Meet The Maker: Supriya Owner Of Kiraana
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Meet the makerMeet 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!
BusinessLearning 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.
Meet the makerMeet 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!