NEW BUSINESS: Chinchilla local bringing the bush into homes
IN THE midst of planning for her wedding day and with her friends continually encouraging her to get a gift registry, Chinchilla Angus Beef producer Kate Munsie wanted to support bush businesses with her registry.
However, when she started researching, she couldn’t find anything that let her do that.
“All the registries are the mainstream gift registries with major retailers, and they are the brands that you can find anywhere,” she said.
Noticing the gap in the market, she decided to create her own and started the nation’s first ‘bush-based’ wedding gift registry.
The Bush Registry launched yesterday and is an online catalogue that helps connect regional stores with brides and grooms seeking something with more rural charm than the traditional toaster.
“I’m just blown away by the number of beautiful products you can find here in the bush,” she said.
“You can walk into a shopping centre in Toowoomba or a Westfield in Sydney or Brisbane but won’t find the products you can find out here.
“(There’s) everything from beautiful furniture to unique artwork that local artists are painting.
“Even experiences and luxury accommodation out in the bush; it’s unique.”
The site is open to all rural and regional businesses and retailers Australia-wide.
So far 30 businesses have partnered with the Bush Registry, and Ms Munsie has already had a few inquiries from Victoria and Western Australia businesses eager to join in as well.
“It’s only early days, and it is growing rapidly with the number of retailers that are partnering with us; hopefully it stays that way,” she said.
“I’m just a one-person band at the moment, but, luckily, I have a background in marketing, so I have been doing a bit of website work.
“That certainly made it easy to start up the Bush Registry.
“As we go, I’m certainly going to need help if it keeps growing and I will look at employing regional and rural people to help with it as well.
“We are trying to keep as much money in the bush as we can.”
One of Australia’s largest rural charities Rural Aid, well-known for its Buy a Bale campaign, has also partnered with Bush Registry, allowing gift givers to give a charity donation in place of a physical gift.
Rural Aid Chief Executive Officer, John Warlters, said the charity organisation was thrilled to be involved in such a fantastic initiative supporting rural businesses.
“Bush Registry allows more Australians to support regional and rural businesses and charities, bringing a much-needed financial injection into their local economy,” he said.
“Our donation items on Bush Registry include counselling for farmers and farmer gift cards. “These programs not only benefit the farming family that receives the donation, but the money that they spend in their local town helps to boost the entire economy and has a ripple effect in the community.”
With many farmers struggling during this global pandemic, the need to help them now is evident.
However, for Ms Munsie that need shouldn’t end when the tough times do.
“I think it’s also important to not just support bush business in the tough times such as when there is a terrible drought happening or during COVID-19,” she said.
“Australia farmers are the backbone of our country, so we should always be trying to show our support for bush businesses when we can.”
“So I want to encourage anyone who is having a wedding or big event to get behind Bush Registry and get the unique gifts you have also wanted.”