Vanessa Bell - Owner & Founder
I’d be lying if I told you I thought I’d end up being a farmer, never mind a passionate Merino grower.
My love of wool first developed in the 1990s while modelling for the world’s top fashion brands. My awe for the fibre grew further eight years ago when I married my husband and settled in country NSW. In 2017 I launched Sarah Jane Bond. A brand selling premium hand knitted baby blankets made from superfine Merino wool.
After my son Charlie was born, I reached for a proper cot blanket to keep him warm. I soon discovered a family heirloom that would change the course of my life. A baby blanket knitted by my great grandmother Sarah back in 1940. The blanket near 80 years old was still going strong.
The blanket inspired me to create my own collection of keepsake blankets. I named the business in honour of my great-grandmother. A new generation of family heirlooms was born.
Sarah Jane Bond is a brand built on love and longevity. The collection made from luxurious 100% Australian Merino wool. Quintessentially Australian, it includes baby blankets, matinee jackets, booties, beanies and bloomers. The elegant blankets are ideal for cot or pram use.
At the moment, the wool used for Sarah Jane Bond is commercially produced and comes from Victoria. My aim is to use “home grown” wool from my cold climate property, a district known for producing some of the finest Merino wool anywhere in the world.
My goal is to produce a true ‘paddock to blanket’ offering using Merino wool from non-mulesed sheep. I believe consumers want certainty the wool has been produced in a sustainable and ethical way. They want to know the detail when it comes to traceability. It’s important to have my own wool processed into yarn to meet consumer expectations by 2023.
In terms of exporting to markets such as the USA, Japan and UK I’m focusing on scarcity and exceptional quality as limited edition packages for those who desire a hand knitted family heirloom so pure and unique they can’t buy it anywhere else in the world. Merino is a wonder fibre - cool in summer, warm in winter, fire resistant and antibacterial.
Our customers feel confident they are making an environmentally wise choice. 35 percent of microplastics entering the ocean come via synthetic textiles. It’s my mission to reduce this via encouraging consumers to choose wool.
Sarah Jane Bond blankets are coveted from Bondi to New York.
These days with over 2000 sheep you are more likely to find me in the sheep yards than on the pages of Harper’s Bazaar or Vogue.
Vanessa and her husband Philip run a mixed farming enterprise from their properties “Greendale” Breadalbane,"Wirchilleba" Gilgunnia and "Moothumbil" Nymagee in NSW Australia.