Its 1985 and Lincoln (the owner and founder) is working in the family vineyard. At 21, he’s already spent years under the Hawkes Bay sun tending the grape vines and dabbling in the small kiwifruit block his father planted.
There’s another family business on the sideline though. Starting life making dog collars and then moving into general canvas work, Western Leather & Canvas has a growing customer base.
Seeing an opportunity, Lincoln takes a leap of faith and decides to exit the vineyard and take over the family canvas business. A bold step.
Being a creative guy and always looking to improve things, he saw a great need amongst the local orchards for better products to harvest the abundant fruit that Hawkes Bay is renowned for.
An aluminium picking bucket was born. It was so innovative and different at the time that every orchard in the region wanted one. But, aluminium is not the most durable of materials so a plastic shelled bucket was quickly designed. While these old original buckets have long gone, this classic design of bucket can still be found in orchards all over New Zealand.
The range was extended to offer other types of picking bags and then leather pruning tool pouches. Always making something better, this philosophy of continuous improvement can be found throughout the entire organisation today.
No longer just helping out Kiwi orchardists, Australian growers also enjoy the benefits of Harvestwear as well as many others across UK and USA. And, there’s a few places in between.
While the company is no longer known as Western Leather & Canvas, the brand Harvestwear is well known around the New Zealand horticulture industry and many other countries for products that are well designed, will last for many years and will make the job of harvesting fruit easier.