Last week we visited our friend, Sue Lindh’s Colorado alpaca farm to answer our most frequently asked question.
Shabby Alpaca’s most frequently asked question is (drum roll) “DO YOU HAVE AN ALPACA FARM?” Other variations include: “do you raise alpacas?” “do you have your own alpacas?” etc.
The answer to this question is, “No.” But here is the extended story and the story of our trip to the farm.
Do you have an alpaca farm?
Chris (my mom and Shabby business partner) raised alpaca’s for 13 years on the east coast of the USA. She and her husband (Jon) had their own farm for several years and then moved on to farm management. Together, they’ve raised and cared for literally a thousand alpacas. Their own farm was called Song Hill Alpaca Farm and all of their animals were named after songs. In farm management, they worked as an awesome duo- Chris managing the business and marketing side of farms and Jon managing the day-today farm and animal needs.
While Chris and Jon were managing a farm in New Jersey, my husband Andy and I, (living in Colorado) were in the process of adopting siblings from Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Long story very short: we had decided to change our family growth plan to a new Plan A and adopt when we figured we couldn’t have kids after 4 years of trying to conceive. Anyway, the process of adopting siblings from DRC took two years and the day after I bought my airplane ticket to pick up my children from the DRC, I found out I was pregnant. So now, we are going from 0 children to 3 children in 9 months time. My mother, in all her wisdom, knew that it was time to leave alpaca farming and come to Colorado to help me survive and to be close to her new grand babies.
So in 2013, alpaca farming became a thing of the past for Chris and Jon and grandparenting became the next best thing (which turns out is the actual best thing). My mom literally loves alpacas so I know her move was a major sacrifice. However after moving to our little suburb of Castle Rock, one way that she knew she could stay close to the animal was to continue working with superior alpaca fiber by selling alpaca products. Having three kids in nine months meant I was quitting my job at Compassion International and would need something else to occupy the creative space in my brain. So Chris’s desire to be near alpaca anything and my desire to be creative and still stay home with my new family collided and Shabby Alpaca was born.
Summary: No, we don’t own an alpaca farm. Shabby Alpaca: Established July 2013 out of Chris’s love of alpacas and Celina’s inability to sit still. Still going strong and loving it. BUT, for Chris, something is still missing: actual live alpacas.
Which brings us to part 2.
A Visit to Laze Daze Ranch in Elizabeth, Colorado
My mom’s (and now my) friend Sue Lindh graciously invited us to visit her beautiful farm in Elizabeth. Sue has approximately 70 alpacas, a llama (the guard of the herd), a couple dogs (also guards), some cats and some chickens. Her farm is lovely and serene and clean and just an absolute perfect place to spend a morning.
We had an amazing morning on the farm and my mom was in heaven. She kept saying, “Oh! I miss alpacas so much!” She was a wealth of information for me as she and Sue shared about shearing, fiber love, and herd management. Sue was a gracious host. She shared her fiber art area with us which is her entire basement: industrial felting machine, dyeing room, hand felting area and fiber storage. Her fiber business Tangled Fibers is amazing. She takes high quality, beautiful alpaca fiber and turns it into works of art.
Our visit to the farm was absolutely perfect. We loved being with the animals, visiting with Sue and most of all, answering the question for you: “Do you have an alpaca farm?”