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Shepherdess – Designer

A woman grafted to the Highlands of Britain.

Alison O’Neill is a Shepherdess, mother and mountain woman bred from farming stock. A third generation hill farmer rooted to the land raising sheep, growing wool and working with tweed. 

In 1999 having ventured far she returned to her native land. To Sedbergh and The Howgill fells. Back to the land, the sweet earth and wide skies.

She fulfilled her childhood dream, took on a challenge and rented a traditional hill farm, a patch of heaven that was in need of much love and dales woman graft, a way of life that demands passion and invention in order to survive.

An ability to design and make her own clothes led to people stopping her in the street to ask where they had come from.

Out of necessity Shepherdess was born.

A talented, inspirational designer with an eye for colour and composition that is a rare gift, Alison’s designs are inspired by Britain’s high places and the lives of those that live and weave in them.

“There is a timlessness, a touch of magic in the production of tweed. Elemental. Satisfying. You can tell that when you wear it”

Alison is globally acclaimed for promoting Wool. Her range of clothing is helping put Wool back where it belongs – as the bedrock of the wealth of the nation.

“She refused to burn fleeces when everyone said they were worthless”

From Alison’s design studio there is a constant flow of imaginative designs, always with a practical edge. It is the farmer in her; it runs in her veins.

A popular and accomplished public speaker and author, Alison is very much in demand by an increasing audience of those wishing to follow her exploits.