The First Pop Up Merino Shops | 1994 | Merino Country

The First Pop Up Merino Shops | 1994

In the early 1990's it was difficult to buy wool products in the shops and there was little understanding of the qualities of wool by a lot of the public as synthetic clothing had taken over as it was easy care and much cheaper.

With the massive stockpile of wool due to the oversupply of wool and decreased demand for products, many new small businesses were created in the early 1990's but the se fabulous products weren't readily available in the shops and mainly sold on the "show circuit". 

Matilda Merino, a group of passionate Wool Growers, wanted to show the public what you could do with wool and where they could purchase it. They sourced Australian Made wool products and went to local Field Days & Shows in North & North West Queensland displaying and selling everything from wool doonas, scarves, teddy bears & jumpers to wool t-shirts and more.

The first POP UP Shops! In the early years Kerrie & other woolgrowers did all the local Field Days and Agricultural Shows in Western Qld which eventually led to bigger things including co-ordinating the Qld Festival of Wool, Wool Parades & Pop Up Shops at Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney & Adelaide Royal Shows and a Wool Shop in Paddington, Brisbane. From Paddock to Paddington! 

Kerrie Richards Richmond Field Days Julia Creek Field Days Matilda Merino Wool Wares

 Passionate woolgrowers showcasing products made from Australian Merino at local Field Days - helping themselves and their neighbours and rural communities!

Merino Country Fashion Parade 1994

Matilda Merino Wool Grower Group at the Richmond Field Days

The group went to all the local field days showcasing Australian Made Merino clothing & other wool products. One of which was a range of wool t-shirts, polo shirts & leggings made from an easy-care, machine wash Merino Jersey fabric devoloped by a scientist in Geelong, Ash Marfatia. Some of the members of the group also developed businesses making other wool products including wool doonas, sheepskin motorbike covers and seatbelt protectors. There were so many passionate woolgrowers who made this happen and it just goes to show the power of a community helping themselves and their neighbours!

Matilda Merino Richmond 1993

 The Matilda Merino Float showing off the wool processes from raw wool to spinning and the people involved including local shearers, wool growers (farmers). Main street of Richmond. 

In 1994 we exhibited at the Waltzing Matilda Centenary which celebrated this iconic Australian song and all things from Outback Queensland! It was at the Centenary celebration that the Minister for Rural Communities saw Kerrie's Merino business and asked how he could help small businesses in the bush - with no mobile phones, social media and being so far west, Kerrie told him that they needed customers in the City and plans were put in place to exhibit at the opening of the new Brisbane Convention Centre the following year and we exhibited a range of Merino products for the first time at the EKKA (Brisbane Royal Show)

Field Days Matilda Merino Wool Wares Kerrie Richards Glen Richards

Waltzing Matilda Centenary - Wool Wares & Matilda Merino. Kerrie with her brother, Glen Richards. Winton, Queensland, 1994

Merino Country fashion Parade 1994
Matilda Merino Wool Group, supported by Wool Broker, Elders, North Queensland Field Days, Townsville.

Later that year we organised our a Tropical Wool Parade in Townsville on Melbourne Cup Day at Cluden Race course followed by a series of parades in the Flinders Street Mall. The theme for this parade was Cool Wool to help promote the wonderful cooling properties of wool clothing. We sourced all Australian made clothing - one of which was a wool t-shirt from a scientist in Geelong. We were able to display and style lightweight wool clothing to show how you can wear wool in any season. The fashion parade was styled by Kerrie Richards and was a great opportunity to educate people on the properties of wool in a fun way. 


cool wool parade
Cool Wool Parade
The Cool Wool Parades, Melbourne Cup Day, Cluden Race Course, Townsville

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published