Sit down with a local creative
Meet Aaliyah, an inspiring local from Bargo and owner of Earth Air Fire Water Organics Collective. The E.A.F.W.O Collective was born after Aaliyah saw and experienced the hardship local businesses were facing after the 2019 bushfires. The space is dedicated to artisans, makers and creators so that they can share their work with the community and beyond.
What’s the story behind Earth Air Fire Water Organics?
Earth Air Fire Water Organics (E.A.F.W.O) started in January 2016. I’m a chef by trade and wanted to be able to offer organic products at affordable prices. After the devastating 2019 bush fires, my tea business was promoted through ‘Spend With Them’ and allowed me to be able to open a shop to help others get through this time. E.A.F.W.O Collective was born from this idea and has become an indoor market filled with handmade macramé, resin board art, jewellery, Tibetan gift ware, up cycled home wares, everlasting flower arrangements, art, crystals and more!
How long have you lived in and established your business in the Dilly?
My tea business began at my home in Buxton in 2017. I then started the Collective inTahmoor and our opening was set on March 31 2020… the very same day the first lock down happened. The post Covid 'grand opening' was the moved to June 2021, coincidently the day we were put into hard lockdown an hour before the festivities were due to begin.
Let’s get down to it…why Wollondilly?
I’m a Dilly local and wanted to encourage local spending. None of the "large gift buying chains" were in our regions so locals had to travel to Narellan or Mittagong. After the effects that the bush fires and Covid-19 have had on our local makers and creators they needed a place close to home to sell their goods and make ends meet.
I love that people here and laid back and want to purchase from a unique local business that they can put a face to, meet the maker and have custom creations made.
What makes your customers special?
I have to say I have some pretty fantastic customers! They appreciate and value the hard work that our local traders have put into each and every creation. Our customers will pop in to say hello, chat about life and are always interested about what their favourite E.A.F.W.O Collective vendors are working on next.
Our customers also get excited when they see the business names they purchased from on the receipts and go and follow them on social media.
What’s your favourite thing about being a part of the Wollondilly Business Community?
The support and talent within our business community. We are so eager to recommend and support each other.
And just for fun… if you had superpowers, what would they be?
To abolish ego, Jealousy and nastiness…no one has time for that garbage!