The Wool Shed in Williams
In a small community town 150km southeast of Perth, Western Australia, lies a wool shed of a different kind. The Williams Wool Shed is a retail and cafe space located at 101 Albany Highway, Williams. Based in wool farming country, Kim Maylor has curated the boutique store with high quality wool products.
We had a chat with Kim to talk about the wool retail industry. Williams Wool Shed stocks a range of Merino Country Men's & Women's WUNDIES.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and why you started your business and when you started it:
We Purchased the Williams Woolshed about 5 and 1/2 years ago as a partnership, the original motivation was family orientated. Williams has always been our family home town and we loved the idea of raising our children in the community. The Woolshed was purchased as we saw amazing potential to grow what was an already established business. We really wanted to create something the entire Williams community could be proud off.
What was your motivation in retailing wool products?
The Original owners of the Woolshed have always sold wool products, we took this established business and feel we have refined its brand and image to be a real must stop location for wool products. Wool has been in the family for over 3 generations. Our family has had a long history in growing this amazing fiber, we love the idea that we can close the supply chain from paddock to retail store. We see the hard work that goes into growing wool and we want to ensure this product is enjoyed by as many people as possible.
The Wool Shed Team
Explain where you’re situated and what your operation entails?
The Williams Woolshed is located in Williams, Western Australia approximately 2 hours South East of Perth. Williams is a primary farming community. Our town has around 700 people living here and around 1500 in the surrounding district. Wool Farming is pivotal to why Williams exists. We are very proud that we can showcase this amazing fiber right on the doorstep where it is grown. Along with our retail stores we also boast a large cafe/ restaurant that travelers and locals can frequent.
What do you love about wool?
Wool is an incredible product it is so versatile and reliable as a clothing material. Our customers are very passionate about their wool clothing too, I think there is a real sense of pride when they purchase wool as it really is a national product which Australia is a world leader in producing in and being apart of that is very motivating.
What products do you stock in your shop?
We stock a range of wool products from Merino Country underwear (WUNDIES), base layers, Jumpers, scarfs, beanies, wool jeans blends, ugg boots, shoes and jackets.
Where do you see the future of wool heading?
If marketed correctly there is a real opportunity for wool going forward, the world is shifting to more sustainable practices across a range of industries such as energy, food and retail. Customers are becoming more aware of the environmental impacts we are having on the world. Wool has the ability to place its self as a sustainable garment material.
What are the biggest challenges you face nowadays?
The biggest challenge is wool manufacturing, our customers wish to see our entire wool collection being made in Australia, unfortunately this is not always possible for economic reasons. Manufacturers continue to take their manufacturing off shore which we understand as they need to keep operational costs down. I think we need to ensure we can keep or bring back Wool garment manufacturing in Australia but also need to ensure we can keep cost low to be competitive on the world stage which is next to impossible.