2020 hit us hard, but 2021 really kicked us while we were down; we don’t need to relive it, we were all there, we know how it played out. But despite all of the fires we all had to put out, plus the multiple month long groundhog days, here at GGCo. we wanted to sit down and reflect on some of the more triumphant moments of 2021. Namely, how collaborating with around 20 Australian-based businesses and creatives helped our business to thrive in 2021.
Twenty-twenty-one in a Nutshell
This year we released an absolutely delightful collection of new products; our first range of knits, signature campfire cocoa, posh hand “sano”, and our NEW Antipodean check blankets. You guys absolutely lapped up these new products and it was so rewarding to bring them to you!
In a series of absolute ‘pinch me’ moments, we were recognised as a finalist of the Afterpay Global Mentorship Program, and we were featured in Homes & Gardens UK, Country Style, and The Block.
And while all of these things were absolute dreams come true, there was something else that really stood out for me in 2021, and that was the sheer volume of Aussie businesses that I had the absolute privilege of working with.
In a space of just four months from March until June, we collaborated with 20 Australian small businesses. Many of these businesses were female owned, and many based here in Victoria.
And the result? In June we reached 20k in Instagram followers and then in July, we recorded our biggest month EVER in sales which was then well and truly trumped in November with our annual Shopping Sale Event of the Year.
It’s impossible to know how much of an influence those collaborations had on our success—we also had those fabulous media features I mentioned, we switched up our marketing strategy and grew our team for extra firepower.
But for me, having our biggest sales month literally right after finishing up these collabs can’t be a coincidence.
Building and nurturing community is everything in small business, and teaming up with so many like minded business owners has not only been great for business, but it’s been great for my heart and my sense of purpose and connectedness as well.
Not to mention the feedback I’ve received from all of you, via DMs and emails. It appears that you love to learn about other Australian businesses and their stories—you’re my people!
So without further ado, let’s dive into the collaborations with Aussie small businesses that impacted our business for the better this year.
Co-branded Product Collaborations
This year we produced three co-branded products, two with Australian-based businesses and one business with origins in Victoria.
Mother’s Day collab with Graziher, our Limited Edition Grapefruit & Geranium Soap Bar
Rounding out a jam-packed April was a very special Mother’s Day collab with Graziher, our Limited Edition Grapefruit & Geranium Soap Bar 💫
It was so much fun designing this new, co-branded packaging; a fresh, earthy and seasonal take on my classic hemp husk hand scrub & sandstone soap stitched washable paper pouches 🍂Graziher has been a huge support for me over the years and this was our second product collaboration together—such a joy to be involved.
Campfire Cocoa With Grounded Pleasures & Mount Zero Olives
As May rolled around and the chilly winter air crept into our days, we launched our absolutely scrumptious collab with cocoa artisans Grounded Pleasures, an amazing Victorian business based out of Ballaarat (intentional spelling, Google it!).
Together, we developed a decadent, aromatic drinking chocolate with natural pink salt (guradj gadjin), small-batch hand-harvested from Pink Lake Dimboola by local company Mount Zero Olives, in collaboration with the lake’s Traditional Owners, the Barengi Gadjin Land Council.
It was the perfect winter collab but let’s be honest, a cuppa hot cocoa around the campfire is a mood any time of the year!
Moroccan Pom-Pom Hand Towels With Western Victorian-raised Small Business Owner, Made in Tangier
It was an absolute joy to collaborate with Pin Affleck, a Western Victorian girl from way back who now calls Morocco home where she runs her business Made in Tangier.
Creative Content & Media Collaborations
Online marketing is a huge part of GGCo.’s success, and we’re always thinking about the next suite of content to showcase our products, support Australian creatives and ensure everything we put out there is fresh, exciting and engaging.
Our community loves it when we share fresh photography on our socials and website, so we put a huge amount of effort into this part of our marketing.
And so it’s no accident that we collaborated with so many creative freelancers this year—each and every one of them bringing a little piece of magic to the table.
Homes & Gardens UK Salt Creek Cottage Feature With Lynda Gardener, Belle Hemming Bright, Marnie Hawson & Ali Heath
In March, I collaborated with the most inspired dream team of female creatives, culminating in a 10-page feature of my creative project, Salt Creek Cottage, in Homes & Gardens UK 🙌🏼
A prestigious, international magazine! What a triumph!
After sharing this exciting news, my inbox was flooded with questions about Salty’s styling, so we produced a blog with all the details for all of you interiors fanatics out there.
The dream team included the wonderful stylists Lynda Gardener and Belle Hemming Bright, superstar photographer Marnie Hawson and interiors writer Ali Heath. Oh, and me, Amanda, owner and Founder of The Grampians Goods Co. and Salt Creek Cottage.
Podcast Collab with Skye Manson from Manson and Company
In April, we collaborated with the insanely talented and extremely lovely Skye Manson from Manson and Company, supporting her podcast ‘Company.’
Skye interviewed regionally-based women in her signature style of warm, raw and uplifting storytelling, and we were honoured to support her in doing this for a series.
Instagram Takeover With Belinda Neame (From Hold Cottage) & Tim Bean Photography
In July, while we were all freezing our butts off in and out of the various lockdowns throughout the country, we decided to ask Belinda Neame (‘B’ for short) from Hold Cottage to take over our Instagram content for a week.
Together with her talented husband, Tim Bean, B produced some absolutely gorgeous autumn scenes and gave us some insight into her world.
We learnt so much about B, from her favourite podcasts, books, recipes and travel destinations, to her perfect ‘stay at home’ winter recipe suggestions. to her regional road trip podcast playlist.
The ‘Gram Fam loved this content and we look forward to doing more takeovers with local creatives next year.
Creative Apparel Photoshoot With Kayde from Spinifex & Co and Emma from Little Wild Love Photography
For this shoot, I was able to collaborate with Emma from Little Wild Love Photography, which was just so much fun!
Nursing some pent up grief at the time (here’s the context), this shoot gave me a reason to get out of my shell and push through with the gentle reassurance of Emma and Kayde; powerful, inspiring women—it was the salve I needed to push through 💖
With Mother’s Day approaching, while I had these brilliant women within reach I also couldn’t help but pick their brains on the concept of ‘motherhood’ with a blog post in our blog, Mountain Musings.
Emma from Little Wild Love Photography was also the creative genius behind a photo shoot I completed as part of the Afterpay Global Mentorship Program. Emma made me look and feel fancier than I’ve ever looked (and felt!).
Antipodean Check Blankets Photoshoot With Hannah Puechmarin & Albert and Grace
When we launched our Antipodean Check Blanket Collection, we knew exactly who to turn to for some fresh new photography. Hannah Puechmarin & Albert and Grace teamed up as a photography and styling super team to produce stunning blanket imagery and outdoor garden party extravagance!
Aussie Backyard BBQ Shoot with Belinda Neame & Tim Bean Photography
With summer fast approaching (when is it ever not fast approaching, let’s be real), we knew some fresh, summer content would be needed, so we tasked Belinda Neame and Tim Bean with a creative ‘backyard bbq’ photoshoot featuring our Antipodean Collection Recycled Wool Picnic Check Blankets.
They nailed the brief, and sent through a stack of gorgeous images with alllllll of the summer vibes.
Fair Isle Knit Pre-Launch Shoot With Jemma Thompson
When we decided to launch pre-sales for our Fair Isle Knits, we didn’t expect that the UK was on the brink of another huge wave of COVID, resulting in lockdowns and significant delays in production and shipping to Australia.
Because we wanted to bring you only the highest quality wool garments, we partnered with a family-owned weaving company based in the Grampian region of Scotland.
So, while we waited for our sweaters to land on Aussie shores, we partnered with Jemma Thompson, or on the ‘gram @momentsbyjemma, to produce some low-key shots of the sweaters in her signature style—simple living, subtle interiors and snuggly moments in the country.
Fair Isle Knit Product Photography With Nathalia Crabtree from Our Lovely Mess
For our Fair Isle Knit Product photography, we knew that Swedish born, Western Australia local Nathalia Crabtree from @our.lovely.mess would produce just the casual, conscious feel that we were looking for.
Campfire Cocoa Photoshoot With Ange Maloney from Picture Cabinet
Our Campfire Cocoa collab with Grounded Pleasures & Mount Zero Olives came just as winter was rolling in.
And Finally, All of the Behind-the-Scenes Support
It would be remiss of me not to mention the support that goes on behind the scene to make this all happen.
Our marketing team has grown from myself and my friend, Tom, doing everything, to an extra TWO talented freelancers who have been absolutely instrumental in the growth of The Grampians Goods Co in 2021; Erin and Ellie.
Back in the warehouse, we have Kelly, Lexie and Paige packing orders NON-STOP—there’s no way we would have been able to achieve what we have this year without this support.
And perhaps most of all, all of these absolute gems have opened me up to so many new ideas and ways of working, and have also freed up my time a little to focus on some of the more creative aspects of the business that I thrive on.
This year has had its challenges, of course! But I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve all achieved together and I’m looking forward to charging into 2022 head first—bring it on!
Signing off for 2021,