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Stories from the Bush – Writing and Publishing Books in Rural Australia with KB7 Publishing

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.

Writing and Publishing Books in Rural Australia with KB7 Publishing

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

 

 

Meet Katie, Jessie, and Michael from KB7 Publishing who live and work in Pentland in rural Queensland – a long way from anywhere! This is their story of drought, hope, and giving back.

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

Transcript:

Jenn Donovan:

Why hey there and welcome to the first full episode of Stories From the Bush, a podcast. I’m the host Jenn Donovan, obsessed with all things marketing, social media, and business in my day job and now adding rural to my long list of obsessions. I’m a farmer’s wife in the Riverina of New South Wales, mom of three, and so passionate at sharing these stories of business and life in rural Australia.

Jenn Donovan:

My business partners and I, Sarah Britz and Lauren Hateley, are the co-founders of Spend With Us, Buy From a Bush Business. If you want to hear more about our story, head back to the intro episode and hear how three rural girls have got together to try and make as big a difference as we can in rural and regional Australia for small business owners.

Jenn Donovan:

This episode is brought to you by our marketplace, Spend With Us, Buy From a Bush Business. You can find our marketplace at www.spendwithus.com.au. An online marketplace for rural and regional small businesses, supporting hundreds of small business owners, and of course our Facebook group Buy From a Bush business which is attached to Spend With Us with over 300,000 members supporting literally hundreds of thousands of small business owners in that one. We’d love you to check it out. Support rural Australia and small business in rural Australia and even perhaps recommend us to friend to check it out as well.

Jenn Donovan:

The stories I’ve heard, the emails I’ve received, the messages I’ve read are all heartwarming, devastating, and amazing, but they all have this common thread of resilience. It’s these characteristics that led me to you hearing these series of 10 stories in season one of this podcast.

Jenn Donovan:

The stories of amazing business owners doing amazing things. Stories of friendship, mateship, diversification, and of course resilience. With all my heart, I hope you enjoy listening to these stories as much as I have loved interviewing these true Australian rural business people.

Jenn Donovan:

Today on episode one, I have Katie Jones, her husband Jessie or Jet as his pen name, and even Michael their youngest child. Katie and Jessie run a business called KB7 Publishing from a very small rural town in Queensland called Pentland. You’ll hear their passion for the bush and wanting to tell how it really is in the bush through their books. You’ll hear their legacy they want to leave behind for their children and generations to come. You’ll hear about how they, because they think they’ve had a little bit of luck, want to pay it forward to other rural businesses.

Jenn Donovan:

Before I get into this interview, I really do want to set the same for you that these are two rural people or rural businesses. So my business and their business trying to talk and record audio and video at the same time. The signal is not always great and sometimes you’ll hear that and other times you’ll hear that I’ve cut out bits because the signal woes were just too much. You’ll also hear what sounds like duck in the background at the start, which is really just a noisy naughty crow. So sit back, grab your drink of your choice: tea, coffee, beer, wine, whatever and listen in to episode one.

Jenn Donovan:

I’m really excited today, I’ve got Katie and Jessie and Michael here with me today. They are here to have a bit of a chat to us about their experience in the bush and also tell us a little bit about their business. So welcome to [inaudible 00:03:41] Thanks for joining me.

Katie Jones:

Thank you very much.

Jessie Jones:

Hey.

Jenn Donovan:

Are you going to say hello, Michael, or are you just too shy?

Katie Jones:

Michael is not much of a talker.

Jenn Donovan:

Still a bit shy. Beautiful. So we are two people in rural areas, hoping that the sound quality will hold up long enough for this podcast. So where about are you guys?

Jessie Jones:

We’re in Pentland which is about an hour west of Charters Towers. It’s a really small little town there and will suffice that I come this down the road [inaudible 00:04:21]

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, okay, right. So how rural are you? Is this typical outback Australia type of rural or…

Jessie Jones:

Yeah, we’re sort on the Great Diving Range before you go down the western dams and that [inaudible 00:04:44] Pentland isn’t really… It’s got a school and it’s got a pub [crosstalk 00:04:53] and a post office. That’s the limit to it. The post office used to stock dried ones and stuff, but not anymore. So pretty much everything you have get it at Charters Towers.

Katie Jones:

So because probably most people don’t know Pentland, Pentland, I think at the last census was 250 people.

Jessie Jones:

[crosstalk 00:05:14] I think they counted dogs to get that number.

Katie Jones:

So it’s lovely. The school here is only a primary school, so the children actually have to go to the boarding school for year seven and onwards.

Jessie Jones:

My father has [inaudible 00:05:36] here and there [inaudible 00:05:51]

Katie Jones:

Yes, so Jessie’s sort of [inaudible 00:05:52]

Jessie Jones:

[inaudible 00:05:52] there’s hardly half muster [inaudible 00:05:54]

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, okay. You have a business, the KB7 Publishing, can you tell us a little bit about that business and perhaps how that business works in such rural area for the both of you?

Katie Jones:

Sure. So maybe we should actually start with explaining the name of it.

Jenn Donovan:

[crosstalk 00:06:17] Yes, what does KB7 mean?

Jessie Jones:

[crosstalk 00:06:20] When we started putting it together, as we wrote the first book, we needed to get a name and everything for it. I just said, “Why don’t we use my brand?” So we just used this cattle brand KB7 and [inaudible 00:06:34] one name. Is there anything [inaudible 00:06:38] you got that?

Katie Jones:

It’s quite interesting actually. I find rural people recognize it as a cattle brand right away.

Jenn Donovan:

This is great. What created cattle brand then? How does KB7 become a-

Jessie Jones:

KB7, it’s actually me and my father in a partnership. We have a different brand for the partnership. KB7 [inaudible 00:07:07] start buying cattle and partnership with my brand and dad actually had [inaudible 00:07:15] brand in a place that we used to own. It has been registered in his name, so I just put it in my name.

Katie Jones:

[crosstalk 00:07:24] I think she was asking how the brands work. Was that what you were asking? [crosstalk 00:07:29] Oh, why those letters?

Jessie Jones:

Yeah, that’s what I [inaudible 00:07:33]. Our actual brand, the partnership brand is JJ3 [inaudible 00:07:38] that’s the initials. With this brand, it’s just a brand that we had registered in our name. I could say the K stands for Katie. [crosstalk 00:07:46] B might be beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

Jenn Donovan:

Seven times better than any other woman you’ve ever met.

Jessie Jones:

Yes, there you go. [crosstalk 00:07:53]

Katie Jones:

There you go. I didn’t know why you ever came up with that. [crosstalk 00:07:57]

Jessie Jones:

I could never think of anything for the seven. It was just a brand that we’ve thought along the way. [inaudible 00:08:15] cattle that I personally bought.

Jenn Donovan:

Beautiful. I loved that way that rural people clearly caught it on really quickly. Although we’re farmers, we are chic farmers, so not into cattle branding at all or cattle brands I should say. So it didn’t click for me, but that’s really interesting. You did mention that the brand came about after you published your first book. So can you tell us a little bit about the books that you write? What is that? How long ago did you do those and when did they fold in?

Katie Jones:

Actually, no, I’ll start.

Jessie Jones:

I’ll just going to find out who [inaudible 00:08:50]

Katie Jones:

So we started publishing our books in early 2018. They’ve been in the works for quite a while in one way or the other. Jet had often said to me that people outside of the bush, they don’t get it. They don’t understand what it’s like to live in the bush. These are people that are making decisions that affect us here in the bush. I originally come from a journalism background and I said to him, “Well, how can we help people understand what it’s like in the bush?”

Katie Jones:

What we came up with was actually children’s books. These aren’t educational children’s books in the sense of someone kind of preaching out about anything. You know what? I’ll just get Jessie to read a few lines from one of his books.

Jenn Donovan:

[crosstalk 00:10:08] What’s the book called? Before you start doing some lines, what’s the book actually called?

Jessie Jones:

This is the first book, Not Far to Go Now.

Jenn Donovan:

Not Far to Go Now, okay.

Jessie Jones:

Yeah, and anyway I wrote it. A little bit of poetry and song lyrics and stuff. I wanted something not only to tell people about the bush, but I want something that was fun for kids to read and have that repetitiveness to poetry. It has that [inaudible 00:10:44] remember.

Katie Jones:

Also, I should add as a parent, I really hate super long children’s books.

Jenn Donovan:

[crosstalk 00:10:52] Every mother and father, [inaudible 00:10:57] hallelujah. When it’s story book time, it’s the shortest book on the bookshelf.

Katie Jones:

That’s right.

Jessie Jones:

Also, I wanted something, if kids can read something easily, they enjoy reading it. Whereas, if you start trying to get kids books that are too worded and too hard, they lose that love of reading.

Jenn Donovan:

Yes.

Jessie Jones:

This is Not Far To Go Now. So I’ll read pages of it.

Jessie Jones:

Not far to go now, old cow, old cow. Not far to go now, old cow. You’ve come a long way and it’s been a long day. Not far to go now, old cow.

Jessie Jones:

The book travels through that with all the animals: his horse, his dog, and then, himself. But then Katie decided make that his child. A kid that’s been mustering all day being in the bush pen. The illustrations are basically my oldest son, doing exactly that.

Katie Jones:

So the illustrations for this particular book are based on photographs that I took on our son Jack’s first muster with his family.

Jenn Donovan:

Okay.

Jessie Jones:

It was his first one where he’s riding a horse that he’s on. [crosstalk 00:12:05] before, but this was his first.

Jenn Donovan:

Wow.

Katie Jones:

His first time really contributing, helping up and push the cattle along and all the rest of it. How old would he had been? Gosh.

Jessie Jones:

And then these pictures, well, he’s eight now. So it would make him five maybe. [crosstalk 00:12:19] Five, six, or seven [inaudible 00:12:23] doing the same. Katie coming… She came from Canada, but she didn’t actually come from a rural background. So I’ve managed to teach him a lot more. He’s light-handed. Katie around [inaudible 00:12:39] as well.

Jenn Donovan:

How often do you muster?

Jessie Jones:

It depends. Sort of two to three rounds a year. The seasons that we’ve have, we’ve changed around. So the normal time, we muster in December again this time. Normally, we would do that, but we didn’t. We wanted to get these calves who were big enough wean off their mothers. This chaos didn’t have to endure and probably wean a little bit younger and a bit more. We just had a different [crosstalk 00:13:18] management strategy and that changed, but [inaudible 00:13:22] two or three times, and sometimes we’ll walk [inaudible 00:13:28]

Katie Jones:

No, I was going to say… I know one of your questions was actually about how the drought has affected us and I supposed actually, in terms of the mustering and possibly weaning it a little bit early, that is- [crosstalk 00:13:44]

Jessie Jones:

A little bit earlier, yeah.

Katie Jones:

Based on the drought, putting less pressure on cows that don’t necessarily have much.

Jessie Jones:

Yeah, on a breeding cow.

Katie Jones:

Yeah.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, no, that was exactly my question, Katie. The words right out of my mouth. So how long is the muster, both in distance and in time? Say December 1, how long did you walk them for?

Jessie Jones:

On walking cow, it obviously depends on what time. [inaudible 00:14:17] and had ones at the yard, so we walked them along there. Probably, I don’t know, 12 to 15 kilometers might have been the longest. Now we’ve [inaudible 00:14:35] for about one whole yard, so it’s about shorter distances. So we have to walk them. We’ve actually got three yards available.

Katie Jones:

I think actually possibly the keyword here is walk. It’s a long day because we’re don’t want to push those cattle. A lot of them have young calves and all that and it’s just walking for hours and hours.

Jessie Jones:

They might walk those distances if you push them and let them go too fast. [crosstalk 00:15:11] [inaudible 00:15:16] Being small operators, we’ve been very hard and [inaudible 00:15:20] They cannot stress themselves as much, so they can walk distances.

Jenn Donovan:

Is Pentland in drought?

Jessie Jones:

It is drought in the area. Even though we’ve had a pretty good start this time and last year, wasn’t too bad a season. Wet season wasn’t that good. We got quite a rain. It helped, but we are still under the effects of drought. Particularly in our case, where we started breeding small calves. We don’t keep the calves at home. [inaudible 00:16:02]

Jessie Jones:

We really rely in the western dams and the southern people for our market. So if they don’t get rain, it doesn’t matter what season we have here. They got to get rain to the drought. It’s obviously going to cost us less feed, MIU, stuff like that. Unless, they get a good season in the southwest.

Katie Jones:

If they don’t get rain, we don’t have a marketplace.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. [crosstalk 00:16:37] For anyone who’s listening that perhaps isn’t rural, I think, you’ve made really great points there. One, sometimes the flow-on effect is just as bad as perhaps having drought yourself. Because if your target market is in drought, then they’re not willing to buy. Also, one a lot of rain or one wet season, isn’t going to change this. [crosstalk 00:17:03] This drought is here for a long time. It will take you quite a few year.

Jessie Jones:

You have accumulated costs for the drought too. That’s the thing with this drought being a lot longer lasting than normal. You’ve got that [inaudible 00:17:22] accumulated cost that you have with you, you would say nothing go up. It’s a long time getting those costs back.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, exactly. So have you found the drought has affected the retail market of your book sale?

Katie Jones:

A lot of our market is the caravan, but in terms of local markets, so these books that I sell locally, I stock in local shops and things like that. I guess, the caravaners do kind of come through. They’re not necessarily as affected. Although, I had noticed in the last few years, there are a lot fewer people on the road, actually.

Jessie Jones:

Yeah, but in terms of the amount of what we sell through the Internet, through Buy From a Bush… Buy From a Bush is actually being really good at sell of course, but a lot of these people, we found out, people that had some rural background [inaudible 00:18:33] and that’s been some of the progress. [inaudible 00:18:39] probably has… There’s less money in these areas. But in the urban areas, this long drought has actually made people, in cities have been aware that drought’s actually got them and it affects people. As terrible as it was, we finally got a bit of recognition there. So we finally have our urban market as [inaudible 00:18:59]

Katie Jones:

We made a very conscious decision to keep our prices low. People actually said to us when we first start putting the books out, you can be charging twice on them. Books are expensive. But we made a very conscious decision to keep the prices low. So our soft covered books are $12 each and our hard cover books are $20. I found by keeping those prices low, we have a lot more buyers than we might if we had charged say $20 for a soft-covered book or something like that. Or we had people buy by multiples. Where they would’ve just bought one, but then when they hear the price, they go, “Oh, you know what? I’ll actually get a second one for my friend’s child who are,” or whatever. Oddly enough I guess, by keeping our prices low, we have in some ways, drought business. It’s not this huge cost for people. They don’t go, “Oh, well, if I brought that book today, we won’t be able to…”

Jessie Jones:

That book’s just too damn expensive. That was very [inaudible 00:20:28] affordable. In terms of the printing companies, we had worked our way up [inaudible 00:20:40]

Katie Jones:

[inaudible 00:20:40]

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, interesting. So you mentioned before that you had them in some stores. Do you have your books just locally in some stores like the post office? [crosstalk 00:20:53]

Katie Jones:

Yeah, so we do locally in Charters Towers. We have books in four or five locations actually, just in Charters Towers itself.

Jessie Jones:

We do have an art gallery here too.

Katie Jones:

Yes, there’s a little arts and crafts shack-

Jessie Jones:

Yeah.

Katie Jones:

Here in town that is right on the highway that people can pull up. We do have our stuff in there. We have a bit in the post office here and all that as well. I do sometimes go to the local markets as well, especially the special ones, the Christmas market and things like that. Other than that, truthfully, I always have a box of books in the back of our car.

Jenn Donovan:

Speaking like a good author. Absolutely.

Katie Jones:

Yes, so I sell them directly. Also, if we’re driving somewhere and we happen to see a shop somewhere, I might call in and ask them if they’re interested in stocking the book. So we are always looking for other venues. Truthfully, we make more money off the books we sell ourselves by far. So I haven’t pushed that side of things as much as I like have them there in book shops and all that. It’s lovely. Financially, it’s not necessarily-

Jessie Jones:

As good.

Katie Jones:

As good. [crosstalk 00:22:38]

Jessie Jones:

It’s a sign that they… The publishing company that we used has some listing on Amazon and these other [inaudible 00:22:46] We don’t make much money from them. So that’s fine for people that are in foreign countries with postage, will buy the book, a ridiculous cost. So we put them through that, but we’d rather, you just buy contact us through KB7 Publishing webpage and-

Katie Jones:

That’s right. If you happen to be in Canada or U.S., U.K., even India or China or any place like that, you can just go on Amazon and Robinsons and [inaudible 00:23:18] any of those book sellers, Booktopia and all of those. Our books are there as well. We only make around $1 to $1.50 each, in those book sales. So like I said, luckily that’s not something I pushed in selling.

Jenn Donovan:

Yes, so we did talk about the book Not Far to Go Now. You’ve mentioned books. How many books do you actually have?

Jessie Jones:

Mine was just the two. [inaudible 00:23:50] The next one is Hard in the Yards, which is [inaudible 00:23:55] We made a conscious decision with this one too. The first book mainly features my oldest son, he’s the one in the role. This one is mainly featured around at work. So we’ve got a little boy and a little girl work in a way. I mean, they’re all good for both kids and that, but the art work is [inaudible 00:24:22]

Katie Jones:

It’s not to say, actually, in this second book. Both of our sons are also in the book.

Jenn Donovan:

[crosstalk 00:24:30] I was going to say, “Hang on, there’s a third one coming. It’s all about you now.”

Katie Jones:

That’s right. So we’re currently working on a third book and it’s going to be about chores. The things that bush kids do around the place. Feeding the chooks and ordering the dogs and-

Jessie Jones:

Feeding the horse. Yeah, so all the chores [inaudible 00:24:50] They just come part of the routine for the day.

Jenn Donovan:

Collecting the eggs.

Jessie Jones:

collecting the eggs. They love collecting the eggs.

Katie Jones:

They do love collecting the eggs. Actually, our youngest son, he just love chooks in general. I think that’s a little kid thing because I can remember [Ginny Rae 00:25:20] our daughter, when she was little, she used to actually drag her little chair into the chook pen. She like to just sit there in the chook pen and watch the chooks.

Jenn Donovan:

Very therapeutic. I remember one of my jobs, I grew up on a farm as well, and one of my jobs is to collect the eggs. I really wanted to learn. I’d watched my brother and my sister, who were both older than me, spin the bucket really quickly with all the eggs in it and none would fall out. That was the goal. I couldn’t wait to spin that bucket so quickly, that the eggs wouldn’t fall out then I was fine. There’s few broken eggs [inaudible 00:26:00]

Jessie Jones:

My kids, [inaudible 00:26:00], we don’t get enough eggs.

Jenn Donovan:

Oh, dear, oh, dear. Guess what? Anyone listening in the audience, listen we have connected through my Facebook group that I set up in late October in 2019 called Buy From a Bush Business. So you guys found that, so how did that actually come across your Facebook to start with, to find that group?

Katie Jones:

I think actually another bush friend tagged me in it. Recommended it to me.

Jessie Jones:

Was it one of the ones… [Patty 00:26:42] actually does the workshops. She recently got one through the, which was in the [inaudible 00:26:52] It didn’t matter if they had no art experience in doing a piece of art in two days. I think it was one of [crosstalk 00:27:05]

Katie Jones:

It might have been, but yeah, someone in my lovely Facebook array of friends. Someone recommended the page to me. It has been absolutely godsend.

Jessie Jones:

It has been. Especially I was just [inaudible 00:27:26] the wet season on, so we couldn’t find any outside work [inaudible 00:27:34]. There’s not a lot of money coming in. We’ve actually been selling books on [inaudible 00:27:38] one where I can just retire and Katie can just get some time off in book marketing.

Katie Jones:

Well, actually, I tell you, this isn’t a complaint, but there had been a few times after I posted on the page. [inaudible 00:28:01] and the phone’s going, with more orders. I thought, “I want your orders, but can’t you just stop for maybe half an hour and let me catch up?” That’s a really good problem [inaudible 00:28:16]

Jenn Donovan:

It’s a fantastic problem to have and you’re not alone. I’ve had messages from people going, “I had absolutely no idea that this would happen. Now I’m working 17 hours a day just to go with my orders out.” It’s not a complaint, but I was practically surprised.

Jessie Jones:

I think in terms of our Internet marketing, it’s our best. We’ve probably sold more before that, we’ve been selling a lot longer. [inaudible 00:28:46], I’m being honest, it’s been our best.

Katie Jones:

I would say, comparably, I was marketing our books through Facebook last year for Christmas. When I said last year, 2018. At Christmas time, I was marketing the books and 2019 through Bush, I would say, I probably sold at least 10 to possibly 15 times more books through Facebook. [crosstalk 00:29:15]

Jessie Jones:

We sold out. We actually should’ve put a bit more stock.

Katie Jones:

I actually ran out of stock at Christmas time, which was a little bit awkward because I had the Christmas markets and I had no stock. But again, what a lovely problem to have.

Jenn Donovan:

Yes, what a lovely problem to have indeed. You would’ve to have gone to all those stores where you put your books and say, “Can I just have these back for a little while, please?” Oh, wow, that’s so good. I love hearing how the Buy From a Bush Business group has helped rural people, but it’s not just that, is it? The post office, obviously, is somewhere where you’re going to post these, but there is a bit of flow-on effect as well.

Katie Jones:

Yeah, well, definitely. I mean, our post office, they’ve seen me every day with books going out. I have to say, I love our little rural post offices. I guess another thing to say is, as you’re probably aware, a lot of times at the bush, we don’t actually have a lot of options in terms of couriers. So for us, here it’s Australia Post and that’s it. Even when we get packages sent to us, they may come through some other [inaudible 00:30:55], but they hit Charters Towers and then they go through Australia Post, then to us. They don’t deliver right here.

Jessie Jones:

No, very few couriers sends us. Unless it’s like machine parts or something, they’re coming through, but in terms of that, yeah.

Katie Jones:

Yeah, definitely the local post office has seen us quite a bit. I also have to say truthfully, for our family, especially over the Christmas season, those sales took a lot of pressure off of us. In terms of the amount of frugalness, I had to, in terms of thinking about what we’re getting for Christmas, it did. It took a lot of pressure off us. [crosstalk 00:31:46]

Jessie Jones:

It certainly is and still you need to make a big difference to actually have money coming in through that period. We didn’t [inaudible 00:31:56] We didn’t sell cattle, but it’s not just a matter of that money is [inaudible 00:32:00] and then kept for the cattle, for other things. We’re building a house at the moment. We had our other expenses and yes, certainly the sales were good, particularly through [inaudible 00:32:17]

Katie Jones:

For ourselves, we are obviously very conscious. This may sound weird, but I’m talking very possible to shop locally. So it definitely does have flow-on effect because even though it might be a little bit more expensive to go to, say, the local toy store in Charters Towers rather than just ordering something off of from China of something or even from Target. We try to actually support these local businesses, the local grocery store. Yes, it’s very helpful for us, in terms of, yes, even that flow-on effect I’d say, Jessie?

Jessie Jones:

Yeah, [inaudible 00:33:15] I didn’t mention before, we actually had a really nice coffee shop. I’ve give these people [inaudible 00:33:22] coffee shop. [inaudible 00:33:26] Louise writes poetry too, but she’s mainly an artist, but I think she actually want to go [inaudible 00:33:36] like a really good coffee and sandwiches ans stuff. We have this little town of family… It’s a bit of a big town. We have this really large coffee shop. It looks like a [inaudible 00:33:58] So I’m quite happy to have a business and in terms on flow-on effect, yeah, because we’ve got money coming in from the books and that and this other thing. I’m more likely to go out and say, “All I can afford coffee and have a chat.” [inaudible 00:34:16]

Katie Jones:

Or even for myself, we got local mothers and they like to meet there. I’ve been probably a little less frugal with my purchases. Quite often a lot when the money is tough, [inaudible 00:34:34] getting each the kids maybe a soft drink. But then when they go, “Oh, can you get us toastie too?” I’m like, “No, you know what? We’ve got bread at home. Just wait. So having that extra little money, it’s very nice to be able to go with the other mums in the area and actually just go, “You know what? Yeah, we’ll have lunch here.” As opposed to we’ll have that something, and then-

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, but I would say your positive experience, I’m sure that you are telling other people that and say perhaps the coffee shop people who are artists and do write poetry, maybe they can then advertise and join the group as well, you know sell. So this is flow-on effect as well that way.

Katie Jones:

[inaudible 00:35:24] I’m not sure about-

Jessie Jones:

She’s good [inaudible 00:35:31]

Katie Jones:

I have a couple of friends here in town. I definitely noticed their posts as well. [crosstalk 00:35:44] I’m just like… I know one of my friends, at Christmas time she said, “I’ve been sending shirts to Tasmania.”

Jenn Donovan:

Right down that end of the country.

Katie Jones:

She was very excited. It opened up markets that we never had. For instance, Karen my friend, who’s been sending shirts to Tasmania. Previously, her market was pretty much entirely just tourists coming through that made a stop into the shop and saw that she made nice western shirts or occasionally she went to the market and the towns close to us. Now she’s sending shirts to Tasmania. That’s it. Right.

Jenn Donovan:

That’s so awesome. So, so awesome.

Jessie Jones:

Also, people buying some thing from Buy From a Bush. We’ve seen a lot of controversy in the like of the bush fires and everything, some of these charity groups. Unnecessarily, passing the money on. So when [inaudible 00:36:54] buy from the Bush and you buy from someone rural, that’s a hundred percent of that money is going to someone in the rural area. That in some ways is a support. If we can support these livelihood industries, helps a lot more many times that just handful of money just lying around or bye-bye. So it can last in many way. I know [inaudible 00:37:27] had a big issue with one of the businesses [inaudible 00:37:31] is coming and help that lot, but tourists traveling through [inaudible 00:37:46] and somewhat not, [inaudible 00:37:47] buy something to, like coffee shops and do something. Buy and buy… There’s a lot of people that are doing arts and crafts and things and that. [inaudible 00:38:00] It’s not going to pay and solve all their problems, but it certainly helped put food on the table.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah.

Katie Jones:

[inaudible 00:38:09] I have to say, we have such talented people in the Bush. That’s fantastic when I scroll through the feed, I go, “Oh, look at what this person makes.” It’s so exciting to see that exposure because that is a real difficulty for us here in the bush. As an artist for instance, the market for art is in the big cities. It’s a really, really hard market to even break into when you’re not in the city, being able to network and meet with all these people, it’s-

Jessie Jones:

You don’t even know where to go. You meet these people first.

Katie Jones:

So Bush has really opened a lot of those markets to us that we previously wouldn’t know.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, I know. That’s so great. What you were saying the talent in the bush, I must admit that when the group… I think it was just probably Christmas, and I was showing my husband all these things and I’m like, “Look at all these talented farmer’s wives. This is ridiculous.” He said, “Well, you’re left out, big time.” I had no talent whatsoever when it comes to arts and crafts. [crosstalk 00:39:22] It’s quite mind blowing.

Katie Jones:

The local police sergeant here in town, she had said to me before that the talent just absolutely blows her away. It’s very much homegrown talent, a lot of it. This is not in any way, one way or the other, but a lot of them haven’t had a lot of that formal access to [crosstalk 00:39:55] training and techniques and all that. They’re doing amazing and beautiful things and that creativity also just springs out of that necessity, I guess. [inaudible 00:40:08]

Jessie Jones:

We sorted out down through these workshops that Katie did [inaudible 00:40:14] Katie didn’t want to do it with where they will come and [inaudible 00:40:26] but she won’t actually do them on the properties. I was amazed at with a little bit of guidance and some techniques like graphing, some quite simple things, [inaudible 00:40:43] “Oh, no, I have no artistic ability,” or “I have nothing.” Katie helped them select vase [inaudible 00:40:54] and so they were drawing, painting their story too what they wanted to say in the application, which was [inaudible 00:41:05] the story.

Katie Jones:

Repainting a picture.

Jessie Jones:

Repainting a picture.

Katie Jones:

Yeah.

Jessie Jones:

So they pulled a lot of themselves [inaudible 00:41:12] When all of these women continue to do art-

Katie Jones:

I’d say a lot of people they just need that encouragement where sometimes, what would I describe it, as doing whatever we’re doing in a bit of a void. It’s lovely to get that encouragement and I love to scroll in through… I always, when I’m scrolling through that and I see something I like, I like to just type a little note telling that person, “Oh, I really love that.” Rating what I love about it. Because I might not be able to buy it. It may not even be something I… We all need that encouragement to actually [crosstalk 00:42:05]

Jenn Donovan:

Again, that’s a really beautiful part is that the community, there’s so many things that are wrong with social media, but there are so many things that are great about social media. I think, exactly what you just said is one of those things that’s great about social media. You can really connect with other people and create that little sense of community, even though perhaps they’re isolated from where they actually live.

Jessie Jones:

I think the only way were going to get the change with the mindset in urban Australia is simply if they can see that a lot of the things that [inaudible 00:42:49] We’re able to show how life is, and how we care for our animals and the things we face, instead of being, yeah [inaudible 00:43:04] train in a lot of ways as these [inaudible 00:43:07] that these wealthy people are only concerned about profits or [inaudible 00:43:17] and the truth lies in the mind. [inaudible 00:43:24]

Jenn Donovan:

Sometimes.

Katie Jones:

Sometimes. Majority.

Jessie Jones:

[inaudible 00:43:37] employment one of the biggest problems down here in the rural industry and they’re really struggling. I like it the way that some of these kids do read these books and grow up and say, “I want to get and do this.” Because it’s one of the stigma, most kids leaving bicycles [inaudible 00:43:56] work on the bush. Everyone was discouraged. That’s what going on in the school. A boarding school that was [inaudible 00:44:04] by rural people and was even [inaudible 00:44:07] was just Bushtown really. There’s nothing wrong with people getting degrees and they trade. I don’t think that’s good, but if the job is [inaudible 00:44:19] wants to work in the rural industry, he’s really, really discouraged. I’ve been doing it since I left school and I’m still in it. Still making a living out of it.

Katie Jones:

One of the people that bought from me, she said she had bought quite a lot of things through Bush. She said one of the things that she loved the most was actually interacting with the person who had made the piece. Talking with the person and hearing a bit of their story, but also just that responsiveness and the happiness to work with you on what it is what you want exactly from them. I have also gotten such beautiful and encouraging notes from buyers when they buy their things. Even their well-wishes, so often they tell me that [inaudible 00:45:28] It’s a lovely thing.

Jessie Jones:

[inaudible 00:45:31] these sort of concerns which I think… Like I said earlier, the drought, as firm as it was, and it still is for a lot of people, bring awareness that we face and [inaudible 00:46:00] whereas before, they didn’t really even think about it. [inaudible 00:46:04] wasn’t exactly true.

Katie Jones:

My phone is actually starting to run out of charge. [crosstalk 00:46:15] Are there any pressing questions that you have to- [crosstalk 00:46:21]

Jenn Donovan:

No, I was just about to wrap it up, absolutely. You have given me so much time. I’m very, very thankful. So I guess for anyone who is listening, who thinks they would like to buy one of your books. What’s the best way for them to get in contact with you?

Katie Jones:

So the best way would probably be to go to our Facebook page, which is www.facebook.com/notfartogonow/ or just type in KB7 Publishing, actually, in your search bar and it should pop up. Or truthfully, they may go on to your site and search Katie Jones and I would pop up.

Jenn Donovan:

I will have links in the show notes for all of that. So if you’re running or if you’re in the car, listening and you didn’t hear that, I will definitely have those things in the show notes. Katie, Jessie, and Michael, whose now just [inaudible 00:47:27], I am truly for you giving up some time today. It’s been awesome. I really hope that you’ve inspired some other people, but also bridging that gap and creating that community which is Buy From a Bush Business and [inaudible 00:47:44] are all about.

Jenn Donovan:

Katie, Jessie, and Michael didn’t get to say goodbye. Their phone battery obviously went dead. You got to love technology, hey. I hope you were both impressed and inspired by their story, their business, and their resilience. If there’s one thing I really want you to take away from these podcasts, in this season of podcast, it is that there really isn’t barriers to business. I think it was the 1994 Los Angeles Olympic games that had the slogan where there’s a will, there’s a way. I’m really not quite sure why I remembered that, but it’s so true. Where there is a will, there is definitely a way.

Jenn Donovan:

So thanks so much for listening to season one, episode one. Join me at the episode two where I’ll be chatting to another fabulous rural business owner. This time the business idea came from dead camels. I kid you not. It’s a fascinating tale, this one.

Jenn Donovan:

Thanks again for tuning in to episode one, season one of Stories From the Bush. I really hoped you enjoyed it. If you haven’t checked out our marketplace, go and check out www.spendwithus.com.au and support rural and regional small businesses. We’ll see you for the next episode.

 

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