Cowgirlblues is a Cape Town-based dye house and design studio specializing in South African wool and mohair.
“If you take any activity, any art, any discipline, any skill, take it and push it as far as it will go, push it beyond where it has ever been before, push it to the wildest edge of edges, then you will force it into the realm of magic.” — Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
HISTORY OF COWGIRLBLUES
After an international career as a strategy consultant, founder Bridget Henderson returned to South Africa to live in Cape Town. While recovering from extreme burnout she took up knitting and crafting again. Having no formal training or background in working with textiles she did a lot of experimenting with texture, patterns and colors. After getting frustrated at not being able to find suitable wool for a project locally, she decided to start spinning and dyeing her own, and so the idea for the Cowgirlblues brand was born.
THE COWGIRLBLUES TEAM
“We really like working at Cowgirlblues. For us it is great to work together in a team and support our families at the same time. Working at Cowgirlblues is different from other jobs, we are able to learn new things and by that investing in our capabilities. We get new experiences and that makes us feel more confident.
Also, the team is very nice. Most of us have known each other for a long time and that feels familiar.” — Cowgirlblues Team
My team is at the heart of my business, and many of them say that working here feels like being part of a family. I take that as a huge compliment. These women are proud to work at Cowgirlblues. They are a competent, capable group of strong women whom I hugely admire and respect.
One of my ongoing priorities is to offer them opportunities for continuous improvement. Almost everyone is skilled in more than one aspect of the production process. It makes work more interesting for them if they can sometimes switch things up, and they stay motivated and engaged. Some aspects of our work are quite specific to dyeing yarns. But by learning different things such as how to use a sewing machine or a computer they build skills that could be useful in a different work environment also. That is particularly important in this crazy time of global corona virus pandemic.
We have a business practice of weekly team meetings on Wednesday that includes all employees so that everyone is informed about what is going on at work. Part of this meeting is an agenda item where employees’ questions are raised anonymously so they can feel comfortable to ask anything they want. It has been a really good way to discuss all sorts of things that might have been difficult to surface or address in any other way.