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Featured Fiber Producer: Luxe Fiber Designs with Fiber Giveaway!

by The SpinArtiste on September 16, 2014

Publisher’s Notes: One of the phenomenons of the past few years in the fiber world, is the emergence of small, boutique fiber mills.  This week, I’m featuring one such mill, Luxe Fiber Designs owned by Linsey and Matthew Carey.  As you will soon read, Linsey and Matthew’s “fiber journey” has evolved into an exciting fiber business.  The love for their animals and their work comes through in their words.  Enjoy!

Luxe - The LinseysSpin Artiste (SA):   You have a wonderful fiber farm and mill in Wisconsin; tell us, what has been your fiber story so far?

Linsey Carey (LC):  Our journey started with an interest in a unique and sustainable farming venture that would provide an opportunity for a family owned business and would fulfill a need for unprocessed fiber. My husband and I started in the alpaca industry in 2008 with the addition of Luxe Fiber Designs in November 2013. It’s really been a learning experience. We are very happy to have received a lot of response and repeat customers.

SA:   You seem to have quite a connection with alpaca. What was it about alpaca that intrigued you?

Luxe - Baby AlpacaLC:  We wanted to start a small hobby farm with a low maintenance livestock. Alpacas were a sustainable and profitable option. Their docile temperament, laid back behavior, and plethora of opportunities with their fiber were key factors in choosing the perfect animals for us.

SA:  I know you breed both Huacaya and Suri alpaca. What can you tell us about the two types of alpaca, and how do their fibers differ?

Luxe - BabiesLC:  Great question. The Huacaya alpaca is often identified by their “teddy bear” appearance. It is crimped, wooly, and has a huggable, fluffy look. It really has a one-of-a-kind, luxurious feel. Great for heavy sweater yarn and socks. Suri alpaca, on the other hand, are identified by their dreaded locks. It drapes off their bodies and creates a twisted fringe appearance. The fiber has a high luster and slick feel. Great for more delicate, lacy type projects.

SA:  You really value bringing fibers of excellent quality to all your customers. How does the act of serving your customers bring you fulfillment?

Luxe - Neutral skeinLC:  Most of our customers are small family-owned farms and fiber lovers. It is a personal experience as soon as we get their fiber. We understand that their animals are a part of their family and we are honored that they chose Luxe Fiber Designs to handle their fiber. Adding value to the customer’s original, raw fiber for their personal or farm store use is truly rewarding. It brings pride to us as the processors knowing that farms will have a desirable product that can be used for them to create a gift for themselves or someone special. We want to continue providing excellent service so we maintain our relationships with these small farms on a personal level.

SA:  The idea of working with fiber all day long seems like a lot of hard work but fun.   Tell me, what is your favorite part of fiber development, and why?

Luxe - Caramel rovingLC:  We love that we get to see and work with fibers we’ve never heard of and experience all the breeds of fiber animals. Not one fiber is the same. We get our hands on every kind of fiber out there whether it is a fine luxurious fiber or a weaving fiber. Because of all of the fibers we get to work with, it really allows us to expand our creativity, and that’s what I would say is our favorite part of fiber development. The more fibers we work with, the more creative options we have for each order that we process. We are always willing to creatively experiment with fibers to make a high end, quality product.

SA:  What have you learned about each other (you and your husband) during your time of developing Luxe Fiber Designs?

LC:  We work great as a team! We complement each other. Luxe - Rug YarnMatt is more behind-the-scenes and I am more hands on. We are able to problem solve together, always providing different options and solutions to get us the end goal. Matt maintains and trouble shoots the equipment and always has good ideas to make the mechanical side of the business run smoother. I work more on the business end and with the fibers. I definitely contribute our success to our team work.

SA:  As a fiber artist yourself, how would you describe your style?

Luxe - Handspun yarnLC:  Out of the box and funky. I like bright colors. I like texture. I’m always willing to try new combinations to see what comes out. I like to be bold and creative. We want to make an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind product. Our goal is to have a signature brand so when someone sees our product they go, “Oh, that has to be Luxe Fiber Designs!”

SA:  How would you describe your farm and mill?

LC:  Our farm, Alpaca Royale, is a small, sustainable, family owned business situated on 5 acres of land. We’re a hands on farm- Matt, myself and our daughter Asyia manage the farm on our own. Luxe - AugustinWe personally own 10 alpacas and care take 6 others. We also have Esther and Elsa, two Wensleydale X sheep and chickens. Luxe Fiber Designs is a quaint, cozy mill located next to our home and farm. When we look out our window we can see alpacas pronking in the pasture. A wonderful sight to see!

SA:  What kind of equipment do you use in the mill? 

Luxe - Mill EQLC:  Luxe Fiber uses all Belfast Mini-Mill equipment to process the fibers.

SA:  What is your hope for Alpace Royale & Luxe Fiber Design in the future?

LC:  We are really happy with the size of Alpaca Royale. The amount of animals is manageable and fits in with our milling schedule. Our goal for Luxe Fiber Designs is to expand our customer base and knowledge of fibers to create unique product. Like I mentioned earlier, our hope is to create a signature brand and to become a household name.

SA:   Would you say your art is at all influenced by the farm, and if so, how?

LC:  We love alpaca fiber, it obviously influenced the mill, but I would say my art is influenced by my personality and my fashion. I like putting flashes of bright color in my hair, accessorizing with bright colors or sparkles, and wearing many textures.

SA:  How do you balance your personal art and fiber work?

Luxe - colored core spunLC:  Our customers always come first and we always listen to what the customer’s desired end product is. While we enjoy being able to put our personal touch on the product we always make sure that the customer’s vision is understood. We will make professional suggestions or are always happy to give personal input on what is going to make the best end result.

SA:  Where is your dream vacation spot?

LC:  We would love to vacation in Scotland. There is a lot of beauty and history there, …and sheep. It would be so fun to explore!

SA:  Thanks so much to both of you!  Readers, if you are looking to work with a new mill, check out the Luxe Fiber Designs website.  All the information regarding their services is there…PLUS, a really great information sheet on skirting fleece.  

Linsey's fiber Hey, if you’ve hung in with us this far, you deserve a chance to enter an amazing giveaway!  This is really a good one…1 pound of locks…To enter, please “like” the Luxe Fiber Designs Facebook page and let us know by posting a comment below.  The deadline for entry is Sunday, September 21st, 5 PM EST.  Best of luck to all!!

 

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