original photo by Eastland Alpacas, Mount Joy, PA
National Alpaca Farm Days is just days away and hopefully your list of things to do is complete (ya right!). The social media posts are up and invites sent, the animal pens are set up, the alpaca products all properly priced, and the barn is perfectly clean (is it ever?!?).
As the Farm Days Alpaca open houses are just around the corner, here are 5 Ways your Open House can Increase Future Sales!
1) Collect Visitor's Contact Info
Whether it’s name, address, or just a simple email sign up sheet - it’s imperative that you get the contact info of all the alpaca enthusiasts that visit your farm this weekend. Even it’s just an email address, you can use that info to keep them informed on the rest of your holiday events, market locations, whats going on at the farm with the alpacas, and any new products or sale announcements you have planned for the Fall and Winter months!
2) Have Signage and Handouts for all your Upcoming Events & Markets
We all know that the true alpaca product sales season starts when the leaves are off the trees and the cool wind whips through the back fields. Make sure your open house visitors know where you, your alpaca products, and possibly even a few good alpacas will be setup next! It’s as easy as putting up a chalkboard, whiteboard, or printing out a flyer to handout that lists out all your upcoming alpaca related events.
3) Engage with your Visitors
We know alpaca farm visitors come in all shapes and sizes - some want to bring the grand kids to the alpaca farm to see the animals up close. Some are there to research the possibility of owning alpacas in the future, and some are just there for the free popcorn and more alpaca socks. No matter the reason, it’s important you or someone working the event engages each group to understand the reasons for coming. This will help you ensure they have a wonderful experience on the alpaca farm which will lead to future product and animal sales in the future.
4) Ask your Visitors “How did you hear about us?”
It’s now more important than ever to find out how your open house visitors are hearing about your alpaca event. In the age of social media and digital advertising, there have never been more avenues available to small businesses in reaching their target audience. By asking this simple question, perhaps on the email list, you can find out what marketing efforts worked the best so you can utilize them for future events & announcements and stop wasting $$$ on the ones that don’t.
5) Offer a Return Visitor Incentive
Give your visitors a reason to come back for more alpaca socks and maybe even bring a friend during the holiday season! Offer a small coupon, $1 OFF your next pair of alpaca socks, with each sale you make during the open house. You can structure this in a multitude of ways to fit your farm and products, just be sure to set a time limit so you have people coming back for more this year!
Looking to place a last minute order in preperation for NAFD? We can make it work.
Choose UPS (most reliable shipping times) as your Shipping Option and put a note in Order Notes (Step 4 of checkout process).
UPS GROUND Transit Map
When to place your last minute orders by?
Yellow Cut OFF: Thursday 9am
Burnt Orange Cut OFF: Wednesday 9am
Maroon Cut OFF: Tuesday 9am
Orange Cut Off: Choose UPS 2nd Day Air after Tuesday 9am
We've started adding some new limited colors to our BOLD Boucle Mittens.
Atlantic Blue and EverGreen:
These are limited runs done in select sizes so if you see a color you'd like, stock up while they are available!
NEAFP will be closed for the long Labor Day weekend & will re-open on Tuesday September 5th.
Thank you for an amazing August Summer Sale - we plan to be completely caught up with orders by Wednesday September 6th!
We are happy to announce we've made some improvements on how the shopping cart handles products at the fiber price point. All of our products listed in the fiber pricing category now have their Fiber Grade and Weight requirement listed prominently along side their $ cost.
As these products are added to your shopping cart, the fiber requirement for each product along with the total fiber requirement for your order in progress will automatically be tallied and displayed on the cart page.
The days of manually tallying your order's fiber requirement are over!
After your order is placed, the fiber requirement for each item as well as the total fiber weight and grade requirements will be listed on your invoice.
Updated Fiber Pricing Product Listing
Fiber Grade and Weight Requirement - View Cart Page
Per Product and Total Per Order
Is it a glove? Is it a mitten? It’s the best of both worlds! Our Alpaca Glittens offer the warmth of a mitten and the dexterity of Gloves, making them a perfect fit for hunting or any activity where you need quick access to your fingers. The mitt flap pulls back and attaches with a secure button, giving you digits free roam.
Harnessing the natural characteristics of U.S. Grown Alpaca fiber, our Glittens will keep you warm without the bulk, and are designed to hold up on any wilderness bound adventure. Alpaca fiber is also naturally moisture wicking, breathable, and retains heat in both dry and wet conditions - making it a great insulator.
If the Fall and Winter weather tends to throw you for a loop like it does here in New England, then rest assured, our Alpaca Glittens allow full warmth and coverage, and the ability to stretch your fingers when it’s time to get to work.
Explore more with the help of our Alpaca Glittens.
Made in Adult Sizes: Small, Medium, and Large
Made in Fawn & Brown
Our Herringbone Scarves in Grey are back in stock and on the website!
#Hashtags can be used to complement photos shared on Instagram (and other Social Media platforms!) and help you discover new accounts and pick up followers. Some hashtags were created specifically for Instagram photo challenges — #ThrowbackThursday, for example, encourages users to post retro photos. By searching the hashtag on Instragram, you can pull up a gallery of everyone who has used it on a recent post.
When making a post to your Instagram's account, by adding related hashtags, you are giving a way for people interested in those topics / tags to find your photos and ultimately your business and farm. All things Alpacas are seriously trending right now, and there are thousands of alpaca enthusiasts who are searching Instragram daily for all photos posted with alpaca related hash tags. In order to expand your reach and increase your business's following, it's important to not only use alpaca related hashtags but other fiber, yarn, and textile tags as well.
By choosing 4 to 5 alpaca and alpaca related hashtags with each photo you post, you will slowly but surely increase your following as more like minded people interested in alpacas find your profile and follow your posts.
Listed below are some of our personal favorite alpaca related hash tags that we use regularly on our posts. Take a look and search a few on Instagram to find the ones that click with you and your business!
P.S. Get Creative! - #hashtags can be a fun way of posting indirectly related info to your photos! You can also even create your own hashtags for your farm and business and share them with your audience!
Other Hash Tags
We are excited to announce our annual Summer Stock Up Sale is officially live! We are offering Free Shipping on
large orders as well as offering select discounts on a handful of our newest products!
Our Summer Stock Up Sale will run until the end of August so now is the time
to get stocked up for the quickly approaching Fall Season!
Sale Ends August 31st, 2017
This new sock, The Outdoorsman Alpaca Sock, is a heavyweight boot sock. It has all the great features of our Survival Sock (Machine Wash and Dry, Ankle and Arch Support, Full Terry Loop Cushion matched with a reinforced nylon exoskeleton), but is 20% heavier for increased warmth & comfort. The Outdoorsman Alpaca Sock is also a boot length sock, fitting perfectly in between our crew height Survival Sock and our Over the Calf height High Calf.
With the news that AFCNA was closing their doors, we knew that it was important to keep the fiber they’ve collected and remaining Extreme sock yarn in production domestically to the benefit of U.S. alpaca farms. We’ve purchased all of AFCNA’s EXTREME Sock yarn and are using it to produce our new Outdoorsman Sock. We know farms across the country have done very well building a market for the heavy weight Extreme Sock. Our new Outdoorsman Alpaca Sock takes the best features of the Extreme, is made from the same yarn, and adds improved features to make it better than ever.
Our Outdoorsman Alpaca Sock is a heavyweight boot height sock designed to be the warmest, softest, most comfortable alpaca sock Made in the USA. For increased cushion and comfort, the interior contains a full alpaca terry loop knit. The inside of the sock has arch and ankle supports, ensuring a proper, snug fit each time they are worn. Outside, the Outdoorsman Sock sports a rugged nylon exoskeleton with reinforcement on the toe, arch, and heel areas – making it as durable as it is warm and comfortable.
The combination of the soft, warming alpaca terry loops against your skin with the reinforced exterior make a sock tough enough to stand up to whatever the great outdoors throws at it. Whether fishing, hiking, camping, lumberjacking, or just flat out enjoying Mother Nature, the Outdoorsman Alpaca Sock will keep you warm & cozy for as long as you need them to, no matter the conditions.
On top of being one of the softest, strongest, most insulating natural fibers available, Alpaca is moisture wicking, hypo-allergenic, and odor resistant - making it a perfect all natural fiber for socks destined to explore the great outdoors.
Contents: 75% U.S. Alpaca, 23% Nylon, 2% Lycra
Care Instructions: Machine Wash and Dry, See Label
We are very excited to announce our Convertible Alpaca Shawl.
Our brand new Convertible Shawl showcases a classic yet timeless cable knit, and adds a contemporary functional twist, all while utilizing soft alpaca fiber. You can mold this piece according to the weather, the occasion, or perhaps your mood, as you have the option to wear it as a classic shawl, a poncho, a scarf, or our new favorite, a “shnood.” Its versatility helps make this shawl the ultimate addition to any ensemble, whether you are going out for coffee, a work conference, or a holiday party. Acting as both apparel and an accessory, this will certainly be a go-to option for any occasion, while keeping you warm and snug. We have colors for all personalities and occasions—Stone Grey, Scarlet Red, Dark Teal, Caribbean Blue and Purple Haze.
We will be closed Friday June 30th and re-opening Monday July 10th, 2017.
All orders and support that come in during this period will begin shipping out again on Monday July 10th in the order they were received.
Thank you and we hope you all have a fun, relaxing holiday!
Photo by Dave Cleaveland - Maine Aerial Photography
For people who are familiar with our home, Fall River, Massachusetts, they probably know that it gets a bad rap—many would most likely never think of this city as a destination. We are here in efforts to change that mindset and prove that Fall River is a true diamond in the rough—not to mention incredibly rich in textile history. About a century ago, Fall River was one of the wealthiest cities in the entire country, due to it being considered the textile capital of the world. Fall River is lovingly referred to as the “ Spindle City” due to all the textile manufacturing mills here since the early 1800’s. Here at the New England Alpaca Fiber Pool, we are proud to continue the textile manufacturing tradition in the city that does it best.
Throughout the course of the year, we have hundreds of visitors coming from across the country to drop fiber, check out products, pick up orders, and get the 5 cent NEAFP tour. This little Guide to Fall River is our way of saying thank you for making the trek to NEAFP and to share some of our favorite spots in the city. NEAFP’s guide to Fall River has some of our favorite restaurants, bars and attractions, so that you can come down our way and make a day out of it! We feel it is important for you to experience who we are and where we come from so that you can fully appreciate what it is that we do, as well as your role in helping us do so. Thank you again for visiting, and we sincerely hope you enjoy your stay here in the Spindle City.
Fall River: Make it Here.
NEAFP is excited to announce that we have simplified our ordering process by opening up the ability to purchase singles of each of our products! As NEAFP has grown and the volume of orders coming in has increased over the years, there have been certain aspects of our pricing model that did not scale. As we move forward, we felt it was time to re-visit our pricing model for both Fiber Pricing and Wholesale to make it simpler on your end while making processing and fulfillment more streamlined on ours!
We know there is never a good time to raise prices but with the structure update comes some increases. In the last few years, the majority of our manufacturers have increased our costs. We've been able to absorb these increases and keep the majority of our product's price the same for the last 3 years but we've gotten to a point where we have to increase our product pricing in order to stay sustainable.
We've thought long and hard on the best way to implement these increases, and after running several models we found one that fit. About half of our products received approximately a 5% increase at the 12+ quantity discounts. We wanted to keep the pricing increase as low as possible on our higher quantity purchases.
We've increased the single price point slightly more than the original 3 pack price points. Although you are paying a slight premium to buy 1 of something, we believe that it will allow people to try out new products & see what sells in their community. As you try out new products and find success selling them, you can order at higher quantities to receive the bulk price discounts.
With this change in pricing structure, we feel that we have simplified our pricing model for our customers while laying the groundwork for a processing and fulfillment system that reduces errors and increases scale-ability. For the last 20 years, NEAFP has helped thousands of alpaca farms of all sizes gain access to a variety of products Made in the USA on the commercial scale. With these changes, we are in a better position to continue to serve your growing needs for the next 20 years.
Thank you for your continued support, the U.S. alpaca fiber industry would not be where it is today without it!
-Chris & Shelley Riley
+ Sean, Mike, Ana, Brianna, Dave, Matt, Fatiha, Evan, & Corey
By Brianna Paon
If you currently have an alpaca farm, now is a perfect time to take advantage of utilizing your beloved animals to help increase your audience and customer base. Alpacas and camelids in general have been trending in media and advertising throughout the course of the past couple years. Through this steady exposure, people have been getting increasingly excited about alpacas even without knowing much about the animals. By putting your alpacas, farm, and products out there, it gives you a wonderful opportunity to expand your customer reach.
More than ever, alpacas and llamas have been featured in articles, news segments and commercials -- on average, people are generally more familiar with these animals now than they ever have been in the past. The impact of this increase in awareness has become so prevalent that people are beginning to include them in some of the most important days of their lives! With the joy alpacas bring with their smiling faces, who wouldn’t want them present? Could these wedding photos be any more perfect?
Alpaca shows have generated a lot more foot traffic these days due to giving people the opportunity and incentive to interact with the animals. We have been seeing more and more “alpaca selfie booths” where people can have their very own picture with an alpaca. Additionally, shows have included an alpaca costume contest, where typically a child will pair up with an alpaca for a duo costume role. These are the kind of experiences people are looking for -- once they can engage with the animal and appreciate it for what it is, there will likely be sparks of curiosity for the benefits, overall caretaking and use of the animal and its fiber.
Large companies such as Bank of America have been hopping on the camelid themed bandwagon with their #LLOVEYOURAPP campaign, where they feature a talking llama to advertise their banking app. It is obvious that llamas have nothing to do with Bank of America’s business, but their overall likeability, and the general public's curiosity for them, make them a perfect fit in their advertising campaign.
If you keep your eyes peeled, you will notice a more prominent alpaca / camelid theme showing up in retail stores. Whether it be clothing, stuffed animals, or home decor, these animals are on the rise more than ever before. Although these products are not made from alpaca fiber themselves, they increase the general public’s awareness of alpacas and the camelid family as a whole. As the “brand” of alpaca increases, more people are having their interest piqued in regards to these animals, the farms in their communities, and ultimately the products made from their fiber.
A great example of an alpaca who has gone viral on the internet is Chewy out of Adelaide, Australia. He belongs to a 14-year-old boy named Matt whose parents disagreed on getting him a dog, and instead surprised him with an alpaca. There is nothing in particular about Chewy that has made him a worldwide internet sensation other than his social media outreach. People are able to follow Chewy’s life through Instagram at @chew_paca, an account that has nearly 25,000 followers. The entire account contains cute photos of Chewy partaking in everyday activities with his human, Matt. Chewy may have a more exuberant life than most alpacas, but that is because he is treated as the literal equivalent of a pet dog in this family.
One takeaway from the Chewy phenomenon is the power of social media to reach your target demographics and bring exposure to your farm and alpacas! Thousands of people have become newly educated on alpacas solely because Chewy was all over news stations and online publications, and those stations wouldn’t have discovered Chewy if it weren’t for his internet presence, especially on Instagram. One thing that is of primary importance on Instagram is the use of hashtags. This is the number one way to reach new people and cater to their exact interests. For example, you can simply hashtag #Alpaca or you can choose something on a bit of a wider scale, such as #MadeInTheUSA or the increasingly trending #KnitPicks hashtag. Be sure to check out some other all-star alpaca accounts as well such as @alpacasofinstagram and @alpaca.gram -- take a look at their photo content and use of hashtags to see how they’ve become successful in spreading the alpaca love!
If you’re in the alpaca business, you have quite the upper hand considering how much of an internet and media sensation alpacas have become. To most, alpacas are still exotic creatures that they don’t get the opportunity to see -- people are unaware that there is most likely an alpaca farm closer to them than they think. Take advantage of the excitement these animals bring to people. Perhaps offer an “alpaca selfie booth” at your farm or next event -- give your customers incentives towards your products if they share their alpaca selfie on social media with your farm name tagged in it. That way their friends can see and share it, giving your farm more exposure to the public, expanding your potential customer base and bringing more awareness in the community to your farm. Many people, especially a younger crowd, love new experiences just as much as they love new products. Luckily for you, you can give them both with these adorable and fascinating animals!
Our first production run of our BOLD Boucle Lined Alpaca Mittens are now available at fiber and wholesale price points.
We've taken one of our best selling products and added a splash of color!
Here are the colors currently available:
BOLD Boucle - Size Small: Moss Green, Purple, Egyptian Blue
BOLD Boucle - Size Medium: Moss Green, Purple, Egyptian Blue, Slate Grey
BOLD Boucle - Size Large: Moss Green, Slate Grey
For our Big Cable Alpaca Blanket, we started with the warmest, softest, most comfortable all natural fiber grown in the country, U.S. Alpaca.
The natural breathability and moisture wicking properties of the alpaca combined with the loft of the oversized cable knit pattern make a blanket that will keep you warm and comfy year round. It’s generous size, hefty weight, and lush texture, make it perfect for layering over a bed, or draping over a love seat or sectional.
The alpaca fiber in this blanket is grown across the U.S. on alpaca farms and spun into yarn in a century old spinning mill in Massachusetts. The alpaca yarn is knit into fabric in a 3rd generation knitting mill in New Jersey. Once knit, the blankets head back to us here in the Spindle City, Fall River, MA, where we cut, sew, and finish these beautiful blankets.
The evident quality and finesse of this heirloom blanket truly adds more “home” to your house. A perfect gift for someone who has it all and appreciates the best.
Available now at both Fiber and Wholesale price points!
by Brianna Paon
One of the great advantages of bringing your alpaca products to local events and farmers markets is you're surrounded by like minded vendors, catering their businesses to the needs of the community. Connecting with like-minded businesses and finding ways to work together can be mutually beneficial. The key is finding a business that you are not in direct competition with, but share the same demographics. For example, if you are selling U.S. made alpaca products, you will likely have success cross-promoting with a business that shares your target demographics, such as a local craft brewery, a handmade soap maker, or a dog treat bakery!
There are plenty of innovative ways to promote another business while trying to sell at yours. For the purpose of this blog, let’s say you do decide to co-market or co-campaign with a local craft brewery. Each of your demographics involves people that most likely appreciate quality goods, craftsmanship, and locally produced goods. By cross-promoting with a local craft brewery, you are both targeting the same type of audience, but your service offerings are totally different. So how is it that you begin this cross-promotion process?
Reach out to a local business that you find reaches a similar customer base and propose some ideas that will be helpful for each of you. There are several ways you can go about this that really don’t require much work. You could each display each other’s promotional flyers or business cards at your businesses so that more people can see them. The idea that one business is vouching for another business certainly can attract and strike interest in potential customers. Another option could be to exchange coupons with another local business. For example, if a customer buys two or more items from your store, they could perhaps get a coupon for a free or discounted draft beer from the local brewery. If a customer buys a pitcher of beer at the local brewery, they could get a 10% off coupon on their next order at your farm store.
Another good method could be to create a new pop up market or event altogether. You could invite the handmade soapmaker to vend with you at your next holiday event or open house during a weekend at your farm. By the two businesses working and promoting something together, each of you are sharing your respective audiences to boost your clientele. Recurring customers for the organic produce become new customers of yours, and vice versa. Again, each of you are targeting the same demographic, but are selling totally different goods. People have an appreciation for established connections between small businesses, and doing an event together, whether big or small, could prove to be successful for both your farm store and whoever it is you choose to work with.
NEAFP is growing and looking to increase our team in order to meet the challenges of the U.S. Alpaca fiber industry. We are adding 2 full time Production Assistants to help with the increase of raw fiber coming in to the mill and the growing amount of finished products heading out the door!
The New England Alpaca Fiber Pool (NEAFP) is an agricultural service
provider to U.S. Alpaca farms looking to process their alpaca fiber in
the U.S. on a commercial scale. We manage the pooling of raw alpaca
fiber coming off thousands of farms and oversee the manufacturing
process from raw fiber off the animal to finished good ready for shelf.
NEAFP was started in 1997 and located in Fall River, MA.
We are looking to hire a full time (40 hours per week) production assistant to help in several different operations around the mill.
This position's responsibilities will include (but are not limited to) :
What we are looking for in this position:
Schedule: 40 hours per week. Monday through Friday - 8am to 4:30pm
Compensation / Benefits: $11 per hour to start. Benefit Packages available after introductory employment period.
Please share with us your resume, as well as:
Why would you be a good fit here at The New England Alpaca Fiber Pool (NEAFP)?
You can apply here :