Our Story & History
Flock was founded by five entrepreneurial millennials who got together and started… a wool trading company?
In January 2019, two Americans, Evan and Tyanna Thomsen, moved to Albania from Thailand (I bet you weren’t expecting to read this sentence!) Already entrepreneurs with a love for farming and agriculture, they had the chance to speak with and learn from the farmers in the region. Albania has experienced economic hardship, and its farmers are no exception. In the case of wool, it was straight forward – the industry was all but gone, and wool was being thrown on the ground because there was no market.
“This is a problem we can turn into an opportunity,” they said. One that can utilize the value of wool and provide meaningful income and livelihood to farmers.
With this idea, Flock Wool was born.
But it wasn’t until a chance meeting in July 2019 between Evan, Albi, and Flogert where things took off. Evan and Albi had already been working together on one of Albi’s business ventures in Saranda. Flogert, a small business owner and life-long friend of Albi, has a large family with a long history as farmers in southern Albania. Evan asked about Flogert’s sheep and what he does with his wool. The story here was the same.
In what started as a basic friendly introduction, turned into a five hour meeting. Evan pitched his business plan in the classical style – by grabbing scratch paper and a pen and writing out a very rough business model.
Here is that plan:
We had no idea what we were doing. But we had enough to go on and enough reason to work together. So we shook hands and made an agreement in the Albanian tradition – with a shot of Raki.
There was one major issue. None of us had a background in the wool industry.
So Tyanna searched for someone with substantial experience or connections to the wool industry. The plan was to have meetings with people, pitch our business, see who may be interested in joining, and then to offer them a stake in the company.
This is where Elisabeth comes in. As the former Secretary General of the IWTO, and now running her own successful wool business consulting firm, she had the experience and connections within the industry to refine and catalyze the potential of Flock.
So, in October, 2019, we five millennials, from the US, Albania, and Germany, started a wool company in Albania. We aren’t interested in building an app that won’t exist five years from now. We care about rekindling an industry and adding more value to a product that we humans have all used since the beginning of the historical record.
We believe in the potential of Albania as a small, quality, and competitive wool producing country. Our objective with Flock Wool is to be an ethical steward of Albania’s wool producing potential.