Interview: IO Merino
Today Adventure Mom shares interview with David Michell, founder or IO Merino.
Adventure Mom: Hello! Tell us about yourself:
David Michell: My name is David Michell I am a 50 (ish) year old executive director along with my brother Peter. We own Michell Pty Ltd the parent company of I/O Merino. The Company is Australian owned. We built the wool baselayer I/O Merino business alongside our 140 year old wool processing business and applied the knowledge of wools performance, manufacturing capabilities and to win a bet ….that we could link Sheep to Shelf using our own factories and some specially chosen manufacturing partners and deliver THE best in the business. And we did!
Adventure Mom: That’s great, I love that you guys are in Australia and that product goes from “sheep to shelf. Can you tell us how you started your business?
David Michell: The company began in 2005 after more than 10 years of discussion. Our main business is in the early stages of cleaning Australian wool to make it ready for spinning. But in our down time my brother Peter and I are avid Skiers and thought that when the Ski Shell was removed at the Pub after a big day on the slopes that we all looked like we were wearing our parents old underwear…. Not a good look!!!
So while we discussed world textile trends with our customers and their customers we felt we could actually manage the supply chain and make something pretty special from 100% wool that would actually look cool….and voila I/O Merino was born. We went down the usual path with bricks and mortar distribution but found that this path was too slow and really expensive. So last year we went 100% online only and are finding it is gaining traction and sales and is the right delivery for this special niche brand.
Adventure Mom: That’s funny what you say about taking off your outer layer and looking like you were wearing your parents old underwear! What is your favorite adventure? Do you have a favorite spot you like to go to?
David Michell: I have had several adventures in the last few years and have worn our wool products for all of them. They include: 2x 1 week Jungle treks in New Guinea, an 800Km Quad bike crossing of dessert in the middle of Australia, a 100Km Ultra marathon in the blue Mountains near Sydney Australia and recently experiencing the Japanese Powder Skiing in Niseko in northern Japan. Nothing better than actually field testing your own products.
Adventure Mom: It sounds like you’ve had a lot of great adventures and are able to field test your own products. Where have you not gone, but would like to?
David Michell: Would like to test some of the USA trails, I am an avid trail runner and am looking for an ultra marathon or 2 in the next 12 months. Antarctica is also something I would like to try….other than that I am open to suggestion and will try almost anything…
Adventure Mom: Those sound like great adventures. Adventure Mom will be field testing some products later next month. In the mean time, how can we connect with you?
David Michell: Email (david.michell@Michell.com.au )/ Facebook (David Michell and facebook.com/IOBIOMerino) / phone works +61 8 8209 4446….or via I/O Merino emails (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Adventure Mom: Thank you David for your time! It has been a pleasure to connect with you!
Do you have any questions about merino wool? Or are there any specific I/O Merino products you’d like to see tested?