As chief executive of Petone’s Stansborough Ltd, Cheryl’s passion for creative arts is matched by her can-do business attitude.
As well as designing Stansborough’s textiles, Cheryl personally attends the shearing, hand-sorts and grades the fleece of more than 1000 ‘Stansborough Grey’ sheep.
For Cheryl and her husband Barry, the film industry has become a substantial part of their business, but the path to discovery was an unexpected journey in itself.
Eighteen years ago, the pair discovered a breed of rare grey sheep used by the Vikings in ancient times. Cheryl’s love of fibre prompted her to begin breeding the sheep to bring out the best in the fleece she could see would be well-suited to woollen fabric products.
Based in Petone for the past 12 years, Stansborough has been contracted to produce the fabrics and costumes for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and now The Hobbit – all spun on 120-year-old looms.
“It’s fantastic that small New Zealand companies like us can compete in the global market providing world-class products.”
Cheryl has a background in the creative arts and, along with daughter Kiri, designs all the fabrics, accessories and finished products. Their fabrics are 100% natural only requiring the odd bit of natural dye, if at all.
Petone is the ideal location for artisans like Cheryl, who is a proponent of “getting to know your local businesses and developing products together”.
“We use local printers, packaging companies and all the expertise we need is right here.”
At last week’s world premiere of The Hobbit, Stansborough products were popular with tourists and Tolkein fans, who can tour the factory at set times each week. Quick to support her business community, Cheryl recommends the local restaurants and cafes to visitors.’
Find out more about Stansborough, visit www.stansborough.co.nz.