The Enchanted Alpaca has been invited this year by the Downtown Portland Business Alliance to open a temporary store in a vacant downtown retail space, close to Pioneer Square and Portland’s tree lighting ceremonies for the months of November and December.
They will be open at 902 S.W. Morrison, starting Nov. 8, then 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, with live fiber arts demonstrations by Oregon artists on Wednesday evenings.
In addition, Hood River wines will be served and Hood River musicians will play on Thursday evenings. Saturday and Sunday afternoons will find co-owner Rick Daugherty out front with real alpacas for a few hours to teach and educate visitors about the animals.
The store is teaming with the Hood River Chamber of Commerce and Gorge Magazine to showcase Hood River as a tourist destination.
Enchanted Alpaca, 314 Oak St., will remain open as usual.
The Enchanted Alpaca is a family-owned, farm-to-fashion retail clothing store featuring alpaca clothing along with other natural fiber clothes. Owners Carol Thayer and Rick Daugherty, along with their sons Greg, Joe and Will, have raised the furry little alpacas since 1996, falling in love with their personalities, meditative humming, and their sustainable, low-to-no impact on the planet.
Abandoning city careers in 2003, they opted for the outdoor energy of the Columbia River Gorge, settling in Glenwood, Wash., at the base of majestic Mount Adams.
With hundreds of mini-fiber-mills sprouting up nationwide as a result of alpaca farming, the owners saw the need to showcase alpaca clothing products in a traditional, main street retail setting.
The store features all of their own alpaca clip from each year of shearing (about 75 head), converted to wearable products by local hand artists and U.S.mini-mills.
In addition, they carry more advanced textiles (not yet made in U.S.) from Peru, custom-ordered coats, sweaters and blankets. Many of the summer natural fabrics are from U.S.-made clothing companies.
Traveling to and meeting the families of Peru who have honed the advanced skills to make the textiles was “life-changing,” according to Thayer, who supports nonprofits aiding Peruvian families.