Shear determination – Women in Business

March 7, 2020 BY

Rebecca McErvale with her husband Rodney and daughters Maddison and Isla.

Life on the land full of rewards and challenges for Lexton based farming family.


SPECIALISING in producing their own range of machine washable woollen clothing made using their own fleece, Leroy Mac Designs is owned by Rebecca McErvale and her husband, Rodney.

Originally a Melbourne gal, she married fourth-generation wool grower Rodney nine years ago and together have two young daughters, six-year-old Maddison and four-year-old Isla.

Leroy Mac originally started by buying ‘Australian’ wool from a supplier, but the McErvale’s became frustrated that as wool growers they couldn’t find a single company that would help process their wool into yarn.

By chance Rebecca and Rodney ran into an old school friend that knew of another business doing something similar with next to skin sportswear. That friend put them in touch with a company in Italy that would be able to help.

Seventy-five per cent of Australia’s wool trade goes to China. The Italian based company were the only business in the world the McErvale’s could find that would process small quantity of yarn (two-tonne) and guarantee DNA testing. That means the wool sent to for processing, is the wool they get back. It’s something Rebecca is very passionate about; full traceability and knowing exactly where that wool originated from.

The yarn is then returned and Leroy Mac have their blankets knitted in Ballarat under the Australia Made and Owned logos.

In 2018 Leroy Mac won Federation Business School Creative Industries Business Award as part of the Federation Business School and Commerce Ballarat Business Excellence Awards.

A year later they picked up gold in the My Child Excellence awards for Favourite Interiors Product and bronze for the Favourite Keepsake Item, both prizes are voted on by the general public.

Also, in 2019 Leroy Mac was chosen by Facebook to be part of their 2019 Annual Gift Guide Campaign. 30 regional businesses were picked to be featured.

Then in December, Rebecca and Rod lost 95 per cent of their main farm, along with 27 kilometres of fencing, sheep yards, and tragically 300 of their sheep in the fires that swept through Lexton.

Although they suffered such tragedy, the couple have still donated to several charities, something they pride themselves on doing.

Even after the fires they donated two semi loads of hay to be delivered to Corryong thorough Rural Aid.