Tonight I’m delighted to be heading up North to Sedburgh in the Howgill Fells to talk to Shepherdess, Farmer, Walker, Guide, Mother, Fashion Designer, and Writer, Alison O’Neill.
We talk about the beautiful and slightly less travelled part of the country that she lives in, and her long family history there, and her childhood growing up on the farm.
We then discuss the affect that her Grandparents and Parents decision to sell the farm in the difficult times of the late 1970’s had, and Alison’s decision to move away and work all around Europe doing a variety of different jobs, before the pull of home brought her back in the late 90s.
We hear how she secured the tenancy of her farm, and moved in with £60 in her pocket and a backpack, and her first few years there, before talking about the devastating affect that foot & mouth had on the area and her business in 2001.
We discuss what happened next, and how Alison diversified into guided walks around the Howgills, B&B, and eventually into processing the wool from hers and neighbours’ farms into a range of amazing ‘Shepherdess’ tweeds, clothing, bags, and accessories. Available from shepherdess.co.uk by the way!
We also talk about the future of the business, an the new range that she’ll be launching at the Great Yorkshire Show in 2018. All this and much more.
After admiring and following Alison for so long through social media, it was fantastic to speak to her and learn more about her amazing story tonight. Check it out folks..