The alpaca obsession is not just about staying warm and cozy, according to Fluff co-owner Suzanne Werner. “People come in and just put their hands out and walk around touching everything,” she says. “Then they inhale a deep whiff of the candles and say, ‘Okay, I feel better now.’ Being surrounded by alpaca is very soothing.”
- Fluff Alpaca's retail shop in Hudson.
Werner and Bob, her husband and business partner, had adventurous careers as attorneys in Washington, DC and Manhattan. Once the kids were up and out of the nest, the lure of fresh air grew stronger. And when Suzanne, an avid knitter since age 7, went to her first Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, the die was cast. They now live on Green River Hollow Farm in Hillsdale with 15 resident Huacaya alpacas, a llama named Trixie, a donkey named Lulu, horses, chickens, cats, and dogs.
In Alpacas We TrustWerner is part of a sustainable global network of alpaca aficionados. “We work with the New England Alpaca Fiber Pool, which collects alpaca from all over the US, and make it into different things,” she says. “We source from all over the country and from Peru and Ecuador. We’ve done a lot of research and found new designers working with alpaca, and we’ve got lots of choices at lots of price points.”
- Fluff Alpaca socks.
Fluff Alpaca’s got all manner of cozy sweaters, coats, scarves, dresses, toys, throws and pillows; you can find an alpaca/cotton onesie, fingerless gloves, even a reindeer hat for your dog. There's a vast selection at the online shop, other items are brick-and-mortar exclusives. But the perennial favorite, the one alpaca item everyone should own if they own nothing else, is socks—and Fluff Alpaca is stocked. “Alpaca socks are a revelation,” says Werner. “They’re as soft and warm as cashmere and they last forever.”