Best baa none: Davaar & Co.

If there is one thing Kate Macdonald appreciates about the off-season on her family farm, it’s that she has time to work on the creative side of her business.

For Kate, her work is her pleasure. Since the day she dreamed up her business idea of producing honest, authentic, slow fashion that would be entirely traceable back to its farm of origin, that hasn’t changed.

Davaar Station, situated in Te Anau between Queenstown and Milford Sound, runs 6500 crossbred Romney Perendales. The sheep are shorn twice yearly to maintain animal health and a wool length of no more than four inches. “The twice-yearly clip ensures the business produces the finest yarn,” Kate explains.

Davaar & Co. was founded by Kate during the 2020 Covid lockdown, thanks to a discussion she had one day while on a ‘smoko’ break with her father, James. Kate wondered how they could add value to the clip and showcase the natural beauty of wool that came with a long history.

From that discussion, Kate’s ideas became a reality, with the business initially selling online before adding an onsite store in December 2022. It is now a major destination stop for both locals and tourists. Visitors can browse the knitwear before relaxing with a brew and something delicious from Sprig & Thistle, a coffee caravan in front of the store, run by Kate’s passionate foodie sister, Anna.

With the off-season fast approaching, Kate will be busy, as the sole designer of her clothing. “I’ll be working on a range of other knitwear designs while the shop is closed for thewinter months.”

An upcoming knitting yarn launch has Kate excited, because tourists will be able to take a slice of Davaar & Co back home and create something with it.

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