May Fiber Farm Spotlight-Melissa Gray with Southern Sheep Company
Melissa used to work for a veterinarian, and someone brought in a funny-looking rabbit. She became interested in rabbits in 2000. Then she showed English Angora rabbits for 10 years. About two years into rabbits, she purchased her first Corriedales in 2002. Melissa started showing at the NC State Fair. Melissa began her vending booth at SAFF in 2002. She furthered her fiber arts by entering competitions at The Maryland Sheep and Wool Fine Art Competition and earned Best in Show Twice and First Place Twice for her entries and started vending at MDSW in 2017. She was asked to submit art to Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago and NY. Melissa vended in 2015 and 2016 at Rhinebeck. Her artwork is displayed at a Gallery in Wilmington and has been for the past twelve years. About 10 years ago, one of her Corriedale ewes lost her lambs which interested Melissa in making sheep milk soap. The next year she was milking 11 Corriedales a day to make one batch of soap. When her grandmother passed away, she was able to purchase the best East Friesan possible. Milking her, she gave enough for three batches of soap. Then a friend of hers, Laurie Pace, gave Melissa her Gotlands, and they did not fare well for the Eastern part of the state. However, raising Gotlands was a segue to Teeswaters, which are doing very well. In the last year, Melissa has added Belted Galloway Cattle to the farm and is a licensed meat handler and sells pork, beef, and lamb. Her fiber arts are available for purchase on Instagram or Facebook (message her if interested in any pieces). She also vends at the New Bern Farmers Market every Saturday from 8-2.
Southern Sheep Company is on Instagram and Facebook or email to contact Melissa to support our NCSPA members
Here is a short video about Southern Sheep Company