Crazy ways Aussie businesses are surviving COVID-19

With tough times upon us and many firms brought to their knees in the corona era, it's also important to shine a light on Aussie businesses able to adapt and survive. From a gin tuned hand sanitiser company owned by Shane Warne to coffee, meal delivery, fashion, beauty and keep fit businesses across the country, there is a road ahead when shutdown is over.


With Australians staying home, the Thrive Meals owner Luke Bayliss has seen consumers turning online to shop for groceries but also ready-made meals. That's where his Sydney-based company comes into play, specialising in "healthy, high protein, low carb meals".



Thrive meals average at around $10 a meal and consumers can buy three, five, six or seven day packages. "It is very affordable and the cost to cook a meal like that with prices skyrocketting for produce and meat, it is probably cheaper than doing a grocery shop," he said.


Australian cricket legend Shane Warne was one of the first to see an opportunity to pivot their business and help the community.

Last month it was announced his gin distillery company, SevenZeroEight Gin, would halt production and switch to making hand sanitiser for hospitals.

Warne, who co-owns the business and founded it with two surgical specialists, said it was an effort to help the health industry with medical grade hand sanitiser in these "challenging times".



"This is a challenging time for Australians and we all need to do what we can to help our healthcare system combat this disease and save lives," Warne says.

"I am happy SevenZeroEight has the ability to make this shift and encourage others to do the same."

The company halted gin production and is now pumping out 70-percent alcohol hand sanitiser indefinitely.

The move came after Prime Minister Scott Morrison asked businesses to shift production to much needed medical supplies which were experiencing shortages and disruptions in overseas supply chains.


As gyms shut down across the country, one Brisbane business is changing its model to keep clients fit and happy, with a little help from the internet which means you can log in nationwide..

Brickhouse Gym at Coorparoo has started virtual classes using household items with a hope to give people the motivation to stay fit.

"The thing limiting most people is a bit of motivation, you can work out from home, in a park or wherever possible, so we want to put something out that is simple but effective," Brickhouse co-owner, Jarrett Owen says.

The programs will run on Facebook, using things like water buckets, bricks and books to replace gym items people may not have access to.

"We have got to do what we do best, put good content and keep people physically and mentally well," Mr Owen said.



Even though the gym's future is uncertain, Mr Owen believes the key to getting through this period of social anxiety positivity and compassion.

"I am fortunate to train a few clinical psychologists who are concerned with people's mental health.

"Especially if people are sitting at home eating chocolate, drinking wine and watching Netflix all day.

"But, if people can continue to move, stay healthy, stay happy and help each other, they can avoid falling into a slump," Mr Owen says.

Brickhouse also aims to keep routine for people, so even if you're working from home the pre-work classes make you feel like business as usual.


Alyce Tran and her monogram empire The Daily Edited have a reputation for being innovative, so despite having to close bricks and mortar shops, the online side of the business continues to thrive.

To up the ante, TDE's range of personalised bags, purses, wallets and more are now available with same day delivery.

"Fortunately we are a digitally native business and as such have been able to continue to push our online business during this time," Tran said.



Family owned and run coffee business Vittoria has taken a hit with cafes and restaurants shutting shop across the country.

They have however seen an increase in sales of their affordable Espressotoria coffee machines and coffee capsules as more Australians are making sure they get a good quality caffeine fix at home.

Sold online at and at Woolworths, the machines retail for $99 and a 12 pack of capsules are priced at $8.40.

"We are noticing huge increases in demand for our capsule system as consumers move to upscale their home coffee options," Vittoria Food and Beverage managing director Rolando Shirato told Hibernation.




The forced closure of beauty clinics and other non-essential businesses around the country means more people are turning to DIY procedures at home, to maintain healthy skin.

Face Halo founder, Lizzie Pike, said her sustainable makeup remover pads were the perfect solution for people in lockdown.

Face Halo founder Lizzie Pike says her product is perfect for Australians on lockdown as you will never run out of face wipes while washing your face or getting makeup off.
Face Halo founder Lizzie Pike says her product is perfect for Australians on lockdown as you will never run out of face wipes while washing your face or getting makeup off.

"With the majority of people staying in their homes during this time and limiting their trips to the shops, a Face Halo allows them to reuse the same makeup remover pad for months on end which means you can replace around 500 face wipes," she said.

"There is no need to stock up on face wipes and cleansers in case you run out."


Designer Holly Ryan has launched a recycling initiative as her sustainable jewellery business adapts to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Unlike clothing, the raw materials in jewellery never lose their value. So to ensure that our products hold maximum value, we prioritise circularity through both design and practice," Ryan said.

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Back in stock, the Pearl Spiral Ring 🦪

A post shared by Holly Ryan (@hollyryanjewellery) on

"If something has lost its lustre, we offer an in-house repair service and also invite you to return the pieces you no longer wear."

The declining economy continues to affect non-essential businesses like Ryan's, as consumer spending is at a halt.


As the COVID-19 crisis continued to develop, food and nourishment became a key concern. For this reason sales of meal replacement product NUUT Nutrition, by original WelleCo founder Adil Bux, has sky rocketed.

"Nuut has sold over 100,000 meals since the crisis started and we are projecting to surpass these figures on a monthly basis," Bux said.



LAUNCHING a business during the coronavirus crisis is a brave move but one entrepreneur's Reever Botha and Vlad Kosovac are hoping will work. With so many Australians staying home, the duo believe their at home 20-day gut detox, Pura-U Happy Gut, will take off. "Having launched the e-comm website recently, we were of course sceptical about the brand breaking through as we are newcomers in the health industry," Both and Kosovac said.

Pura-U’s Vlad Kosovac and Reever Botha.
Pura-U’s Vlad Kosovac and Reever Botha.

"Given many people are at home during this time, it is the perfect opportunity to focus on optimising our health and looking after ourselves. Although this is a tough and stressful period for all, we are glad we can provide an all-natural way to support the immune system and detoxify the body at a time where people may need it the most."






Many local companies launch in Australia with the hopes to take it overseas, but the Moularadellis family, founders of Mo Sisters Wines, launched first in the US and are now bringing the brand home.

It comes as a bonus that alcohol sales are up astronomically at this time with Mo Sisters confident Aussies will back local businesses.

"People seem to be catching up via Zoom or Houseparty and 'drinks at a distance' has become our new reality,"Lauren Moularadellis said. "We've just launched our Australian online store in response to the increase in demand for wine deliveries to homes."

Lauren Moularadellis, co-founder of Mo Sisters Wines.
Lauren Moularadellis, co-founder of Mo Sisters Wines.




With beauty salons closed across the country, Dylan Mullan's Happy Skin Co DIY laser hair removal has seen a spike in sales. "As people are spending more time at home, we've actually seen an increased demand for our products as people try to maintain as much normality as possible," Mullan said. "There has been a big increase in demand for at home beauty options, especially now with the closure of beauty clinics and people at home more."

Happy Skin Co’s Dylan Mullin.
Happy Skin Co’s Dylan Mullin.




Strict social distancing measures mean fitness enthusiasts are having to find new and creative ways to stay in shape. With at-home workouts on the rise, Australian fitness company Adapt says it has the perfect solution for safe and convenient exercise - a 1.4 metre cable trainer that provides a total body workout.

"ADAPT has endeavoured to provide the most quality, convenient, inviting and affordable home fitness solution available to customers all over the world and the early feedback has been super positive and very rewarding," founder Myles Kelly said. "The ADAPT X1 Cable Trainer makes fitness and resistance training at home more achievable, convenient and enjoyable than ever before. Maintaining and still improving upon one's health and exercise goals in this current climate is hyper critical for so many reasons (healthy immune, keeping strong and toned, positive mental health state and more)."

Adapt’s Myles Kelly.
Adapt’s Myles Kelly.

The fitness equipment offers a variety of exercises focused on strength training and muscle toning. Users can also access demonstrative exercise videos online.

"Just because gyms are closed and people are now working from home it does not mean an exercise training regime should be compromised," Kelly said. "We've made our product readily available online, and we are doing our best to keep up with online responses and ensure we freight the product to our customer as quickly as possible."



Originally published as Crazy ways Aussie businesses are surviving COVID-19

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