A Business from the Land

Anne Kirby, Lord's Cove, Burin Pennisula

Anne Kirby in sunny Lord’s Cove showing off her lovely vegetable garden.

Anne was born and continues to live in the out-port fishing community of Lord’s Cove on the Burin Peninsula. For 26 years, she operated a family grocery business with her husband Tom.  Today you’ll find Anne busy at work on their farm and her duties include helping in the vegetable garden, making hay, bottling food, birthing lambs, tending sheep and her favorite thing designing and hooking rugs.  Anne can even be found running down the highway in her slippers with her apron on herding some of the stray sheep! Anne’s business, Anne’s Original Hooked Rugs, started with her love of rug hooking. Her designs come from stories told to her by her mother, from photographs, and from her observation of everyday life around her. Anne incorporates Newfoundland themes into her work and is determined to preserve the traditional way of rug hooking that was passed down to her from her mother-in-law.

Anne busy at work on their farm.

Anne busy at work on their farm.

Operating a business on the Burin Peninsula in a rural community has its challenges!  Marketing and selling her products being the biggest challenge of all.  During the first years, Anne sold her rugs locally and by word of mouth.  Being industrious and adventurous Anne signed up for a Rug Camp on Woody Island and through her contact with an NLOWE Growth Advisor has now expanded  her market to trade shows, an online presence on Facebook, and she even ships her work around the country and beyond.  Even Facebook is a challenge when you are on dial-up! Anne joined a Women in Business Network and finds the mentoring she receives fantastic and is continuing to realize business growth.   The group meets once a month.

Anne can even be found running down the highway in her slippers with her apron on herding some of the stray sheep!

Anne can even be found running down the highway in her slippers with her apron on herding some of the stray sheep!

Setting goals has been very beneficial for Anne, and in 2012 she had her work juried resulting in Anne’s Original Hooked Rugs being recognized as a Crafts of Character producer.  Anne will now be able to consider wholesale. Her work will now be included in the Provincial Craft Wholesale Show and she will be able to participate in the Craft Council Christmas Craft Fair.  Anne’s work is also displayed and sold at the Regional Women in Business Trade show in Grand Bank.

Sheep are a big part of Anne’s life, and though she uses a lot of recycled materials, she also uses 100% sheep wool in her craft.  In 2012, Anne sent all her sheared wool to a mill on the mainland and now has her own label of “Salt Water Sheep’s Wool” which is available for purchase on her Facebook page and at trade shows.  Postage and shipping have an impact on this part of her business being so remotely located.

Anne with her 100% "Salt Water Sheep’s Wool"

Anne with her 100% “Salt Water Sheep’s Wool”

Anne also displays her work in exhibits both locally and nationally and supports her craft with her membership in the Rug Hooking Guild of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Rug Hooking Guild of Nova Scotia.

Working on a farm in Lord’s Cove, nearly self sufficient, operating a green business, a Crafts of Character Producer with National and International customers, and preserving a traditional Newfoundland craft is quite an accomplishment and truly a business from the land!

PaulaFlood-MOD-DSC_0283Paula Flood is an NLOWE Growth Advisor for the Eastern region and anyone that knows Paula knows she goes above and beyond for her clients.  Anne Kirby is one of her clients.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “A Business from the Land

  1. Michelle Barnes

    What a wonderful story of Anne and her many loves! Both Paula and Anne are women with a lot of crafty talent and determination! Beautiful products made here in Newfoundland by these two ladies.

  2. Anne

    Thanks to you, Paula Flood, for helping me to “find my way” in this great adventure of Rug Hooking…

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