After growing up in the country, Lyn Gosling wanted to create something that was unique to the rural lifestyle.
She was living in Darwin in 2017 when she came up with the idea of making and selling her own cowhide jewellery.
“I was born in Kempsey and raised in Armidale.
“I’ve always loved cowhide but I couldn’t justify the expense so I decided to have a go at making them. I flew home for my daughter’s graduation and made some necklaces for five of her teachers.”
That was the beginning of Ms Gosling’s business, Dusty Rose Country, a home-based enterprise selling jewellery such as pendants, earrings, bracelets, rings, bangles and key rings.
She started using social media and the concept really took shape.
“I started with Facebook, then I thought maybe I should do a website.”
“People were private messaging me. I got a bit busy with that. On Mother’s Day 2018, I had 200 followers. Then I did a giveaway where people had to like, share and tag. Overnight I had 2000 followers, it was unbelievable.”
She was working as a cook at George’s Hotel in Carinda when the business started gaining traction in the retail world. She became involved in the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) and did a Certificate III in Microbusiness with Daniel Fisher from Biz HQ providing her with advice and assistance along the way.
Since then, she has gone from strength to strength making a wide variety of custom-designed treasures.
“I make the jewellery from various beads, metals and cowhide, hand-cut or punched,” she explained. “Acid wash is also popular at the moment.
“I do custom orders too and will custom-make to whatever people want.”
Dusty Rose Country’s point of difference is that every item is uniquely produced so there are no two pieces the same.
On the website, items are all photographed individually and listed for sale.
“It’s time-consuming but I like people to get what they want. What you put into your cart is what you get,” Ms Gosling explained. “Everything is handmade and unique."
“They are all different, they all look different in terms of dip, cut and markings.”
“No two pieces are identical. People have different tastes, it’s all individual. What you see is what you get.”
Ms Gosling says her customers are mainly rural country ladies and people who like to keep up with trends.
She sells the jewellery through market days, agricultural expos, camp drafts, rodeos and the website.
“I have clients all over the place, and I have a few stockists in NSW. I also have brand ambassadors in NSW, Qld, SA and NT.”
“My goal is to make it affordable with quality, each piece is unique.”
Being a small business makes Dusty Rose Country vulnerable to market trends and larger companies, but Ms Gosling is determined to add more lines and expand into larger items such as clutches and handbags.
And while the drought is crippling for many businesses in the country, Ms Gosling said it’s important to always follow your dreams.
“Don’t be scared to step outside your box, your comfort zone. It’s hard work but it’s worth it. It’s a learning curve.”
In the future, Ms Gosling hopes her business can continue to grow and succeed.
“I’d like Dusty Rose Country to be a household name, to have a wholesaler in every state, maybe overseas.”