Bush Exchange is an online store founded by Bridget Coulton. From artwork, homewares, beautiful style and things for the great outdoors - you’ll be able to connect to the Australian bush like never before.
Photography by Pip Williams
Tell us about your business and how it started?
The seed for Bush Exchange was sown back in 2015 whilst raising my first child on our cotton, cropping and cattle farm west of Goondiwindi.
Originally hailing from Melbourne but then firmly rooted into life in the bush, this new chapter of my life, which at some times was isolating after a busy career, saw me day-dreaming quite regularly about how I could share my passion for the Australian bush in a way that could transcend barriers between the city and the country.
I was looking for ways of connecting. Not long after my second child and several plays on brand names, Bush Exchange was finally born and trademarked in 2018.
Bush Exchange was set to be an online platform that would share stories and quality products inspired by the Australian bush - from art, food, home, travel, life and style.
It all started by sharing wonderful inspiration from across the country on Instagram. Still busy with two young kids, this was a fabulous creative outlet for me to work on my brand aesthetic and vision without the pressure of operating a business.
With my third (and last!) baby born in 2019, it wasn't until 2021 that I launched my website and online journal. The online store followed a year later and here I am with my first season of online goods all set to make their way to homes across the country this Christmas.
The Bush Exchange online store is a beautifully curated marketplace which showcases artists and makers that all create something that connects to the Australian bush lifestyle in one way or another - whether it's through art, handmade goods, natural fibres or outdoor products.
We like to think people don't just buy products - they buy stories, magic and relationships.
What is your biggest achievement in business?
What challenges or hurdles have your faced in business?
Where do I start? My remote location is definitely a challenge, however I also know it is one of my biggest assets and driving force behind why I started an online platform in the first place.
Making connections and forming relationships online can be a lot harder without the face-to-face contact. So many times I've dreamed of being able to have my own brick and mortar store in town as a place to connect but I know that would not fit in with my current lifestyle of raising a young family on a farm an hour out of town.
I think you can be challenged by getting side-tracked and looking too much at what other people are doing.
It takes a lot of faith and trust sometimes to stay on the path of your vision, especially with all the different curve balls that can be thrown your way and the lack of established revenue to support exposure and growth.
It can be a challenge to visually stand out online and make authentic connections with so many other wonderful online platforms out there.
We're soldiering on though and we are as passionate and determined as ever to carry out our mission.
We do hope that more people catch on to what we're doing and connect with us through our online journal and store on so we can continue to gradually share more stories and products from the heart of the bush.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of owning your own business?
Being able to create and build on something each day that aligns with your values, mission and vision. It's a great feeling when you see something you've worked so hard on come to life and it's a pure representation of you and your brand.
Who or what inspires you and your creative process?
I get a lot of inspiration from Instagram - it's such a wonderful platform for showcasing individual creative talent. I also love a tangible magazine - Country Style and Graziher have given me a lot of inspo over the years. I also love looking at what's around me: local makers, artisans. I love a saddlery.
In terms of branding, I just love Jumbled. Pip and Jess are such talented curators and I love the confidence, fun and authenticity their brand exudes - I want to be more like them.
What does success mean to you?
In moments of self doubt, how do you build yourself back up?
What do you love most about where you live?
I love the wide open spaces, the colours of the landscape and weekends spent horse riding with the kids and having a campfire and a beer down on the river.
CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE
Bush Exchange have put together a gift guide of some of their favourite things that connect us to the bush. To help spread the spirit of Christmas, there is a $25 gift voucher code inside. View online
ABOUT BUSH EXCHANGE
The Australian bush culture epitomises real authentic living. It takes us literally back to earth and makes us appreciate and experience raw beauty, tastes, culture and people. Here at The Bush Exchange - we will take you there. Through sharing inspiration from all sorts of creators in an artfully curated way you’ll be able to connect to the Australian bush like never before.