Nickelby At Darnum

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Look out Autumn here we come!

shop newsAngela Betheras

Well the diary says that Autumn is here, it is now March 8th, in fact it is International Women's Day so that gives us two reasons to celebrate.

Autumn is my favourite time of the year.  The dreaded Summer is on the way out, the mornings are cool, the trees are turning, the grass is hopefully growing and whilst it might look like things are shutting down for the start of Winter for me and my work it means that life is starting to ramp up. The spinning wheel is back in action, the SAORI loom is going at full throttle, cria (baby alpacas) are being born and the images of big open fires, gatherings of friends around the table with a favourite glass of red, snuggled up in my alpaca jumper, sitting under my alpaca throw rug and watching a romantic movie as the nights draw in are just a stone's throw away and I love it!

Autumn is the time when you still want to get out and about, sure the beach might not be the best place to go but as we don't have a beach near us we enjoy walks through the bush, visiting wineries and being able to get out and about and not break into a sweat.

Autumn is the time when the shop here gets busy as well. Not too many people want to try on a jumper when it is over 30 degrees (although the shop is always cool it is a bit off putting) so we see more people coming in and falling in love with all things alpaca and I start to think I wish I worked harder over Summer to ensure I have enough stock.

I am working more and more in the slow clothing space where we encourage everyone to reuse, recycle or if purchase then to purchase with thought.  Instead of hitting the shopping centres, you don't need to now you don't need the air con they provide, why not start to think carefully about your purchases, purchase items with low production mileage, buy natural fibres as plastic damage our waterways, purchase an investment piece and by that I don't mean something expensive but rather something that will last the test of time, that helps you create your memories, memories of what you were wearing when.....Clothing is such an extension of ourselves, give it time to become part of who you are and take time to find out where your clothing comes from and how it has been produced. Above all, consider shopping with the little gal or guy and support a local community.  After all, you buy from me, I buy from my local shops and they do likewise and it means you are doing your bit to help keep a country community alive so we remain here for you to enjoy when you come to visit next Autumn.

We look forward to welcoming you to Nickelby At Darnum very soon and now back to the loom so there are some Nickelby Designs for you to see when you visit

Angela Betheras - the alpaca lady behind the business

Farm NewsAngela Betheras1 Comment

I would like to introduce myself to you as often when you come onto a site you are just not sure if you can trust it and if you are like me, you wonder, who is behind this business?

Well it is l! Ten years ago I purchased 67 acres at 308 Darnum Shady Creek Road and suffice to say the place was pretty empty.  As I tell visitors, there was no water, no power, no buildings, no tracks or driveways and the property consisted of 4 large paddocks with run down fencing.  Oh and there wasn't a house. There still isn't a house but that is a story for another post when I tell you about my adventure of building yurts and pods!

So prior to purchasing my 67 acres of nothing I had a B&B in the next town and only had 12 acres. I had two cute cottages in the garden and I built a photography studio in my garage and there I operated Angela Betheras Photography which I had previously run in Melbourne.  I was starting my alpaca journey in 2004 and up until 2005 I was commuting every day to the city because I was the International Supply Chain Manager for Coles Myer Ltd.  So my customers were Kmart, Target, Officeworks, Myer, Coles, BiLo and the list goes on. My team in Melbourne, Hong Kong and Shanghai basically bought in about one ship a week full of stock.  We were extremely busy!

However I finally had enough of the city life and thought it was time to make my home completely back here in West Gippsland where I grew up.  I grew up in Labertouche and rode my horse to school.  We had 19 students and one teacher.  The memories are fabulous, my maths and English were shocking!  

So in 2007 I stumbled across this property which I now call home as I was driving around killing time before turning up at a bride's house to start her wedding photography as I was early as usual. I walked around the property on a Friday afternoon and had purchased it by Friday night. I am known to be a little bit impulsive!

So my journey started with building the shop and studio and to kick start my marketing and trying to get people to come off the highway and pay us a visit.  March 1st 2018 will be our 10 year anniversary so watch the events page to see the party celebrations, it should be a big month (or 2)

I manage the business and the farm on my own but sometimes when you come you will meet my wonderful mother who often helps out or minds the shop when I have to go to a meeting.  She sold the family farm a couple of years ago and moved into the town so enjoys coming out to spend some time on mine and I put her to work!

So if you are passing, come in and visit, see the shop or if you can't make it then have a look at the online shop.  Everything is shipped from the lovely Darnum post office down the road and Julie makes sure everything gets off safely.

Until next time when I tell you about the fun I have had starting my yurt building and what my house will look like when I am living in the round!

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Angela & Miss Pasty

Has Winter really left us?

shop newsAngela BetherasComment

What is going on with this weather? We had an extremely dry Winter and now the sky has opened up and the rain just won't stop coming down.  However that hasn't stopped us here, well it has stopped us a little, certainly the alpacas are finding it hard to poke their noses out from the shed and shelters where they run to when the heavens open but in the shop, whilst we can't mow the lawns for fear of sinking, we are welcoming many brave people who are happy to rug up and come and see what is going on.

Lots is going on, we have our new website with a clearer view of our online shop.  Which has been fun to build but I don't there is any way I can get everything up on line so what you see is really only a representation of what we have.

My SAORI weaving is proving to be very popular and I now have scarves in the beautiful Town & Country Gallery in Yarragon and at the La Trobe Regional Gallery in Morwell and watch this space as some of my work will be making its way to Melbourne in the coming weeks.  All very exciting so keep an eye on the website to find out where.

Also a new initiative which is already taking off is our "Ladies Who Lunch" so why not think about having your next girls day out here at Nickelby At Darnum.  Everyone seems to have a great time when they do.

So you might be thinking that with Winter over and Spring is really here, well soon, that there is no need to look into alpaca garments, you can just wait until next Winter.  Well did you know that because alpaca is a hollow fibre and is lighter than wool and breathes beautifully then it is perfect all year around.  Especially the wraps.  Our Nickelby Design range will also be using 100% Australian cotton in our range for Spring/Summer to also give that added Summer feel so don't write alpaca off just because the weather is getting warmer. The nights can still be cool and as we are happy to ship overseas it is always Winter and cold somewhere!

So we hope to see you up here soon on your travels around our beautiful region and if you can't make it then check out our online store and see if there is anything which takes your fancy.

From the alpacas and me, stay safe and keep humming (for those who don't know, that is how alpaca's speak!!!)