Our Wool Shed which sells natural wool products is in a small, gently aging ice house/milk house. It is almost at the end of a dead-end gravel road, on an Island. Not the ideal location one might think, for drive-by traffic. We’ve been, as one customer said “a well-kept secret”.
But increasingly, we are not only reaching out to our immediate community, but also across the province and to east, west, and north of Canada. We are now beginning to have our wool products appreciated world-wide.
Well before Christmas, two sets of grandparents came to us, seeking gifts. We had reports back that one newborn in Inuvik N.W.T., was thriving on her lambskin, and apparently enjoying the sheepskin-soled booties. Another pair of grandchildren in Iqualuit, Nunavuit, were happy with the child’s sheepskin mitts, lambskin, and a hat with appliquéd truck.
As we struggle to master the intricacies of getting our website ‘talking to Google’, about our wool products, we’ve had requests for bedding, blankets and sheepskins from every province across Canada except, so far, Newfoundland/Labrador.
Yarn has travelled as far as Hawaii (but mailing costs make this rather pricey) and to Alaska. We were fortunate enough to have one of our blankets featured in Canadian Living Magazine; the first couple of response came from Sudbury and from Chicago. Surprising. People from various states, including the deep south, have discovered our wool products, sometimes thanks to the birders who travel here in winter.
Beyond that we’ve mailed to Finland, other places in western Europe, and the British Isles. Often that’s thanks to Island visitors, or students at The Lodge, who come browsing.
We posted Pat Frontini’s lovely hand-woven mohair and Topsy Wool blended throw on Topsy Farms Facebook page. In two days the information was forwarded from Colorado to a friend travelling in Italy who bought it as a birthday gift to herself.
But this latest connection tops them all. One of our pink tweed blankets is having an adventure.
“I’ve received your blanket (in Calgary) and its now keeping me warm while I volunteer on a hospital ship in the Congo. I volunteer with an organization called Mercy Ships, www.mercyships.org the largest NGO hospital ship in the world. We provide free surgery to the forgotten poor in West Africa. The crew is comprised of over 400 volunteers from 35 different nations who raise funds to support themselves in coming onboard to work from anywhere between two weeks to two years.
“I registered my own Canadian NGO called Sterile Processing Education Charitable Trust (www.spectrust.org) which allows me to educate in local hospitals and teach the OR staff on how to improve their sterile technique and reduce post operative infections.
“I come and stay on the ship for 2-3 months at a time and share a small cabin with 3 bunk beds and tiny bathroom for 6 girls. Each time I return I like to bring a few things that make my bunk cozy and remind me of Canada. The Congo is extremely hot right now (feels like 43C) although the air conditioning on the ship is always on high and it feels very cold. My wool blanket has received a lot of attention because of it’s warmth and comfort. It’ll stay on the ship when I return to Canada so that others can enjoy it while I’m away and then it’ll be here for me when I get back.”
We’re humbled, honoured, proud to have our wool products accompany folks on their adventures through life.