If you love to crochet or knit (or know someone who does), then you’ll want to pay close attention to our first Meet the Producer feature for March. The Silversteins from PacaPhernalia specialize in raising alpacas and producing yarn that is super soft and warm, too. Read their interview to learn more about their business. Then go grab a few bundles of yarn for your next locally-made project.
Meet the Producer: PacaPhernalia
1. How did you get into the business of raising alpacas and producing yarn?
In 1998 we purchased a small acreage in southeast Oklahoma City. We didn’t want to raise horses or cows. In October 1998 we learned about alpacas from an ad in the DuPont Registry while we were purchasing an automobile. We visited a breeder in Earlsboro and were immediately smitten with the beautiful, gentle alpaca. We visited many farms and eventually purchased our first two bred females from a ranch in Washington. We took delivery in March 1999 and now have a herd of 64 Suri Alpacas.
Pacaphernalia, our retailing arm, was started around 2005. We contacted Made In Oklahoma (MIO) and got approved as an MIO business for alpaca yarn and roving. All of our yarns are made from the fleece of our herd exclusively. Custom sorting is done in Missouri and custom spinning is done in Kansas.
2. What is your favorite part of running this type of business?
Definitely the favorite part of running this type of business is the lifestyle. Alpacas are gentle and soothing animals to be around. They are easy to manage, quite intelligent, and curious. The alpaca lifestyle has brought us in contact with many other breeders around the country, who we look forward to seeing at various shows we attend throughout the year. In addition, we enjoy visiting with people interested in learning more about alpacas and the luxurious fleece they produce.
3. What can we expect to see from PacaPhernalia in the future?
This year we are introducing colored yarn and roving to complement the white yarns we have offered for several years. These yarns are all natural colors, not dyed, and include fawns, browns, black and grey.
Alpaca event alert!
For those of you interested in alpacas or want to learn more, be sure to mark your calendar for this upcoming event. PacaPhernalia sponsors and organizes an alpaca show every year at the Lazy E Arena. Co-op Producers are invited to be a vendor at the show. The cost is $150 for a booth, including electricity, a table and chairs.
Everyone is invited to attend. There will be Made in Oklahoma products, alpaca yarn and clothing and more than 300 alpacas from 5-6 different states.
Event will be held Nov. 19-20. Visit www.alpacablastoff.com for more information.