This Saturday September 19th is Family Business Day - a celebration that is a little bit close to us. Did you know Woolerina is a family business? In Australia over two thirds of businesses are family businesses and many of those make and/or grow their products - keeping local farms and manufacturing plants in business and local people in jobs. If you're in family business join in the celebration this Saturday.
Woolerina was established in 2005 by my father Warwick Rolfe and now, both my sister Penny and I are lucky enough to work with our Dad. Penny has been Dad's side kick for over 6 years and she knows everything about our business, and I mean EVERYTHING! When we set up office both Penny and Dad even waxed the floor and painted the desks together!
I only recently joined the business in January after spending a 6 year stint in Canada - when I waltzed into the office, I was presented with a trendy white Ikea desk - lucky for me the older sister paved the way, yet again! Family businesses always have their ups and downs, but I think it's probably more ups! We enjoy working hard together; sometimes there is the odd disagreement, but after all is said and done it ends with a BIG hug which is not really the norm in corporate offices... without it being awkward.
Penny and I both thrive off our Dad's passion for Wool, keeping our products Australian Made and ethically produced - from the farm side through to finished items of clothing.
A bit of an oldie, but I love this pic. It is of Penny's first day of school, I think the team fist pump says it all!
With our love and passion for family business we always look to work with other family businesses. Luckily for us, we get to work with Glenwood Merinos who produce some of the best wool (well, that's what Dad says!) for our collection of clothing. Owners Norm and Pip Smith are 4th generation farmers - the Smith's have been breeding Merinos since 1898 on their property Glenwood, just outside Wellington in central NSW. Norm and Pip have 5 lovely children (Dad says they are the nicest kids he has ever met, I don't think he means nicer than Penny and I, but he hasn't confirmed). Norm and Pip work hard to achieve a balanced outcome for the landscape, the livestock, their business and the people.
The Smith family.
We also work with family business Humphrey Law the Sock Specialist, who provide us with the very comfy socks we sell. Sidney Humphrey and Albert Law established the sock factory in 1947. The original factory still exists, although it has been considerably extended, and while the original partners have died, sock making continues under the management of Albert Law’s children Rob and Elizabeth. Rob and Elizabeth are some of the nicest people you could hope to meet and this filters through to their entire staff who provide customer service which is second-to-none, and a product to match!
Happy family business day! I hope you can all celebrate and reflect on the day of just how important and special family businesses are. As a family we will continue sharing warmth with the world!