How Thirroul supports us and what we do to share the love locally
Living in a small beachside town, I am always touched by the level of support I get from the local community. The people of Thirroul have supported my business from the very start — when it was me working alone doing everything from sourcing products, taking photos, managing the website, and walking to the post office every day to dispatch orders.
David from the local Australia Post Office has always been supportive. When there were plenty of packages to drop off he’d comment that I’d had ‘a good day today.’ And when I had only one, he’d encourage me to keep pushing ahead. And he was thrilled when I was able to hire a team and he saw them dropping off the orders—sometimes hundreds a day.
Many friends gave me encouragement and support in those early years and many of them live locally in Thirroul. There really is something special about the community nature and support that people give each other in small towns.
Desiderate gives back to the area too
When businesses are successful in regional areas, it means we can hire local people as staff, consultants and freelancers. We also invest in property, renting business space. And we spend our business purchases locally, buying technology products from local retailers, visiting local restaurants for team events and attending local networking events. I spend money locally on everything from accountants, lawyers, florists, events, catering, printing and more.
I always support local fundraising with donations of products for raffles and vouchers for goodie bags. I’ve donated more than $30,000 in product value to local not-for-profit, charity and other groups. We support fundraisers for local schools, sports clubs and community charities.
Thirroul and Wollongong residents are some of our biggest customer groups
We are so grateful to them for shopping local and supporting a small family business. I once saw a women in the local shopping centre with Desiderate bangles stacked high on each wrist, it was quite a thrill! And now I have a fashion label, Taleeta—I love seeing the women of Thirroul wearing my range, especially seeing my dresses at the beach or dining on the main street.
We have quite a few people in the local area who have bought from us more than 20 times, which means they qualify for their own permanent discount code.
We make it easy for locals to reduce postage costs by making our products available to collect from Thirroul collective, which also helps drive foot traffic to the Collective.
I was named an Australia Post Local Hero
I was very lucky to be featured as the Local Business Heros Program with Australia Post
Local employees nominated their favourite businesses and I was selected as the winner for the Wollongong region! I won a selection of prizes valued at more than $5000 which was so helpful to a small business. I also was featured on local posters which was a surreal and crazy experience. If someone told me when I started my business in 2017 that I would be featured in post offices signage around Thirroul and Wollongong I would have laughed.
Support can be free
Another thing I notice about local friends and supporters is they all follow my social media accounts and give me support by commenting and engaging on my content. This costs people nothing but time but it helps amplify my social media posts as every comment and like gives it broader reach. It’s a really helpful way to support a small business that costs nothing. I like to do the same for local businesses too.
I always enter local business awards as they help boost awareness of Desiderate in the local community. And it’s always special when I win. I was thrilled to be named as one of the most popular service providers in the Wollongong region by Mumspages. I was a winner in the local business awards for the jewellery store category for the Illawarra and South Coast NSW 2022. And a finalist in the Local Illawarra Business Awards for many years. And In 2022 I was named a finalist in the regional business of the year category in the AusMumpreneur awards. Where I can, I like to buy a table at local business awards and events and take the team so we can have a fun night out and meet other local small business owners.
Thanks to everyone in Thirroul who has supported this small but mighty local business!