My Happy Place
Hi! I’m Charli, and when I get the opportunity to show off my mill I always refer to it as “My happy place”.
I love what I do!
After working in retail for many years I was looking for a way out. I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew that I could not do another 15 years in retail. I was not old enough, or wealthy enough to retire. I had to come up with something.
I tried dog training because I love dogs. There were too many people, not enough dogs.
Then I found alpacas! Oh my!
They were so soft, and fluffy.
We purchased 7 fiber boys (huacayas) from Avalon Farm Alpacas in the spring of 2012. I searched and searched until I found a mill that did not have a turnaround time that felt like FOREVER! We had our prime fiber processed into yarn and roving. The yarn was so soft and squishy.
We joined our local farm market and sold our yarn there.I had to learn to crochet. My Mom had tried to teach me when I was a kid, but I am left-handed, so that did not work. I discovered I crochet right-handed. Then I questioned. Why am I putting all these knots in my beautiful, soft, squishy yarn? So, I taught myself to knit. Thank you You-tube! Then, I HAD to learn to spin. That was a disaster until my shearer was able to help me out. Then I got the hang of it.
2013 rolled around and lo and behold, the mill we had used the previous year was “For Sale”.
Well, I found my “Way Out”.
We made a deal. I learned the equipment. We built a pole barn. In November 2014, Windy Acres Fiber Mill opened for business. It took just shy of 3 years for the business to support me and I was able to “retire” from my retail job in August 2017.
Fast forward to April 2020 (nothing to do with the pandemic) and my husband was able to quit his “day job” to work full time in the mill with me.
It is still my “Happy place”.
I really enjoy being creative and productive. Being able to take raw fiber and turn it into something beautiful gives me joy.
It is a wonderful way to make a living.