The story of Woolow, brings us to Dunblaney House in County Galway. This house has been part of a working farm since 1787, with an emphasis then and now on wholesome produce such as livestock, spinning, weaving and apple cider. The sheep at Dunblaney House have been there since its inception and are as much a part of its past and present, as are the people who live and work there.
As a young boy, Michael Burke learned the value of the land and its produce from his hands-on work assisting his father with the sheep and cattle on the farm at Dunblaney House. His family lived on the land and farmed it as families have done for generations and it was through this that his passion for the benefits of the land started to bloom.
With time, thanks to an ever-growing interest in shearing, Michael began training with the manual shears. As a reward for his hard work and what would prove to sew the seeds of a future venture, his father gifted him with a wool pillow, made from the wool of their own sheep, that they had sheared with their own hands. This pillow served as a daily reminder of his fond memories working on the farm as he slept soundly on it night after night.
To further support his life of learning on the farm, Michael went to study agricultural science and graduated in analytical chemistry.
He joined Elan Pharmaceuticals where he worked for 26 years as a technical specialist, developing innovative medicines that addressed the unmet needs and challenges of people living with debilitating diseases. The work was rewarding and informative and he wondered how it was that he could marry what his work was now to what it used to be on the farm, the place where his passion had begun.
Returning to the farm at Dunblaney House, Michael converted it to organic production and in his own words, “…had the desire to implement the wool in a way that could fulfill the needs of others… it was wonderful that something I had had an interest in since childhood and something that I live and work with could provide such a solution.”
Using the wool from his own sheep, Michael began making wool pillows, just as his father had done for him as a child. Using natural and organic wool, and a 300 thread cotton casing, the pillow is wonderfully breathable, keeping you cool in summer and warm in winter. Wool is clinically proven to prevent germs and allergens, making it a must-have for those with hay-fever or dust allergies.
A lifelong dream is realised as Michael launches Woolow, the official name for his wool pillow and the product go on sale with worldwide availability. It began with a treasured gift handmade by his father and now Michael is making it a gift to sleepers the world over because something this good, is made to share far and wide.