The company is operated by sisters Kim Doherty-Smith and Jennifer Taran and their husbands.
“I became an entrepreneur to fill my need to have the fleece from my sheep processed.” says Kim. PEI’s fertile land was a good choice to start a farm and raise sheep.
Kim and her sister describe their business as a passion project. They raise their livestock on pasture, and believe in untreated wool. They use dyes that conform to the Organic Trade Association’s standards for organic fiber processing.
“Our yarn comes from our own farm, and from farmers whom we collaborate with. We are the only mill making 100 percent Island-sourced knitting yarn. We have started exporting to retail shops in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Alberta and we are speaking with shops in Ontario and New York.”
Right now, Kim, her husband and her sister work full time at the mill. In the future, they hope to expand their operation and hire more staff. “We had quite a busy summer tourist season. To manage sales, we might hire someone in the future.”
Kim says the outlook for fleece and wool sales looks good. “There is a lot of interest. People are going back to knitting, and hand crafted items are in high demand right now.
“New knitters are concerned with the quality of their fibre and where it comes from, which increases the demand for products like ours.
“To get your product out there and to get feedback from people who love it and are repeat customers is very rewarding.”
Kim recommends that new entrepreneurs “take a chance on themselves” and ask other business people for advice.
For more information, visit www.fleeceandharmony.com.