International Women’s Day: Kristina’s daily inspiration
Kristina Boulden runs Romney Marsh Wools in partnership with her husband Paul, aiming to raise awareness of the benefits of British wool. The family farm includes 1,278 hectares of land across the Romney Marsh in Kent, and was established in 1882.
Kristina and her family keep over 1,000 Romney ewes, a breed native to the Romney Marsh and dating back to the 13th Century, along with a small flock of Saxoni Merino sheep.
How did you start out in the industry?
My father was always an entrepreneur and owned his own business. I saw the good times and the bad, but what inspired me most was the freedom of decision making and the rewards that owning your own business can achieve.
Since the age of 18, I made a conscious decision to work for large businesses to gain the experience, training and knowledge to be able to run my own business one day. When I met my husband, a 6th generation farmer, I was further inspired with his work ethic, as well as a love for the countryside. We both saw the opportunity to diversify with British wool, and the opportunity to leave the legacy of a business that another generation could follow, and hence Romney Marsh Wools was born. Following extensive market research, our full-time hobby grew organically and I joined the business full time in 2011.
What do you love about being a farmer and business owner?
Working from home has allowed me a better quality of life as I can be around our children more whilst building a future business that they may one day wish to pursue. Farming is a way of life and I love the diversity and different challenges each day can bring. Working outdoors and being a part of the landscape does a lot for your well-being.
What do you love about British wool?
British wool is one of the few products that is truly natural, renewable, sustainable and incredibly versatile. With over 60 breeds of sheep in this country, each fleece possesses a different quality. The fibre itself is amazing, with a structure that is fascinating – wool can warm you up and also cool you down, it’s incredibly durable and breathable - the list is exhaustive!
What advice would you give to people starting out in the industry?
As my career has developed I have learned to be more self-confident, driving myself to break expectations and prove that I can be a mother as well as have a career.
If you think you have leadership qualities, and you want to help yourself and others to be better, find that opportunity to take on a leadership role. Don’t be scared. Definitely be tenacious. Don’t pay attention to what everyone else thinks. Finally, remember what you’re passionate about, and that barriers are designed to be broken!
Find out more about Romney Marsh Wools and buy online at https://romneymarshwools.co.uk