Buy from the bush: 20 Christmas gift ideas from regional Australia

Looking to shop differently this Christmas? Get your gifts from regional Australia and show your support for communities facing the drought.

A few weeks ago, small businesses in drought-hit areas across New South Wales and Queensland were steeling themselves for what looked likely to be a low-key Christmas. Then the #buyfromthebush campaign launched and things literally changed overnight for many of these businesses as orders poured in from across Australia.

As one small business owner said, a single dollar goes a long way especially during this time of hardship. Buying from a rural business doesn’t just support that business alone but an entire town’s economy and community.

Here are 20 gift ideas from regional small businesses that belong on every Christmas list.

Wattle & Hide

What: Leather baby shoes
Where: Clermont, QLD

Wattle & Hide’s leather baby shoes are handmade using 100% soft genuine leather purchased from reputable Australian wholesalers. Our popular Classic design appeared 25 years ago for my own children. They feature elastic around the heel, a roomy opening to easily slip them on and buttons or lace to prevent them from being kicked off. Buy from the Bush has exposed us to customers far and wide, and brought hope to our family and community. We buy locally where possible to support other small businesses in our community. Since this initiative, our smiles are larger than ever and we have briefly forgotten about this hardship.” - Brenda Pumfrey

Greenwood Designs

What: Skirts
Where: Molong, NSW

"The Buy from the Bush initiative could not have come at a better time for Greenwood Designs. Yes, sales have been amazing, but more important for me are the connections and uplifting conversations I have been having with customers in the city. It makes my heart so happy to read our city sisters’ notes in their orders, and even happier receiving repeat orders. We have so much to offer in the bush and this initiative has given us the voice and platform to be heard. These pleated skirts are the perfect addition to your festive wardrobe. Super easy to wear for a casual everyday look or dressed up with earrings and heels for a night out.” – Kate Greenwood

Clover & Co Home

What: Recipe book
Where: Inverell, NSW

Clover & Co Home is a small boutique store in a drought-stricken country town and we were bracing ourselves for a quiet Christmas trade. Buy from the Bush has increased our sales, which has given us hope, and also given our community something positive to talk about instead of the lack of rain. We chose these Recipe Books by Write to Me for their simple, classic cover design and the kind of pages that truly make them an heirloom book to be passed down through generations.” – Bec Devlin

West of the Waves

What: Pearl jewellery
Where: MacKay, QLD

“Before my son was born, I had a very busy career as a mining engineer in the bush. Once I became a mother, I no longer wanted to live on camp. West of the Waves brings together my two great loves of outback and ocean, and offers a beautiful range of gold, silver and rose gold jewellery, and linen clothing. Thanks to Buy from the Bush, rural businesses now have a platform to connect with a wider audience. It also gives city folk a practical way to support remote businesses and communities.” – Sarah Hayles

Lil' Bluebird

What: Resin art gift box
Where: Orange, NSW

“The impact of Buy from the Bush has been astounding for Lil' Bluebird resin art. The increased traffic on social media and the exposure we’ve received just by using the hashtag is unreal. There’s also an overwhelming sense of support and camaraderie, not only from our friends in the cities, but also amongst small businesses supporting each other in the bush. This affordable resin art gift box includes a resin art small cheese board, a hand glazed ceramic pinch dish and a wooden cheese knife. It’s a unique gift, with no two being the same, and is available in two colours.” – Joleen Quinn

Fig Hill Farm

What: Watercolour art
Where: Glamorgan Vale, QLD

“Buy from the Bush isn’t just huge support for country folk but is also changing mindsets. Instead of choosing the cheapest, most convenient way to shop, this initiative has helped people put our fellow Aussies first and shop in a way that directly benefits those who are doing it tough. My Willa Wombat print brings Fig Hill Farm's special Christmas message of joy in a sweet, cheeky way with a bit of Aussie character. Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year to celebrate and I know as Australians, we love to deck the halls with some bush Christmas charm!” – Helen Boughen

Wattle & Twine

What: Kids' loafers
Where: Jandowae, QLD

“I started Wattle & Twine to celebrate country charm, champion regional Australian women and prove that locally made doesn’t mean inferior quality. Jane, who lives in Wagga Wagga, is a mother of three busy children who set out to design shoes that children want to wear. Millwoods Loafers are a versatile timeless shoe that are hand crafted with a beautifully soft leather inner and durable tumbled leather outer. Since Buy from the Bush, we’ve received an unprecedented amount of orders. But it’s the heart-warming messages of support, offers of help and collaboration opportunities that make us feel like we've got Australians in our corner cheering us on as we continue tackling this drought.” – Amy Ballinger

Bumble Bee Wraps

What: Beeswax wraps
Where: Tarcutta, NSW

Bumble Bee Wraps have created an interest in the preservation of bees. We include quirky points on our flyers to attract children’s interest in bees and emphasise the importance of minimising the use of plastic in our environment. Our wraps are your compostable and breathable solution to reduce plastic pollution and food waste for a more sustainable life. As a small operation, I never needed a website but quickly made the decision to launch one after Buy from the Bush increased my public profile and production tenfold! The proprietor of our local licensed Post Office is a stockist and is very busy but excited over the increased volume of Bumble Bee Wrap packages!” - Deb McElroy

Kindly, Darling

What: Veja sneakers
Where: Temora, NSW

“A love of fashion and a shared dream of opening a business bought us together to create our stylish and sustainable fashion hub, Kindly, Darling. The Veja sneakers are not only the world's most sustainable sneakers but are also stylish and super comfy. The Buy from the Bush campaign has been an incredible boost not only in terms of sales, but also in terms of morale for us and many other regional businesses that are affected by the drought.” – Libby Kite & Ali Swanston

Pink Velvet

What: Kids’ swimwear
Where: Wyalong, NSW

“I had just launched Pink Velvet and not a soul knew it existed until Buy from the Bush. Each time I get a new online order, I cry tears of joy and happiness. I’m beyond grateful that this initiative has created hope for me, my small business, my small community and most importantly, our farmers. Our Jamie Kay swimwear is special not just to us but also for our planet as it’s made from recycled materials from our ocean." – Tiarna Fair 

The Linen Cupboard

What: Cotton print handkerchiefs
Where: Dirranbandi, QLD

“I moved from Brisbane to live on my partner’s family sheep station in Dirranbandi in 2010. I wanted to bring more convenience to the bush because no one wants to make a 2-hour return trip to the nearest town to pick up a gift, a set of sheets or a new work shirt. So I opened The Linen Cupboard. I’m still standing after 8 years and I’m not going to let this drought get the better of me. Our gorgeous 100% Tana Lawn Cotton Liberty print handkerchiefs are much-loved in the bush and make the perfect Christmas stocking filler. Buy from the Bush customers are helping more than just one business. An order means my local Post Office benefits and I make sure my income is spent on other local businesses.” – Karena Wilson

Little Echidna Home

What: Enamelware
Where: Tenterfield, NSW

“I started Little Echidna Home because I wanted to raise my children in Tenterfield - a small rural town with a great community heart but limited employment opportunities. I’ve always loved enamelware and this set of enamel tumblers is a fantastic product that supports sustainable living. Enamel is the perfect alternative to plastic and I have made it more appealing with beautiful designs so it can be used at home and not just when camping. The Buy from the Bush initiative has done so much for my business and for me. Apart from the fantastic sales, it has also connected me with other rural businesses throughout Australia that want to help, support and promote each other.” – Glenda Burke

Kennedy The Label

What: The Florence Dress
Where: Nyngan, NSW

“Our signature linen Florence Dress was the first piece we released over 2 years ago. It has just gone into its third round of production and has been shipped all over the globe. When you purchase from Kennedy The Label, your $9.95 postage goes directly to our town’s Post Office. In the first 10 days after being featured on Buy from the Bush, we spent almost $1500 on postage bags - that’s a big boost to yet another small business in our community! This initiative is giving people a sense of hope.” – Annabelle Kennedy

Sally Wilson Art

What: Cartoon print coasters
Where: Cobargo, NSW

“I am deeply passionate about the Australian landscape and am so proud to be part of the Australian art industry. These coasters of Sally Wislon Art prints are made of aluminium with a full size magnet at the back, and each box contains six designs. It’s my hope that they add some colour and light Aussie humour to the table - a table that may feel heavy in spirits right now. The drought doesn't just affect the farmer or the small businesses but also our Aussie wildlife.” – Sally Wilson

Mary & Me

What: Thermo bag
Where: Forbes, NSW

“I love acquiring fabulous products from Australian artisans and designers to sell on Mary & Me. This versatile Love Friday thermo bag is a lunch bag, drinks cooler, medicine clutch, swim bag and a general clutch all rolled into one. The Buy from the Bush initiative is having such an inspiring and uplifting impact on us. The idea of featuring rural small businesses and creators via social media is such a wonderful and thoughtful gesture, especially in a time of hardship. It has everyone talking.” – Emma Smith

Billie & Grace

What: Smock top
Where: Dungog, NSW

Billie & Grace is a journey of creating ethical and sustainable handmade clothing for children and women. Our girls’ smock tops were created as a chic top with a nod to our past and for the little ones in our lives who can wear it all year round. The Buy from the Bush initiative has given hope, celebration and much-needed cash flow into communities that are in deep need of help during this drought. It has spread awareness and we welcome the newfound support from our city friends.” - Andrea McInnes

WattleCo

What: Handmade, recycled seeded paper
Where: Binya, NSW

“I am the 16-year-old maker and artist of WattleCo, a business of handmade recycled paper and fine line artworks inspired by Australian nature. The Paper for the Pollinators recycled paper hearts are infused with a mixture of pollinator-loving seeds that can be planted to help save the bees and our precious little pollinators. Once you’ve finished using the paper, pop it on a bed of damp soil, water it constantly and keep it moist. In about a week, a few little sprouts will show up and soon you’ll have some flowering blooms. For a regional maker like myself, Buy from the Bush is exceptionally important in driving the kind of customer support and sales that happen in larger cities. It makes me so grateful for each and every wonderful person who has supported me along the way.” – Hannah Ellis

Tinney's Treasure Trove

What: Polymer clay jewellery
Where: Longreach, QLD

Tinney's Treasure Trove started as a hobby to keep my weekends busy and to tap into my creative side. Then people started asking where my earrings were from. This particular pair of earrings pack a punch of colour and fun, and is very popular for that reason. There is quite a process to create the freckles but seeing them brighten people’s day makes it all worthwhile. The effect of the drought is taking its toll not only on the people of our communities but also businesses, which is why Buy from the Bush is such a great initiative. It’s giving people a way to support small rural businesses in times of great need.” – Kaitlin Tinney

Elegance and Grace

What: The Swag Bag
Where: Kalbar, QLD

I started Elegance & Grace to support local creators and makers, and offer our country community a place to shop for homewares and gifts. The Swag Bag is a non-toxic, environmentally friendly bag that’s designed to help your fruits and vegetables stay fresher for longer. Simply wet it, wring it out and pop in your produce before putting it into the fridge. The Buy from the Bush campaign has increased tourism in our little town. The money rotates through our community and feeds our economy whilst we experience the harshness of this drought. That means the world to us.” – Sarah Bottle

Please get in touch with Elegance & Grace via Instagram for more information or to place an order.

JADE Beauty Skinstitute

What: Aromatherapy diffuser necklaces
Where: Kalbar, QLD

“I opened JADE Beauty Skinstitute in the Elegance & Grace store to offer our local community a retreat to help improve their overall health. Together, the two businesses have created a wonderful space for locals to shop and chit-chat. Our beautiful aromatherapy diffuser necklaces are stylish and also great for those on the move - simply add your favourite oil and you're good to go. Every business in our little town is benefiting from the Buy from the Bush campaign, from the local café and pub to the butcher and supermarket. Our community is small but supportive. That’s something special.” – Jade-Maree Cook

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