The Story of the Grumpy Merino
A family owned and operated business in Culverden, North Canterbury. The Grampians has been in Jono’s family since 1973. Jono is the third generation to farm the property, with Hank, Greta & Alba being the fourth.
We wanted to develop a product which was 100% traceable to our wool but was also designed, developed and produced in New Zealand.
It is a long process to develop a range within New Zealand. Firstly, the wool which has been selected is sent to Timaru for scouring then transported to either Wild Earth Yarns in Christchurch to become knitting yarn or to Wool Yarns in Wellington to be spun. When this is complete, the spun fleece is transported to Interweave in Auckland to become a blanket or throw. It is then sent home to The Grampians to begin it’s journey to a new home.
The Grumpy Merino was launched in May 2020.
I’m Sarah. I designed and developed The Grumpy Merino. When I left school, I trained to be a nurse, but this became increasingly difficult with the children, the farm and living rurally. We were heavily into COVID lock down one, when it dawned on me, that I needed to find something for myself again. This wasn’t a great time to be considering such adventures. The brainstorming begun.
Our journey begun retailing for Devold of Norway, who we contract our wool too. However, COVID made this venture difficult. While the boarders were shut, it made us rethink how our business could evolve. It was only sensible to try produce products in New Zealand. This allowed us to develop a range which was ours.; 100% traceable to us, 100% The Grumpy Merino.
I lost my Grandmother in June 2019. She was passionate about blankets made from natural fibres. Subsequently I inherited one of her throws which is now used in multiple different places in our home. Grandma will continue to be an inspiration to The Grumpy Merino.
Our yarn is something we thought of as we were progressing through this new journey, but has been a successful additive to our brand. Grandma had a merino blanket knitted for our children, when they were babies. It was warm, yet super soft. An heirloom piece, we will be able to give to our grandchildren.
Nearly two years on, The Grumpy Merino (TGM) is continues to grow. The journey is fast evolving and this excites us immensely. We now have three colour ways in the knitting yarn, have four sizes in the blanket range and also have begun a TGM range of knitted products, which are produced here in North Canterbury.
Our story, the promotion of New Zealand wool and New Zealand made products is something that we are incredibly proud of. We only hope it is valued and appreciated by all who follow us. In time, we hope this business along with our farming operation will be a legacy our children will be able to share, evolve and love as well.
Hank, Alba and Greta Reed.