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Showcasing a flair for fleece and hairstyling

Elma Baker at Lorna Potter, where she works as a hair stylist in Masterton. PHOTOS/LISA URBANI

Lisa Urbani

By day Elma Baker, 30, is a hair stylist at Lorna Potter in Chapel St, Masterton, but come March and the Golden Shears competition, she turns her attentions to another kind of fleece.

Growing up in South Wairarapa, she started doing wool handling part-time as 10-year-old to earn pocket money.

Last year was the first time she entered the wool handling competition, which she describes as nerve-racking.

“Everyone’s watching you, there’s lots of pressure, cameras, your blood boils and your heart races, but there’s a great atmosphere.”

It’s a family affair as her six-year-old daughter, Awanui Grace entered the children’s wool handling event too.

Elma, 30, competing at the Golden Shears.

Elma likes the physicality of the event and the care of animals, leading to the way the wool is processed and ultimately turned into products.

This year she turned her hand to wool pressing as well, and next year she hopes to compete as a shearer in the triathlon event.

Future plans include studying beauty therapy to enhance her four years in the hairdressing trade, and maybe someday being on the Golden Shears committee as a member for pressing events.

For her it’s the family orientation and being part of something that is like a sport, that attracts her.

Go Elma!

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