Dungog store makes cow print neckerchiefs to sell online as drought fundraiser

Fun: Elenore Lawrence, Leighton, Mason and Logan Phillips and Edith Lawrence.
Fun: Elenore Lawrence, Leighton, Mason and Logan Phillips and Edith Lawrence.

Two and a half year old Elenore Lawrence sings the familiar nursery rhyme "Rain, Rain Go away" a little differently than most would remember.

"We sing 'rain, rain come again' when we are in the car," says the tot's mother Bree Lawrence.

Bree is one of the owners of Hidden Valley Clothing in Dowling Street Dungog which has come up with a fashionable new fundraiser to help farmers affected by drought.

The store is a real family affair, owned by Maree and David Garland and their daughters Bree Lawrence and Keisha Phillips.

"We wanted to do something for Christmas to try to get more people into the store, but it was more about trying to support our farmers," she said.

"We had a play around with ideas and came up with the buy a cow idea."

Customers can purchase a numbered cow for $2 and it goes up on the store wall with all purchasers put into the draw to win a $100 store voucher which will be drawn at the end of the year.

"Then we thought this (cow print) fabric would be good for neckerchiefs, which are already really popular.

"Rural Aid thought it was a really cool idea. They had not seen that yet so we will see how far it goes."

For each $12 neckerchief sold the store will give $2 to Rural Aid.

The neckerchiefs are already a popular line at the store and online, and the store has just started to make sock covers which farmers can use to keep the dust out of their boots.

"We thought to ourselves what's everyone going to use this summer season - and we think these are great as they are fashionable but about skin awareness as they protect your chest," said Bree.

"People are also using them in the bushfire areas where the smoke is bad."

Bree said since the store had been a part of the NSW Government's Buy Regional campaign they have noticed an increase of traffic of potential customers visiting their website.

She said the campaign was targeting Sydney shoppers to buy from the bush.

"Farmers wives are learning they have to bring an income in so they are learning how to make candles or making puddings for Christmas, making neckerchiefs.

"We feel bad fundraising in our area with (local) people already buying feed and buying in water constantly and then being asked for money.

"Because the stories we are hearing here from our farmers are just horrible.

"People have just never seen it so bad.

"There's nothing in the tanks, there's nothing in the dams.

"That's why we are doing the neckerchiefs online so we get money donated to our area externally, the people from Sydney, from Newcastle or the Central Coast that are not necessarily on the farm."