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Young Farmer Focus: Katie Robson - 'Bringing together my love for cows, leather and fashion'

Katie Robson, 23, works at Welshpool Livestock Sales and is owner of fashion brand Robson and May. She lives with her boyfriend James on his family’s dairy, sheep and beef farm.

Background: I am not a farmer’s daughter and never grew up on a farm, but I knew from a young age that farming was something I was very interested in, along with my other passion of art and design.

 

Who would have thought the two could ever go together?

 

Living in the countryside, it soon became clear that farming came naturally to me.

 

It was not long before I became friends with local farmers’ sons and daughters and would not miss any opportunity to help out on their farms.

 

Robson and May: In 2017 I attended a workshop where I developed my skills to work with leather, along with a helping hand from YouTube.


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My business started with me making belts and equine equipment for friends and family. I started to explore the world of leather, which got me thinking about bringing together my love for cows, leather and fashion.

 

I quickly started to source my hides and draw up some designs.

 

The tote bags were my first creation and are still one of my most popular designs, alongside my cowhide bow ties, which have been a great success with Young Farmers.

 

I am hoping to broaden my customer base over the next few months by approaching various cattle societies.

 

Cowhides: The cowhides are the foundation of my collection, as this is what makes the products look and feel unique.

 

Every product I make is different due to the variation in the pattern on the cowhide. I source my cowhide from local abattoirs and tanneries due to the higher quality of hides, plus the variety of breeds available.

 

It is great being able to use this by-product as the core of my designs.

 

One of my challenges is how to create an understanding of how my products are sourced and the process they have been through to achieve a unique look.

 

Daily life: Alongside my fashion line I juggle my day job, working for Welshpool Livestock Sales. This job allows me to enhance my knowledge of livestock and sales, which is something I thoroughly enjoy.

 

My workshop is based on my boyfriend’s dairy farm in Shropshire. I enjoy helping out on the farm with milking, calf feeding and lambing. It is a great environment for me to create my products. I am excited to see where the future will take me.

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