Over the course of five generations since 1898, Phillipa Louise Smith’s family has lived and worked on the same farm in Wellington, NSW: Glenwood Merinos. The wool they produce is not only beautiful, but is produced through ethical and sustainable means. In September of 2016, tired of being unable to know where their wool would end up, the family decided they wanted to make something with their wool that they could not only hold in their own hands, but use to convey their story to the rest of the world. To that end, Love Merino was born.
The wool wares that Love Merino offers are about as authentic as it gets: it’s 100 percent Merino wool and even better, 100 percent their wool. A look back through Love Merino’s supply chain will reveal that every product is 100 percent traceable back to Glenwood Merinos. The exquisite quality of this wool comes about through their use of modern farming practices that still adhere to a “holistic” system of sustainable land management and the human treatment of their animals. This is a part of their long and impressive heritage, and one that has served them well.
Love Merino firmly and joyously represents the concept of a “family-run business” perhaps better than any other out there. Phillipa is the captain of the Glenwood Merinos mothership and in addition to being a proud mother to her five children, she also tackles a few other roles with determination and grace. Some of those are of the traditional nature – farmer’s wife, daughter, sister, cook – while others take her out of the family sphere and into that of the community. She works regularly with the swimming club, the Eisteddfod Hospital Board, NSW Farmers, and Meals on Wheels, just to name a few.
“It’s a balancing act to keep the ship on course,” Phillipa says, “between it all and Love Merino and keeping it all stable. It can be challenging, interesting, tiring, exciting, boring, and fun – and that’s all in one day!”
Each member of Phillipa’s family contributes to the way Love Merino is run. Her daughter Chloe, who specializes in graphic creative design and direction, assists with professional product photography. Her second daughter Amber helps to tackle all the social media tasks, and third daughter Maggie assists at Shibori in Sydney while at the same time studying nursing. Fourth daughter Daisy helps with product packaging, and son William and husband Norm look after raising the sheep that provide the wonderful wool that makes Love Merino’s luxuriously soft and warm products.
All of Love Merino’s products are knitted by Manny at A&B Knitwear (Brunswick, Melbourne), individually hand-dyed by Karen and Pepa from Shibori (Stanmore, Sydney), and finished by the incredibly talented seamstress Rachel Anderson in Wellington, NSW. Every finished product is processed and packaged back at Glenwood Merinos.
Love Merino’s wares are gorgeous hand-crafted scarves, throws, blankets, pashminas, baby wraps and neckwarmers, all made with the exceptional wool from the family farm. Every piece is truly one of a kind – only 50 of each colour way and design are made and what’s more, every pashmina and scarf have their own certificate of authenticity. In addition, every product is 100 percent Merino wool and 100 percent proudly Australian owned and made. Phillipa’s family is involved in every step of the production journey, guaranteeing ethical craftsmanship that leaves behind minimal environmental impact. Glenwood Merinos and Love Merino are equally committed to supporting regional Australia and fostering an inclusive community – they want every customer to feel like part of their family and part of what they do.