Our Story

The Fat Sheep project in South Africa’s barren Karoo landscape was started by a farmer’s wife, Chrisma van der Merwe, in the little town of Murraysburg.

She started crocheting the most beautiful signature “Fat Sheep” soft toys and selling her creations to subsidise their household income. They were really struggling to make ends meet at the time.

The Karoo had been crushed by a pro-longed drought. Scores of farmers were on their knees and many had to sell their farms or had simply abandoned them.

Chrisma started crocheting and her ‘Fat Sheep’ and they became so popular that she couldn’t keep up with the demand, which had quickly spread way beyond the borders of Murraysburg.

Fat Sheep has gone from strength to strength and it has transformed into a major community upliftment project.

Chrisma now employs a big team of farmer’s wives who assist with the crochet work. With funds made from the project, she is making a remarkable difference in the community of Murraysburg.

“I became so sad looking at our skinny sheep over the years. And that’s how the idea of making some form of a fat sheep soft toy popped into my head. Since then Fat Sheep has really spread a message of hope and it’s given our community something to be proud of,” says Van der Merwe.