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AMY PARFETT & MELANY MCBRIDE - WEDHSED & GRAVY

Amy & Mel, co-founders of Wedshed & Gravy, are passionate about helping forge real-world connections between couples & small businesses. They help couples plan a wedding that says ‘this is us’, & enable all of us to do some good, simply through the act of gifting.



Tell us about Wedshed and Gravy?

Wedshed is the original business baby, launched in 2015. It’s a digital wedding planning company that helps couples create a day that says, “this is us.”

We believe weddings are less about flashy soirees and traditions and more about people coming together to celebrate connection and community. We help like-minded folks do this through a directory of amazing wedding venues, vendors, a wedding planning subscription, an online store of digital resources and a new marketplace for buying and selling pre-loved wedding goods called Wedshare.

Gravy is our newest business child, born last year. It’s a gifting startup that allows people to give and receive anything (and we mean anything) as a gift, including your own human time, skills and good deeds. We’re really interested in bringing gifting back to its original intention, which is deepening relationships, and the way we do that is by making gifting more meaningful. For example, you could give the gift of a “veggie garden” to someone (backed by a Bunning’s gift card) and “pledge” your own time in helping them set it up. Or you could use Gravy to easily arrange a group gift for your own wedding/baby registry by gathering funds to put towards intended things (like a first home deposit, IVF, a coffee subscription or even a fave charity). And again, you can formalise gifts of service, like help painting the house or a homemade lasagne drop or go give blood. We’ve seen all kinds of incredible things gifted to date, and you’re only limited by your imagination.


How was Wedshed born & why?

Honestly, Wedshed was born because we knew we were on the path to needing it! As we and our friends entered the engagement phase of our lives, we looked around at the inspiration available to help plan a wedding and found it hard to relate. We grew up spending time on family farms. We recognised the appeal of under-utilised farm sheds that could be capitalised to help provide additional revenue streams to families. So we started thinking we could create an “Airbnb for wedding venues”, which evolved from there over the years. We’re passionate about helping forge real-world connections between couples and small businesses, particularly those in regional communities. Weddings bring upwards of 100 people to a location at any one time, and with destination weddings continuing to be popular, we love helping direct much-valued revenue and patronage to regional towns. Gravy was born during the pandemic when Mel and I found ourselves in a tricky position. Covid and weddings were not great mates, as you’d imagine, so we had to step back and figure out how to future-proof our business.

We’d always intended to build a digital wedding registry that allowed couples to elegantly receive funds in a non-awkward way. But, like many of us, we're currently feeling the pinch financially. At the same time, we started to become acutely aware of the problems within modern gifting.


We discovered the immense waste in gifting - currently, one in five gifts are given and end up in a landfill, and one in three gift cards are never redeemed. That blew our minds! And beyond the average experience of gifting, we just started thinking, “What even constitutes a good gift? Would it just be more meaningful if I did something for someone? And if so, how could we formalise that effort into gift form?.”

Pretty quickly, we realised that this digital wedding registry that we called Gravy was relevant for all gifting occasions - and that it could provide a great way to strengthen communities and do some good, simply through the act of gifting.


What are some essential habits for success?

Get into the habit of checking in with your gut. Your intuition is a powerful tool that can offer valuable insights. Continuously look outside your industry for inspiration on all fronts: design, service, product, community and marketing. And try to take the best elements back into your own business. Employ or engage great people and allow them autonomy to do what they do best. Support and celebrate them as they are as much a part of your business as you are.


What advice would you give to the next generation of women in business?

I’ve learned that it’s important to solve problems that actually matter to you. You’re going to invest so much time, energy, resources and money into this venture at the expense of other opportunities, perhaps the quality of relationships and sleep, so you want to work on something you genuinely believe in.

Also, business clarity often doesn’t come from learning more; it comes from talking to people and jumping in with your instincts, even if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.

I’ve found that I could easily spend days immersed in incredible podcasts, webinars and articles trying to soak up “best practice” in all of “the things”, but it’s only when you start talking to people about your ideas, inviting feedback from people you trust and start building something that you see actual progress. The more holes poked in your business and assumptions challenged, the better - particularly in the earlier stages.


Website: wedshed.com.au | givewithgravy.com

Instagram & Facebook: @wedshed | @givewithgravy

Location: SYDNEY, NSW

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