#SHOPITFORWARD: Shop with online businesses in drought-affected areas

The super power of the Styling You community is our ability to get behind and support other women in need. We’ve done that through fundraising for Dress for Success Brisbane, fundraising for The Lady Musgrave Trust through the sale of our charity tees and for more than a year now 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.

In August 2018 the media cast a spotlight on the drought and the fact that businesses in these drought-affected towns needed 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  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.

All that I ask that you consider is that when you next have to buy a gift, 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.

Since launching this campaign in 2018, I’ve received some beautiful messages from store owners, women 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)

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) 

Mama Bear – Parkes, NSW (gorgeous baby and kids items, personalised) 

FASHION/LIFESTYLE/HOME CURATORS

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

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)

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)

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 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) 

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

Shop 38 – Clermont, QLD (fabulous fashion, accessories, dress hire and children’s wear) 

BEAUTY

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

Tambo Teddies – Tambo, QLD

Kennedy The Label – Nyngan, NSW

Outback Threads – Tambo, QLD 

Gidyea Gear – Blackwater, QLD

MamaBear – Parkes, NSW 

ART

Kylie Mclean Art – Dalby, QLD

AK Bellinger Gallery – Inverell, NSW

Walcha Gallery of Art – Walcha, NSW

The Moree Gallery – Moree, NSW

What Does a Farmer Look Like? – Eugowra, NSW 

PHOTOGRAPHY

The Real Deal Photography – Texas, QLD

Ange Stirling Photography – Dalby, QLD

Lisa Alexander Photography – Blackall, QLD

Avalind Photography – Eugowra, NSW 

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?