Socially, locals gain global reach

Air plant terrarium by The Planter Pod. 147219

Almost 500 locals have joined a new group on Facebook featuring creatives from Ocean Grove, who sell their goods online from their own homes.
Karri Clifford, from The Planter Pod, recently set up the OGBH Locally Made group to support local makers and help businesses source locally-made items.
“There is a big shift towards supporting local but without a shopfront, creatives have to work extra hard to promote their work,” the Ocean Grove resident said.
“When I started my business 18 months ago I found it difficult to get my work out there.
Karri said she now had regular customers, stockists and a following on social media.
“But I remember thinking, ‘how do I let everyone know about my work without a shop?’” she said.
“This group allows our community to shop locally and gives creatives the opportunity to promote their work with no costs attached.”
On the group’s page you’ll find ceramics, concrete pots, terrariums, macrame hangers, jewellery, artwork, wooden furniture, wall features, photography, art, linen, clothing, baby wares and much more.
And they’re all made in Ocean Grove, Barwon Heads or the local area.
Another local using the group to promote her work is Corrie Hale, from Wood Love Designs.
Corrie creates beautiful pieces of wooden furniture and art from her garage in Ocean Grove.
“I love to show off the natural grain of wood and let it be the hero in the furniture I create or give new life too,” Corrie said.
“Social media has given me a platform where I can share my work with others and give them the opportunity to ask questions or place orders.”
“It’s so important to support small local businesses and to keep our money in our community.”
Melanie Renton-Wright and Matty Wright are the locals behind Calmsea Creatives, making concrete and recycled timber homewares.
“After living in Ocean Grove my whole life, it’s so nice to find like-minded people and be able to support each other in our coastal hub,” Melanie said.
“We are stoked to be a part of the OGBH Locally Made community. It’s an amazing online directory and a great way to support local businesses.”
The OGBH Locally Made group also features local shops and businesses that support local makers, said Karri.
“New cafe Hello Birdie in Ocean Grove is a fabulous example of this. They have filled their walls with beautiful products made locally,” she said.
“It’s just fantastic.”
Other businesses supporting local makers include The Health Creation Centre and Deckle in Ocean Grove.
The Ocean Grove Toy Library and Wallington WRG are holding community events in December and have offered free stalls to local makers and artisans.
“It’s such a great initiative and means a lot for those who are starting out,” Karri said.
Another local Kathryn McCauley has recently launched a series of online guides to towns on the Bellarine.
After seeing a gap in the online promotion of local businesses Kathryn has started with A Guide To: Ocean Grove, which promotes them and community groups through photos on Instagram.
Here is a small sample of the work local makers are listing on the OGBG Locally Made Facebook group.

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