So a funny thing happened in October. I saw a post on Facebook about a new selling page that had started up called ‘One day closer to rain (drought) – rural cottage crafts”. From this page sprung the#buyfromthebush and #gocountryforChristmas tags that also went just as wild. These quickly went viral and became my entry into the “Buy from the Bush” movement.
This movement focused on the myriad of talented rural crafters who make pretty much everything that you can think of. It advertised the wares of Australian rural crafters from Drought Affected areas from all corners of Australia. It gave City Shoppers an opportunity to connect with thousands of Rural Sellers who would normally be stuck battling Facebook algorithms or the Weather at the local rural markets in order to sell their hearts work. Thousands of Hand Crafted goods were wrapped and popped under the Christmas Tree with a nice added dose of Warm Fuzzies for the Gift Giver as they knew that their purchase actually meant something to the seller.
These purchases helped so many farming and rural families to put food on the table and presents under their own tree. Not to mention the truckloads of animal fodder it bought for livestock, or water deliveries so people and animals alike could quench their thirst.
This movement also helped my family to be able celebrate Christmas, allow my son to go to his first ever School Camp, replace our old car which was on its last legs as well as simply put food on the table. Not to mention the huge boost to my self esteem knowing that the little business I had been plugging away at actually had a future.
So why was this movement so successful? Why did so many people decide all at once to support small rural businesses instead of the easy and familiar corporate retail that they usually gravitated towards?
Drought affected Rural areas have been getting a fair bit of attention lately. Our current Drought has been longer and dryer than usual; and the current spate of Bush Fires have also really shone the light on the fact the regular rural Australians are struggling at the moment. Our Groceries are more expensive, our travelling times for essential services are longer (and lets not even discuss the waiting times for medical issues). But we are all pretty used to that. It is the price we pay for living in wide open spaces, for being able to see the horizon, and the sparkling Milky Way in all its majesty at night. I think that Australians, no matter where they live, be it the City or the Country are feeling the pull of being part of our great nation. We may have politicians who seem to be inept or corrupt, we may have natural disasters and a harsh (albeit beautiful) environment that sometimes feels like an oven on “High”. But we also have an amazing culture that seems to enable us to put our differences aside in tough times and pull together to get through whatever is facing us. It is said the Australian Bush needs fire for it to regenerate. I think the Australian Culture is the same, we need adversity to remind us that we are all in it together.
I reckon that is what the #Buyfromthebush movement tapped into. It gave average Australians a feeling of helping out, no matter how small the gesture was. It was received and appreciated. I know that every sale that I made left me feeling excited, energized and invigorated. There were quite a few Happy Dances that were done in my kitchen over those first few weeks. It also gave me a determination to turn my wobbly little business into something more solid. It has given my the taste of what can be, and the resolve to put the work and planning in place to get there.
So to each and every person who dropped into my messages or emails enquiringly about our wraps or workshops or Essential Oils, THANK YOU!!! Thank You for you interest, for your orders, and for your words of encouragement. You guys rock! And you honestly made my Year!!!