From uncertainty to business owner

Kate Jones always considered herself a creative person. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Kate Jones always considered herself a creative person. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
It is a yarn borne out of Covid-19.

With the tourism industry facing economic uncertainty, Canadian expat Kate Jones believed it was the right time for financial diversification.

At the beginning of June, Ms Jones was working a reduced and subsidised 20 hours a week for Mt Cook tourism company Alpine Guides while continuing plans for life on a Mackenzie lifestyle block.

Bought last year, the 4ha property just outside Twizel would become home to herself and Kiwi partner Chris Mackie.

"Everything is uncertain right now but particularly the tourism sector.

"My partner and I were discussing how to build financial security and, out of Covid 19, the idea for Alpine Yarns was born."

Ms Jones had been knitting for three years before establishing her small business. With a career background in interior design, she enjoyed the idea of creating quality products from natural fibres, and bought wool from local Twizel shop Southern Alps Outdoors.

Her creations feature a range of headwear inspired by a blend of traditional high country wear and modern flair.

"Everything I make is locally sourced and made with 100% New Zealand wool.

"I think it is ridiculous to buy a product like merino from Italy when we have it here."

The couple’s vision was to be as self-sufficient as possible, growing their own food, making some of their own clothes and living off the grid.

"I think there is a push within my generation to move towards organic food and handmade items — knowing where your meat and vegetables come from, thinking locally.

"There is no shortage of sheep in New Zealand so definitely not a shortage of wool either. While I do not know anything about shearing sheep or spinning wool, I am looking into it."

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