You are currently viewing Being a Rural Entrepreneur – With Shannon Maher of Rosedale Country

Being a Rural Entrepreneur – With Shannon Maher of Rosedale Country

Stories From The Bush – Our Stories are from our community of Spend With Us – Buy From a Bush Business, stories of Australian’s who work and live in Rural and Regional Australia.

Rosedale Country is an online store by Shannon Maher.  The store and the store’s name all have a story to tell.

A Spend With Us – Buy From a Bush Business, Business Owner’s Story

Today we chat with Shannon who lives in Queensland and runs an online store called Rosedale Country

This transcript was made by Rev.com – if you’d like to try it yourself click here: try.rev.com/3mmN2z

Transcript:

Jenn Donovan:

Well, hey there. Welcome to the sixth episode of Stories from the Bush. I am your host, Jenn Donovan, a marketer, keynote speaker, social media strategist and rural girl obsessed with helping rural Australian small businesses. I’m a farmer’s wife in the Riverina of New South Wales, mom of three and so passionate about sharing the stories of business and life in rural Australia. My business partners and I, Sarah Brits and Lauren Hatley, shout out to you, amazing girls, are the co-founders of Spend With Us – Buy From a Bush Business. If you want to hear more about our story, how a clinical psychologist, a web designer and a marketer, came together to create this movement, head back to the intro episode and hear how three rural girls have got together to make a difference in rural and regional Australia. And of course you can also check out the ‘About’ section on our website.

Jenn Donovan:

This episode is of course, brought to you by our marketplace, Spend With Us – Buy From a Bush Business which you can find at www.spendwithus.com.au. It’s an online marketplace for rural and regional small businesses supporting almost a thousand small businesses or small business owners on that platform, and we also have a Facebook group called Buy from a Bush Business, which has just ticked over 310,000 members. So we are supporting hundreds of thousands of members on that one. We’d love you to check us out and support rural Australia as well, and maybe even recommend us to a friend or two to come and check us out, or to even listen to this podcast.

Jenn Donovan:

On today’s episode, you’ll hear from an amazing young rural-living lady, Shannon Maher, who runs an online business called Rosedale Country. She has a great story, a great story about her name as in the name of her business, Rosedale Country, about heartache and about resilience and about simply doing what you want despite all the barriers of which there are a few. It’s a common theme that I hear when talking to rural Australian business owners about resilience and about community and this one is no different. So grab yourself a cuppa and listen to Shannon’s story, and don’t forget to support her small rural business as well. She shares all her social handles and links at the end of my interview. So enjoy. Enjoy Shannon and my little chat about running a real business in a rural town.

Jenn Donovan:

Thank you so much, Shannon for coming on the podcast. I’m really excited for everybody to hear from a beautiful young entrepreneur who lives in a rural town a little bit about you and about your business. So welcome firstly.

Shannon Maher:

Yes. Thank you so much for having me on board, Jenn. It is honestly an honor. I’m the owner of Rosedale Country, which is located in Dalby, Queensland. Dalby is an hour west of Toowoomba.

Jenn Donovan:

Ah, okay. So Toowoomba is quite a big town or a big inland. This is inland? I don’t think it is inland. Is it? I think it’s on the coast.

Shannon Maher:

I think, it’s become more of a city now. It is getting a lot bigger. It’s growing very fast. It’s about an hour or two away from the coast.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, right. Yeah, right. So you obviously live in quite a rural area. How big is the township that you actually live in though? How big is Dalby?

Shannon Maher:

Yeah. So Dalby is quite a small rural town. It’s not remote, but it has about 10 to 12,000 people that have been recorded living in the town.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, right. And what’s the biggest industry there. Is it a mining town or-

Shannon Maher:

Yes. So it’s always been a farming town known for its cotton, but a while back, it did vary due to the mining and oil and gas industry.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, right. Okay. But you haven’t always lived in town, have you? So you’re a bit of a country girl at heart, I believe.

Shannon Maher:

Yes, that is correct. So I come from Millmerran, which is also in Queensland. It’s also an hour from Toowoomba. Goondiwindi is about an hour and a half south of Millmerran.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. Okay. Yeah.

Shannon Maher:

Yeah. Yeah. So Millmerran is also a very, very small town and it’s known definitely for its cattle country.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. Right. Okay. And did you guys have a farm down there or did you grow up on the land?

Shannon Maher:

Yes. So when I was born, our family was on a property, so I grew up on farms and then moving into town and then moving back out onto a farm. So yes. Being a country girl, I’ve always been in the country. There’s not one time that I’ve ever lived in the city, so yes. I’m born and bred a country girl.

Jenn Donovan:

And going on from that, you’ve made yourself a little country business as well, Rose dale Country. Okay, so first of all, where does the name come from? These things always fascinate me, where people get their business names from. So where does Rose dale Country come from?

Shannon Maher:

So Rose dale Country comes from my grandparents farm. It was named Rose dale and it is a very important and special part of my childhood in life. The farm, I hold very close to my heart, is where I had most of my special memories with my family growing up. So yeah. That’s where Rose dale came from, and I just added in the Country part because, it’s in the country and that’s where I come from, so it’s very special name.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, right. Tell us a little bit about Rose dale Country. How long have you had your business for and what does Rose dale Country actually sell?

Shannon Maher:

So I have opened up Rose dale Country for going on two years, and basically, I [inaudible 00:06:50] design jewelry and accessories, cowhide earrings, country-style earrings, all of that. I also have a couple of trucker caps. I’m releasing a new stock trucker cap this year and I also have… Well, I’m also releasing a new range of clothing, as well, getting into the country and western style clothing for men and women.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, right. But there’s more to that story. I think anyone who has ever done a podcast interview realizes that there is a before and after conversations that happen with podcasts. So before we did jump on and press record, you were telling me that there’s more to that clothing line and that you do actually have a hand in designing these clothes, as well.

Shannon Maher:

Yes, that’s correct. So I do all the tech packs and design my-

Jenn Donovan:

What’s a tech pack? You have to [inaudible 00:07:50] the text speak.

Shannon Maher:

So with manufacturing clothes, you always have to do up packaging, which includes all the measurements and the drawings and designs of what you want made. So, that’s all the designing side of things. And that’s what I’d personally do and send off to my manufacturer who then makes the clothes. So yeah, that’s a little bit about the manufacturing side of things, but yes, I do design the clothes of what other block to be made, which I like to keep very unique, special and of course, with a country top.

Jenn Donovan:

So where did you get inspired from, where does your inspiration for designs come from?

Shannon Maher:

It definitely comes from where I come from. Obviously I, myself, I love, I got polo. I love something unique and something special that no one has ever really seen before. But I also like to keep it comfortable. I’m not one who really likes tight clothing or anything like that. So that’s where I sort of come into the design process, but my inspiration definitely does come from where I’ve grown up, which was a cattle farm. And so it also always has to incorporate, that country style and on cow obsessed. So it always has to have something to do with cattle.

Jenn Donovan:

So for someone like I am not talented at all, when it comes to creativeness, I will put that out there. My mom gave up trying to teach me how to knit. And so when things like that, so like when you said before that, you’ve liked to try and design things that people haven’t seen before. But that to me is just how I kind of straight away. I’m like, well, how there’s so many clothing out there? Like, so how do you actually go about designing something that is quite unique? Is it just calling on your imagination?

Shannon Maher:

That’s pretty much what it is for me is going off imagination and bringing up those childhood memories of what I enjoyed about growing up on a farm. So I have a fishing shirt that I released at the end of last year and I called it The Sunset Cuddle Fishing shirt. And I worked with my cousin on that one. She’s an amazing photographer. And I incorporated that in the fishing shirt. And yeah, so it goes off imagination. It also goes off with collaborating with other people like I did with my amazing cousin. And also just trying to find your niche and country cowhide and cattle is definitely my niche when it comes to designing all different types of clothing. But yeah, there is definitely, you definitely sort of have to have that imagination to be able to come up with design, but lucky Jenn, I am not one for knitting or one for sewing. And that’s where the manufacturer comes in.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, right. Oh, look, I could talk for hours. I love creative people just really blow my mind, but sorry, I guess you do live rurally and you do have a business and I’m sure there’s not a person listening that doesn’t understand that rural Australia, especially, a lot of New South Wales and Queensland and Western Australia and other parts have been in drought for a long time. So how have you seen the drought not only affect perhaps our [inaudible 00:11:56] country, your business, but also your township.

Shannon Maher:

So yes, the drought has been ongoing for quite some time now. It has affected, yes, smaller than businesses. It’s affected families, it’s affected jobs. It’s pretty much a Domino Effect when the drought hits in hard because everyone struggles. If you don’t make money, you can’t spend money and then people lose their jobs because the businesses can’t afford to pay them. And yeah, I’ve heard of many stories about farmers around town that have had to sell out due to not being able to produce anything, their catalysts stopping. So yeah, it’s pretty hard there’s some very hard hitting stories out there that just make you cry. But that’s one thing that I believe supporting each other is very important.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. Yeah. Definitely. You know, community and I’m not sure what Derby communities lack, but you know, I live in the river in there and there is that sense of community and friendship and that, that really does hopefully make some of the dark days, have a little bit of sunshine when you know that there’s always someone to have a bit of a chat to.

Shannon Maher:

Yes. And yeah, we’ve recently had some rain, which has given us all a bit of her life. That’s just so lovely to see things start to green up, but fun thing, a lot of people forget is you can have that bit of rain, but we’re still stuck in drought and we still need the support from everyone in Australia. Yeah. Drought affected communities and we need as much support as we can get.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. And I think that is a bit of a fair fee that people, see the rain and think, well, the drought’s broken, but unfortunately it does take years to come back to the drought. Like you were just saying before people have sold out or, they’ve had to sell their stock and now they need to restock. Yeah. It’s certainly The Domino Effect, like you said, it’s just ,yeah, one, although it is great to see some little green patches up and growing, there’s a long way to go for. Absolutely. For sure. So raised our country, your little business is an online business, is that right?

Shannon Maher:

Yeah. So it’s purely online based. I work out of my home with the business. I have my own little room where I get creative and design and create the accessories and jewelry.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. Right. Okay. And do you think that one day you would like to do a bricks and mortar as well as an online store?

Shannon Maher:

I definitely think so. That is the goal, would love to share to our country with the world pretty much, one baby step at a time. Yeah.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. And we have obviously met through Migrate Pat by, from a Bush business two weeks, you’ve been posting on and Rose dale Country has been a paddle ahead. And look, it’s not the only group that’s out there. And there really is a bit of a big movement of this by from a Bush. So how have you found the whole movement that’s happened? Both the group that you belong to, but other groups and other things you’ve seen as well?

Shannon Maher:

Sorry. It has been incredible. That’s pretty much all I can say. That’s really nice. All the words to describe how amazing it has been for these pages to come on Facebook and to help support rural and Bush businesses, because it’s something we have definitely needed, especially being in drought because we can’t connect to that many people just by having a Facebook page for our business. So having Buy from a Bush Business has literally been a savior because yeah, it’s exactly what our businesses have needed. And like we discussed earlier, we think, well, why didn’t we daily sign? Which, would have been amazing. But in the times we’re in now, it’s just been incredible. And that’s all I can say that it’s been, it’s helped so many Bush businesses that have been struggling to get by. Yeah. It’s been great. It’s what we have needed.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. Yeah. Look, and I think that I might’ve provided a platform, but it’s been the community and I hope that you’ve seen it in your post. It’s not just about the people that are buying from you. It’s a really engaged group where people are saying how beautiful your work is and going over and following and things like that. Like it’s a lot more than just getting a sale.

Shannon Maher:

Yes. And that’s it, to me it’s not really about the purchases although that helps out. It’s more about getting those, getting people to come and check out the business page, getting people liking, getting people commenting, and connecting everyone from around Australia to the businesses to help support them. You don’t have to make a purchase. You can just comment on a business’s post because that is the support that we all need.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. And sometimes that means just as much to know that somebody loves what you do and it gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling.

Shannon Maher:

Yes. And that’s it, when you get a comment or someone messages about how your products sorry, beautiful, or that they love them, or that it look really good on the upcoming outfit for the races. It really bursts that business confidence.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Now, Shannon, I’m going to make a bit of an assumption here because we, even though this is a podcast, we are actually looking at each other. So you’re quite a young lady who is living in a rural town who is running her own business. That’s phenomenal for a start. So congratulations on doing that. But what advice would you have for someone who’s perhaps listening to this podcast who is perhaps a generation under myself and who wants to start a business, what advice would you give them?

Shannon Maher:

The advice I would give them is if it is something that you want to do, go for it, you just have to make sure that you’re committed. And yeah, the world is literally, as the saying goes, “The world is your oyster”. Just as long as you have that commitment and always remind yourself of why you started and just to not give up, because you will get there, whether you’re in a rural area or a city area, just chase those dreams because you won’t regret it. Especially if the business is something that means a lot to you.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. And we were discussing off air that the inspiration for your business did come at a time where you were probably not expecting it to.

Shannon Maher:

Yes, that’s definitely correct. I was having some hard times losing three amazing family members that were a big part of my life, where I grew up, grew up on the farm, which was my grandfather and my uncle have both recently lost in the last four years. And yeah, it was a very different moment to stop thinking, you know what, I’m going to start a business, but it’s also very special in a way, I think yeah. That really triggered that motivation to start get going and do something that I’ve wanted to do for a very long time and something that I’ve dreamed of doing.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. Yeah. And look at I think that you’ve got an amazing business model. I love your passion. I can hear your passion in your voice. I love the fact that you have brought your past with you with calling it Rose dale, Rose dale country and things like that. So I think like you said before, when the chips are down, it’s still your passion that will actually keep you going.

Shannon Maher:

Yeah. Yeah. It’s definitely the fire inside you that really does keep you going. It gives you that draw off that motivation if you’re really passionate about something. Yeah. Just go for it.

Jenn Donovan:

What’s the hardest thing you’ve found with running an online business, well, it’s kind of remote. You might even think it’s remote and I would probably call it in a remote town.

Shannon Maher:

I think the hardest thing is trying to give people the opportunities to see what you sell, to see what you offer because being an online business, obviously people can’t come into to the store and see the clothing for themselves. They can’t touch, to feel the material. I think that’s definitely been the hardest thing, but also having social media nowadays has been really helpful with that because you can take videos, you can show people, you can communicate with people from all over Australia, but yeah, I think that’s definitely been the hardest thing. Being an online based business is the fact that if someone wants to try something on, they can’t [inaudible 00:22:30] can’t, that’s probably, yeah, definitely been the hardest part for me.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Interesting. I guess that’s all to do with logistics as well, but yeah. So I’m really thankful that you’ve taken your time out of your day to come on and have a chat. I love your story. I love that we’ve been able to connect. Who would have thought we would bump into each other one day and it’s all come about from social media groups. So that to me is a little bit mind blowing as well.

Shannon Maher:

Yeah. And you’ve done an amazing thing here Jenn. Creating these bot from a Bush business page has just opened up an amazing platform for people all over Australia to connect for businesses all over Australia, to connect with each other. Like I said before, it’s incredible. It’s something that I hope can continue on forever because it’s really, really great.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. It’s hard to know where it might be leaving or landing in 12 months time. It’s definitely a work in progress, but you know, like I said, I built the platform, but you know, the community are the ones that are keeping it going, which is, you know, in times as an admin, when it gets a bit hard, I go and just look at how much good it’s doing for so many other people. Again, thank you so much Shannon for coming on. If someone is interested in learning a little bit more about the products that Rose dale country has, where can they go and search and look and follow?

Shannon Maher:

All right. So generally have an Instagram and Facebook page. You can easily find us by searching Rose dale Country. And we also have a website www.rosestylecountry.com where you can find all the items that we stock. And I’m always open to anyone messaging me about any of the items to find out more information.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, that’s perfect. Perfect. All right, Shannon. Again, it’s been great. I’m sure that people are going to love to hear your story and thank you so much for giving up your time today.

Shannon Maher:

Yes. Thank you, Jen.

Jenn Donovan:

I really hope you enjoyed that episode. She’s an amazing young lady and I can’t help but think it’s kind of like a watch this space. We Shannon, I think absolutely amazing little business and an amazing young lady as well, but thank you for listening in again. I hope you enjoyed it. If you haven’t checked out their marketplace, Spend With Us, then head to www.spendwithus.com.au and support other Australian rural businesses as well. And don’t forget to subscribe to these podcasts and we’d love you to leave a rating and a review if you’re enjoying these stories that way, bringing of life and business in rural Australia, but otherwise I’ll see you next time on episode 7.

 

 

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