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Building a better beach towel

Necessity is the mother of invention it is said. Emily Bowman was looking for a way to better manage the demands of parenthood, work and living remotely on “Tarpoly”, a grazing property between Barraba and Manilla. The mother of three and marketing professional found the solution in starting her own business selling a practical and innovative beach towel.

“Seeking Summer” was founded by Emily in December last year. Emily says, “I was travelling to Tamworth for work four or five days a week and the constant juggle of managing the family’s needs, along with the endless travel, was becoming too much,” she says.

Emily was also familiar with the frustration of lugging around large, bulky towels for trips to the beach, swimming lessons and when travelling. With husband Tom, she has three active children who love the water. “I was constantly packing towels for the family, however they never seemed to fit in one bag. Not to mention when they were sandy and damp.”

Emily says she found herself thinking that surely, she mustn’t be the only one facing this frustration, and wondered if there could be a solution to the problem. 

“I looked around and found that whilst there were some options out there, I didn’t like any of the designs available. So, after many months of research, testing, trial and development, the Seeking Summer towel was created,” she says.

The towels are very lightweight, extremely compact and highly absorbent. They pack down small, are a generous size, feel soft and dry fast. But best of all, they’re sand free – the tightly woven fabric means sand doesn’t stick, even when wet, so the sand stays at the beach, where it belongs.

Originally from Avalon, on Sydney’s northern beaches, Emily worked in marketing and volunteered as a Surf Life Saver for many years. She now lives in Barraba, in northern NSW, with her husband and children and together they run a cattle grazing business.

A beach girl at heart, she has passed on her love of swimming and water sports to her children.

“Although we now live in the country, many hours from the coast, we still manage to fit in plenty of water activities. The kids love water-skiing on the local dam, we make the 150km round trip to swimming squad each week in Tamworth, and the kids love to surf when we can get away to the beach.”

“I wanted to start my own business so I could work from home, on the farm, but had no idea how to begin. I completed an online course for budding entrepreneurs called “Lady Startup”, and it was a game-changer for me. For anyone thinking about starting their own business, I highly recommend this


The Lady Startup courses were founded by Mia Freedman, the co-founder of the MamamiaMedia Group, Australia’s largest digital women’s media company.

Emily says she would be very happy to chat to any other women in the local area who are thinking about starting their own business, and who may not be sure how to get started. “I really encourage anyone who has been thinking about it, to jump in and give it a go. There is so much support out there for women start-ups, particularly in rural areas, and I would be more than happy to share my learnings and help other women in the area realise their dream of running their own business.”

Emily can be contacted via her website The Seeking Summer towels are stocked by Burrell’s Bazaar in Manilla. By Jane Harris

Local entrepreneur Emily Bowman