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Article: Handpicked with Naomi Simson

Handpicked with Naomi Simson

Naomi Simson launched her new series HANDPICKED and in this first episode our CEO, Kerrie, chats with her about manufacturing in Australia, the challenges of growing & the difficulty of finding skilled team members. Plenty of laughs, good advice and tips! 

In her series of HANDPICKED, Naomi takes questions from business owners that might need help growing, starting or saving their business. Each guest is handpicked by Naomi as she shares stories, ideas and advice that might help them and anyone that has ever wanted to start a business.

Naomi Simson Podcast

Naomi Simson is an entrepreneur who founded Red Balloon in 2001. She has been blogging for a decade at, is a professional speaker, author of Live What You Love & Ready To Soar, and a “Shark” on business reality show Shark Tank Australia. Handpicked with Naomi Simson is a short podcast delivered each Monday which is just like having a mentoring session with one of Australia's most successful entrepreneurs.

Kerrie Richards Founder of Merino Country has been manufacturing and marketing merino products for more than a quarter of a century. In this first episode of Handpicked podcast, Kerrie (who considers herself a small business owner and manufacturer) bravely asks the questions that most business owners want to know. Who is right to lead the next phase of growth for the business that she and her husband have built? They are passionate about Australian manufacturing, yet face the growth challenges as finding skilled team members increasingly difficult. After nearly three decades this can be exhausting for any owner.


Naomi says "I have known Kerrie for about five years and from time to time she has called me to ask questions about her business.

She agreed to be the first guest on season one of my Handpicked podcast.

I asked if she would be prepared to ask the sort of questions that she asked me on the phone publicly. And she kindly agreed."

There is much to be learned from other business people’s questions. The life of a small business owner is rarely set and forget. It is often full of twists and turns. And having a trusted advisor can be incredibly valuable.

Kerrie Richards Malcolm Pain Gloria

Kerrie and her husband, Malcolm, manufacture garments using Australian Merino textiles in Queensland and whilst the business is booming – with a renewed focus on ‘buy Australia’, Australian manufacturing, and support for the regions, this represents challenges too.

Merino Country has great government contracts in place as well as thousands of loyal customers. Yet in the last few years growing ‘pains’ have meant that her and her husband Mal continue to work very long hours. Finding machinists and other textile and manufacturing team members is a challenge.

Australian Made and Ethically Grown - this is a wonderful Australian business story with plenty of laughs, whilst asking the tough business questions.

To listen to this episode of the podcast click here

Join the conversation and follow me on your favourite podcast network.

For More information:

For more info on selling your business: LinkedIn course

For support with Mental health and your own business

Thanks to Hummpro for its support of the Handpicked Podcast and its dedication to the financial success of small business Australia.

Listen Here

S1 E1 Handpicked Podcast – Merino Country 24 May 2021


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