Medina’s The Alpaca Boutique promises to turn all of us into alpaca fiber lovers

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Cozy socks and an emotional support alpaca bear to curl up with? Check. The Alpaca Boutique boasts a plethora of attire, accessories and more, made from the softer-than-cashmere alpaca fiber. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Beth Newcomb

Faye and Jeff Farley didn’t know they wanted to open a boutique, they just knew that when they purchased 15 acres in Medina in 1994, they wanted to own a working alpaca and miniature donkey farm.

But five more acres and 75 members of the herd later, they were left wondering what to do with all that fiber.

“We joined a fiber co-op and began brainstorming ideas,” Faye recalls. “We came up with the idea to open a boutique right here on the farm, so people could come and experience all of the wonderful aspects of alpacas and shop for warm and cozy products made from the fiber they produce.”

The couples’ The Alpaca Boutique launched in September.

“I was making rugs, yarn and seat warmers, but I wanted to be able to offer more to people who appreciate this softer-than-cashmere fiber,” Faye says.

“As members of the alpaca fiber co-op, we’re also able to offer items like socks, headbands, blankets, gloves, sweaters, dryer balls, scarves and clothing—all made from alpaca fiber.”

If the saying, “seeing is believing” rings true for some things, then “touching is believing” is the mantra at The Alpaca Boutique. Once you run your hands over anything made from alpaca fiber, you’re hooked. In fact, Faye noticed how relaxed I was while cuddling one of her alpaca teddy bears, so she jokingly dubbed it an “emotional support” bear.

And unlike a live squirrel or miniature pony, it can travel without issue on any airline. I dare you not to want one.

Two levels of the cabin are filled to the brim with a plethora of alpaca products, including things like notecards and journals. But the dryer balls, Faye says, have been one of the biggest hits to date.

“You can put essential oils on them so not only are your clothes softened, but they smell terrific, too,” she notes. The dryer balls start at just $7.50 and make the perfect Christmas gift for parents, grandparents, a newly married couple, or anyone who does laundry.

I was captivated by the nesting balls, priced at just $19.95. Made from wood branches shaped into a ball, the inside holds alpaca fiber so birds can pluck it out and add it to their winter nest. The best part is, The Alpaca Boutique offers free refills, so you can keep the nests of your feathered friends warm and cozy for many years to come.

The upper level of the store is a treasure trove of high-end clothing. A 100 percent alpaca fiber men’s sweater would make a very special gift for any man in your life.

The positively precious baby department, on the main level of the store, includes to-die-for items like the aforementioned bear and super soft newborn and baby shoes. For bigger kids (and grown-ups, too), socks in every color adorn an entire wall of the boutique.

Want to make your very own alpaca creation? The Alpaca Boutique carries a generous selection of yarn and the fiber to make yarn, so you can let your imagination run wild with the cozy possibilities.

“Alpaca fiber is seven times warmer than wool, and you don’t get the prickle factor,” Faye smiles.

When you visit the store, be sure to pick up a bag of alpaca feed (it’s just a couple bucks) and spend some time communing with these intriguing animals. They make a delightful humming sound, Faye says, and are lovely to watch.

The Alpaca Boutique is located on a working farm at 4195 Abbeyville Road in Medina. Open seven days a week, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. The phone number is 330-725-2977. Find out more when you visit