Cindy Marriott’s had a varied career but much of it has coincidentally had an association to agriculture. Now located on farm, Cindy has embraced farm life and created a business that has farming at it’s core.
Cindy started her career in the travel industry. After believing she was going to be a primary school teacher for most of her life, she changed her mind at the eleventh hour after attending a careers day, deciding that the travel industry was a more appealing option.
Cindy spent five years in retail travel before moving into corporate travel, where she worked for a joint venture company, half owned by the NZ Dairy Board. Cindy was responsible for all the corporate travel requirements of the Chairman, CEO and Directors. When Fonterra was formed in 2001, the joint venture was terminated, and the travel company Cindy was working for was successful in tendering for the Fonterra Travel account. Being part of a small executive team, Cindy was involved with assisting Fonterra with the procurement of their preferred travel suppliers.
This led onto a key account manager role which involved managing the companies’ relationship with Fonterra, helping them to implement an online travel booking programme for Fonterra staff and assisting Fonterra with the implementation of their internal travel policy.
“It was a role that involved lots of travel around the country to the various Fonterra plants. I loved the face to face communication with Fonterra staff, who were all country people at heart and passionate about their industry.
It was while Cindy was on maternity leave and husband Andy was working as the Ranger for the Wellington Regional Council property, Battle Hill Farm Park (Paekakariki Hill Road) that they considered the idea of going full time farming.
“Andy had always been passionate about farming and had originally wanted to do it upon leaving school, but ended up doing a building apprenticeship”.
Working at BH Farm Park reinforced his farming ambition.
“I was very happy for us to head in this direction as I had been bought up on a rural property myself and really enjoyed the outdoor lifestyle that farming had to offer, especially for our children”.
Now days, it seems like a life time ago for Cindy since she and Andy made the decision to go farming. Making the small rural community of Tinui (40km east of Masterton) their home, they spent four years working on a 1100 hectare, 9000 stock unit, sheep and beef property, before embarking on a lease on another farm in the district. After taking on the lease for four years, they moved to another Wairarapa property, which they currently manage.
There have been many learnings and challenges coming into farming later in their career. Cindy found that because Andy wanted to pursue a career in farming, she needed to create a versatile business that could move with them and offer extra off-farm income.
It was whilst living at BH Farm Park when their girls were aged four and two that Cindy got the inspiration for NZ Farm Girl.
“I was finding it difficult to source clothing for the girls to wear on the farm, I wanted something practical and comfortable but still wanted them to look like girls”.
It took another 8 years (and another child – this time a boy), before Cindy was finally able to turn her idea into a reality.
“Upon completing a small business management course in 2015 through Te Wananga o Aotearoa run by an amazing Masterton woman, Jeanette Hall, I felt I had the skills and confidence to launch NZ Farm Girl.”
Specialising in clothing and accessories for rural girls and women, the brand has been embraced by horse lovers and equestrian community who connect with the horse logo and country theme and by tourists looking for something unique that reflects New Zealand and our farming heritage. Passionate about making NZ Farm Girl a recognised New Zealand brand, Cindy is determined that NZ Farm Girl will become synonymous with girl’s farm clothing as Ice Breaker has to lovers of Merino clothing!
“I love the fact that my business connects me with the rural community. It embraces who we are and where we are and enables me to work with our daughters and their friends in designing clothing and products that they love”.
With more products to come like the first ever pink ‘High Country Gumboot Socks’ made by Norsewear, exclusively for NZ Farm Girl, Cindy is excited about the future as the brand begins to gain recognition and build momentum.
Being an AgWomen it is quite nice to be able to wear something a bit girly when out and about on the farm! Awesome to know that their is a specialised, practical and comfortable option for us! We love your work Cindy!