Be MPowered: Meet The Speakers - Grace Brennan
Meet the 2021 Be MPowered Speakers. Grace Brennan is founder of the Buy from the Bush campaign, she has started conversations, lifted spirits, created jobs and saved businesses that may otherwise have failed due to devastating drought and bushfires.
Tell us a bit about your business
Buy From The Bush started as a social media campaign and has transitioned to a purpose-driven business. We operate an online marketplace for Australian bush business. We bring together the butchers, the bakers and the candlestick makers (of which there may not be thaaaat many) in small rural communities across Australia. We make it easy for small businesses to sell their products and for consumers to shop with purpose. We also have a sister site called Stay In The Bush which is a directory of rural accommodation across Australia.
What is #mumbition to you?
Mumbition is about drawing on your lived experience as a Mum and channelling that (sometimes underestimated) skillset in to your working life. It's drawing on the ordinary to achieve the extraordinary.
What is it that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?
What are you looking forward to at the Be MPowered Conference 2021?
I’m looking forward to celebrating the achievements of working mothers and being inspired by others!
To be amongst a community of people that understand that sometimes it feels like you’ve lived a full day before even checking your inbox. I think incredible things are possible when people are encouraged to bring their whole self in to a work context.
Being a mother is only one part of my working identity but it’s a part that informs the big and little decisions. It’s great to be able to share my experiences and absorb the experience of other working Mums.
What makes the topic you are talking about at Be MPowered important to small biz owners right now?
Buy From The Bush was born out of crisis: the drought. Drought and COVID have a bit in common. In 2021, collectively, we know what it feels like to live in a community in crisis. And out of crisis comes great opportunity! The ability to identify a need, develop a solution and tell a unique story is more necessary than ever!
What makes you an expert in your field?
Buy From The Bush is the merging of a background in community development and more recent experience as the Co Founder of an agtech online platform. These distinct working contexts taught me two critical things: The power of community driven change; and the importance of defining a problem (the need) and developing a solution (the product). In the first 4 months of our social media campaign we generated $5M of revenue for businesses we showcased and 1 in 5 hired new workers. 96% of these businesses are run by women. By Christmas 2019 we were second highest-ranking search term nationally. To achieve our reach we have successfully partnered with companies like PayPal, Visa, Facebook Australia, Australia Post and Elders.
How do you harmonise your ambition, livelihood and wellbeing?
For me, the three have not harmoniously existed yet. I have been in a rapid growth phase for BFTB which has demanded a disproportionate amount of time, energy and resources. For me, a deep sense of purpose has justified the imbalance. Ambition to achieve community impact in a time of crisis has trumped livelihood and to an extent, wellbeing.
What advice would you give anyone starting a small business?
To think about your unique value proposition. Not just in terms of your business or your product but you as a person. What unique skillset can you bring to the role which will engage your customer and grow your business? Be clear about this and leverage it!
How do you relax when you are not working?
TV and pizza. (Or champagne and oysters if the occasion allows!).
Give us an interesting fact about you that not many people know.
I have a compulsion to dance if a good song comes on. Regardless of the context. It can be awkward!
What is your favourite productivity hack?
When working from home, put your shoes on.
What are you a superstar at?
Crafting a message with impact.
What do you suck at doing?
Getting to the bottom of my inbox.
What are you currently bingeing on Netflix?
I’m a sucker for Nordic noir.
You can follow Grace at: