Meet The Founder of Snowgrass


My name is Helen Thornton and lovely to see you visiting Snowgrass Merino's website, you are very welcome and please let me know if I can be of any help at any time.

So, yes, I am delighted to say that I am the founder of Snowgrass Merino Clothing. Snowgrass is centred around three main values – Our Kids, The Great Outdoors and New Zealand. And those three things pretty much sum me up as well! I am a New Zealander, I have 3 young, noisy boys and I have a huge love of the outdoors and being out and amongst the elements.

Now, although I am a proud Kiwi, for the last 15 years my home has been Dublin in Ireland, and unfortunately merino clothing is not so readily available here in Ireland as it is in New Zealand. So every time we headed downunder to see my family and friends we came back with bags full of merino clothing for ourselves and our 3 boys. And the merino clothing has been a godsend through the cold Irish winter months and the very changeable spring and autumn seasons.

So after the birth of my (very cute) 3rd little man, heading to the office to be an IT developer didn’t appeal so much and I knew it was the right time to try something new. And I wanted that “new” thing to be something to do with New Zealand as I very much want to keep a strong connection with my native country.

I grew up on a farm, and a sheep farm at that, and so my roots are very firmly in the agriculture and rural sector (even after 20 years of working and living in the city!), and as I am very passionate about the beautiful New Zealand merino wool it became fairly obvious that starting my own business utilising that amazing fabric was the way to go. Now, I wasn’t really expecting to design my own clothes and have my own brand initially. I looked at existing brands but they didn’t quite fit with what I wanted to do. So on one of my trips to New Zealand I called in to see a local manufacturer in a town called Hastings in Hawkes Bay and with their amazing help I came up with my first clothing range! My aim was to keep the range simple and in line with what merino wool is best at – keeping you warm! And central to the range is the fact that the clothes are manufactured in New Zealand and made specifically from New Zealand merino fabric as it is important to me and my customers that the clothes are a genuine New Zealand product. I even sourced the labels from New Zealand!

And thus, Snowgrass Merino Clothing was born and although I am a long way from my home farm in the Tararua region of New Zealand I feel very excited about this Irish New Zealand venture that I have embarked on. My connection with New Zealand is very much alive and is now on a much higher level as, not only am I showcasing one of the best products to come out of New Zealand, I am also contributing to my home country’s economy. And my adopted country, Ireland, is benefiting as well as I have made a concerted effort to source all other items (eg. packaging, hang tags, stickers etc) from small Irish businesses, and of course, Snowgrass is a small Irish business itself.

So there you go, a short history on myself and how Snowgrass came about. I must say, it has been a really exciting first 6 months and it’s great to finally bring the benefits of merino fabric to Irish families. I look forward to the many months ahead and if there is anything I can help you with then please drop me a line at

Helen :-)




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