This is another thing that I insist people do, but often skip myself. The neck and decolletage are two of the first areas to show visible signs of ageing, and while I’m good with taking care of my neck, I tend to skip my decolletage purely because I’m too lazy to move my clothing out of the way and subsequently redress. This resolution gives me yet another reason to wear my dressing gown more often than I already do, for a dressing gown is decolletage-skincare-friendly. 4. … actually, I’ll take the rest of my body a bit more seriously, tooWe’ve established already in this column that I am something of a fake tan tragic. While I’m very good at keeping my skin out of the sun (who needs a “natural” tan when you can safely fake one?!), I’m very, very bad at restoring the moisture I lose through applying false tanning products (fake tan is notoriously drying). While I do reach for my beloved Bangn Body lotion several times a week, in 2021 I’m committing to applying moisturising treatments to my entire body every single day. I moisturise my face twice daily, and my body deserves that same level of care. 5. I will buy more from home grown beauty brandsWe have so, so many incredible beauty brands right here in Australia. Now is the time to buy from them, support them and share the love (starting with the Go-To Advent Calendar I’ve popped under my own tree this Christmas…) Wishing you all a Happy (and beautiful!) New Year! ABOUT THE WRITER Described by VOGUE Australia as being “at the top of the beauty game,” Gemma Watts has been a part of Australia’s media landscape since early 2012, working as a journalist and MC across the fashion and beauty spheres. 2016 saw Gemma launch Glow Journal, a multi-faceted beauty media platform consisting of glowjournal.com, an editorial platform, Glow Journal Creative, a beauty copywriting and consultancy agency, and the Glow Journal podcast, a series of conversations with the biggest names in beauty. Gemma is passionate about sharing the stories behind the local brands we know and love, and is thrilled to be bringing those stories to Buy Aussie Now
    Read more »
  20. Meet The Maker: Tricia Wittmer Founder & Director of Karinda
    Meet The Maker: Tricia Wittmer Founder & Director of Karinda
    Luxury Australian skincare powered by bioactive botanicals. How did you start your homegrown business? I found it difficult to find results focused skincare that was natural and organic so I embarked on years of research and travelled extensively in search of the ultimate natural ingredients for my own skincare range. This eventually led me back to Australia and the unique and powerful properties of native Australian botanicals. What inspires you? The Australian landscape was the inspiration for the brand’s colours of sea blue and sandy beige. I love the biodiversity of the flora and fauna in Australia and its uniqueness. I have much appreciation and respect for the Australian indigenous culture and their great wisdom and respect for the land.   What are the benefits of manufacturing locally? The manufacturing standard and quality is very high here. I also love supporting indigenous communities and local processors and growers via our sourcing of ingredients. What makes the Australian consumer unique? Many Australians are environmentally conscious, and this is reflected in their purchasing decisions. What is the best business advice you have ever received? Always be your authentic self. What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business? Running a business is very time consuming so finding a healthy work life balance has been a challenge. I have made a conscious effort to regularly take some time out for self-care so I don’t burn out.  What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic? We’ve been able to build stronger relationships with our end customers via our focus on online sales and marketing.     What was your first job? A kiosk attendant at a swimming pool centre. What is your favourite Australian Snack? Loving Earth chocolate What’s your Aussie spirit animal? Kookaburra as I love to laugh! Which Aussie Actor would play you in a movie? Isla Fisher because of her fun personality. I would have to dye my hair lol. Time for a road trip! Which famous Aussie destination are you visiting? Byron Bay! I love the beach. Which Aussie Sport team do you support? Hawthorn Hawks although I’m more of a tennis person. Check out Karinda for luxury Australian natural skincare powered by unique bioactive botanicals. Designed for real results without compromising your health or the environment.
    Read more »
  21. Meet The Maker: Scott Morton Australian manufacturer And Managing Director Of BioBag World Australia
    Meet The Maker: Scott Morton Australian manufacturer And Managing Director Of BioBag World Australia
    The sole aim of a BioBag is to avoid plastic and divert food waste away from landfill so these valuable resources can be recovered as we move towards a circular economy. BioBags break down just like plants in a composting environment. When plant matter composts it can be returned to the ground to grow more plants - the best end-of-life option for a bag. And because they’re certified to Australian Standards for compostability, you can be sure a BioBag will completely disappear anywhere there’s oxygen and microorganisms, leaving no microplastics or toxic residues behind.   How did you start your homegrown business? In January 2018, I took over BioBag World Australia as managing director after starting Peakfresh and being named the Australian Export Awards Small Business Award for South Australia in 2017. Peakfresh manufactures and distributes packaging products designed to extend the life and quality of fruit, vegetables and flowers. In 2019, South Australia’s Environment Minister David Speirs launched BioBag’s Adelaide manufacturing plant and we’re now producing a wide range of single-use plastic alternatives including agricultural mulch film, coffee machine knock tube liners and supermarket produce rolls.   What inspires you? Our customers inspire me. BioBag has an amazing group of customers who are very supportive of what we do. We find this very inspiring and they encourage us to keep improving. One customer, Karen Murphy, takes her BioBags to the shops to buy bread and fresh produce. Then she reuses the bag to collect food scraps for her kerbside organics recycling bin in Adelaide.   Hockey's goalkeeper Rachael Lynch loves our plastic alternatives so much she's taken our resealable BioBags on the Pro League tour to London and Germany for the team to use as ice packs after training and games. These are both really good examples of small steps that can make big differences.   What are the benefits of manufacturing locally? The value of spending a local dollar versus an imported dollar means more money goes back into local communities for local jobs, local services and local taxes. And Australian manufacturers can assure delivery of high-quality products and local service in a time of increasing uncertainty in global supply chains.   What makes the Australian consumer unique? We are such a multicultural country so our consumers are very adept at finding the best deal. To compete for the Australian market, we have to be very competitive against imported products and show the other benefits such as environmental and workplace practises.   What is the best business advice you have ever received? Walk before you run.   What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business? Competing with cheap imports and trying to sell the value in local good.   What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic? It highlighted to me just how resilient and adaptable we can be when needed.   What was your first job? Cleaner at Mobil   Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry? Pantry   Favourite Australian film quote? The Castle — Darryl Kerrigan: “Tell him he’s dreaming.”   Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke? What’s my scene Hoodo Gurus
    Read more »
  22. My Australian Life: Anthony Callea & Tim Campbell
    My Australian Life: Anthony Callea & Tim Campbell
    As told to Ros Reines. As household names, Anthony Callea and Tim Campbell are like an elaborate Xmas bon-bon with two bright sparks at either end, who dazzle in different ways.   On Christmas Eve’s traditional Carols By Candlelight at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, the couple will take to the stage separately along with other stars including Marina Prior, David Hobson, Ella Hooper and Casey Donovan for the traditional Carols By Candlelight. In the last of the series on My Aussie Christmas, Anthony and Tim tell Australian Life about their festive season, once they step away from the spotlights.   We traditionally have the Carols after-party at our place with the last guests leaving around 5 or 6am. So Christmas Day is usually a write off. It’s seen through a hangover haze of sleep and we only rise to snack on party pies. We usually celebrate Christmas Day on Boxing Day with Anthony’s family instead.   Carols 2020 will be very different There’s no audience, which means we can’t even bring our family and friends. And with no finale, there will be no milling about backstage. There’s often such mayhem under the Sidney Myer Music Bowl but this year there will be cars picking us up, we’ll have 15 minutes to get ready, then we’re on stage with the cars waiting afterwards to take us straight home.   We’ve only just started the Christmas shopping. We try not to buy gifts for the adults, apart from a few friends and family. It’s just about the kids and they usually get cash and card, which is how the Italians do it. I’ve taught Tim to do that too.  His nieces and nephews interstate get a very good deal at the end of the year as he feels guilty about being a bad uncle and not spending time with them. They have enough for a real shopping spree.   The Callea family Christmas will be a lot calmer this year. My grandfather died earlier this year, leaving my nonna and so it’s going to be a very different Christmas. As Italians and as Catholics, we don’t believe in celebrations the first year after a death. So everyone will just pop into my grandmother’s throughout the Christmas period. Basically Victoria was in lockdown when my grandfather died, so she had to mourn alone.   A full blown Callea Christmas is quite something Tim calls it the Trestle Table Christmas because there will be miles and miles of trestle tables in the back of my Nonna’s place and mountains of food. The family is huge and includes the cousins and their children. All the cooking is done behind the garage so the house doesn’t get messed up. The feast starts with antipasto, then the pasta course, which is substantial. You also have the fowls with all the trimmings before  the extravagant seafood platters come out. Then it’s time for dessert.   Panettone is my weakness I’m not joking. But I don’t go for the traditional panettone with fruit but the one with the chocolate inside that comes in a Dolce & Gabbana tin. I’ve got two tins waiting to be opened on Christmas Day. I also love cannoli and tiramisu.  My aunty would always put too much alcohol in the tiramisu, as she’s enjoys a little drink or two as she makes it and so all the children have to be warned off it.   However you celebrate, Christmas has its own sparkle It means so many different things to many different people whether you’re religious or not. We think this year, it now more meaningful than ever especially when you’re spending time with the people that you love.
    Read more »
  23. Hit The Road
    Hit The Road
    There are two types of people in this world: those who romanticise the idea of a road trip with visions of the roof down and wind in their hair; and then there are those for whom the idea of driving a car across the country conjures up images of musky roadside motels, ineffective air conditioning and a pine tree air freshener, powerless to stop the scent of yesterday’s hot chips. I’m not an overly keen driver so I would probably put myself in the latter category, though peak pandemic this year and bound to be within five kilometres of my home, I have to admit I often fantasised about jumping behind the wheel and speeding away to the freedoms only a wide open road can offer. And while I’m partial to the idea of packing a wicker picnic hamper, tying a silk scarf over my hair and popping a pair of oversized sunglasses on my peepers, it was the sentimental sense of road trips that have recently made me warm and fuzzy inside. There is something about a long stretch of road that can transport you further than any map can direct you: to your childhood. A road trip always makes me nostalgic for my childhood and when my family would drive to Queensland to stay with our relatives. My sister and I would swap between the backseat of our parent’s and grandparent’s cars. They were some of my happiest memories, those 20 hours spent in a continuous loop of eye spy, listening to cassette tapes of John Farnham and stopping to see the sights and have a sanga. This summer is perfectly poised for a road trip comeback — particularly with international travel closed and small towns itching for visitors to boost local economies. Consider taking the road less travelled this holiday season; whether you are headed to Bendigo or Byron Bay, why not add in a few stops along the way to find a cracking vanilla slice at a small town bakery; pull over to the side of the road and admire some of our signature silo art; get a pot in a country pub and pull up a stool next to a great storyteller. As they say, it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. So whether you are driving across the country to reunite with loved ones or making the most of a day trip; whether your backseat is full of kids, or you are taking the time to unwind solo these summer holidays, may your air conditioning be powerful, your Farnsey be loud, and your journey be safe. Wishing you all a Jolly Aussie Christmas x
    Read more »
  24. The Best Businesses Can Come Through Tough Times
    The Best Businesses Can Come Through Tough Times
    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times". In his novel, A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens might well have been referring to the different patterns of life around Covid. But history has shown us that even in tough economic times people and businesses can prosper. "The key words that are so important for everyone to remember right now are opportunity, adaption and resilience," says Richie Harkham - an entrepreneur and philanthropist who co-owns several businesses including Energy Alliance, The Australian College of Physical Education and Harkham Wines. He’s experienced shocking times including nearly dying in a motorbike accident. However he became one of the first in the world to receive a live knee transplant from a young donor. It inspired him to give back in a significant way. Richie founded the charity Hark Angel, which has now built 9 schools (out of its mission to build 100 schools in total), already changing the lives of over 2000 children in developing nations. "I learnt that you have an opportunity to truly grow when you have a major struggle. Because of this I have developed a 4-step process to overcome and find these opportunities," he says. “It’s called Banking Resilience and I’m currently writing a book about it, as well as giving key note speeches to companies around the world about it, including Google last week. "In my experience the people who are going to do the best in business are those who are not afraid and can remain calm, see opportunities and take risks. When many are retreating because of a pandemic, a recession or volatility, people who are going to thrive are the ones who are not afraid to forge ahead. In my experience, it’s in the toughest of times that we will find the biggest opportunities." In Australia’s battle-worn publishing industry, which has seen many book stores shuttered during Covid, many people were surprised but thrilled at the September’ announcement of a new publishing company. Former Harper Collins chief executive James Kellow, who left the publishing giant in March, has teamed up with Sandy Grant, boss of Melbourne's Hardie Grant, to set up Ultimo Press, which aims to publish 60 fiction and non-fiction titles a year and hire up to 15 people. Ultimo hopes to release its first book next year. "The world is a strange place just now, but we've undoubtedly seen books occupy more time and space with readers," says Kellow. "Whether that’s because folk want to escape, or to understand and be better informed, it's hard to say. What it clearly shows though is the value of the book. We want to come out of this period with fresh commitments, and an undertaking to provide a platform for new voices, diverse perspectives and original ideas." Former My Kitchen Rules semi-finalist, prolific health book author, personal trainer and health coach, Scott Gooding thought he had an original idea when he opened his healthy food restaurant, The Good Place in Buddina, Queensland. “Unfortunately we were hit weeks later with an enforced closure due to Covid. But after careful consideration we decided to create The Good Feed - ready meals that embody my nutrition & ethical ethos, available to homes right across Australia." Gooding has his own rules for tough times. "The best advice is to be nimble and adaptive to hurdles and challenges. Also accept that the final version of the product is rarely how you how it started as it’s an organic, evolving process." Meanwhile proving that good things can grow from adversity, recently The New York Times published the story of Mexico City’s Cuarentena Baking, or Quarantine Baking, which was started by two artists with a (US) $42 toaster oven bought on credit. Their donuts and cakes were showcased on the Instagram account they set up and they soon amassed hundreds of clients. This allowed them to move into a bigger apartment with a proper oven. Perhaps then, it really takes having a goal in mind along with some resilience and a little luck to see you through the best of times and the worst. ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the med
    Read more »
  25. Meet the Maker: Beatriz Durango Founder of Novellus Skin Care
    Meet the Maker: Beatriz Durango Founder of Novellus Skin Care
    "Team Buy Aussie Now This story was written by several Buy Aussie Now team members. Novellus Skin Care is a 100% Natural, high-quality skincare range that provides women with a strong foundation of everyday essentials. Designed and developed in Australia with native Australian active ingredients and plant stem cell technology, Novellus' aim is to provide you with maximum results, while requiring minimum daily commitment. Our range consists of 5 products that are easy to use and will perfectly accompany you during your 'Me Time'. How did you start your homegrown business? Ever since I was a young girl growing up in Colombia, beauty has always been a passion of mine. Attention to detail in the way we present ourselves is present among women from the time they are young. After I immigrated to Australia, I began to take my overall health very seriously, I decided to focus on creating a routine that tackled skin health and wellness. The last push came from my partner, who is a designer, his expertise in branding; and web design gave me the confidence to pursue Novellus as an eCommerce project. I immersed myself in years of research and discovery, working my job by day and following my passion by nights. Before I knew it, I had all the makings of my business and went live. What inspires you? Health and wellbeing are sources of inspiration for me. Knowing that, through my brand, I can positively impact women and help them nurture their skin is why I do this. I am inspired when I see a woman accept and love herself for her natural beauty, and I use Novellus as a vessel to get there. I find inspiration, in the challenge, of proving to women that beauty isn't vanity, it's about self-care and health. What are the benefits of manufacturing locally? I have found that when you manufacture locally in Australia, you can develop a real, authentic relationship with your producers. In my personal experience, this has led to complete transparency between both parties, and we are always on the same page. It is also very reassuring to know that Australian companies work to the highest standards, knowing that their reputation is on the line produces insurance which ensures you're delivered a high-quality product. What makes the Australian consumer unique? The cautiousness of immediately jumping onto any new trend is a uniqueness that I love about the Australian consumer. An observation that I have made is that Australians tend to take their time when they approach a new product. While it may take a little longer for an Australian buyer to make their initial purchase if you win them over, you generally have a loyal customer. What is the best business advice you have ever received? Often a cliche, but it still rings true ""It's a marathon, not a sprint"". I learned this first hand early on, and now I am mindful of preserving my energy. We are all subject to hard deadlines, which may require an all-nighter, but if you can avoid them by planning and time management, you are better off playing the long game. What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business? After having Novellus stocked in a beautiful boutique in SoHo, New York City, we took off to a great start. The NYC customers were enamoured with our product, and everything was on the up and up. Covid-19 hit New York City pretty hard; and as a result, a lot of small businesses took a hit. Unfortunately one of those businesses was the boutique Novellus was stocked in, and we suffered financial loss and a loss in momentum. You have to take the good with the bad though, refocus, recalibrate your game plan and work towards moving forward. What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic? Since the Covid-19 reality has set in, we have found that more of our audience has taken the time to absorb the content we put out. Our social media posts can, at times, be information-heavy so now with the extra time on our viewer's hands, we have found that this content is landing. What was your first job? My first job was working as a cleaner for a cleaning company. A humbling experience which taught me the value of hard work; and we all have to start somewhere right? Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry? For me, it stays in the pantry, or on the kitchen counter, for easy access. Favourite Australian film quote? ""Stick your drink up your arse Tania, I would rather swallow razorblades than drink with you. Oh by the way, I'm not alone. I'm with Muriel."" - Muriel’s Wedding Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke? Physical - Olivia Newton-John Check out Novellus Skin Care for luxurious natural skincare!"
    Read more »
  26. Florals? For Spring? Here’s How To Wear Them.
    Florals? For Spring? Here’s How To Wear Them.
    You Beauty by Gemma Watts is a column dedicated to bringing your skin, your body, your hair ... your vanity, the best of Australian-made beauty Perfumerie has long felt like a quintessentially French art form, but there is so much Australia has to offer in the way of fine fragrance. Given that we’re now well into spring, it’s time to start introducing some florals into our fragrance wardrobe (yes, a fragrance wardrobe is something that I have and make no apologies for). I hear you- “Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.” But, thanks to the work of some of this country’s finest perfumers, a hint of floral can feel fresh, modern, and you in any season. Whether you favour woody scents, citrus, fresh greens or spicy orientals, there’s a modern, Australian way to inject a floral note into your fragrance profile. For those who love fresh, green scents A fresh take on iris and violet, Mihan Aromatics’ Petrichor Plains takes both its name and inspiration from the scent of the plain after long awaited rain. Top notes of rain, cardamon, salt and bergamot give way to a floral heart, featuring the aforementioned iris and violet notes, before drying down to a base of Australian Buddawood and Australian Sandalwood. Both conceptualised and developed in Australia, Petrichor Plains puts a fresh, green spin on otherwise traditional floral notes. For the lover of spicy, oriental perfumes If the Goldfield & Banks collection in its entirety is a series of love letters to quintessentially Australian ingredients, then Velvet Splendour is addressed specifically to the wattle tree. Perfumer Dimitri Weber describes the scent as “like holding a large bunch of sunburnt wildflowers,” with those wildflowers and wattle mingling with sexy, spicy notes of jasmine sambac, patchouli, vetiver, leather and tonka bean for a rich, spicy take on a native Australian favourite. For those who love citrus notes Made in Australia and inspired by the springtime in San Remo, Italy’s “City of Flowers,” Lumira’s La Primavera is the most “traditional floral” fragrance to sit amongst this edit. Opening on notes of citrus, lemon and rose leaf, La Primavera dries down to a floral, jasmine and lily heart before settling into a romantic, soft and almost powdery base of patchouli, cashmere musk, vetiver and moss. Bright and vibrant and just a tiny bit tart, this parfum makes for the perfect warm weather floral. For those who favour woody notes A rich, woody, unisex twist on otherwise traditonal florals, Oud Royale from Melbourne based fragrance house SoH proves that floral notes are never just reserved for feminine perfumes. Opening on bergamot, this rich, woody scent moves through to floral mid notes of jasmine, lavender and rose before drying down to a spicy, oriental base of oud, saffron, cardamom, amber and musk. Sexy on anyone, and a scent to convert even the most floral-adverse of fragrance wearers. ABOUT THE WRITER Described by VOGUE Australia as being “at the top of the beauty game,” Gemma Watts has been a part of Australia’s media landscape since early 2012, working as a journalist and MC across the fashion and beauty spheres. 2016 saw Gemma launch Glow Journal, a multi-faceted beauty media platform consisting of glowjournal.com, an editorial platform, Glow Journal Creative, a beauty copywriting and consultancy agency, and the Glow Journal podcast, a series of conversations with the biggest names in beauty. Gemma is passionate about sharing the stories behind the local brands we know and love, and is thrilled to be bringing those stories to Buy Aussie Now
    Read more »
  27. Meet the Maker: Melinda Notley Head Bubble Maker at Love Bobbie Boutique
    Meet the Maker: Melinda Notley Head Bubble Maker at Love Bobbie Boutique
    Team Buy Aussie Now This story was written by several Buy Aussie Now team members. Love Bobbie Boutique is situated on the Southern edge of Tamborine Mountain behind the Gold Coast. Nestled under the canopy of their koalas homes where they create natural, chemical free, handmade, beautiful artisan vegan soap, shampoo bars, facial clay masks, soap dishes and bath salts. Taking pride in being Australian owned and made, using almost 100% Aussie ingredients. Everything they create is inspired by mother-nature, animals and plants that surround their soap studio. Every soap creation has a story, especially the joey koala, joey wallaby, mummy koala and mummy kangaroo themed soaps, these were inspired by the strength and resilience of the animals after the bush fire last September 2019. How did you start your homegrown business? I have always loved making soap, growing herbs and creating natural ingredients for people and animals with skin conditions. After the bush fires, a DV incident and a broken foot I found myself unemployed and isolated in the Gold Coast Hinterland with the survivors of the bush fire, my fury little koala, wallaby mates and my 2 dogs unable to walk or drive and with having many animals with burns and injuries I started making soaps and creams for us all. It is just over a year now and my koalas and wallabies are breeding, I’m walking and making beautiful soap every day from ingredients I or other locals grow and growing Love Bobbie Boutique into a very unique artisan soap company, spreading love and healing one bubble at a time. What inspires you? My koalas, they are my passion and their ability to heal and survive trapped in a raging bush fire helping each other get out of the flames is the only inspiration I need. I love to set up and make soap during the night watching and listening to my koalas grunting and screaming, chatting each other up, or Mr K getting bashed up by Matilda for not taking her chocolates haha, I have become nocturnal living and working out here in the King Parrot Reserve. My love of mother-nature and all animals is the inspiration behind my soap designs. What are the benefits of manufacturing locally? I’m supporting other local and interstate businesses by buying directly from growers and suppliers as well as Aussie wholesalers and retailers. The authenticity of our Aussie products is easy to trace and in the big scheme of things we are building a future for not only our people but for our flora and fauna. What makes the Australian consumer unique? Supporting our own and growing jobs for Aussie’s has seen a growth over the past few years not just due to covid19. Price is an important part of our buying behaviour but quality and the image the product projects is also just as important, authenticity and popularity play a big role in our decisions to buy, but we all love a bargain, we all love helping our mates and most of all we all love to show off something unique we have found that is Aussie made and grown. What is the best business advice you have ever received? Do what you love, where you love to be and never give up, no matter how tough life gets. What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic? Isolation, having the opportunity to stay home and look after the animals and myself through the healing process of the bush fires and rebuild as we go, having the time and space to be able to create beautiful natural vegan soap and realising there is a market place for my natural handmade vegan soap. Best of all I can work in my pj’s at any time night or day while I watch my koalas and wallabies cruise around and play with my dogs even while I’m typing this. What was your first job? Sandblasting and heavy duty industrial spray painting… that once another life time ago. Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry? Both haha I have one open in the fridge and always a spare in my pantry, can never have enough vegemite, I put it in and on almost everything I eat. Funny story the only thing my mother could eat while she was pregnant with me was vegemite soup. Favourite Australian film quote? Oh geeze I have several but I have to say (only because my old blue cattle dog mate, Mr Dog picked me “The world is a funny place, no? Sometimes you pick your dog. Sometimes your dog picks you.” Red Dog – Vanno. That movie made me cry. Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke? It would have to be “Land Down Under” by Colin Hay and only after a few Bundy’s haha Check out Love Bobbie Boutique for handmade vegan soap and beauty products.
    Read more »
  28. My Australian Life: Jason Grech
    My Australian Life: Jason Grech
    As told to Ros Reines From exquisite gowns to cushions and pooch accessories, award-winning Melbourne fashion designer Jason Grech and his toy poodle, Jaxson followed the chic, yellow brick road through the pandemic. However, at the start, things looked particularly grim. Barely had Grech packed up his glistening collection after showing at `Melbourne Fashion Festival’ (VAMFF) when the city went into the first of its lockdowns. Who would buy his gowns now that a social life was officially off limits? Grech, who worked and lived in his own warehouse conversion, also felt increasingly isolated and depressed. What to do? Up until this time he’d thought that pivoting was just that little turn that models did on a runway, never dreaming that it would mean finding a new direction for his label. There was a lot of pain there We had all these exclusively designed fabrics and I wondered what to do with them. Then the idea came to make cushions and homewares. It was a great to use the fabric the we had in reserve because I wasn’t going to be able to work with it when I released the next collection. You can’t send the same look down the runway twice. I’d applied to the Victorian Government for a business grant This helped enormously, as we could purchase sewing machines for our staff to use in their homes, so everyone could keep working and employed. We put the cushions online under the Jason Grech label and it was very successful. In the second lockdown, I noticed many people out with their dogs when I was with my toy poodle Jaxson. By this time I’d moved to Sth Yarra, so I could feel more connected and closer to my friends. Soon I was inspired to do Jason Grech Pets, so with our leftover couture fabric, we started doing dog beds, dog leads and dog accessories. This went really well, also on an international scale, which allowed me to be more creative. Now I can offer a mask with a matching dog lead and a dog collar. I’m still doing my evening wear and bridal I’m now working on a new evening wear collection but I’m still not sure whether people will be going out or not. So, I’ve created 23 pieces just for fun and for being experimental. This collection is going online in around two weeks. It’s all made and manufactured in Melbourne We’ve changed our business structure just a bit to support Melbourne businesses first and Australian businesses second and international businesses third. So that’s what we’re doing and it feels good. Melbourne is still my favourite city in the world. I love bar hopping and cafe hopping and the city’s sense of style. I was born and bred in this city. I grew up in St Albans in the Western suburbs where there’s a big Maltese community. My 10 siblings, were all born in our mother country, Malta. I was the only one born here and so there was a lot of pressure on me to do well. One of my first childhood memories was my mum telling me to make her proud. I really hope that I have done that. ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the me
    Read more »
  29. Meet the Maker: Renee Tilley Creator Of Paudha Healing
    Meet the Maker: Renee Tilley Creator Of Paudha Healing
    "Buy Aussie Now Team This story was written by several Buy Aussie Now team members. Paudha Healing is a small family business, operating from their own purpose made laboratory on our property in the Blue Mountains, NSW. All of their products are small batch formulas, manufactured by hand on-site, using high-quality plant-based ingredients. They are all about producing simple, sustainable, toxic-free skincare, particularly for those with sensitive skin. We are incredibly proud that our range has collected 11 Awards both in Australia and Internationally during the 4 years we have been operating. How did you start your homegrown business? I was studying herbal medicine through a Bachelor of Health Science and was fascinated by the herbs and their healing power. I started making skincare products for myself, as I had always suffered from sensitive skin and it wasn’t until I started studying that I realised the toxic nature of the ingredients in the skincare I was using. It’s no wonder I was reacting to it! The products I developed really helped my skin and I decided I wanted to share that with as many people as I could reach. I went on to study cosmetic chemistry and a diploma in natural skincare and in April 2016 Paudha Healing was born! The inspiration behind the brand name was my love of plants, as Paudha means ‘plant’ in Hindi and I believe using these beautiful plant-based ingredients is what healed my skin. What inspires you? That’s a tough one but I would say living in the Blue Mountains, we are surrounded by World Heritage Listed National Park, so our environment is what inspires me. I have a huge appreciation for plants and their healing nature, not only from a skincare perspective but on an energetic level too. When I’m feeling flat or unmotivated, all I have to do is head out on one of the many local bushwalks and I’m instantly re-energised and inspired. What are the benefits of manufacturing locally? Keeping the money in the Australian economy and being able to work closely with local suppliers and in some cases meet them face to face. We are fortunate to have one of our main suppliers based just 30 minutes from us and it’s been so great to be able to meet them in person and know that we share the same values. It’s also really handy when we’ve forgotten to order something and we can quickly pop down and pick it up! What makes the Australian consumer unique? They are very loyal and extremely supportive of supporting small, local businesses. I also think they are becoming more aware and making educated decisions about which businesses they support and ensuring they align with their values. What is the best business advice you have ever received? To serve not sell. Always thinking about the customer and how I can help them, not sell to them. That’s the reason I started my business in the first place, to help people like me, with sensitive skin, so it’s something that is always at the forefront of my mind. What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business? Well firstly, being a small business owner some of the biggest challenges I’ve had to overcome, is having to wear many different hats and learning how to do lots of different jobs as you go. Over the years, I’ve learnt that things don’t always go to plan and mistakes will be made but it’s how you respond and taking what you’ve learnt from the experience that keeps moving you forward. What was your first job? My first job was working at McDonalds when I was 15. I just remember always coming home covered in salt from serving the fries. Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry? Definitely the fridge! Favourite Australian film quote? “No body puts baby in the corner” I grew up watching Dirty Dancing! Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke? Run to Paradise, The Choirboys Check out Paudha Healing for all-natural skincare to nourish your body and soul."
    Read more »
  30. My Australian Life: Lidia Thorpe
    My Australian Life: Lidia Thorpe
    As told to Ros Reines When Lidia Thorpe entered the Victorian Parliament last October as the first indigenous senator to be sworn in, she wore a possum skin cloak and carried a message stick. On this message stick, there was a single mark for each of the 441 First Nations People who have died in jail since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody ended in 1991. The beautifully strong, 47 year old Gunnai-Kurnai and Gunditjmara woman, took the seat of former Greens leader, Richard Di Natale. Raising her arm as she entered the chamber, Senator Lidia Thorpe was a true woman warrior. It’s a demeanour that will no doubt stand her in good stead in the adversarial environment of parliament. The possum cloak was for protection It was given to me by an indigenous group in Bendigo, who work in family violence. So it’s about protection and safety. It’s also about being able to feel my people and my culture around me through significant times. The Black Lives Matter movement is momentous It also highlighted Black Deaths in Custody here and we want an end to it and for all of the Royal Commission’s recommendations to be implemented. I also want the government to start counting these injustices in real-time, as often the information is two years old, which is how it’s currently being recorded. We want to be part of this Nation’s identity. We need to stop the many injustices that many of my people face here that happen each and every day. This includes deaths in custody, removal of young children, the destruction of land and the imprisonment rates of aboriginal people. So we need this country to come to terms with that, get on board and get rid of these injustices. Everyone can benefit from that. My life has made me strong. I’m a domestic violence survivor and I’ve raised three kids as a single mum while also studying at university. This equipped me to advocate for a range of issues including women’s rights, public health, environmental protection, public housing and child protection. As Greens, we believe that our Federal Parliament should reflect the strengths and diversity of our society. That’s why we need politicians who have experienced poverty and adversity I grew up around Collingwood in Housing Commission Flats. We also moved around in Fitzroy and my nan had a flat in Northcote but we eventually got a house in Clifton Hill. I’ve always been raised around those areas because that’s where aboriginal people set up in Victoria. It’s where my family did a lot of work in those days. My grandmother was one of the founders of the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service. My first childhood memory was around violence Well it was pretty tough as I saw a lot of family violence and experienced a lot of racism. These two things have affected me and my upbringing and how I turned out as an adult. Certainly these are issue that I continue to fight against as I know how much it can affect one’s life, particularly as a child. One of my favourite places to visit is Gariwerd. You might now it as the Grampians. Gariwerd is a very spiritual place for Aboriginal people, because of the dreaming stories and the abundance of food, water and shelter it provides. Gariwerd also has around 90% of the rock art sites in Victoria. It’s my matriarchal, ancestral connection where I can heal. It’s my space. ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the me
    Read more »
  31. Renting Or Buying? The Big Housing Question
    Renting Or Buying? The Big Housing Question
    Does it make better economic sense to buy or rent a property now? According to Curtin University’s property guru, senior property lecturer Dr J-Han Ho, it’s an issue which requires careful research and consideration. "Housing is the goto investment for many people," he says."But unfortunately that well known saying 'as safe as houses' is not exactly correct. "Houses don’t always increase in value. Some property in this current economic period has gone down in value. So, many people would be in negative equity right now because they put all their assets into their home. But it could be just a case of the wrong time and in the wrong location." While Dr Ho acknowledges that interest rates have rarely been lower since the Reserve Bank Of Australia pruned the official cash rate to 0.1% with the promise that they will not rise greatly for at least the next three to five years, he believes there’s many other factors to consider. "There’s still a lot of uncertainty around employment and the economy particularly in New South Wales, Victoria and now possibly South Australia with a recent Covid outbreak there," he explains. "And at the same time the cost of housing is just way more expensive especially in NSW and Victoria, so the risk of defaulting is higher." Meanwhile, according to a 2019 study by EY (formerly Ernest & Young) those who rent properties may be better off than buyers. This is especially pertinent at the moment with rents falling in Sydney and Melbourne through less demand, especially from international students and also those who have found it safest to return to their family homes amid Covid. In a detailed analysis on renting versus buying, EY reached a conclusion that, over a 10-year period, the renter comes out better off with more disposable income available. And for the young, who wish to benefit from government initiatives including the First Home Buyers Grants, there’s plenty of risks in buying a property at this time, according to Dr Ho. "Whenever we have job losses, the younger people with less experience and training are the ones in the firing line. Instead it’s the Goldilocks zones - those between 30 and 40 with at least 10 years job experience and training, who have a better chance of staying employed," he says. Dr Ho further argues that millennials often go into the housing market blindly without thinking about their future mobility. "They may consider moving interstate or overseas, he explains. "And their needs might also be very different as they mature, so they’re no longer interested in the ultimate bachelor pad but somewhere to bring up a family close to child care, shops, transport and schools." And while lenders are currently more flexible when it comes to deposits, which helps to attract new borrowers, Dr Ho is also not convinced that this is a good thing. "In their golden era, the banks preferred a deposit of 20%. This was not just about creating a good buffer against defaults but it indicated that the person applying for that loan had the financial control to manage their funds and save for that deposit. By these implications, they would also be good at paying off their mortgage," he says. On the other hand, those hoping to take advantage of low interest rates with an investment property are also advised to spend time on research, according to Dr Ho. "There’s a big difference in housing investments and other investments." he explains. "If you are clear about investing in the share market versus investing in houses, I would say invest in the share market because it’s what you understand Housing is the investment that most people will go into without doing as much homework. For example, before someone puts in $10,000 to buy BHP shares, they would put in 50 hours of research in understanding how to invest money in shares," he says. "But those same people might just spend a few hours looking for houses which are a much greater investment. It just doesn’t make any sense." Dr Ho finally cautions that there’s no easy prescription to renting or buying in this climate with so many different factors involved. "The best advice," he says, "is just not to rush into anything." ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the me
    Read more »
  32. Meet the Maker: Lawrence Harris Director of Harry’s Ice Cream
    Meet the Maker: Lawrence Harris Director of Harry’s Ice Cream
    Buy Aussie Now Team This story was written by several Buy Aussie Now team members. Harry’s Ice Cream Co is a premium ice cream range from Harry & Larry’s, an Australian owned business, dedicated to creating indulgent, locally produced, quality products using Australian dairy. They started making artisan ice cream in 1994 and now Harry’s four flavours are found in Woolworths and IGA stores across Australia - Salted Caramel Fudge, Triple Choc Brownie, Chocolate & Peanut Butter Fudge and Peppermint Brownie. How did you start your homegrown business? When we first started making ice cream, it was all made in small batches, five litres at a time (no more than a total of 20 litres in an hour so not much at all!) at the back of our first store in Chadstone. We mixed everything ourselves, starting with fresh cream and ending with the addition of generous chunks of chocolate for our New York Choc Chip. Our ice cream became a big hit and in Summer it sold as fast as we could make it. Then as it became more popular we moved into our current factory in Hadfield (Victoria) and now produce over 4 million litres of ice cream per year, employing local workers and using dairy from Aussie farmers. What inspires you? We are passionate about delicious high-quality products using Australian dairy. We are always looking at what our customers want but also what’s next with trends and innovation in food, health and ingredients. As a family-run business, supporting other local companies is important to us, as is doing our part for the environment. We’re inspired by Harry’s fans who love our ice cream and make us want to create indulgent ice cream for them and their families. What are the benefits of manufacturing locally? We’ve always supported local dairy farmers as we know that their milk is fresh, high quality and creates jobs for local communities. Our manufacturing plant produces over 10 million sticks and tubs of ice cream every year and we can be flexible and move quickly if needed, whether that be to produce additional stock, create new flavours or experiment with a different product. You don’t have that flexibility with overseas production. Also our turn around times are less and there’s also less handling and transit of our products from the factory to retailer to consumer’s homes – and mouths! What makes the Australian consumer unique? Australian consumers are very savvy, they know what they like and what they don’t like – and they’re not afraid to tell you. Social media has provided a great platform for us to engage with Harry’s fans and ask them what they want from us with flavour, texture and ingredients, but also have fun with them creating recipes and different ways to use Harry’s ice cream. With the push for Australian made, they’ve become even more vocal in what they expect from brands. If you’re honest and transparent with them, you can turn them into long time consumers who are real ambassadors for you and your products. What is the best business advice you have ever received? Understanding that it’s been a tough time for many businesses, especially in Victoria, from a position of relative luxury, one of the best pieces of advice given to me is that patience is the key to success. With patience, there’s room for productivity and time to think about your plans and next move. If you can take some time, don’t be too anxious, wait it out, think about your challenges and opportunity for growth – then make your move. What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business? As the demand for Harry’s Ice Cream began to grow, we knew we needed bigger premises to increase our production capacity. One of the biggest challenges was moving from our smaller Brunswick factory to our current premises in Hadfield. Anyone who has moved their business will understand the general logistics of moving, however we also substantially increased our scale of operation and with that, we needed to assess and adapt our production processes and systems. It took a while but was worth the effort and time it took. What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic? Thankfully everyone has been eating a lot of ice cream during lockdown, which we’re very grateful for! For us, we were lucky that food production was considered an essential service so we could continue to produce our products and ensure Harry’s fans could still get their favourite flavours. It’s been great to see consumers treating themselves to ice cream during lockdown and telling us they’ve been enjoying our products. If we’ve been able to make people feel just a little bit better during this time, that’s a really good thing. What was your first job? My first job was as a paperboy, standing on the corner of Balaclava and Hawthorn Roads, selling newspapers to passersby. Many regulars let me ‘keep the change’ so that was a good way to increase my pocket money! Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry? Always in the fridge at our place. Favourite Australian film quote? “Tell him he’s dreaming” – from the classic film, The Castle. Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke? I’m not sure that karaoke is really my thing. However, I do love Eagle Rock by Daddy Cool. Check out Harry's Ice Cream for deliciously indulgent, locally crafted, authentic Australian Ice Cream.
    Read more »
  33. Anyone Home? The Art Of Unexpected Entertaining
    Anyone Home? The Art Of Unexpected Entertaining
    How to embrace the simple joy of having people over again? Forget fancy dinner parties and celebrity-inspired entertaining, humble is the new black in hospitality. During the peak of Covid lockdowns, the art of “popping in” on someone had become as redundant as hotel buffets; a seemingly lost social relic of the past.. Our innocence, along with a decent dose of spontaneity was lost this past year, but as we slowly return to our regular programming, I for one am desperate to reengage with an in-person chinwag over a cuppa, rather than a fuzzy FaceTime call.. And as we approach longer days and warmer nights, the call of the cicadas and waft of mosquito repellent is finally luring us back into the habit of “having people over.”. That’s right, not “hosting” or even “entertaining”, just the simple joy of having your neighbour unexpectedly pop in; or inviting a colleague over after work without even being sure if last night’s dishes are still stacked in the sink; or catching up with some friends for a quick afternoon drink only to fire up the barbecue hours later for dinner. This new era of entertaining isn’t about creating the most Instagram worthy-dinner party with seven courses, matched wines, layered crockery and handmade linen napkins. This is about blissfully informal fare, enjoying the company of others and using paper towel in lieu of napkins. Because the best part is, it’s not planned for. Even as a child I remember our family calling into friend’s houses for a “quick visit” only for all the kids to be sprawled on the loungeroom carpet four hours later watching Hey Hey its Saturday while the parents sat at the kitchen table talking and laughing. They were not fancy nights. They weren’t for the benefit of posting about it to social media. No one had dressed up. In all honesty, the most decadent thing we would have eaten was a supermarket vol-au-vent. For the most part it would have been chips and dips. Of course, there are some key products that allow us to accommodate friends and family in an unfussy, laidback way such as local wines, spirits and mixers, grab-and-go snack selections and an aromatic tea or coffee on constant standby; as well as homewares that create a cosy environment such as large platters and ottomans that double as a side table or extra seating. It is undeniable that there is something particularly Australian about hearty and generous hospitality — even when it’s not planned for. It’s in our DNA to make people feel at home; to always have enough to share among an unexpected guest or two. And it’s a gesture that is universally appreciated for the privilege that it is: an open invitation to be treated as part of the family. Shop the trend: Instant Entertaining ABOUT THE WRITER Anna Byrne grew up in Bendigo in regional Victoria before moving to Melbourne where she enjoyed a decade-long career as a columnist for the Herald Sun, becoming one of Australia’s most recognised lifestyle voices. Renowned for her insightful and humorous musings on the world of fashion and beyond, her take on style is both witty and refreshingly non-elitist. Anna loves musicals, McLaren Vale Chardonnay, the Melbourne footy club and can quote Muriel’s Wedding, verbatim. A passionate campaigner for small business, Anna is excited to join Buy Aussie Now as a freelance contributor.
    Read more »
Latest news
  • Anyone Home? The Art Of Unexpected Entertaining
    Aussies Choose Homemade Over Chinese Products
    Throw an Australian lobster on the barbie this year. Well, perhaps not quite. Our local lobsters should be treated with the reverence that their heavenly, sweet flesh deserves. But there’s certainly more crayfish  available this year and at a good price, following restrictions placed on Australian imports by China.   It’s just one of a raft of limitations on our imports that’s been brought about by escalating trade tensions between the two countries, which began with Australia’s insistence on an enquiry into the origins of Covid 19.   China is our largest trading partner with two-way trade reaching a record $252 billion in 2019 and accounting for 27.4% of Australia’s trade with the world, according to figures compiled by Australian wealth management company, BT. This is far higher than that of Australia’s next largest trading partner, Japan, where two-way trade was $88.5 billion in 2019.   The significant trade partnership covers many industries. According to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, China is Australia’s primary export market. It’s also a major source of direct foreign investment and our largest agricultural goods market.   Some of the restrictions include an 80% tariff on Australian barley imports, which has lead to a ban on Australia’s biggest grain exporter and the suspension of beef imports from five major meat-processing plants. It’s been crippling for our farmers and has  ricocheted all the way onto the Australian stock market with some share prices falling.   Our wine exports also took a massive hit in November after China imposed tariffs of up to 212 percent on Aussie wines. This is while a lengthy investigation takes place into the supposed dumping of Australian wine in the region. China is Australia’s biggest wine export market, receiving about 37% of Australian wine exports, worth more than $800 million.   This move on Aussie wine has had immediate effects around the world with political leaders from the US, UK, European Union, Japan, Germany, Italy and New Zealand, encouraging everyone to drink Australian wine is response to what is seen to be an unfair move by China.   Meanwhile China officially banned Australian coal imports on Tuesday, throwing the $14 billion export industry into turmoil and leaving vessels stranded off the Chinese coastline, keen to offload thermal coal to their Chinese buyers.   The message is clear this is the time for all of us to get behind Australian-made goods to support and strengthen our local manufacturers, while lessening the effects of the trade wars.   It comes down to mindful shopping and always looking for the distinctive Australian-made label. It’s about choosing to shop online on  the Buy Aussie Now site where everything is locally manufactured with new brands joining daily.   Buy Aussie Now is a showcase of Australian quality and originality that includes wine, fashion, homewares, toys, jewels and artisan foods. Many are award winning.    The effects of choosing to shop online this way are immediate as households spending an estimated $50 a week buying Australian-made goods would deliver a $30 billion boost to fuel the nation’s pandemic recovery and boost thousands of jobs.   Also boosting the nation’s Covid recovery in a different way is making plans to entertain outdoors at  barbecues and picnics. You can’t beat the fresh air  or the simple goodness of a chargrilled Aussie steak, lamb or fresh seafood.   This brings us back to those lobsters. According to the latest trade figures,  the Australian rock lobster exports are valued at around $752 million a year with  reports  from 2018 -19 showing that 94% of exports went to China. But earlier this year, China delayed imports of Australian live lobsters, which left this valuable export at serious risk of spoiling at Chinese airports waiting to be inspected.   So, we should treat ourselves to a festive Aussie lobster or two and find just the right foods and wine to accompany them on the Buy Aussie Now website. This means we’ll be doing the right thing twice over.
  • Anyone Home? The Art Of Unexpected Entertaining
    Are Co-Working Spaces And Shared Offices The Future?
    Is remote working from home the way of the future? According to some statistics, around 85% of us would prefer never to return to the office even after the pandemic. However there’s an increasing number of negatives to working from home that are being aired on social media platforms and in comment pieces. Chief among them are feelings of isolation. Taking a shared coffee break on Zoom, while a novel experience, is nowhere near as satisfying as exchanging `war stories’ in person. The other gripes include never really leaving work but not being paid for all those extra hours. Plus the stress of trying to get it all done in a family environment. At the same time, many are reluctant to return to the CBD with its skyscrapers, cramped elevators and the discomfort of a long morning and evening commute, especially with Covid still seeding in the community. It all seems counter-intuitive to the way we wish to live now. Professor Warren Hogan, former ANZ Chief Economist and a global authority on banking and financial markets, who is the UTSSydney Business School’s inaugural Executive-in-Residence believes that in the future, many will divide their work week between the office and home. "There are increasingly firms who are permanently going to allow staff to spend a percentage of time working from home. However the reality is that we have to get through the end of the pandemic before it’s going to be clear to what extent this will be," he says. "I think the drop in demand for office space from the shift around working from home is going to be somewhere from one day a week to two and a half days a week. And what that translates into is for the existing office demand to fall between 20 to 50%,” he says. "However if it grows from 40% to 50% in those working from home this is not going too have good implications for the building industry. Perhaps we need a halfway point between the CBD office and the home? A new development, 101 Moray in South Melbourne, styles itself as a health and wellness business destination. One which incorporates seven levels of office and retail space with luxury business and lifestyle facilities throughout. These include air purification, spatial design, meditation spaces and even a sport arena. Central House, on the ground floor at 101 Moray, is pitched at creative businesses with memberships allowing access to virtual offices, open desks, dedicated desks and private offices. "Co-working is community based office space with a lot of flexibility." says Jonathan Deague, managing director of the Deague Group - a 161-year-old integrated property development company, which owns and operates 101 Moray. “People want to enter environments where they also have the opportunity of networking with other businesses and also to have more enjoyable office space." Deague says that this flexibility is really important during Covid with many businesses pivoting to new areas and therefore growing at different rates. He points out that committing to a long lease in a CBD office block might not make great sense right now as businesses expand and contract. "At Central House, we also think it’s important to have a space where people can come together in a socialising hub. We have basketball courts, gyms and a mini sports arena, so there’s a focus on health and wellness. All this helps in attracting talent." Professor Hogan sees some merits in this new approach. "If we’re going to have a whole new way of thinking about the office to include recreational and health related facilities, this could be a positive for the building industry," he says. "This would mean there would be a lot of construction going on as offices are reconfigured. "After all, in the short time, the economics are being put to one side and that might take a year or two," he adds. "We just have to get through the pandemic." ABOUT THE WRITER Ros Reines is a Sydney journalist and the author of four books. She is currently penning her fifth - a memoir of a life in the me