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Made by hand with heart: A sustainable debut at the Finders Keepers Market

Posted 12 months ago in Small business by Sophie Lamell
Posted by Sophie Lamell

Small businesses have the power to kickstart huge change. And with the fashion industry recently declared one of the world’s largest polluters; now is the time for a fresh new perspective. But first, their owners are faced with the biggest challenge of all: turning a creative idea into a reality. Here at Xero, we’re about supporting small businesses doing great things. Which is why we couldn’t be prouder to partner with Finders Keepers, a roving market that features the work of over 1200 independent makers and designers from across the country.

Building a business from scratch is by no means an easy journey. Especially when that business is founded on sustainable principles. As Dasha Roth of Boxx Kids explains, “We sell childrens’ clothes made from organic cotton. It’s not the easiest (namely, not the most economical) path, but along the way, we’ve built an incredible tribe of customers who really care about ethical manufacturing. Seeing people buy handmade products that will get passed on to siblings and friends – that’s what makes it all worthwhile.”

Crafting thoughtful designs custom made to last

Like Dasha, colour-fuelled artist and designer Claire Ritchie will be at the Brisbane Finders Keepers market encouraging you to buy high-quality items and treat them with care. In her own words: “I always stay true to my values of looking after our beautiful environment – it underpins everything Claire Ritchie is about. I hope my thoughtfully designed items will inspire people to shop with the same thoughtfulness.”

Using minimal-waste pattern-making in all of her designs, Claire “allows whatever scraps are leftover to inspire me; sometimes this leads to collaborations with other artists, sometimes it’s a quirky one-off product. Whatever the outcome, I make sure every last scrap finds a home somewhere other than the bin.” And, in doing so, she gets to be her own boss: “I’m creating my dream job. And while it’s still a work in progress, that means a healthy balance between my business, family, and friends.”

In order to maintain that oh so elusive balance, Claire has made the transition to accounting software and found an accountant to support her as the business grows. “To be honest, me and numbers just don’t mix. I failed accounting in high school and it seems to follow me everywhere! Getting an accountant and making the move to digital has been a huge relief for me.”

Carving out time and creating balance

Like Claire, Dasha was all too happy to say goodbye to spreadsheets. “I used to do my own numbers and it was a total nightmare. I hated it! I just felt like I was wasting so much time.” Having switched to Xero, Dasha says, “Using Xero is so much easier. Now, the things that used to consume me are super simple. Better yet, the time it takes to do my finances has probably halved – if not more.”

Dasha, like 726,000 other subscribers across the country, has discovered that Xero allows her more time to do what matters. “It has definitely freed up the time to do creative things, like building trust in the brand and running the Boxx Kids social media.” “I try not to overdo it… but you will get a bit of environmentalism in your feed!”, she laughs. Most important of all, however, is family, “Ultimately, I don’t want to spend all of my days on the business – I want to spend them being present with my kids.”

Finders Keepers combines design, art, great food, live music, and community spirit all under one roof in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney. In a show of support for innovative new retail businesses, Xero is the proud sponsor of an area dedicated to debut market stalls. And by supporting locally and sustainably made artisans, you too can join in the revolution. Come along and see Claire Richie, Boxx Kids and much, much more at the Brisbane Showgrounds from 21 to 23 June.

Find out when Finders Keepers is coming to your city here.

It’s official: from 1 July 2019, all Australian small business owners are required to digitally report their payroll information to the ATO through Single Touch Payroll (STP). Join the team behind Finders Keepers in discovering that STP is only a few clicks away with Xero.

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