For the past 25 years, Goondiwindi Cotton has been an integral part of the Goondiwindi community and other country towns.
A family owned business, built on old-fashioned and honest principles, it has been owner Sam Coulton’s pride and joy since it began in 1992.
After 40 years of farming cotton in the district, Sam decided there was a need to value-add to a locally-grown product and Goondiwindi Cotton was born.
“The main reason we did that was to give our kids and grandkids, and I’m not just talking mine I’m talking everybody, jobs,” Sam said.
Sam said while there were many trials and tribulations in the beginning, Goondiwindi Cotton is now stocked by over 180 businesses across the country.
Even though farming is no longer Sam’s main focus, he said he runs Goondiwindi Cotton in much the same way as a farm, and wanted to create something that would go on forever.
“We knew it wasn’t a short term thing, we knew it would take at least a generation before we really got out into the shops, to really get profitable,” he said.
“It takes a long time and credibility to get there in any business you do.
“It’s a bit like the farming, we put fertilizer in the ground, we know what we do is for the long term because we’re dealing with nature.
“It can't be changed around in the short period of time.
“So you've got to plan that far out and stick with it and if your heart's in it, it'll work.”
That grit and determination to get it right, and meet customer demands has meant a lot of research and prototypes have gone into developing their brand.
Part of that development is the use of cashmere, and Sam said they are soon to unveil a new garment blend.
“Coming in for winter is a wool cotton blend which is excellent,” he said.
“It’s taken a couple years to get that wool cotton blend right.
“There’s a lot of development goes on.
“It’s complicated; it’s timing, a lot like farming.”
An integral part of Goondiwindi Cotton has always been a country ethos and the importance of supporting country people and their businesses.
“We have a beautiful culture,” Sam said.
“It’s something we have to hang on to.
“It’s a beautiful part of life.”
While Sam said Goondiwindi Cotton is marketed at women over 45, a browse through their shop shows something for all ages.
“As soon as you walk into a shop you pick a colour and you’ll go from the colour to the feel,” Sam said.
“We make colour, we make them to feel good, we make a good quality product all the time.
“I expect number one.
“It comes from our farming; we try and grow the best – the best cattle, or the best crops, or the best quality all the time.
“I want to try and help those people feel good.
“There’s an old saying that if you look good, you feel good, you’ll get a dance.
“No matter what you do in life, you look good, you feel good, you can do anything.”