Before I even opened the Cottage, I had a wish list of textile things I really wished I could stock. Of course I never had the money to fulfil any of the wish list but a girl can dream.
Oleana was on that list. I think it was their use of raspberry red that suckered me in! I even emailed their agent in Sydney but never heard back and I got busy doing other things. About two years ago I was at a trade fair, my nose running like a tap with the flu and feeling pretty grotty and revolting, when I spied in the distance a stand that was hung with what looked distinctly like Oleana products..... and it was Oleana!
So I met the beautiful and charming Celia and John who were now importing Oleana. I sneezed and dribbled my way through it all and although I couldn't afford to order for the shop Celia let me order cardigans for me! And best of all we kept in contact.
A couple of months ago Celia got in contact and asked if I would like to stock these beautiful cardis and I had to say 'yes!'. You know I am a textile designer, that's what my degree says, and you know I always wanting to grow up and become an archeologist and garments like these marry the two things. If you look at a book like Annemor Sundbo's "Everyday Knitting- Treasures from a Ragpile" you can begin to trace the history of Norwegian knitting right through to the work of Oleana. I'm a hopeless textile geek and you know if you've been into the Cottage we always have books under the counter about the textiles used in the shop. I'm sure people get a bit befuddled when we pull out tomes for them to look at, the Cottage definitely is about further education!
We have limited stock at the moment but there is more on the way. They are expensive but exceedingly beautiful, made from 70% finest merino/30% silk and are definitely all about on the investment in the 'investment vs disposable purchase' equation. They are made by a company that believes in profit share with their employees, whose oldest employee is over 80, they terms it 'fair made' which is what all production should be. There is a 10 minute film you can watch and in it you get to see designer Solveig Hisdal working from her beautiful home and making up real cut-and-paste textile designs (so good to see in this bad digital textile design age) and how the garments are made and finished in the factory.
And please come in and have a look at Oleana's amazing knitwear.