In 2016 the industry was in desperate need of a voice. Someone who walked the walk and talked the talk of wool. A representative, a storyteller and proud advocate that could show the world why we always have been and always will be worldwide leaders in wool.
I saw our city cousins thirsting for knowledge of an industry they just didn’t understand or have physical access to. The misinformation that was flooding the online community was damaging our reputation and slowing down consumption of wool.
So, with my knowledge, over a decade of experience in wool and my photography skills, I set out to educate those who were sitting on the fence about wool. First with three videos explaining crutching, shearing and woolhandling. Together these videos now have over 800,000 online views. I photographed my peers in my shearing team and told their stories through blogs and social media posts.
Based in southern Queensland at the time, I was only telling one very small part of our national wool story. So, I quit my day job and kissed my stable income goodbye. I hit the road in January 2017 on the first leg of The Truth About Wool National Tour.
Over three staggered months I travelled through NSW, VIC, TAS and WA. On a largely self-funded tour, I would return back to Qld in-between each state and attempt to pay off the debt I had rung up on my credit card before heading off again.
The tour was hitting the mark when it came to flooding the online community with honest, positive images and stories from our industry. I had (and still hold) the top spot and entire first page in a google search for the truth about wool. This is making a difference!
A temporary holt during my pregnancy from August 2017 and those rough first months of transitioning into motherhood. To keep the tour rolling on, I have now bought a caravan and am hitting the road with Jas (my shearer), our baby, dog and my camera once again.
The End Goal
While the physical Truth About Wool National Tour is running, the main goal is to keep flooding social media and the online community with positive and honest images, stories and videos of the wool industry. Living in a time where we are slaves to the finger scroll on our phones, it’s so incredibly important for our industry to be a part of this, to be seen and understood.
Once the tour has wrapped up in 2019, a book will be published showcasing the faces of wool, short stories and facts about sheep and wool. While print publication has taken a bit of a backseat to online visuals, this is still a relevant medium and has the capability of reaching those who aren’t online.
Plainly put, this is all ultimately to get credit cards swiping at checkouts for woolen products. The more swipes, the greater the supply and demand.
You Can Help!
I am always on the hunt for people that work with wool. Whether you are a large pastoral company, a woolgrower, ringer, part of a shearing team, hobby farmer, anywhere along the wool pipeline, I would love to hear from you!
No story is too big or small. This is not about only celebrating big reputations in the industry, it’s about giving a face to wool. Giving recognition to all of those making their own contribution to the wool industry. Showcasing our fibre and the sheep producing it. It’s about telling our story, helping wool consumers make an easier connection from farm to fibre and informing them, to make a better choice when it comes to their wardrobe. It’s about the dedication and compassion of people in wool and the advancements of the fibre and farming practices from the days of prickly grandpa jumpers.
The Truth About Wool campaign aims to be a trusted source that urban people can call on to lay to rest any misconceptions of the industry and let them feel good about making traceable, environmentally friendly purchases of wool.