WITH JEN MCCUTCHEON
WHO IS JEN MCCUTCHEON?
My name is Jen McCutcheon and I am a TV/radio/digital journalist based in regional NSW. Originally from Bathurst I spent a decade as a network reporter in Sydney before moving west five years ago when I met my now husband. It was a real-life farmer wants a wife story without having to go on a reality tv show.
I am passionate about sharing the amazing stories of regional and rural Australia. I am also a huge supporter of the Buy from the Bush movement and advocate for local businesses wherever possible.
Currently I am being a full-time mum to our toddler Evie and soon to be baby number two. We live on a mixed enterprise farm between Gilgandra and Warren. When I arrived on the farm in 2018 it was in the middle of the drought.
Since moving here, I have experienced apocalyptic dust storms, a mouse plague, the isolation of the pandemic and last year floods. But I have fallen in love with this lifestyle and wouldn't have life any other way. The spirit of the bush is well and truly alive.
What is your go-to look for a day at work?
In the world of 24/7 news, you must be tv ready every day when you go to work whether you're going to be on camera or not. This can be an expensive exercise as most regional news outlets don't have wardrobe departments. So, I have some go to staples in my wardrobe that I can easily match a jacket and scarf with to change up the look. I love wool knits and crepe stretch. Navy and black shifts are great and then I pair those with a bright scarf and rotate jackets. Being based in regional NSW I always make sure I have my boots and a board brimmed hat packed in my car in case you're sent out all day in the elements.
You are city girl turned country chic – what is one of the most unexpected things you have had to overcome since moving to the country?
I would have to say the mouse plague. I was pregnant and we were renovating our farmhouse through the plague. Because I couldn't stand the smell, we set traps instead of baiting so each
morning my husband and I would walk around with buckets emptying the traps. I joked that I used to have coffee before work in Double Bay, so my morning routine had significantly changed. We were blessed that the mice had gone before our daughter was born but they still left a trail of destruction for farmers.
What is your favourite look from the Winter ’23 collection?
From my previous answer you can probably tell I love the variety of knit dresses. I have worn several my entire pregnancy. It has grown with me over the past nine months. It meant I didn't need to update my maternity wardrobe, which also saved me a lot of money. Pure merino wool is also ideal for summer and winter.
You are a TV reporter filing for national programs, any tips for landing a TV story? Here at Iris & Wool we have become PR nerds, its definitely helped the brand grow – we love PR!!
My biggest advice to people when pitching stories or when I have someone pitching to me is what is the hook and the heart of the story. Think about how you would tell someone about your favourite movie in 30 seconds in an elevator, what is it about and why is it a must see. Also, pictures are so important for tv stories. As we saw in the recent Landline story on farm to fashion, what made the story sing was the spectacular pictures of the farm, sheep, and colourful fashion pieces.
QUICK FIRE QUESTIONS
What are you currently reading Baby books. From 'The Wonder Weeks' to Tizzy Halls 'Save Our Sleep' I feel like I have forgotten so much in two years so I'm doing some revision before my next bub arrives.
What are you binging on TV? I've just finished season 1 of 'And Just Like That.' I am most looking forward to the next season of Virgin River dropping about a week after our second baby is due.
Favourite flowers? Sweet peas because they remind me of both of my Grandfathers who would grow them. I also love hydrangeas and I am lucky enough to be the custodian of my late Grandmother's large pot of daphne, which has just started
flowering and smells magnificent.
What do you never leave the house without? Snacks. Farmers are notorious for saying I just need help with a job it'll only take 5 minutes only for it to take 45 or longer so I always make sure I have plenty of snacks and water. During harvest I always keep a box of muesli bars in the car just in case.
Favourite scent? Anything that smells like gardenias.
Your first fashion moment? I purchased a dress on a girl's trip to Melbourne in Chapel St. It cost me $280 back in 2006. I felt sick but I still wear that dress today (when I'm not pregnant) and surprise it was a navy shift.
Dream Purchase? A handbag that requires its own seat at a restaurant.
Summer or Winter? Column a and b. I love summer, going to the beach and wearing flowing dresses but sometimes the heat out west can be oppressive. Although I don't love the cold, I do love layering in winter. You can always add a layer but in summer there's only so much you can take off.
Do you have a superpower?! Having worked in news for over 15 years I have become accustomed to working to a deadline and under pressure. So, my organisational skills and ability to prioritise and multitask to ensure deadlines aren't
missed would have to be it. It has come in handy when juggling motherhood, a toddler, work and farm life.
Photography Georgie Newton Photography