Our Mediterranean holiday is a distant memory, the mornings are gradually getting crisper, and for the past week I have been listening to the Canadian Geese gathering overhead as they prepare to head off for the coming winter or could it be they are arriving? It’s a sound I remember from last year and initially thought it was the local swans similar to those we heard every morning on Gotland, but it has become a welcome early alarm call I associate with the move from summer into autumn – I can’t help but smile as they perform their morning fly-past honking to one another.
Summer has been a busy time, and alongside my tech editing work I have been hatching plans for what will be the next stage of Daughter of a Shepherd. All will be revealed in time, but over the next couple of days I am really excited to be previewing a few new items coming to the shelves of the store, that I think sit perfectly alongside what will be the penultimate shop update for the 2015 Daughter of a Shepherd clip.
Since Daughter of a Shepherd yarn launched in March I have been thinking of ways in which I could grow this seed of a new business whilst remaining true to the foundations the yarn was launched on, supporting British manufacturing and other small businesses – those with similar ethics to myself. I am so excited and positively thrilled to welcome FARMERS’ Welsh Lavender Ltd to Daughter of a Shepherd.
As with my yarn, FARMERS’ has grown from a daydream, when former journalist and company founder, Nancy Durham, mentioned she would like to plant some lavender. This little seed of an idea soon blossomed into an entire field of 2000 plants thriving on farmland in the breathtaking Welsh hills. Once harvested, the lavender is distilled at the farm to create an oil. From there is sent to Helen Lowe, a leading artisan in body care products, who makes the creams and balms by hand in her north Wales studio overlooking the Atlantic (I know right), they are then bottled and labelled back on the farm.
Land and weather play a huge role in creating wine, honey and indeed the fleece of the Hebridean sheep, likewise the land on which the lavender grows creates a scent unique to FARMERS’; “The earth on our farm, Cefnperfedd Uchaf, is extraordinary. It’s red and rich and smells like rain. Sometimes I think it smells slightly nutty”. It’s one of the many beauties of natural products wrought from the earth as they take in and reflect their surroundings, proven in the exquisite and clean scent of the lavender; bright but gentle, with hints of the hills on which it grows. I can only imagine how incredible the air must smell at harvest time.
The products are not tested on animals, contain no artificial colours or perfumes, and only use naturally derived ingredients. All the packaging is manufactured in the UK and the parallels between the ethics of FARMERS’ and Daughter of a Shepherd made them a perfect choice for a new addition to my store.
Knitters and crocheters are naturally very aware of their hands, so I am launching the range with their hand cream which is available in two sizes; a handy notions pouch or handbag sized 30ml tin retailing at £4.00 (left), and the larger 100ml version at £12.00 (right).
My hands tend to suffer from light dermatitis, and dry out very easily, additionally I am a migraine sufferer with a number of scent triggers so have to be careful about products I use. Needless to say I am very fussy about hand cream but have been using FARMERS’ for 3 months now and couldn’t be happier with it. Additionally the cream melts quickly into the skin so I can get straight back to my needles or hooks and continue work without worrying about getting oil or grease over my yarn, plus a little bit goes a long way.
It is an absolute pleasure to welcome FARMERS’ to the shelves – I am sure you will love the range as much as I do.
Oh, and FARMERS’ also have woolly neighbours who often pop by…the sheep that is!
All images are © FARMERS’ Welsh Lavender Ltd and used here with permission.