We now have better technology and machines than we did in the 60’s, which means we can design and make better products. But our approach remains the same. We’re still committed to manufacturing in New Zealand using the finest Merino wool and other natural fibres. Compromising quality is still out of the question. And at our heart we’re still a people company – our success is based on the commitment of our staff, many of whom have worked with us for their whole careers.
Ola Rian, a Norwegian army captain falls in love with NZ during an extended skiing holiday and wins two ski jump titles before returning home and meeting his Kiwi wife Shirley, who was on her ‘big OE’ in Norway.
Returning to New Zealand, Ola and Shirley begin Norsewear as a ‘side hustle’ in the front room of their house in Johnsonville, Wellington. Starting with the manufacture of Scandinavian style ski hats and socks made with New Zealand wool, the now iconic ‘Farm Fleck’ sock was born. The comfort and rugged performance of the ‘Farm Fleck’ has seen this sock in continuous production ever since, creating a benchmark for quality that continues today.
Ola (who by now was the acting Consul General of Norway), was invited to a Scandinavian festival in Norsewood, a small village in Central Hawkes Bay, originally settled by Norwegians in 1872. Spotting an empty general store and a disused dairy factory, and attracted by the proximity of the mountains, he moved his family and began manufacturing Norsewear products in Norsewood, where the factory remains to this day.