About The Woolly Brand
The full circle, from a farming background to an inner city Neonatal Intensive Care and finally back to merino wool knitwear.
The idea for The Woolly Brand was developed on a Brand family holiday to Port Fairy, Victoria in February 2020. Following some beautiful beach weather, the usual southerly cold change whipped through and out came our 100% merino woollies.
Everywhere we went on this day people were complimenting our daughters' beautiful merino knitwear and asking where could they get something like it. Our daughters are lucky to have snuggly warm pieces, hand knitted by their Nana and Great Grandmas. We were discussing this, and how hard it is to find great Australian kids knitwear if you don’t have a knitting Nana. As we rounded the Port Fairy lighthouse The Woolly Brand was born.
Growing up on a mixed merino grazing and cropping farm in the Riverina, I was always surrounded by wool growers, knitters and an appreciation for the natural fibre. From helping out in the paddocks on our ponies moving ewes and lambs, with Soxy gently nudging the tired lambs along with his nose. Lamb marking was an annual get together with family friends in school holidays. There were scorching and dusty summer days crutching to beat the flies and freezing winters shearing that always involved a bit of mutton busting. It was during such special times, we were snug in our 100% merino woollies knitted by Mum, our Grandmas and other rellies, not to miss the hand me downs that we all (sometimes begrudgingly) wore. You could say is it was a common picture for the average Aussie farm kid, one that in hindsight was quite the luxury.
I have always had an interest in little people which led to a career in neonatal intensive care and paediatrics. From the extreme premature to the most complex surgeries often performed in the NICU as the patients were too unstable to move to theatres helped me to appreciate the fragility yet opposing strength of our most precious little ones. In such a situation, natural fibres were always the obvious choice, their breathability and properties for temperature regulation helped to provide the ideal environment for surviving and thriving. Generous folk from across the countryside would answer the calls and donated knitted goods would arrive by the boxful, sometimes so small yet so vital for our tinniest humans. It was the greatest privilege, to be charged with their care and responsibility.
The Woolly Brand to me is an opportunity to replicate the nostalgia of our childhoods, the sense of freedom we had in the world. I feel a responsibility to invest in my children, to provide a reliable and sustainable future, one that is nurtured in fibres that give back rather than take with a difference.
That difference is having clothes that can fit in with our lifestyles. With our kids on the go and busy lives, convenience is essential. My answer, The Woolly Brand, Australian Knitwear, that is gentle, durable and machine washable.
The Woolly Brand, to you from us.
Anna, Will, Bizzy and Hattie Brand.