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Brindie: loving local

Tess Parisotto

In a city full of talented makers, Brindie brings them all together in one online space.

I first met Lisa Grech little over a year ago when she launched Urban Charms. It was her first business venture, she was bubbling with excitement, and her positivity and passion was infectious. Fast forward 12 months and nothing has changed – except this time, she’s launching business number two; Brindie. It’s an online space dedicated solely to local makers; a web-store where you can shop all sorts of Canberra handmade goodness and learn about the makers behind the products.

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Brindie founder Lisa Grech

 

As a person who loves to support local businesses, hearing about Brindie was like music to my ears. There are so many local makers in Canberra, but outside of local markets it can be really hard to find them. Lisa noticed the same thing when she first began Urban Charms – she would be going to the markets every other weekend, talking to the other makers and finding that they were all having the same problem: it was difficult for them to get known and be found in Canberra…and so the idea of Brindie began gestating.

Lisa put the call out in May to see how many local makers would be interested in featuring their products on her website, and she was overwhelmed when 40 different makers stepped forward wanting to take part. What sets Brindie apart from other online stores is that the products aren’t the only main event. The site focuses on showcasing the makers themselves – each maker has a ‘Meet the Maker’ profile where you can read about who they are and what exactly they do. In addition to that, there’s a banner at the top of site which will feature a different maker every fortnight. There are also small blurbs about each product so you can really connect with the things you choose to buy.

So it’s not just a store; Brindie tells the story of some of Canberra’s most talented makers, designers and artisans. And knowing those stories is part of the reason it feels so good to shop local – it’s a hard slog starting up your own business, and when you shop local you know you’re making a difference and supporting someone’s passion, not contributing to some CEO’s third beachside home.

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There will be an array of different items available for purchase on the site, ranging from: jewellery, textiles, wallets, journals, upcycled furniture, prints and photography, home décor, linen, cosmetics and skincare, kids toys – the list goes on! All of the products are compiled into ‘curated collections’ so that you, as a buyer, aren’t overwhelmed by looking at hundreds of the same thing. There will be choice, but a whole lot of variety too.

The good news for the makers is that there are no listing fees either (that’s right – no listing fees!) When something sells, Lisa gets a notification and then passes it onto the maker, and once the item is sold there is a commission. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you ask me. And it’s only fitting that Lisa, of all people, would be the person to support local makers in this way. She’s clearly passionate about collaborating, bringing people (and experiences) together, and helping people in any way she can. Brindie is homage to that fact. Even the name is reflective of Lisa’s ability to bring concepts together – ‘Brindie’ comes from combining the idea of indie makers with Canberra’s iconic Brindabella’s.

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The site is live now, but the official launch is next Wednesday night (19 August), and thereafter you will be able to see all of the makers involved, including Trinket Store, Caitlin Elizabeth Textiles and Honey & Glow, just to name a few. So mark the date down on your calendars people, because supporting local business is about to get a whole lot easier and even more satisfying.

Coming together as a community and making a collaborative effort to support each other is something that I truly believe in, and I think Canberra is especially good at doing it. We are not a community who step on top of each other to reach success (and I hope we never will be!) Thanks to people like Lisa, we can continue to flourish as a community who thrive off of each other’s passions, celebrate each other’s talents and be proud to show our support for our city and all of the wonderful people in it.

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Tess Parisotto

Tess Parisotto is a 21 year old freelance writer and University student currently studying a Bachelor of Writing at the University of Canberra. Born and raised a Canberran, Tess loves her city and being a part of the Canberra community. She has a love for all things local, and is a self-confessed coffee nut, fiercely passionate about coffee and cafe culture in general. Follow @tessparisotto on Instagram for your daily dose of Canberra goodness and other pretty things. More about the Author

  • Lisa Grech

    Thank you so much for an insightful and in depth article Tess! I really appreciate your time and passion for supporting local! Lisa x

  • Lisa Grech

    I’d also like to give acknowledgment to the photographers and maker’s images in this article- Shelly from Novel Photographic, Tabitha Mann (brushes), Claudia Owen (beautiful scarf image) and Kylie from Wombat and Poss (gorgeous knitting). X

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