What began as a passion project for one keen knitter has evolved into a collaboration of talented craftspeople who are proud to be doing their bit in creating a new story for New Zealand wool.
Here are the people that are helping to bring Hipi to life.
Founders and Farm-owners
Kate Tosswill is a passionate knitter with a penchant for wild ideas and zealous schemes.
It was after her annual trip to Knit August Nights in Ahuriri, Napier in 2018 for a four day knitting retreat, that she became inspired to pursue a project that would help promote the natural, renewable and environmentally friendly qualities of New Zealand wool.
Combining her experience in fashion, nursing and farm business management, Kate called on a range of skills to blend her passion for wool, farming and beautiful design. A dream for Hipi was born, and what started as a labour of love has turned into a business she is proud of.
Kate and Michael farm Bagshot Farm in partnership. Michael is a third generation Wairarapa farmer and a proud guardian of the land. Doing right by his animals and lifting the standard for both produce and industry performance is important to him, and he maintains a close connection to industry groups.
Farm life wouldn’t be the same for the Tosswills without their two children, Johnny (6) and Ava (3), who take every opportunity they can to get out on farm. The kids serve as a reminder of the wonder of farming in all its beauty that can easily become run-of the-mill in the day to day, and also an ever-present reminder that they are caretakers of the land for the next generation. As such, the Tosswills take a long-term view of stewardship and are committed to leaving it in better condition than they found it.
Hardworking, knowledgeable and uplifting to be around, Paerata and Cushla are inspiring people. They are incredibly skilled at what they do and have built a team around them that support their vision and high standards. We love working alongside this professional and passionate pair - and even enjoy their music!
The last remaining wool scouring company in New Zealand, HBWS (Cavalier) do a great job preparing our raw wool for the mill. Given the volume we produce each year, our wool is a bit of a pain for these guys but their support of the industry is such that they did everything they could to accommodate us and help out. Thanks team!
Design Spun is one of just two worsted spinners remaining in New Zealand making top quality hand knitting, weaving and textile yarns. What Peter doesn’t know about milling yarns, isn’t worth knowing. From the moment Kate first called Peter at the start of this journey, he has willingly shared his technical knowledge and sage advice on starting a fibre-based business.
Quiet achievers, Remar’s work underpins some of New Zealand’s foremost and prestigious labels. Gordon and Kim own and operate the family run business, along with daughter Danielle. The industry experience, knowledge, passion and innovation of the team is outstanding and we are privileged to partner with them to manufacture our product.
Feathers & Co
Early in the process, we searched for a high quality cushion inner to fill our designs, make the texture pop and importantly, meet our brand values. Which is when we discovered Feathers & Co. They produce a range of pillow inners, cushions, mattress toppers and duvets containing the only New Zealand duck feathers on the market. All of their feathers and down are ethically sourced as they are a by-product from ducks farmed in the Waikato for the New Zealand hospitality and export market.
Feathers & Co Feathers & Co premium feathers are processed, graded and cleaned for export in the only feather plant in New Zealand. Their factory in China sews the exclusive range of cushions, duvets and mattress toppers and ships them back to New Zealand to be sold to premium retail stores, interior designers & the hospitality industry.
As a wool representative for CP Wool, Roger has been in the wool game for some time and has seen significant changes in the industry, honing his skills over many years. Roger has an immense knowledge in the field of growing top-quality wool, how best to harvest it and how to select the very best fleeces to take through to end product. This insight and Roger’s willingness to work alongside us towards our goal has been instrumental in getting this project off the ground.
Farmer’s Daughter Design Studio
Becks came on board with us at an early stage supporting brand development and identity along with collateral and website design. Her contribution has been invaluable and we highly recommend her skills, communication, manner and approach. While it’s always good to keep things in the family, we would have chosen to work with Becks anyway – we think she’s fantastic!