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Shear determination pays off for Yorke Peninsula Mum

Abbie Tiller

From little things big things grow for Just Shear

Yorke Peninsula mum, Carlie Smith, has transformed a simple idea to keep backs warm and butts covered, into a booming online retail business called Just Shear.

A sign-writer by trade and mum of two, in 2017 Carlie ventured into the world of fashion with a unique twist—selling colourful jumpers with long tails, in a similar style to a traditional shearing singlet.

The spark for Carlie’s venture came from an unexpected source—a random marketing email offering a sample hoodie and singlet. Taking a leap of faith, she then ordered eight boxes of jumpers, despite being nervous they might not sell. Today, the Just Shear brand has sold shipping container loads of the distinctive, long-tailed hoodies and other comfy, bush-inspired clothing and apparel.

The success of Just Shear lies not only in the practicality and comfort of the products but also in Carlie’s ability to connect with her audience. She believes that in the world of online shopping, customers still crave a personal connection.

“My advice to small business owners is to be yourself, tell your story. People still want to know they’re buying from a person, not just from a computer.”

Each week, Carlie’s dedicated team of three full-time employees and three casual staff, print, box, and ship hundreds of orders from the busy warehouse, custom built on the Smith’s Maitland farm.

Just Shear hoodies are on trend at Packsaddle.
Just Shear hoodies are on trend at Packsaddle.

Growing up on a sheep station at Ivanhoe in South Wales, it’s not only the Just Shear brand that gives a nod to the wool industry. Carlie’s Mum, Carolyn Rees, has written and published “Shear Delights” – a cookbook with a collection of hearty classics, perfect for catering for shearers, families and crowds.

One of Carlie’s proudest moments was serving a jelly slice from the “Shear Delights” cookbook to Christine Holgate, CEO of Team Global Express. Holgate flew to Adelaide and made the trip to Yorke Peninsula to meet Carlie and discuss future shipping logistics—a testament to the reach and impact of Carlie’s business.

Earlier this year the successful mumpreneur was invited to speak at the SA Sheep Expo dinner, as well as sitting on a panel alongside Team Global Express, Alibaba and Circonomy at Retail Fest on the Gold Coast. Passionate about inspiring others, Carlie’s message is for those with a dream to listen to their gut, back their ideas, take risks, and have a go.

“My own business has exceeded all goals and expectations.”

With their horse float transformed into a mobile retail outlet, The Just Shear team will hit the road in October, bound for the famous Denny Ute Muster, where they sold a whopping 350 pairs of their uniquely printed footy shorts last year.

As well as their own branded merchandise, Just Shear helps other businesses stand out with logo designs, screen printing, heat transfer, sublimation, signage, laser cutting and embroidery.

Fittingly, Carlie has been named as a South Australian Woman to Watch in 2024 – a testament to the power of creativity and her shear determination to have a go.

To check out the Just Shear range click here.


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