The ‘Buy from the Bush’ movement has taken off across Australia.One person who has made a huge difference within the movement is Jenn Donovan. She has effectively harnessed the power of social media to (1) raise awareness of the struggles of rural businesses and (2) connect them with a larger support-base across the country.
She has embarked on a push to bring the ‘Buy from the Bush’ movement into Mother’s Day Stalls around Australian schools.
- Click here to join the ‘Mother’s Day Stall’ Buy from the Bush page to access the pdf document with suitable businesses and products.
- Click here to join the main Buy from a Bush Business group to see the ways that you can support small rural businesses more broadly.
Jenn’s ‘Buy from a Bush Business’ Facebook group, with over 200,000 members, is a very active community that has made a huge impact. One member shared that she made $13,000 worth of sales in the three days after posting her product in the group.
Another bush business owner, Brooke Purvis from ‘Gone Camo’ based in Singleton NSW, says she is forever grateful for Jenn’s work. “Jenn saved my family from having to choose to send the cattle off the farm. She sure is amazing and it would be wonderful for everyone to know just how much time and effort she puts into this group.” Brooke is now volunteering her time to help Jenn co-ordinate the Buy from the Bush Mother’s Day Stall efforts.
I spoke with Jenn Donovan about the #buyfromthebush movement as well as her hopes for the Mother’s Day Stall campaign.
Mandy: When did you begin the Buy from the Bush page?
Jenn: End of October 2019
Mandy: What was your main motivation behind the page?
Jenn: My other business (or real business) is called Social Media and Marketing Australia (see it here on Facebook) – I host workshops all around rural areas of NE Vic and the Riverina (where I live) and I just kept hearing that people weren’t looking forward to Christmas – by people I mean business owners – because of the drought. If the farmers don’t have money, towns don’t have money.
Buy from the Bush was starting to get some traction on Instagram but my workshop attendees and clients didn’t know how to get picked up or had been trying with no luck.
So on a drive home from Hay in NSW, I came up with a plan to start a Facebook group because that way they could just post themselves and invite my clients and my friends, hoping that they might get a few more sales heading into Christmas to an audience perhaps they wouldn’t normally reach.
They did and so did SO many more!
Mandy: What is your great hope for it?
Jenn: I hope it continues as a movement. Connecting the bush with the city and showcasing the talent of so many and helping small businesses survive in towns that are quite reliant on the farming community that surrounds them.
We have a podcast coming out real soon to help tell the stories of some of our group members, a website on its way, and so many more assets to help promote the bush, and the businesses in it.
It’s only the start of the movement!
Mandy: When did you realise a lot of the products would be suitable for school mother’s day stalls?
Jenn: We had an album set up in the group for products under $5 and we had so many inquiries that Brooke, my co-admin, ran with it and set up another group specifically for this purpose. I think people want to know when the Father’s day one is coming now!
Pop up groups like this are a sensational idea and get people involved for just the right amount of time. It’s been a great success and something that we can say we have also offered our group members.
Mandy: Did you expect ‘Buy from the Bush’ to take off as it has?
Jenn: No. Short answer. No. And if you scroll back all the way to the beginning you can see that. I have posts going “YAY, 2,000 members”, YAY 10,000 members – little did I know it would pass 200,000.
It’s been a journey, it’s been a massive learning curve and has brought so much to so many, not just income (but definitely income) but a sense of community and belonging to so many.
I can honestly say I have seen the best of humanity through this group.
If you are interested in stocking #buyfromthebush products at your Mother’s Day Stall, I encourage you to join the specific Facebook group where they have compiled a large pdf document with suitable products, contact details and minimum order quantities.
If you’re planning on placing orders, please keep in mind that you’ll need to organise this as early as possible.
Examples of products in the list include:
Made by Lacey – beautiful bracelets.
Cross N Sew – beautiful little lavender pillows.
Roses of Blue – amazing scrunchies.
The Bear and Bees – amazing honey pots and lip balms.
Our Goats Soap – beautiful goat soap and washer packs and goats milk lip balm.
Story Book Cakes– yummy little packet of Cake in a mug mix.
In a pickle– yummy dry dip mixes.
Krafts by Amy – pretty resin studs.
Leasy Lou Designs – cute beaded key rings.
Sew weez- stunning face washers and shower steamer sets
Serao Pretties – gorgeous earrings
Originally published 6 March, 2020
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