What keeps you passionate about working with the fibre?
I have been brought up surrounded by wool since I was a baby. We were wrapped in wool, protected by wool and intrinsically learnt the value of all its incredible attributes. I became involved at the inception of the Campaign for Wool in 2010 and have had various roles both locally and globally. The Campaign was launched to educate consumers about the benefits of wool, and to promote wool-rich products to an international audience and help support and grow the wool industry. It is run by a coalition of industry groups convened by HRH The Prince of Wales and funded by key wool grower nations, of which New Zealand is one. The work I have done in the Campaign never ceases to remind me that the world will absolutely be a better place when they properly understand its value to the environment and to the health and well being of its population.
How has it been received both in New Zealand and internationally?
The initial response has been incredible to say the least. I have been delighted by the reminiscences of many elderly people who, having grown up with much more wool in their lives, truly understand the qualities it provides. I love the excitement of being able to have an item of such practical use that feels utterly luxurious as well. My wool grower clients are enormously grateful to see their wool broker going that extra mile to help improve the understanding and value of their wool so are very supportive and have become great ambassadors for the product. I cannot say we have had any complaints here or overseas, other than the odd curiosity that they can actually smell a hint of the wool. Truly a natural product with no added chemicals!
What are your plans for expanding the range?
Well once we have our systems thoroughly tested and feel confident about our ability to supply, we plan to approach luxury lodges and up-market hoteliers who would prefer to give their guests the sustainable and envro-friendly option to sleep on. We will need to ascertain the best form of marketing to ensure consistency in sales by making sure the enlightened consumer hears about this wonderful product. We are at the very early stages of development and are listening hard to our purchasers to understand where to next. Watch this space!
Thanks for your time.