Fashion helped Emily Riggs through her darkest childhood days, as she spent two years fighting non-hodgkin's lymphoma while, at the same time, her mum sadly lost her own battle with breast cancer.
Mrs Riggs, whose husband Tom runs a 15,000-head Merino farm at Burra, SA, now combines her creative flair with a passion for fleece in her career as an emerging fashion designer.
The name of her label, Iris and Wool, is inspired by her mother's favourite flower and the enterprise donates 5 per cent of sales to the McGrath Foundation breast cancer charity in her honour.
She will share her story of recovery and resilience at the Australian Sheep & Wool Show's Women of Wool luncheon on July 15, when she joins keynote speaker, Australian Wool Innovation ambassador and TV travel presenter Catriona Rowntree on the stage.
The pair recently collaborated on a new Iris and Wool clothing collection.
"My interest in fashion really started when I was sick, I'd lost all my hair and often got mistaken for a boy so I turned to fashion as a way to express my creativity and for people to look at me beyond my illness," Mrs Riggs, who was diagnosed just before her 10th birthday, said.
As an adult, married to a sheep farmer and exposed to Merino fibre daily, she braved the next step.
"I did an online 'how to start your own fashion business' course and began sketching designs for my first collection," she said.
"It was only about six to eight months from the idea to having garments come to life.
"I had no experience and it's been very much learn as I go."
That first collection in 2019 consisted of three jumpers and a singlet.
The Catriona Rowntree Capsule Collection features more knitted sweaters and also includes the label's first coat and dress.
"I knew Catriona's connection with the wool industry - being an AWI ambassador and also being married to a Merino farmer - and we'd met at the Jamestown Show, near where I live," she said.
"I contacted her and she was very excited to jump on board and partner with me.
"We wanted to represent Merino wool in a fashionable way and be a bit more creative.
"We highlight wheat in some of our designs as a nod to our farmers."
She describes Merino fleece as "the best fibre in the world".
"It's natural, renewable, biodegradable," she said.
"There are so many different possibilities with it and it's an exciting industry to be involved in.
"It's been a very rewarding experience."
Mrs Riggs juggles her new business with raising son Sam, 4, and daughter Lucy, 20 months.
The Rural Bank-sponsored Women of Wool lunch includes a fashion parade around the tables featuring a selection of garments from the AWI Runway collection.
Kristen Staveley, Achmea Farm Insurance, is also a guest speaker while Australian Football League legend Billy Brownless will provide entertainment and some comedy in a nod to the event's origins of providing a light-hearted break from the pressures of farm life during drought.
Organisers said it was looking as though the event would be a sell out so patrons wanting to attend would need to get in nice and early to book their tickets.