Grace Brennan’s advice on tapping into your unique value proposition.
When Grace Brennan packed up her life in Sydney and moved West to Warren to be with her husband a third-generation farmer, she had no idea of the greatness ahead of her.
Ten years, four children, and a devastating drought later, many bush business owners are showing their gratitude towards Grace, following the enormous success of her social media campaign #buyfromthebush (BFTB) that transformed hundreds of drought-affected businesses.
It was October 2019, amidst the worst drought on record, when Grace saw the very clear need - the need to create cashflow and inject dollars and hope from the city into the bush. Social media provided the solution Grace was looking for and the BFTB campaign was created. Within the first 6 weeks $2.6million of revenue was generated for businesses that featured on the BFTB social pages and Australia Post reported a 30% increase in parcel postage in regional areas.
Buy From The Bush is a result of Grace’s working backgrounds coming together. For many years Grace worked in community development and in 2016 she co-founded AgDraft, an online start-up connecting agricultural employers with job seekers. While community development taught Grace the power of community-driven change, the start-up world taught her to define a problem and develop a solution.
Building communities has always been a passion of Grace’s. So, when the major farming region of Warren was facing its third consecutive year of drought and the local community had stopped spending, Grace saw the need for small businesses to access new markets outside of their geographic resources.
“They needed new markets which meant they needed visibility. But these people didn’t just need dollars, they needed their problem and suffering to be recognised”, Grace explained.
Knowing the power of community, Grace wasn’t going to wait on leaders and policy makers to determine the future of agricultural communities.
“The need is what got me going. I knew that with my background in building communities and experience in a start-up, I had a skill set that might have an impact. I engaged everything from my personal and work experience and BFTB was born”, said Grace.
Ninety-six percent of the businesses featured on BFTB are owned by women to support and supplement their family income.
“Buy From The Bush is putting women’s creativity on display, and revealing the women doing side hustles to generate income. We’re seeing all these amazing women doing inspiring things and it’s incredible to see the variety of experience and skills in regional and remote communities.
“I think, in these strange times, there is opportunity for women to be a more honest version of themselves at work. The global pandemic has merged the spheres of work and home. For many women, the two spheres were always merged, (in a big tangled mess of responsibility), but there was tension around that. Now, the private and the professional have inched a little closer,” said Grace.
Grace’s success can be summed up by her words, “Draw on all your lived experience and the skills you have developed in both personal and professional contexts and employ those skills confidently, without restraint. In doing so, I think you can tap in to your unique value proposition as an employee/employer/entrepreneur.”
Grace draws on inspiration from people she knows such as her parents and husband.
“My mum and dad are role models for me because, in addition to their many talents, they are people who know how to enjoy life. Sounds simple but I don't think it is. My husband is another role model for me because he is unwavering on what he wants out of life. He has never-ending energy to achieve his goals and doesn't mind doing the worst jobs first.”
For Grace, it’s all about calling on your instincts and skills to achieve great things. Creativity is no longer restricted by your geographical location. Know what your unique offering is as a person and a business and leverage that as much as you can. Incredible things can come from hardship. From struggle, business opportunities emerge!
If you would like to know more about the Buy From The Bush campaign visit www.buyfromthebush.com.au
We hope the ‘Grace’ shirt story will inspire other women to draw on lived experiences and skills to achieve great things.