An award-winning Regional businesswoman has launched an online hub to address the “hair-tearing frustration and overwhelm” country Australians experience when they search for a product or service on the internet.
Felicity Brown developed The Homestead Hub to connect people in rural, regional and remote areas with suppliers who genuinely understand their needs.
The aim of her “mini Google for Regional” is to quickly link customers from rural and regional Australia with the people, products, services and resources they are looking for.
One of the biggest problems, according to Felicity, is the inability to quickly identify those suppliers who are able to respond to the unique requirements of people living on the land, particularly in remote locations.
“There’s so much search engine clutter and you get taken down so many empty rabbit holes – a search that should only take a few minutes can take hours.”
The Homestead Hub addresses this problem by providing a centralised, easy to use portal that lists a broad range of appropriate suppliers in one convenient online location. Customers simply enter the Hub and find who or what they are looking for by region, supplier name, search word or industry category.
The Homestead Hub has more than 20 convenient ‘rooms’ with supplier listings in different categories, including: Retail; Building and Construction; Tourism; Meat & Produce; Regional Events; Rural Networks; Podcasts & Publications; Employment; Training & Resources; Health & Wellbeing; Marketing and Business Services; Coach and Mentor.
Suppliers pay a fixed annual subscription to be listed and no commissions are taken on any products or services.
Felicity is an internationally acclaimed milliner who runs the Broome-based business, Hats by Felicity, and has exhibited at three New York Fashion Weeks. She also writes the Millineronthemove blog and operates a small accommodation bungalow and a project development business.
The Homestead Hub is the culmination of Felicity’s direct experiences as an Outback artist and business owner, as well as growing up on a NSW sheep property, and several stints working on remote stock camps and cattle stations in the Northern Territory and Western Australia over the last 30 years.
Felicity came up with the idea for the website after the arrival of COVID-19 severely affected her existing businesses. She mapped out the concept for a “pandemic-proof business” on butcher’s paper on her kitchen bench.
“When I looked at the business concept I’d drawn up on the butcher’s paper, it made perfect sense because all my life I’ve been the go-to connecter for my friends, family and workmates across rural and remote Australia,” said Felicity.
The Homestead Hub’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter sites have been building up a strong following in the months leading up to the public launch of the web portal, which opened for business 1st December 2020.
Homesteader case example: Polly Edmunds, Pilbara, WA
Polly Edmunds lives at Hooley Station in Western Australia’s Pilbara region. Mrs Edmunds said The Homestead Hub will save her family time, money and stress.
“We are long overdue for an online hub like this that connects our industry to what we need immediately,” said Mrs Edmunds. “There are countless times when I’ve needed to buy something and couldn’t find anything that I was looking for without doing plenty of Googling and then being frustrated because I’m not getting the result that I want.
“I end up tearing my hair out and ringing someone like Felicity who can help me!
“I want to be able to just click on what I want to find and nail the search in five minutes rather than two hours, and that’s what The Homestead Hub does.
“It’s also important to remember that when I can’t find what I’m searching for, that also means an Australian business is missing out on a sale.”
Contact Felicity Brown for an interview and photos
(Broome, Western Australia, time zone)
M: 0438 927 489