Our Businesses Share Their 2021 Tips

Our Businesses Share Their 2021 Tips

Since the Buy Aussie Now marketplace went live this January, it’s become an Australian manufacturing love in and a celebration of our stunning natural resources and all the organic produce that our continent has to offer.

Buy Aussie Now is so much more than a retail platform. It speaks to a way of life that will allow us all to become self- sufficient and to employ more people, especially in  rural areas that have borne the brunt of natural disasters including drought, bush fires and floods.

However the Aussie spirit is not only about resilience but about ingenuity and always finding a way forward. To that end, the site is growing with over 6250 registered sellers with more than 100 new brands joining each week. We’re also flourishing on social media with in excess of 45,000 Instagram followers and a newsletter audience of 30,000. That’s certainly a lot of potential shoppers browsing in our store.

This week, we’re asking some of the people behind the Buy Aussie Now brands to share the love and tell us about their experiences on the site.

Emily Whishaw of fashion label, Isle Of Summer is new to Buy Aussie Now but the former chartered accountant from Queensland, already feels a sense of triumph for being able to promote and sell her ethically and locally sourced label on the site. 

“I have a lot of devotees on my social media channels who expect me to be transparent about how my clothing ranges are made,” she says.

"In the past I manufactured in Bali and it has been a challenge to not only source material in Australia but also everything else that goes with it including the buttons and the threads. It’s been particularly tough during the pandemic - not only in finding people to work but to buy our clothes in tough economic conditions.

"The Buy Aussie Now site is finally a step forward in getting our message out to customers. I design clothes for women of all sizes and they’re immensely practical and adaptable. The Isle of Summer ranges can be adapted to be worn through pregnancy and beyond. I don’t believe in fast fashion but in garments that will be treasured always."

Robert Pearse of Olive’s Olives, was  established in 2008 and is a family run, 300-tree grove in the heart of the Macedon Ranges just north of Kyneton in Victoria. The whole green and black olives are handpicked and naturally cured and preserved and Olive’s Olives also makes Pure Olive Paste.

"We’re still recovering after being run off our feet in the lead up to the festive season when we were supplying olives for the popular Buy Aussie Now hampers, “ says Robert Pearse, ``and we’re now hoping that the Easter hampers will be just as enticing. It was also great to be promoted with other great artisan brands. “

Helen Mansbridge, a former speech pathologist, now has the  Tasmanian brand, Pili Pala Pieces. She became a huge fan of The Buy Aussie Now platform when one of her handmade vases was mentioned on a BAN Instagram post and the post went viral, bringing a non-stop stream of new customers.

Pili Pala is actually the Welsh name for butterfly and also the nickname for her daughter. (Helen and her husband spent time working in Wales before returning to Australia).

Helen has always loved creating beautiful pieces with natural resources. However it’s her earrings including studs, hoops and drop earrings that are proving the greatest magnet for Buy Aussie Now sales.

Peter Ralph of the Rusty Owl Sunbury is currently battling Victoria’s lockdowns, which are having an adverse effect on his business.

"Customers are losing confidence as they don’t know what will happen next,” he says. However Buy Aussie Now has provided a destination for shoppers wishing to invest in the luxury of the `Rusty Owl’s Aussie-made soaps including Lemon Myrtle, Lemongrass and French Pea, which they have found comforting. The various lockdowns have also lead to a boost in homewares and `Rusty Owl’s metal garden creatures including fairies and kangaroos have become increasingly popular.

"I think Buy Aussie Now is a fabulous concept, “ says Karen Enis of Me & Amber - the stationery brand, which includes whimsical greeting cards and notepaper, as well as exquisite tea towels, who have marketed through Buy Aussie Now since the earliest days.

Each greeting card and notebook in their collection is screen printed by Karen and Amber, one by one, in their Sydney studio. The duo keep the environment in mind with sustainable materials including recycled paper, water-based inks and durable fabrics. They produce all their work in Australia.

Right now, the pair, who have known each other since their school days, are gearing up for the Mother’s Day sales, which are certain to be a feature of the Buy Aussie Now site.

"At the very least, we’re hoping that everyone will want to personalise their gifts with one of our cards,” says Karen. "We’re always on message, which means investing in Australia.”

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Meet The Maker: Patrizia Tresca Director of Butt Naked Body
Butt Naked is an Aussie born & bred skincare company curating clean, simple and honest plant-based skinfood, without compromising on quality, the environment or ethics. Inspired by real-life & real people, they strip it back to basics because self-care should be easy, fun, personal and compassionate. Free from animal-derived ingredients, certified Palm Oil and cruelty-free, means skinfood junkies and furry friend lovers can make compassionate choices without compromise. Butt Naked donate 5% of profits to save-a-dog scheme. How did you start your homegrown business?Growing up I was always concerned about the environment, animals and had the less is more mentality - from the clothes I wore, the company I kept and the products I used, whether that may be food or skincare. Myself and my sister Sonia have always believed that skincare should be simple, easy and always cruelty-free. As I vegan growing up, I grew tired of searching for vegan products that were reliable and trustworthy. Reading Gobbledygook claims, lengthy ingredients listings with super long words was timing consuming and frustrating. Butt Naked was born with our vision to keep keep it real and simple. And above all else, we wanted people to make compassionate choices without compromise. We were sure that looking after your skin could be simpler, healthier and feel a ton better. Less serious, more yay. What inspires you? - The world and its different cultures and traditions- Our Furry Friends. Our love for all animals inspires us to create 100% cruelty free and palm oil products.- Australian Flora + Fauna, Nature and the environment. What are the benefits of manufacturing locally?Manufacturing locally create transparency from start to finish on the production of our products. It has also allowed us to form strong working relationships with like minded local people and businesses. What is the best business advice you have ever received?This is more of a quote than a piece of advice but it’s something that I always take into account before I do anything.“Question everything. If you don’t question things, there’s no knowledge, no learning, no creativity, no freedom of choice, no imagination” - Heston Blumenthal What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in business?The main challenges we have encountered as business are supply chain transparency, sourcing sustainable and eco-friendly packaging and implementing a circular supply chain. We are focused on sourcing ingredients that use sustainable practices and that we can trace back. This can be quite challenging as you need to do a lot of digging and research to be confident you are making the right choice in supplier. Another challenge is palm oil. We are proud to say that all our products are certified palm oil free with the Orangutan Alliance. This is something we have always been committed too, but it does pose challenges and limitations when it comes to developing products. We have hit some roadblock in the past, but it is something we take seriously so we have learnt to pivot and find new ways of doing things which makes us a stronger brand in the long term. What has been your positive takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic?2020 really made us take a step back and assess our vision for the brand how we were tracking on implementing this vision. It has given us time to hone in on the core values of our brand which in turn open doors to some new opportunities in 2020 and 2021. What was your first job?My first job was and BiLo supermarket stacking shelves when I was 15. Do you keep your vegemite in the fridge or pantry?After opening - Fridge Which classic Aussie song would you perform at karaoke?Tomorrow - Silverchair What is your favourite Australian Snack? Vegemite + Avocado on toast What’s your Aussie spirit animal? Dingo - Because my fur baby is a dingo and we have an bond like no other :) Time for a road trip! Which famous Aussie destination are you visiting? Wilsons Prom - Victoria Check out Butt Naked Body on Buy Aussie Now!
We Feature Our Businesswomen on International Women's Day
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My Australian Life: Daisy Turnbull
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