Claudia Weiss Montelan and Don Baez Eco Chic guest at Wool Academy Podcast

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Claudia Weiss de Machado runs her own wool retail company by the name Don Baez Eco Chic. The brand sources only so-called grey wools from Uruguay and uses them undyed in their fashion and accessories products. All products are manufactured in Uruguay and sold online and through the Don Baez shop in Montevideo.

In this interview, Claudia Weiss tells the story about how she got started working in the wool industry by learning directly from her father. She also speaks about her vision of making consumers into wool fans.

About Claudia Weiss

Claudia Weiss de Machado was born in 1958 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Her Czech father Fritz Weiss, was a passionate and very successful wool exporter. Claudia attended the British Schools in Montevideo and later graduated from Sussex University (UK) with a B.A. in Economics and Italian. Later she spent one year in Rome where she developed a keen interest in fashion.  Claudia lives between Montevideo and her small organic farm near Punta del Este with her husband and three children.

Claudia has worked alongside her father, who has been an important mentor for her, for 20 years. Claudia’s dream had always been to start a wool brand in un-dyed fine wool, which she could source locally. She named her brand after her father, whom everyone called ‘Don Baez’. In 1997 Don Baez started out making woven blankets. Since then the collection has grown to include a wide range of different products including capes, jackets, ponchos etc.

Her interest in fashion, as well as her desire to support animal welfare and a healthy attitude to life (LOHAS) started at an early age. Through the brand, she has created wearable designs that are simply tailored with a feminine edge but which also emphasize the sustainability of un-dyed wool. Her intention is to make Don Baez’s designs have a style of their own and be timeless and hopefully very chick.

Don Baez opened its first store in 2013 in Punta Carretas – the trendiest neighborhood in Montevideo. The products are also available in many Uruguayan wineries and top hotels.

Connect with Claudia Weiss and Don Baez Eco Chic

Don Baez website

Don Baez on Facebook

Don Baez on Instagram

Don Baez Eco Chic store in Montevideo: José Ellauri 532 esq. Montero, Montevideo 11300, Uruguay

Key Time Stamps

[spp-timestamp time=”01:38″] About Claudia Weiss, Montelan and Don Baez

[spp-timestamp time=”05:27″] About grey wools

[spp-timestamp time=”06:20″] Manufacturing Don Baez from sheep to shop entirely in Uruguay

[spp-timestamp time=”08:22″] About Fritz Weiss – the founder of Montelan

[spp-timestamp time=”09:47″] About the products of Don Baez Eco Chic

[spp-timestamp time=”13:06″] Uruguay is the key market for Don Baez Eco Chic

[spp-timestamp time=”16:04″] Staying small to be able to maintain high quality and lead a high quality life style

[spp-timestamp time=”18:23″] The importance of having a clear vision for your brand

[spp-timestamp time=”21:18″] The need of educating consumers about wool

[spp-timestamp time=”22:35″] How Don Baez Eco Chic is using social media

[spp-timestamp time=”25:10″] Don Baez challenges

[spp-timestamp time=”27:38″] Learnings from Claudia

[spp-timestamp time=”29:37″] How to connect with Don Baez Eco Chic







Mac Bishop Wool & Prince Wool Academy Podcast 048

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In this episode, Mac Bishop, founder and CEO of Wool & Prince talks about his business. The goal of Wool & Prince is to deliver durable long lasting apparel out of wool. Mac shares his experience on launching his business with the support of a Kickstarter campaign. For the Kickstarter campaign, Mac created a well-known video where he wore one of his wool button-down shirts for 100 days. In the interview, he shares how the video got created and what to look out for when creating a successful video for your product launch. Mac also talks about key learnings and challenges when growing his business.


About Mac Bishop from Wool & Prince

Mac Bishop is the founder of Wool&Prince, an online menswear brand that makes naturally odor- and wrinkle-resistant wool button-downs. When Mac started the company, he wore a wool shirt for 100 days in row to demonstrate the functional properties of wool. After four years in upstate New York at Cornell University and another four years in NYC, Mac moved back to Portland this past summer. Read more about his experience on his blog.

Connect with Mac Bishop and Wool & Prince here







Only What Matters website



Nick Armentrout Ramblers Way Wool Academy Podcast 47

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Nick Armentrout is the Supply Chain Leader at US retail brand Ramblers Way. Majority of the Ramblers Way products are made out of wool, sourced directly from US based wool growers. In his interview, Nick explains the whole Ramblers Way supply chain from farm to shop. Nick talks in detail about the Ramblers Way target group and how the company plans to grow long term.

About Nick Armentrout

As Ramblers Way’s supply chain leader, Nick oversees the sourcing, processing, and conversion of natural fibers to the finished fabrics that create our products. He enjoys working with raw materials from nature and thinking critically about the lifecycle of Ramblers Way products.

A 25-year animal agriculture and organic farming veteran, Nick has learned on his feet at Ramblers Way since 2009 and appreciates apparel designed for long-term utility and use. His role includes maintaining relationships with individual ranchers as well as manufacturers of yarns, knit and woven fabrics and the dye houses that color Rambler’s yarn and fabric. He also manages certifications of manufacturing operations, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and Cradle to Cradle©.

Over the course of his career, Nick has managed four small businesses for others, and two of his own, throughout start-up phase to maturity. Nick is also a Saltwater Institute veteran where he educated students on Values-Based Business Models, which for the Chappell family emphasize: 1) Quality 2) Sustainability 3) American made 4) Family Owned and 5) Transparency.

Nick holds a BA in English from Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland. He participates in Maine Farm Bureau, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and Draft Animal Power Network. He has lent his skills as a volunteer to gardening, farming, and equine therapy organizations. Nick and his wife, Sarah, run Spring Creek Farm, an organic horse, sheep, hay and grain farm that also serves as the host facility for Carlisle Academy Integrative Equine Therapy & Sports for children and adults with disabilities.

Connect with Nick Armentrout and Ramblers Way here

Ramblers Way website

Ramblers Way Twitter account

Ramblers Way Instagram feed

Ramblers Way YouTube channel

Key Time Stamps

[spp-timestamp time=”01:06″] About Nick Armentrout

[spp-timestamp time=”02:40″] About Ramblers Way

[spp-timestamp time=”04:32″] The story behind Ramblers Way

[spp-timestamp time=”06:40″]  The values of Ramblers Way and how that lead to sourcing wool

[spp-timestamp time=”11:59″]  The journey of Ramblers Way wool from farm to shop

[spp-timestamp time=”15:24″]  How the organic standard GOTS enables Ramblers Way to source wool from outside the US

[spp-timestamp time=”17:43″]  Ramblers Way target group and their understanding of wool

[spp-timestamp time=”23:27″]  Challenges at Ramblers Way

[spp-timestamp time=”26:07″]  Nick’s perspective on onshoring of knitting industry

[spp-timestamp time=”29:15″]  Biggest learning from the Rambler’s Way journey