Beverley Forrester was born into a close-knit farming family in Warkworth, north of Auckland, New Zealand. She trained as an occupational therapist and practised for 36 years in all areas of physical and psychiatric disability. Her lifelong interest in artisanal rural crafts took a step forward in 1977 when she bought a flock of coloured sheep, and started producing natural coloured, undyed, chemical-free knitting yarns.
After her marriage to Jim Forrester in 1986, she went to live at Black Hills Farm in North Canterbury, and some years later, following Jim's sudden death, found herself running it. It was a steep learning curve but with the help and support of loyal workers and friends in the community, she has made a success of it, and is now a farmer, sheep breeder, cattle breeder, fashion designer and yarn manufacturer, as well as having bus tours and tourist groups visiting the farm and its restored limestone and cob buildings.
As well as her BlackHills Yarn brand, in 2006 she launched her own fashion label - Beverley Riverina Handknits - which has grown and evolved, and in 2013 was the runner-up for the BMW award at New Zealand Fashion Week. She has a retail shop in the UK and outlets in the USA and Canada.
Beverley is a sought-after judge of sheep and wool categories internationally, and in 2011 she won the Rural Women New Zealand Enterprising Women Award.