Rebecca McErvale is a multi-award winning entrepreneur for the following categories in our 2020 AusMumpreneur VIC-TAS Awards
- Silver winner – Customer Service
- Silver winner – People’s Choice Favourite Product
- Bronze winner – Business Excellence
Rebecca is co-owner of Leroy Mac Designs. She is a city girl turned farmers wife, making 100% Pure Australian Merino Blankets and beanies from the wool off their very own farm. Leroy Mac Designs products are fully traceable and uses pure Australian Merino grown and knitted in Rural Victoria.
Our Farm. Our Sheep. Our Wool. Our Story.
When did you start your business?
Leroy Mac Designs was started in 2010.
What was the inspiration behind starting this business?
When the first baby was born into the family, as wool growers, we were looking for a 100% pure Australian merino blanket to gift him. There was absolutely nothing on the market. Everything was either “wool blend” or Made in China. I was astounded and said to my Husband, “we have merino sheep.. why aren’t we doing this!”
What are you most excited about in your business?
The most exciting thing about my business is that we can tell the customer, EXACTLY what paddock their garment came from and the whole process that it took to get there. We have found no other businesses in Australia doing what we do.
What has been the most challenging thing about starting your business?
The most challenging thing about starting my business was definitely finding an avenue where we could have our small batch of wool processed but still guaranteeing that what we got back, was what we sent. We spent four years being told that we would not be able to do what we have achieved and that we should just be happy by buying commercially available “Australian” Merino Yarn. As a woolgrower seeing your wool being sold at auction and then not knowing much about what happened to it next, this was definitely a good learning curve. From Farm to Fashion takes a LOT of processes but I have proven that it can be done.
What advice would you give to other women thinking about starting a business?
Don’t give up on your ideas and dreams! The amount of people that told me that it would never work, it would be too expensive just buy some “Australian” yarn and make your designs from that was astonishing! If you have a passion and lucky enough to be able to explore it, explore it!
Why did you enter the AusMumpreneur Awards?
I needed to tell everyone about our story and why our products are the best on the market. I also wanted to network with other professional business Mums to support, grow and learn from each other..
What did you enjoy the most about being part of the awards?
The opportunity to have a good look at my business among other successful Businesses and being judged by professionals who gave me invaluable insight into the way I do things. The support network I found with the awards was also something I had never experienced before.
What surprised you most about the awards?
What surprised me most about the awards is the amount of amazing, successful business mums out there contributing to their family’s finances like myself. The ongoing support from these women 12 months later is still phenomenal.
How did the awards help you in your business?
By being part of the awards has given me a different perspective on how I look at my business and the way I run it. Often for those that are the sole worker, the founder and creator the chance to have an in-depth break down of your business is not taken. BY being part of the AusMumprenuer awards it was a great chance for me to take a step back from my usual role and have a look at what i first envisaged when I started was still relevant.
What advice would you give to others mums thinking about entering the awards?
The benefits of entering any awards far outweighs any negative outcomes. Just do to be involved with likeminded business professionals that can help you understand your business from a different perspective. Do it!
What’s happening next in your business? Any big plans for the future?
My aim is to have more control over the full process of turning our greasy wool into garment. We are currently exploring avenues of owning our knitting machines either in-house or on a shared agreement.
All images featured here are from Leroy Mac Designs.
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