Kirsty Bourchier is living the dream. Ten years ago, the Dubbo mum was working as a receptionist and now she has turned her side hustle - an online womens' clothing accessories business - into a living.
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And it's all thanks to a travelling salesman, some carefully-chosen products and a network of customers who support bush businesses.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 6.5 per cent of all employed people work multiple jobs - the highest rate since the bureau began collating the data in 1994.
With the rising cost of living, more people are working extra hours to make ends meet - but not all people get to leave their nine-to-five job for their passion project.
"I always dreamt I'd have a business I'd be able to run full-time and that would be my full-time job ... but I never thought it was going to happen," Mrs Bourchier told the Daily Liberal.
The mum-of-two was working her receptionist job one day when a sales representative selling bags came into her workplace and she "picked his brains".
He was kind enough to give her some information about stockists and starting-up a business in the accessories field and she began selling products online.
Her business, KB Handbags and Gifts, began on Facebook, but during the drought she joined a social media campaign spearheaded by an online marketplace called Buy From The Bush, which gained support from buyers around the world spending money with Australian bush businesses.
Now, she sells her products on her own website, as well as another marketplace called Spend With Us - Buy From a Bush Business.
"When the Buy From The Bush happened in 2019, literally within the first two weeks of that kicking off, I then had to create my own website [to cater for demand]. I also had a six-month-old baby," Mrs Bouchier said.
"The amount of support from out of NSW and the country, everyone wanted to support those small businesses. Prior to that, no-one really knew about us. Other than your big brands, that everyone commonly knows, there was no platform on Facebook for those small businesses to be seen.
"Everyone wanted to support everyone in drought, it boomed, it was crazy. I made my own website, then decided I did not need to go back to work after I had my baby."
Mrs Bouchier describes the products she stocks - bags, hats, scarves and jewellery - as "different and unique", and "harder to buy in the shops".
She makes the jewellery herself - earrings, necklaces and key-chains - and curates the other accessories from different suppliers.
"I taught myself how to do it all. A lot of Google and YouTube," Mrs Bouchier said. "I love making and having something I created [on the website]".
She also puts together special hampers and gift packs.
Her advice to other small sellers is to "do it".
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"Unless you do it, you'll never know. It is hard work and you've got to work it for it to work, basically. I would recommend to anyone who has a small business, give it a go, it will either work or it won't and you won't know unless you do it."
The Spend With Us - Buy From a Bush Business online marketplace is hosting an awards program to celebrate small bush businesses, many of which suffered through the drought. Entries close April 30. Enter online at www.spendwithus.com.au
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