Clare McShane talks about her early life in N.S.W.; the early days in Oatlands, Tas. bringing up five boys on the farm; the need to value add to wool made on the property at Casavene; buying her first knitting machine, finding a partner, sourcing machine knitting wool; Coates Patons, Launceston; how her hobby changed status after the wool crash of the early 1990s, converting the hobby into a business; farming as a business; teaching aspects of business, training staff; creating a world class product, breaking into the Japanese market; developing the business, purchasing the factory in Oatlands (1995), inclusion of a cafe (2005); learning how to use CAD (Computer Aided Design); employing locals to be multiskilled in the industry; Italian boutique knitting; having to source Merino extrafine wool from overseas; the decline of the wool industry and the Australian apparel market; taxes and expense involved with using the wool symbol; Australian Wool Board; mentors.
McShane discusses travel to Scotland to study the cottage industry; submissions for funding development; winning Tasmanian Telstra Businesswoman of the year; living in Hobart, selling the property, their reasons for moving to Hobart; the importance of tertiary education for her children; fine tuning the business to move forward and keep it alive; the impact of the ABC Rural Woman of the Year Award; women in a male dominated industry, importance of recognising the validity of women's opinions; importance of Rural Youth Organisation; Agfest; external boards that she was involved with; working on internet hub projects, working with Brand Tasmania; her confidence in Tasmanian agriculture, the need for people to embrace the change; environmental advantages of living in Tasmania; how the future lies in niche industry; using communications technologies to advance your business eg. eBay; her forty years in Tasmania.