Using customer photos on social media as testimonials to drive sales, has been the success behind one local Dubbo business.
Dubbo-based business House of Avi has been nominated for the Prime Super Business Innovation Award in the 2021 Community Achievement Awards for Regional NSW and the ACT.
Owned by Avi Kumar, House of Avi opened in July 2019 and sells shoes and scarves, designed by artisans who combine Australian Merino wool with Indian craftsmanship.
House of Avi has been nominated for its innovative business-marketing style, which relies on Facebook and customer photos, which work as testimonials.
"We only use our customer photos to promote our products and this grass roots pathway has struck a chord with everyday Australians," he said.
"People see other people buying my products and it gives them confidence to try."
Mr Kumar has also developed a custom Australian size chart, which caters to the largest and widest Australian feet.
"It's sad that no other footwear brand provides an Australian size chart, we are not in Europe and we are not in USA, hence Australians should be able to have their own size chart," he said.
"Our buying process forces customers to interact with our size chart to ensure they always buy the right size," he said.
However the business owner said it hadn't been easy selling women's shoes and scarves, especially as a male Indian-national.
"I'm brown and a male selling women's shoes and scarves," he said.
"That has been the two biggest barriers because women have told me to my face that they would rather buy from a woman.
"I have had women scream at me from the shop doors that I'm a terrorist and I have taken over Australian jobs."
But Mr Kumar said he had great support from not only people in Dubbo, but from tourists as far as Broome who were purchasing his products in store and online.
The Community Achievement Awards started in 2002 as the Regional Achievement and Community Awards, and are designed to encourage, acknowledge and reward the valuable contributions that individuals, communities and businesses make throughout regional and rural NSW and the ACT.
These awards aim to recognise their success and achievements, which contribute to making regional NSW and the ACT a better place.
Category winners will each receive $2000 in prizes, including an airtime package on PRIME7 along with a trophy. Every nomination will receive a certificate of achievement.
To submit a nomination visit the Awards Australia website, or by calling on 1300 735 445.
Nominations close August 11.