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Clothing for the country

Clothing for the country

Amanda Wilson has turned her frustration at being unable to find suitable country-inspired clothing for her son Cooper into a successful clothing brand, Dusty Shepherd.

"My son Cooper is my biggest inspiration; without him, I would never have seen myself going down the path of designing clothing.

"His adventurous nature and desire to get stuck in with life on the farm inspired me to create clothing a little farmer should wear and rip around in," Wilson says.

Wilson runs a contract milking operation of 1300 cows with her partner Tim in South Canterbury, as well as a dryland stock farm in Waitaki, so she knows first-hand what Kiwi farmers and their children need in clothing for both on and off the farm.

Dusty Shepherd was launched as a children's clothing brand in 2021, but after feedback from customers, it quickly evolved to include adult clothing as well.

"It's such a fun name and brand for the rural industry.

"Whether you like your children to dress like Mum or Dad do, or whether you just want to freshen and style up your wardrobe for work or play with something a little different, it's all inspired by the land we live on."

Wilson designs the clothing herself, with all pieces manufactured from cotton so they are breathable and wear well.

Wilson says she gets a buzz from the support she receives from customers and enjoys the social side of the business.

"Being on the farm all the time, it's sometimes hard to meet new people."

Wilson sells Dusty Shepherd clothing through the company website and at local events and fetes, with the NZ AG Show in Christchurch being the most significant event Wilson sold at so far.

Amanda Wilson SUPPLIED

"Our clothing isn't solely targeted at rural people; it's for everyone.

"Our clothing can easily take them from the farm to town and is always tidy."

Wilson says that with juggling the farm, parenthood and Dusty Shepherd, there is "always something going on", but the challenge gives her the fuel to keep improving the business.

"The biggest challenge this year has been balancing the farm work, school and keeping up  with the computer work side of all of the businesses, as I have been rearing 1300 calves with 350 replacements this year."

by Claire Inkson