While Australian made products have become more popular over the past few years, the Covid pandemic has accelerated interest and demand for locally produced items.
Boho Wicks candles are handmade in Sydney by founder Ness Denning, who exhibited at the Sydney Gift Fair for the first time this year.
“This is my first trade show and it has been very good,” she enthuses.
“It has not been overly busy, but it is about the quality of the people that have been here that has made the difference. I have seen a lot of buyers from new stores that have been opening up and others from wholesale websites as well.
“Compared to other candles, my products are handmade and I make every single one of my products, so I think this makes a difference because they can connect with the person that creates everything.
“Being locally made makes a huge difference when it comes to sourcing local materials and also with shipping times—it is a lot easier to buy in Australia. I am finding that a lot of buyers want to buy local—for example, a lot of people in Sydney want to buy my products because they are made in Sydney.”
Indeed, local has been a huge theme says Ryan Maritz from Australian Bush Spices.
“A number of people have been asking us about how they can buy locally and also support local businesses,” he explains.
“We manage the entire local supply chain—from the people that pick the product here in Australia, we convert that product to create Australian-made and finished goods using local Australian skills, labour, packaging and ingredients.
“Buyers don’t need to wait for containers—we are making it right here on-shore. Buyers are loving that story and this is being driven by shoppers to their stores to be local and buy local.”
Denning adds that the story and meaning behind her candles seem to be more important than the actual scent.
“A lot of the buyers are not buying them because of the fragrance—as they don’t even smell them—it is all about the story and the meaning as they are ‘intention candles’.
“All of the crystals as well as the herbs and botanicals relate to each creation. Intention candles are for a specific purpose or to help people on their journey. They are not a candle that you would just burn. For example, people that are looking for a new beginning might buy the New Beginning candle with moonstone in it for this specific purpose.”
The fair has also created some potentially big opportunities for Australian Bush Spices to work with customers who want Australian native products and Australian made ingredients, recognising that it is on trend as well as a developing and emerging segment, adds Maritz.
“It has been a fantastic show. While the numbers have not been huge, the buyers who have come to attend the show have been really looking to grow their business, so the value of the orders has been superb. People have been placing substantially bigger orders than we have seen in the past—there is no question there,” he says.
“Overall, it has been an incredibly successful show for us as most of the buyers coming through were new customers for us.”
Article from Australian Giftguide linked here