Spinning a good yarn in more ways than one: Long Way Homestead’s road to success
Play • 33 min

We are launching Season 2 of Here’s How It’s Done with special guest Anna Hunter, the mastermind behind Long Way Homestead. Anna lives and works on 140 acres along with her husband Luke, their two sons, 20 laying hens, a flock of Shetland and merino-cross sheep, and two llamas. And by the way, those llamas keep the coyotes away. 

Six years ago Anna sold her East Vancouver yarn store, Baaad Anna’s, to start a family fibre farm and wool mill east of Winnipeg. Anna and Luke had zero experience farming. “We named our business Long Way Homestead because we seem to always choose the long way around, we go for the biggest challenge, the toughest hill to climb rather than the easy way.”

Anna did have experience in business so she drew up a five-year plan. They would start by raising chickens and then work their way to sheep in the fifth year. But Anna admits she is inherently impatient. “I couldn't imagine waiting five years to start sheep. So I started trying to understand how I could make a business out of sheep.” 

Find out how Anna moved from crowdfunding to business loans, the ingredients for successful diversification, and why their mill is integral to a vibrant fibreshed in Manitoba. And, above all, how spinning a good yarn in every sense of the word is the secret to making a ‘business out of sheep.’ 

“The fact that we were city kids, and we moved to the farm, and now we're just doing it and we're sharing our success. We're sharing the total failures and everything in between. And so connecting people, specifically knitters and crocheters, and fiber artists, with the source of their wool, is what I'm doing. Yes, I'm selling woolen yarn, but I'm actually selling this story.”

Brought to you by the Women's Enterprise Centre of Manitoba. Hosted by Cate Friesen, from The Story Source

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