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Rural retailers descend on Sydney for Christmas market

Grace Brennan, founder, Buy From the Bush

Retailers from rural communities, many of which have been devastated by drought and bushfire, have set up shop in Sydney’s Martin Place this Thursday December 12 to showcase their wares to Sydney shoppers.

Twenty regional businesses will offer their artisan products with everything from homemade condiments to handcrafted stationery items and artworks.

The retailers cover art, fashion, food, and more with Young Creative Farms from Dubbo and Charlie Campbell furniture from Grahamstown among those taking part.

Rosie Turnbull from Rosie’s Boutique Condiments had completely sold out of stock by midday.

“I think the crowd was just about 10 deep and 10 wide from about quarter to eight this morning,” Turnbull told Inside FMCG.

“We sold all the hampers in the first two hours. Chilli capsicum jam was just a massive hit. We cannot thank Sydney and everyone for their support. The response has just been phenomenal.”

“It’s really invigorated our enthusiasm to keep growing and keep moving forward in a bigger way.”

The businesses have come together through Buy From the Bush, a social movement founded by Grace Brennan, that connects retailers in isolated communities with city shoppers and consumers around Australia through social media.

Brennan, who resides in Warren in west NSW, launched an Instagram and Facebook page in October 2019, to showcase the diverse range of produce available from rural retailers and has since amassed over 139,000 followers on Instagram, with the hashtag #buyfromthebush gaining traction across the picture sharing platform.

The retailers manage the purchase and delivery of the goods themselves and many have been overwhelmed with orders since being featured on the platform.

Turnbull said Buy From the Bush quadrupled her sales in the space of two weeks and as a result she put four extra staff on.

Buy From the Bush campaign

“Having grown up in Sydney, I was really aware of how much people in the city want to show their support if given a chance,” Brennan said. “It gives city people a simple way to help rural people in need and people are enjoying exploring the beautiful things on offer in the bush.”

Brennan said the support from people right around Australia and particularly the city, has been overwhelming.

“It’s times like this that really highlights what Australians are made of. We rally and we help each other out during tough times,” Brennan said.

“Martin Place is about as far as you can get from the dusty paddocks of these business’ back yards so it’s an exciting idea. It’s great to give Sydney shoppers a chance to buy a gift made in the bush.”

The pop-up market will run from 8am – 8pm on Thursday December 12.

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