Clare Elizabeth McShane (nee Jackett) was born in Sydney and moved to Tasmania with her family when she was 17 years old. Clare attended St Michael’s Collegiate school before obtaining her Diploma of Teaching and Tasmanian Teachers Certificate. Clare married Allan McShane and they farmed ‘Casaveen’ a property farming 11,000 sheep at Lemont.
Casaveen Knitwear was established in 1989 as an adjunct to the operation of the sheep property. The McShane’s recognized the need to take greater control of the market and value-add their own wool. When the wool industry collapsed in 1991 this decision meant the family was able to ride out the wool price crash. Casaveen Knitwear was started with 1 bale of wool producing 130 garments. Clare designed and knitted all the garments and they were sold around Australia at shows and field days.
The business has grown from Clare and people in their homes knitting the garments to an operational centre being set up in Oatlands in 1996 and a factory being built in Oatlands in 1999. At the Oatlands premises factory tours are available and there is a showroom where all the garments are on display. A recent addition to the business has been the Casaveen Café that was opened in April 2005. They source as much Tasmanian product as possible for the café to promote the whole state of Tasmania. Cassaveen provided much-needed jobs in Oatlands and now employs 20 people around Tasmania.
Clare continues to design all the garments, which includes skirts, sweaters, cardigans, vests, jackets, scarves, hats, socks, wraps and blankets. Cassaveen Knitwear garments are available from 86 retailers around Australia, purchased by private customers around the world through mail order or via the internet. The range is also exported to Japan and New Zealand.
Clare’s personal achievements include being a member of the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Tasmanian Quality wool, an Advisor to the Tasmanian Communities Online Advisory Group and an Advisor to the Women and Information Taskforce. Clare is the Director of Casaveen Holding Company and Tasmanian Quality Wool.
In 1994 Clare was awarded the Advance Australia Award, in 1996 she was awarded the Telstra Tasmanian Business Woman of the Year, in 1997 she was awarded Telstra’s Tasmanian Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year and in 1998 was Tasmanian Rural Achiever of the Year. In 2004 Clare was awarded The Bruce Forster Laincot Memorial Award for exemplary service to the merino wool and sheep industry.
Casaveen Knitwear is also an award winning company having been awarded the Tsuneichi Fuji Fellowship Trust Award in 1994, the Telstra Tasmanian Small Business Award in 1999, the Australian Family Business of the Year Award in 2000 and the Family Business Australia First Generation Award in 2000.