Grown Not Flown, the business behind the 2023 AgriFutures Rural Women's Award winner Nikki Davey
Like many successful country-based entrepreneurs, the silver lining in the COVID-19 cloud for Nikki Davey was putting the wheels in motion to turn an idea into a thriving business.
Davey created Grown Not Flown, which Davey describes on the platform's website as 'a digital platform to facilitate an easier connection between growers and consumers' for those in the flower industry.
Appearing on Flow's Country Viewpoint, Davey elaborated on her early entrepreneurial roots, which came about during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Grown Not Flown was really born during COVID as a bit of a passion project, so there's two farms that sit behind Grown Not Flown - there's our farm, which is called Duck Duck Pig and then there's my cousin's farm, Jade and Hayden, which is called Gnarwarre Flower Farm and we were both relatively new flower farmers into the industry and both at different points with our farms, but really sort of thinking about the different challenges and the problems that we were having," Davey explained.
"There was no aggregated or easy view to be able to find local flower farmers, not just the consumers and floral designers and DIY brides and those sorts of things, but also flower farmer to flower farmer, there was just no aggregated view within Australia.
"We built the app quite literally building what we wished was available when we first started in the industry and we built it sort of thinking about Australia but with global capabilities and I guess what we didn't realize was that our pain points would transcend borders and we actually went global in our second month of launching and the platform has just sort of continued to blossom ever since."
During a time when many Aussies were hording toilet paper and watching government press-conferences, Davey was putting her plan together to launch a digital platform which would eventually garner national recognition.
Davey also took the opportunity to illustrate her gratefulness for the AgriFutures initiative which has propelled her business into the global spotlight.
"This award has been absolutely transformative for both myself and our business, it's really given us the platform to be able to showcase our industry, our platform and tell our story in a way that is just really positive and has resonated," Davey said.
"As well as the opportunity for myself to be able to meet other like-minded people to go through this process, we're a self-funded startup, so the Westpac grant for us has enabled us to move forward and put money into things that we otherwise wouldn't have been able to do, and complete projects."
"For us, that was kicking off our podcast, which is called Vocal About Local - we were able to start running online masterclasses, and so it just really gave us that injection of funding that was able to take us through to that next level, make us level up in a way that we wouldn't have otherwise probably been, we would have seen for another 12 months plus if we had have continued to keep doing it on our own."
2023 National Winner & VIC State Winner Nikki Davey, Founder of Grown Not Flown
Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke, also appeared on the Country Viewpoint this week to endorse all regional and rural women making a difference to their communities and advancing society by utilising opportunities and leaning on entrepreneurial instincts.
"Rural Women's Day of course is a wonderful initiative started by this wonderful young woman, Jackie Elliot in 2019, it's just gone from strength to strength since then and it's all about bringing rural women together so that they can connect in a way that creates a real sense of community for them," Cooke said.
"We know that rural women can at times experience isolation living in rural and regional areas particularly when they're on properties where there's some distance to travel to your nearest town or community, so Rural Women's Day is all about addressing that type of isolation and making sure that ultimately, we get women together around the table, listening to other inspiring women, catching up with people that they might not have had the chance to for some time and talking about the issues that are really important to women in rural and regional Australia really.
"There's an opportunity amongst all of that to celebrate the achievements, the wonderful achievements that rural and regional women are achieving every day really, there are wonderful things being accomplished by women in rural areas and it's wonderful that on one day here and there, we can come together and celebrate those achievements."