buyfromthebush brings hope for country retailers | Photos, pictures

AN INITIATIVE to help bush economies survive the drought and capture trade has been given the thumbs up by the region's retailers who say it is making a huge difference.

Buy from the Bush is a social media page and hashtag that encourages people near and far to support country retailers doing it tough.

The initiative is the brainchild of Grace Brennan of the Warren district and it has more than 273,000 followers on its Facebook and Instagram pages combined.

HELPING HAND: Cowra interior designer and owner of Unearthed Homewares, Ingrid Mansley, says the Buy from the Bush campaign is a fantastic initiative to help country retailers. Photo: KELSEY SUTOR

HELPING HAND: Cowra interior designer and owner of Unearthed Homewares, Ingrid Mansley, says the Buy from the Bush campaign is a fantastic initiative to help country retailers. Photo: KELSEY SUTOR

Cowra interior designer and owner of Unearthed Homewares, Ingrid Mansley, said #buyfromthebush has not only increased her sales but allowed her to provide more hours for her casual worker.

Tea towels from her store was featured on the Buy from the Bush's Facebook page and the impact was immediate.

"I've had this huge influx of likes on my page and I sold out that evening," Ms Mansley said.

"It blew me away, it's been absolutely amazing."

Parkes mother and daughter duo Cath and Lucy King have run their store Mama Bear for the past eight years and said Buy from the Bush has changed everything.

HELPING HAND: Parkes woman Cath King, who co-owns children's clothing and gift store Mama Bear, says the Buy from the Bush campaign is a fantastic initiative to help country retailers. Photo: SUPPLIED

HELPING HAND: Parkes woman Cath King, who co-owns children's clothing and gift store Mama Bear, says the Buy from the Bush campaign is a fantastic initiative to help country retailers. Photo: SUPPLIED

"Within 24 hours [of being featured on social media] we had 80 orders online," she said.

"This never happens, we might get 10 orders a week.

"I even had an order from [journalist and presenter] Ben Fordham."

Mama Bear's handmade clothing, accessories and giftboxes have been featured twice on Buy from the Bush's social media sites, with the second feature resulting in just as many sales for the duo.

In Forbes, Painted Daisies Gift Shoppe owner Janet Callaghan has had a similar reaction from the campaign.

HELPING HAND: Painted Daisies Gift Shoppe owner Janet Callaghan says Buy from the Bush has helped to grow her business in Forbes. Photo: RENEE POWELL

HELPING HAND: Painted Daisies Gift Shoppe owner Janet Callaghan says Buy from the Bush has helped to grow her business in Forbes. Photo: RENEE POWELL

"I had a lady from overseas contact me who wanted a gift voucher for Christmas," she said.

"Even if they're not coming out to Forbes, they're buying online.

"Buy from the Bush has been fantastic."

Young man Jock Pattinson said the drought is not only impacting farmers, nearby towns are quiet with less money being spent and retailers struggling.

HELPING HAND: Young brothers Jock and Clancy Pattinson say the Buy from the Bush campaign has helped them to grow their business. Photo: SUPPLIED

HELPING HAND: Young brothers Jock and Clancy Pattinson say the Buy from the Bush campaign has helped them to grow their business. Photo: SUPPLIED

"Regional areas have a lethargic kind of feel ... it's a real life-sucking thing," he said.

Along with his brother Clancy, the duo run Tents 'n' Trees which make reusable Christmas trees and also sell pop-up tents for picnics or the beach.

Jock said the Buy from the Bush campaign had created a greater awareness of the drought in metropolitan areas.

"Within 24 hours of being featured [on the campaign's social media site] we'd received 110 orders," he said.

"It's been an incredible thing and we're incredibly proud to have been a part of it."

HELPING HAND: Cootamundra woman Anne Faulks owns Wrapped homewares and gift store says Bush from the Bush is having an impact on businesses like hers. Photo: THOMAS GOSLING

HELPING HAND: Cootamundra woman Anne Faulks owns Wrapped homewares and gift store says Bush from the Bush is having an impact on businesses like hers. Photo: THOMAS GOSLING

Cootamundra woman Anne Faulks said people across Australia were now "finding" her gift and homewares stores called Wrapped because of the initiative.

"A school in Brisbane found us through Buy from the Bush and ordered end of year gifts from us," she said.

Ms Faulks encouraged the community to continue to support its local stores and said every dollar that stayed in the region was a huge benefit.

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