Naidoc Week

NAIDOC Week 2024: Celebrating Indigenous business

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

NAIDOC Week is a nationally celebrated event. It’s a special time to acknowledge, recognise and champion the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. From art exhibitions to film screenings and special ceremonies, there’s so many ways to get involved and show your support.

This year’s theme, Keep the Fire Burning: Blak, loud and proud, recognises the enduring strength and vitality of First Nations culture. In light of NAIDOC, we wanted to celebrate five Indigenous-founded businesses. With a shared mission to preserve and protect Indigenous knowledge as well as a blend of contemporary and traditional practices, these small businesses are pioneers in their own right. In this exclusive article, we discover their missions, what NAIDOC week means to them and how their businesses celebrate this important event. 

Briar Blooms

Can you tell us about your brand, mission, and what inspired you to start your own business?

My name is Domica Hill and I’m the founder of Briar Blooms. As a contemporary Aboriginal artist, my brand combines vibrant contemporary art with traditional Aboriginal elements, reflecting my identity as a proud pakana woman from lutruwita (Tasmania). Inspired by personal healing and a deep connection to ancestral symbols, I create art that combines cultural storytelling with modern expression. The business began as a means of healing after the loss of my daughter Briar, where painting became a healing journey and exploration of my heritage. Beyond my artwork, I extend my mission by collaborating with small Aboriginal businesses across Australia, offering products adorned with Aboriginal art and creativity. This endeavour not only preserves Aboriginal heritage but also promotes cultural appreciation and economic empowerment within the Indigenous community.

How does your business celebrate and promote NAIDOC?

My business actively celebrates and promotes NAIDOC by integrating Indigenous culture and products into various initiatives. I create bespoke hampers for numerous events and businesses, exclusively using First Nations products and showcasing their quality and cultural significance. These hampers help to support local Indigenous businesses. I also run social media campaigns during NAIDOC week and throughout the year, raising awareness about Aboriginal culture, heritage, and issues. This aims to foster understanding, appreciation, and support for Indigenous communities while promoting the beauty and resilience of Aboriginal traditions.

What advice would you give to other small business owners or entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses?

Start by setting big goals that align with your cultural values and community aspirations. Taking calculated risks is part of the journey – trust in your vision and abilities, and be willing to innovate and adapt in response to challenges and opportunities. Backing yourself means investing in continuous learning and development while seeking mentorship and networking with other Indigenous entrepreneurs. Supporting fellow Aboriginal businesses not only strengthens community bonds but also amplifies collective success and visibility.

Beachtree Distilling Co.

Can you tell us about your brand, mission, and what inspired you to start your own business?

Beachtree Distillng Co. was founded by Steve Grace and Kirra Daley. Our business stands tall on the shoulders of a 65,000 year old legacy. We push the boundaries of flavour, challenge the status quo and redefine what’s possible.  

Kirra was raised on Bundjalung Country, and some of her earliest memories include stomping on grapes during her family’s wine making. While her mother and Nonna introduced her to delicious homemade wine and grappa as well as fresh herbs and homegrown produce, she also worked the land on her father’s macadamia farm. Her knowledge of hand-grown produce is evident in Beachtree’s fresh, crisp and clean taste – and the fact that all our products are proudly additive-free and preservative-free.  

Steve is a proud Kamilaroi man and master distiller. Steve’s journey to the world of spirits wasn’t a conventional one. For years, he honed his skills as a qualified tradesman. However, a deep-seated passion for his heritage and a fascination with Australian flavours eventually led him down a different path. Steve’s ingenuity and technical expertise came to the forefront as he began experimenting with distillation, ultimately developing a unique filtration method that’s a cornerstone of Beachtree’s success. This innovative approach, combined with his dedication to quality and respect for native ingredients, has resulted in the creation of internationally recognised and award-winning spirits. 

Our entire vodka and gin line have secured gold medals in prestigious international competitions. Notably, we’ve been recognised as Australia’s Best Contemporary Gin Producer and Australia’s Best Varietal Vodka. We’re also proud to be Australia’s most awarded organic distillery.

How does your business celebrate and promote NAIDOC?

NAIDOC Week is a reminder to celebrate the rich culture, knowledge, and connection to the land that Indigenous Australians possess. Our core business philosophy reflects this celebration by promoting Australian flavours through sustainable sourcing partnerships with farmers and growers, creating award-winning spirits that capture the essence of this land.

We proudly champion native Australian ingredients. We showcase their unique flavours in our award-winning gins. These distinctive flavours create a truly Australian taste experience, setting our spirits apart.

What advice would you give to other small business owners or entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses?

Embrace your niche: Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Find your unique selling proposition, what makes your brand stand out, and own it.

Forge strong partnerships: Collaboration is key to success. Partner with local farmers and growers to source high-quality ingredients and build a strong foundation for your supply chain.

Sustainability matters: Consumers are increasingly drawn to brands that prioritise responsible practices. Integrate sustainability throughout your business, from sourcing to production and waste management.

Innovation is key: Don’t be afraid to experiment and explore new possibilities. Beachtree takes traditional distilling techniques and blends them with unique native Australian botanicals. This innovative approach is what leads to exciting new products.

Bush Medijina

Can you tell us about your brand, mission, and what inspired you to start your own business?

Bush Medijina is a social enterprise founded by a group of Anindilyakwa women from Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory. Our mission is to celebrate and preserve traditional Indigenous knowledge while creating sustainable economic opportunities for our community. We were inspired to start our business because of our deep commitment to sharing our cultural heritage. Eventually, this led us to create natural skincare products that showcase the healing properties of native Australian botanicals.

How does your business celebrate and promote NAIDOC?

NAIDOC Week is a significant time for us to honour and promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, history, and achievements. At Bush Medijina, we celebrate NAIDOC Week by offering special promotions. We also host workshops and training events for local schools  to share our knowledge of bush medicines and the importance of what we do.

What advice would you give to other small business owners or entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses?

Embrace your uniqueness: Celebrate what makes your business special. For us, it’s our deep connection to culture and community.

Build authentic relationships: Connect with your customers on a personal level and engage with your community. This fosters loyalty and word-of-mouth promotion.

Invest in education: Continuously learn and adapt. Whether it’s new business practices or cultural traditions, knowledge empowers growth.

Stay resilient: Entrepreneurship can be challenging, but staying true to your values and mission will guide you through tough times.

 Wurrumay Collective

Can you tell us about your brand, mission, and what inspired you to start your own business?

My name is Natasha (Tash) Kaiser and I am the founder of Wurrumay Collective. I started my business nearly 4 years ago when I noticed a gap in the market for affordable skincare products that championed Aboriginal art. I’ve been painting since I was in primary school so that has always been a huge part of my life, but when I fell pregnant with my first son, I felt a need to step back from the corporate world and be a present mum. During my maternity leave, I started researching how to make the products I enjoyed using around the house such as candles and other self-care products. 

When I had my second baby, I noticed how awful and harsh some of the supermarket ingredients were in everyday products like soaps, body washes and hair products. That’s when I realised I needed to create better products that were good for our skin and for the environment. My mission is to produce high-quality, safe and affordable skincare products that are wrapped in my artwork. 

How does your business celebrate and promote NAIDOC?

My business loves to celebrate NAIDOC week by promoting fellow Blak Businesses and sharing my own culture through my various platforms. We like to get involved in local community events and share our products with even more people.

What advice would you give to other small business owners or entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses?

I always push people to simply have a go and take the leap. What can you lose? I started with nothing and in the space of 4 years, I have turned my little side hustle into a successful global business. The journey isn’t easy but believing in yourself and your ideas is key.

Earth Jinda

Can you tell us about your brand, mission, and what inspired you to start your own business?

My name is Jame Telfer and I am the founder of Earth Jinda. I am a proud Gumbaynggirr woman and an artist who is passionate about sharing my stories through my creative expression. I was inspired to start a business after the birth of my third son. I felt a deep need to spend more time at home and support my family, so starting my own small business felt like the best option. Being able to do what I love while being surrounded by the people I love everyday means my dream has turned into a reality.

How does your business celebrate and promote NAIDOC?

NAIDOC is a nationally recognised week and an opportunity for others to celebrate, acknowledge, learn, elevate, support and appreciate Aboriginal peoples, land and culture. As an Aboriginal woman, it’s not just another week because every day within my business and my personal life is a celebration of my culture, country and people. 

What advice would you give to other small business owners or entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses?

Keep going! Someone really important to me once told me that the only people that fail in this world are the ones that give up. This advice really stuck with me and has allowed me to overcome the many changes that I’ve experienced as a small business owner.

Want to find more inspiring small business content? Follow us on Instagram @vistaprintaustralia. Ready to grow your small business – just like these brands? VistaPrint is here to help support your small business with the marketing and design solutions that you need to attract more attention and stand out from the crowd. Ready to get started? Start by exploring our range of custom marketing materials, merch, packaging and more.