Farfield Mill

Alison O'Neill - The Shepherdess - No Ordinary Country Girl

Walking is a major part of a hill farmer’s life; seeking a means to keep the farm afloat Alison took a Mountain Guide course to gain some much-needed extra income. Part of the training course took her to the Western Isles, to Harris and Lewis.

Alison’s eye for nature’s palette and the wondrous skills of weavers she met combined with her ability to design and make her own clothes led inexorably to walkers asking where they could buy her designs.

Shepherdess was born. On a kitchen table at the farm.

Defender of the Wool”

“Why not make your own?” said Donald John, Master Weaver, Luskentyre Isle of Harris to the ever-attentive Alison on one of her many visits to his weaving shed. Alison had complained that fleece prices were so low they were being burnt and she didn’t want to see hers go the same way.

So, Alison set about finding a market for fell fleeces and designing clothes to create it. Developing strong relationships with weavers, manufacturers and retailers along the way resulting in her becoming an acknowledged leading exponent of the International Campaign for Wool with a justifiable high profile in design with a100% British brand.

The Western Isles have left their indelible mark upon Alison. Tweed is Alison’s passion. Her inspirational use of the cloth results in irresistible clothing. Her knowledge has become panoramic; Alison has spent years in the company of weavers, in their weaving sheds, listening to the rhythmic chant of the shuttle, watching the wondrous cloth appear. She knows the landscapes, the flocks and the hours of steady precise toil that goes into creating the cloth. She has gained considerable respect from the industry and has, by gracious permission, access to a truly unique and historic tweed Amhuinnsuidhe Castle Tweed from the birthplace of Harris Tweed.

“Respect for the Tweed is everything”

Variation of colour; durability both a reflection of the land from whence they came. The very embodiment of the high and the far places of Britain.

From her design studio at Farfield Mill, Sedbergh; Alison creates her awe inspiring sensational Tweed collection’s.

Like her designs Alison has Honesty, Passion and Quality, in all she does.

No ordinary Dales woman.
No ordinary Shepherdess
No ordinary way of life.

 

alison@shepherdess.co.uk
+44 (01539) 620134/+44 07765 963857

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