Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain | shop online with businesses based in drought-affected areas

Shop online with these businesses located in drought-affected areas

Nikki Parkinson Fashion, Life 55 Comments

The super power of the Styling You community is our ability to get behind and support other women in need. Over the last couple of weeks we’ve done that through fundraising for Dress for Success Brisbane (our $10,000 raised will help 30 unemployed people get a leg up into a job – how GREAT is that?) and this week we’ve been supporting our rural sisters, women living in drought-affected areas of Australia but making a go of it in very tough times through their online businesses.

I caught The Today Show on Monday morning in among the chaos that is the start of the week. The team was in Dirranbandi, 600km west of Brisbane, and I saw Sylvia interviewing Karena, the owner of The Linen Cupboard, who had moved to the area more than seven years ago to live on her partner’s family sheep station. Two years in, she opened The Linen Cupboard to bring convenience to the people of the town, who would otherwise have to drive two hours to buy a gift or a new set of sheets.

What I learned from that interview was that businesses in these drought-affected towns need us to spend our city dollars with them. Relying on the dollars just in their communities, which have been hit hard by the drought, will not keep their businesses afloat. The danger in businesses like Karena’s closing is that with each closure, the sense of community is lessened. Men, women and children in drought-affected areas need that sense of community more than ever.

LIGHTBULB MOMENT … if a business is online but based in a drought-affected area, then city people shopping online could help boost the communities where those businesses are based. 

So, I took to Instagram and posted an Insta Story asking for people to share online businesses operating in affected rural areas. And share they did! Most of the businesses shared are owned and operated by other women, women who genuinely were stoked to be featured and linked to. I collated them all on the DROUGHT tab of my Instagram highlights but, below, I’ve taken that list and popped them into easy categories.

I’ve already been shopping and all that I ask that you consider is that when you next have to buy a gift – it’s never too early to plan Father’s Day and Christmas shopping – check out the links to each of these businesses. Your shopping will have a positive ripple effect within those communities.

And, if you own a lifestyle/fashion/gift store, why not contact any of the makers linked to below to see if they’d be keen to supply to you.

This is not to take away from the funding that’s needed for organisations working in drought-affected areas. I wholeheartedly support donating to those organisations. My friend Beth has listed them in her very comprehensive blog post about how we can help.

I’ve received some beautiful messages from store owners this week, grateful for the mention, yes, but just happy that we’re thinking about their plight and that we care. One thing that really struck me was the positive spirit that shined through in each message. Despite the current hardship, the feeling is: “every day is one day closer to rain”, as one store owner signed off her message to me. Another shared this quote with me below.

Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain | shop online with businesses based in drought-affected areas

FASHION/LIFESTYLE/HOME MAKERS

Poppy Lane Designs – Charleville, QLD (cute hand-painted clutches and earrings)

Button Boutique – cattle property between Tambo and Charleville, QLD (picked up an iPad case for Mr SY from here)

Jo Cuskelly Wearable Artwork – QLD (sneakers that will get you noticed!)

Coola Cozzies – Ilfracombe, QLD (fabulous rash vests)

JF Hides – Oakley, Longreach, QLD (I’ve got my eyes on those foot stools!)

Antola Trading – Molesworth Station, Richmond, QLD (colourful shirts for the whole family)

Lizzy & Me – Carinda, NSW (cute clutches and earrings – please re-stock the lemons!)

Gidgee Smith Bags – Morven, QLD (tough colourful bags for all purposes – can also be custom-made for businesses)

Uralla Wool Room – Uralla, NSW (fabulous Merino clothing pieces)

Greenwood Designs – Molong, NSW (handmade earrings, bangles and necklaces, as well as scarves and leather clutches)

Our Rustic Roots – Willow Tree, NSW (ready made and made-to-order decor signs)

Quandialla Candle Company – Quandialla, NSW (handmade soy and beeswax candles in vintage-style packaging)

Koolaman – Balranald, NSW (individual timeless jewellery for both men and women)

Letto Bello Linen – Walcha NSW (linen sold by a beautiful company with a fighting spirit) 

Gidyea Gear – Blackwater, QLD (Ladies and children’s fashion and accessories, sportswear and dance wear)

Peppertree Quality Clothing – Cobram, VIC (Ladies and men’s fashion and accessories)

Diversity Fashion – Bathurst, NSW (A fabulous range of ladies fashion with a body positive attitude) 

Millwoods – Wagga Wagga, NSW (children’s shoes) 

Annette Piper – Coolah, NSW (jewellery) 

Passenger – Barcaldine, QLD (refined, premium maternity and nursing wear)

Note Couture – Condobolin, NSW and Quambone, NSW (personalised stationery and invitations) 

FASHION/LIFESTYLE/HOME CURATORS

Entire Me – 60km west of Dalby, QLD (I’ve already featured Sarah’s earrings – love her collection)

The Linen Cupboard – Dirranbandi, QLD (I want to drive out to visit this store and meet Karena)

Central Stores – Gilgandra, NSW (lots of label favourites here)

Cint – Young, NSW (a label range to rival a city boutique)

Stage One Fashions – Goondiwindi, QLD (a lot of my faves here including Philosophy, Binny, Mela Purdie, Sacha Drake)

Gifts at Teacup – Roma, QLD (a one-stop online gift shop)

Alexis Dawn – Gillespie Station, Blackall, QLD (love the label mix but also that this boutique which is run from the family cattle property travels to country stock shows)

Lucknow Skin Shop and Boot Barn – Lucknow, NSW (a bale will be donated with every customer purchase who mentions they found this store through Styling You)

Bowerbox – QLD (some of the best gift boxes I’ve ever seen – so beautifully curated)

Inky and Moss – Roma, QLD (gorgeous pieces from some of my fave labels)

Lazy Sunday Lifestyle – Dubbo, NSW (homewares, gifts, fashion, furniture, art and baby items)

The Magic Pudding – Tamworth, NSW (food, hampers, giftware, homewares, accessories and clothing with a touch of fun)

Hello Hattie – Dubbo, NSW (great curation of effortless fashion pieces)

Olive and Clover – Cowra, NSW (spotted lots of faves including Catherine Murphy and Elm Lifestyle)

Stones Throw – Walgett, NSW (I’ve fallen hard for the linen!)

Country Traders Home Life – Narromine, NSW (great fashion basics and gift ideas)

Jumbled – Orange, NSW (beautiful art and everything I’d like to fill my home with)

Mink and Me – Coonamble, NSW (fun clothing, accessories, homewares and gifts)

The Gift Closet – Dubbo, NSW (home decor, fashion and gifts)

The Drawing Board boutique – Blackall, QLD (Dreamy fashion and accessories)

Spinifex Collections – Longreach, QLD (homewares with a difference)

Exchange Stores – Nundle, NSW (one of the most extensive ranges of enamelware available in Australia)

Spoilt Warialda – Warialda, NSW (gorgeous knitwear, homewares and jewellery)

Grenfell Shoes – Grenfell, NSW (great range of shoes with regular sales)

The Tin Cupboard – Grenfell, NSW (handbags and lovely giftware)

Jewelz n Things – Young, NSW ( womens boutique, as the name suggests this company sells jewels and things)

Dubbo Home and Gifts – Dubbo, NSW (giftware, accessories and home decor)

The Herd Store – Scone, NSW (women’s fashion and lifestyle – stocking some fabulous labels) 

Little Extras Lifestyle – Forbes, NSW (women’s fashion and accessories) 

RK Weston Wear – Windorah, QLD (western-styled clothing and accessories) 

The Romantic Clothing Co – Trangie, NSW (affordable women’s fashion and accessories) 

Hip Digs – Griffith, NSW (women’s fashion, accessories and homewares) 

Susie’s Gifts Galore – Roma, QLD (fabulous fashion, homewares, art and much more) 

Back O’ Bourke Gallery – North Bourke, NSW (beautiful artwork, featuring outback and flora scenes) 

BEAUTY

Outback Scents – Charleville, QLD (made from local goat’s milk!)

Little Willow Lavender – Willow Tree, NSW (lavender soaps, oil, balms, moisturiser)

Ellie’s Range – north of Injune, QLD (handmade soaps, face, body and hair care products)

KIDS

Robin’s Nest for Children – Moree, NSW

Charlie & Co – Millthorpe, NSW

Tambo Teddies – Tambo, QLD

Kennedy The Label – Nyngan, NSW

Outback Threads – Tambo, QLD 

Gidyea Gear – Blackwater, QLD

ART

Kylie Mclean Art – Dalby, QLD

AK Bellinger Gallery – Inverell, NSW

Walcha Gallery of Art – Walcha, NSW

The Moree Gallery – Moree, NSW

PHOTOGRAPHY

The Real Deal Photography – Texas, QLD

Ange Stirling Photography – Dalby, QLD

Lisa Alexander Photography – Blackall, QLD

SERVICES

Off The Track Training – Dalkeith, Longreach, QLD (online fitness programs to do anywhere!)

So You Consulting – Birdsville, QLD (online stylist)

Zesty Mumma/Smarter Lifestyle Choices/The Abundance Effect – QLD (life coaches)

I’ll keep adding to this list as stores are shared with me (email [email protected] if you have a store to share). Please save this post and come back to it to check next time you’re looking to buy something as a gift – or for yourself.

It really will make each of these businesses do a happy dance!

So, tell me, have you shopped with any of these stores? What can you recommend?

Comments 55

  1. Bought some fabulous earrings and accessories from Gifts at Teacup (@ Roma but bought online) and Greenwood Designs – it was hard to resist as they were all reasonably priced. Both sent the items promptly and they were beautifully wrapped, such a gorgeous treat for myself. Greenwood Designs also prepared and delivered care packages to ladies in the drought, so it great to see a small business giving back. I will shopping again from these businesses in the future (if the bank account allows), so thanks for tips 🙂

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  2. Hi Nikki
    This is a great way for people to get behind the people suffering the effects of drought – directly or indirectly. I have a small jewellery studio on our farm in the central west of NSW (Coolah) and sales have been severely limited as most of my customers are rural and, understandably, no one on a farm is buying any thing classed as a luxury item. The sales I am making will be the only income we will be having for quite some time.

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  3. Thankyou Nikki, this is a really positive way to help us out. As wives of farmers, we often start our own business to supplement income and for a creative outlet. So chuffed to be included in your list! Kindest, Sarah (Quandialla Candle Co)

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  4. Great work Nikki – this made for a really fun way to shop around tonight to help others and get myself some presents for the Christmas season.

    Quite a few of the things I loved are sold out, I am hoping that’s because they have had support from other readers too.

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  5. What a great idea for shopping! I don’t have a website, instead I have my shirts on a Facebook page called Bohemian Bower. My hubby and I have worked on properties for years and now live in our van and work short term on properties while travelling Australia. I make my shirts and sell them along the way.

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  6. Nikki I think you can say this has had some success. I went to one of the sites to order some clutches and there are none left!! I hope they make some more soon!

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  7. I have a store in Windorah, Western QLD. RK WESTON WEAR. I found this as you tagged me in the Facebook post. This is such an amazing write up and I’m sure all the girls were just as excited as me to know we have support of people out there <3 Thanks again!!! XXX

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  8. Thank you so much Nikki, this certainly does help. I’m on a family farm at Moree and opened a business in town (Robins Nest for Children) to assist with an off-farm income, so I’m feeling this from both ends. When there are no crops or stock there is simply no money circulating around the town, and the impact lasts for months. It affects everybody – we have shops closing in town, jobs disappearing which means families end up leaving, the whole town is feeling desperate. And it’s just so, so brown and dusty everywhere! So thank you to everyone who supports our little bush businesses. I’m definitely one of those doing a happy dance when you order from me xx

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  9. This is such a great idea Nikki. One of the best ways to help people in these communities is definitely to spend money in them. And if you can’t do it in person, then shopping online is a fabulous way to do it. I assume it is okay to share?

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  10. So many great retailers there, looks like I will be doing a lot of scrolling. Great idea Nikki, and I love the idea of women supporting each other in this way. Happy Friday! x

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  11. Love this Nikki! You should also check out Bush Christmas in Toowoomba. They have been running for 22 years and each year bush artisans sell their products all in one place for the week. I loved doing my Chrissy shopping when I lived there and supporting our farmers!

  12. We were staying at a property near Moonie during May/June. I shopped in Goondiwindi and brought a dress for a wedding at Stage One! Followed that up with gorgeous little boots at the shoe shop . Moved along and found kids clothes for our granddaughter’s birthday gift, then it was the boring but necessary groceries
    We’re from rural SA and have a vineyard. Although we irrigate the grapes, we’ve had some truly bad years with water restrictions in drought times and had to spend everything on leading water from interstate, so we understand the hard times.

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  13. I have a couple of family birthdays coming up & will be choosing something from these stores as gifts to give. Thanks for this post Nikki & the advice of how we city dwellers can make at least a small contribution to these drought affected communities.

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