My guest Robbin Martinelli the Founder and Owner of USAlpaca Company, which specializes in Alpaca breeding and exquisite Alpaca Fashions, Alpaca Pillows and Pendleton Alpaca Blankets made in America. A former Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing, Robbin’s life now revolves around the agriculture of breeding fine and rare alpacas. At her farm in Virginia, she gives educational interactive tours and follows her passion of creating new American-made alpaca products. Her mission is to provide the consumer with luxuriously healthy products made from all-natural alpaca, called the Royal Fleece, and the Green Livestock. We’ll talk about toxic chemicals in pillows, Robbin’s alpaca sleep pillows (I have one and I’ll tell you all about it!) and why she loves alpaca as a toxic-free material. www.debralynndadd.com/debras-list/usalpaca-company
TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
Toxic-Free Alpaca Pillows for a Good Night’s Sleep
Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Robbin Martinelli
Date of Broadcast: July 17, 2013
DEBRA: Hi, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and this is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I just love that song. Every time I listen to it, I think, yes, let’s all be points of light doing good in the world to make this world a better place.
On this show, we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world because there are toxic chemicals all around us, in all kinds of consumer products that are on store shelves, and in the environment, and even in our bodies that have been accumulating during the years of our lives. And on this show, we talk about products that are safe and don’t have toxic chemicals in them, how to remove toxic chemicals from your body, and in general, how to live a toxic-free, healthy, happy, productive life.
And we celebrate those things that contribute to having that.
Today is Wednesday, July 17, 2013. I’m here in Clearwater, Florida. And today, we’re going to talk about pillows and what’s toxic about the pillow that you’re sleeping on, and what is a safe pillow to use instead.
But before I get to my guest, I want to talk to you about changing habits. And I actually had a big success this morning with that. Last week, I talked about skin brushing, about a post that I had put on my Toxic Free Nutrition Blog at
ToxicFreeNutrition.com. And that’s still the first post today, if you want to go there. And if you’re listening at another time, you can always go to the search box on my website, which is in the upper right hand column, and you can type in “skin brushing” or whatever it is that you’re looking for. And that item will come up very easily.
But the point about skin brushing is that it stimulates your lymph system, and not only does it make your skin glow, but it actually moves the lymph in your body, so that it can be removed, that the lymph system is not like your blood circulation that’s being pumped by your heart. You actually have to do something to get the lymph moving.
And the two best choices exercise and skin brushing.
And skin brushing will help bring nutrients and oxygen to the outer layers of your skin, it aids digestion and kidney function, it reduces cellulite, and it also stimulates your endocrine system, which is all those hormones that help you lose weight, and give you sex drive—all those good things, and benefit every part of your body.
So do you think that I was brushing my skin even though I knew all about this, and if you go to my blog, you’ll see a picture of my own personal skin brush hanging on the bathroom wall. But do you think I do this every day? Well, no. And after I wrote this, I thought, you know what? I really need to be brushing my skin.
And so does everybody else. This is a quick and easy thing that we can do every morning while we’re standing there, waiting for the shower water to heat up.
And so I decided a week ago that I was going to brush my skin, dry brush my skin, every morning while I was waiting for the shower water to heat up. And day 1 went by, and I didn’t do it. Day 2, I forget. The brush is sitting right there, and I forget. It’s hanging right there, I should say.
So finally, a couple of days ago, I took the non-toxic felt-tip marker, and I wrote on my glass shower door, “Brush your skin.”
And I still didn’t do it.
But you know what? This morning, I did. I remembered. And it was just a matter of making a decision and being determined that I am going to remember this, that I’m going to put this, make this a habit like brushing my teeth. I brush my teeth every morning. We wash our faces in the morning, or whatever it is that we’ve gotten into the habit of doing.
And doing something like skin brushing can be an inexpensive, quick, feel-good thing that you can do to help your body eliminate toxic chemicals, but it’s a matter of establishing that habit, putting it in your routine. I did it, and you can too.
Today, my guest is Robbin Martinelli, and she is the founder and owner of US Alpaca Company. Welcome to the show, Robbin.
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: Well, good morning, good afternoon, depending on where you are in the country.
DEBRA: Robbin specializes in alpaca breeding and exquisite alpaca fashions, alpaca pillows, and Pendleton alpaca blankets, all made in America.
So Robbin, would you tell us how you got interested—I know you have a lot of information on your website about why pillows are toxic, which I want to hear about in a moment. But first, I want to know what was it that happened in your life that made you get interested in this toxic issue? What about it was so important that made you stop doing whatever it was you were doing before, and decide to give us a toxic-free pillow?
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: Well, we actually got involved with the alpaca industry about 12 years ago. And we started with about five alpacas. And the reason we got involved with alpaca was because it was a growing industry with a fabulous end product, and a fabulous fiber quality product.
So we were actually very embedded in just the alpaca industry for many years.
We were looking at things to make with our alpaca fiber. So most of our fiber goes to make Pendleton alpaca blankets and things like that, and we use the blanket part, the part that looks like a saddle on the alpaca to do that.
But we were looking at the seconds, which was the neck part and the part around that looks like the saddle part. And we said, what could we do with that?
My husband had actually come up with the idea of making pillows out of it. And as a researcher and a professor, I started looking into the pillow industry. And what I found made me very angry.
When I started researching the pillow industry, I got so angry at what they were doing, and I knew that we had the answer for it.
On top of that, I had a personal experience, which in hindsight, now made sense to me. My father was actually in a fire years ago, and his fiancée died in a fire, and he literally was blown up three times the size from the toxic chemicals that he had breathed in from the fire.
My son is a fireman, and he will tell you that it’s not the fires that burn people or kill people anymore. It’s the toxic chemicals in our lives, in our plastic, in our houses, that actually cause the strychnine effect in the house, and literally, people are dying from this poison that is being released before the firemen could get in to save them.
Well, looking back on those things, it came to me, when I started researching the alpaca, what we could use and putting it into the pillow industry, all of the toxic chemicals that were in our pillows, and I was so alarmed, but I also knew we had the answer for it.
DEBRA: Tell us some of the things that you found about how toxic pillows are because I know on your website, you say if you change only one thing to make your lives healthier, it should be your pillow.
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: That’s exactly right. Pillows are made of Styrofoam, which is contains polystyrene. Now, this is across the board from your $8 run-of-the-mill box store pillow, all the way to those memory foams and things like that, which are basically, one solid block of chemicals sitting on your bed.
These petroleum-based chemicals are known to cause symptoms of fatigue, difficulty sleeping, nervous disorders, menstrual cycle problems, alterations in blood cells, chromosome and lymphatic abnormalities and carcinogenic effects in humans.
They’re being directly relayed to things like ADHD, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, autism—all of these horrible things that are happening in our country are being directly related back to these chemicals, which are found primarily in the pillows that we sleep on.
We’ve got to change the things in our lives—when we buy a carpet, next time, buy a natural one, and things like that. But where is your face every single night? It’s in your pillow. We sleep restlessly because our immune systems are trying to fight that stuff off every single night.
When we take those chemicals out of our bedrooms, we sleep in a more peaceful state. Our body literally becomes at rest.
These things are dramatic for us. Changing that pillow to a natural pillow can make all of the difference in your lifestyle, in your health, and absolutely in every way possible.
DEBRA: Well, we’ll talk more about that after we come back from the break. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and we’ret talking with Robbin Martinelli, owner and founder of US Alpaca, about toxic things, toxic chemicals, in your sleeping pillow, and a safe alternative by using alpaca pillows.
We’ll be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guest today is Robbin Matinelli, founder and owner of US Alpaca Company. And they make all kinds of things from alpaca, including toxic-free pillows to sleep on.
Now, I actually have one of these pillows, and I can honestly tell you, I’ve had it for I think since last September. And it is the best pillow I’ve ever slept on, honestly, because it has more resilience. And I’ve slept on every kind of natural fill in a pillow that
I think is on the market.
And what happens is that first of all, the pillows are generally not filled with very much fiber, and also, the other fibers tend to mat down, and then I need to replace the pillow after a period of time because it’s just flat, or it gets hard—cotton gets really hard.
And in all these months, this alpaca pillow has been tremendously resilient. It is stuffed as much as you could possibly stuff it with this wonderful, resilient, soft alpaca wool. And it’s just comfortable night, after night, after night. I just love putting my head on it.
I just can’t say enough good things about this pillow.
And Robbin says on her website that this is the last pillow you’ll ever need to buy because if you need the pillow to be refreshed or have more wool put it on or whatever, you just send it back, and she’ll take care of it.
I can’t even imagine sending it back because it’s held up so well already for all these months. So it’s a really excellent product. I am just very impressed with it.
So Robbin, let’s talk more about some of the other chemicals that are in the pillows because you have quite a list here on your website, and some of them I didn’t even know about. I’m looking at your page where you’re listing other chemicals that the Consumer Product Safety Commission lists, used in bedding and in pillows.
But first, before we talk about those, let’s talk about fire retardants because I know that fire retardants are in the news a lot.
And people have a lot of attention on fire retardants. But fire retardants are in more sofas and mattresses. They’re in pillows too.
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: They’re in pillows, and they’re in 85% of baby products. The fire retardant aspect, the idea behind it was that this poly-filled stuff burns very quickly. And so they were trying to put something on that was actually going to try to eliminate that. But it’s not effective. It’s only 60% effective.
And so what’s happening is, not only are you breathing in the toxic chemicals from the poly, you’re also breathing in now all of these fire retardant chemicals.
Now, one of my biggest concerns is children. We’re finding out in our research that toxicity levels are showing up in moms.
These tests that have been done by—there’s an article out by Green Living. It was done in 2009 in Eco Friendly Magazine, it actually talks about this, and it states that in the test groups that were tested for polystyrenes, 100% were showing these styrene in their fat cells, and they could not find one lactating mother who didn’t test positive for these chemicals in her breast milk.
We’re handing this down to our children. Babies, just two hours old are already showing 200 of these chemicals and pesticides in their blood cells. Parents of these kids are showing 500. And 90% of the United States are showing these chemicals in our urine.
This is unbelievable to me. This is something that, for me, it turned my head three-ways. I just couldn’t believe that we’re doing this to our children and our moms, having this happen to them.
The one thing that we know about our pillows, alpaca is naturally fire-resistant. We don’t need any of those chemicals.
Because of the alpaca’s properties, it doesn’t burn. So we don’t need any of these chemicals added to our product.
We are 100% natural product. The fiber comes from the alpaca. We don’t call it wool because wool comes from sheep, and wool has lanoline in it. Wool has guard hair in it. Wool is actually twice a heavy.
DEBRA: I didn’t know that you didn’t call it wool.
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: No, it’s actually—
DEBRA: Tell us more about that. What do you call it?
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: We call it fiber. Alpaca fiber, that’s right, because it has a completely different make-up to it than wool does. Wool is twice the weight of alpaca. Wool has lanoline, which is a grease, which is taken out of the wool with a harsh chemical, usually. Wool also has guard hair in it, and things like that that make it allergic to people.
Alpaca is a miracle fiber. There’s nothing like it. Alpacas are rare. There’s only three-million in the entire world, and 94% of them are still in South America.
Peru holds the most alpaca at two-million, but the United States is the second largest holder at less than 200,000 alpaca.
These are an unbelievable animal. They’re the most expensive livestock in the world, and the most sought after livestock in the world. And the reason for that is because of their fiber quality.
It compares to silk, not wool. It has a very silky feel to it.
DEBRA: Yes, it does.
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: On top of that, it has all of these fabulous things about it. It’s naturally water-repellant. It’s naturally fire-resistant. It is naturally hypoallergenic. It has a hollow core system to it, so it’s naturally mite-resistant.
All of these things were the properties that we were looking at when we decided to put them in our pillows. We couldn’t have asked for a better product. And of course, mother nature had provided it for us.
DEBRA: I totally agree with you. And I’m glad that you brought that up about the wool because I thought that any fur that comes from, I don’t know what else to call it, any hair, I guess, that comes from an animal, like a sheep, that it was all called wool, like cashmere comes from a goat, but I thought it was called cashmere wool.
So I think some people have confusion about this. I know I did. And so they lump everything together and say, if they’re allergic to sheep’s wool, they’ll be allergic to the hair of any other animal. But that’s not true.
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: That is totally false. That’s one of the things we talk about when we do our farm tours every day is that wool is completely different than alpaca fiber in every single way that you can imagine. If you are allergic to wool, you would not probably be allergic to alpaca because it’s not wool.
DEBRA: That’s great to know. And we’ll talk more about alpacas when we come back from this message. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and we’re talking with Robbin Martinelli of US Alpaca.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guest today is Robbin Martinelli, founder and owner of US Alpaca Company.
Robbin, the other day, I was talking to somebody actually on this show, and we were talking about mattress toppers. And she needed a mattress that was softer than most natural mattresses. And I said to her, I thought of this, and I even said it to her that I thought you should make an alpaca mattress topper. Do you have any plans to do that?
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: We’re hoping to do more products down the road. The problem is that alpaca fiber is hard to get, and to do these products in any kind of large volume. So it’s going to continue to be a specialty product. Everything that we do is considered still a specialty product.
All of our pillows, we also do a travel pillow and smaller kids pillow. We also do a nursing pillow and a side [inaudible 00:18:31].
So those are the things we’ve been working on right now to try to bring that out into the public. But yes, the problem is the fact that we only have less than 200,000 alpaca in the United States. We can’t grow the herds fast enough for the demand of alpaca in the United States, let alone the world.
DEBRA: Well, I think that isn’t there a movement towards having more alpacas?
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: Well, alpacas are a growing business. The alpacas were only allowed into the country for a few short years from 1983 up until the end of the 90’s. At that point, the doors were shut, and no more alpacas were allowed in the United States.
Every alpaca that comes in has a registration number, and those numbers are all attached to DNA blood cards. The business is about as short as it could be. The DNA blood cards show parentage, as well as ownership, and who that animal is.
Now, what we’re doing here is we’re breeding animals for the highest quality. Alpacas still run wild predominantly in South America. There are only a handful of farms. Most of them are still in wild herds, as they have been for over 6000 years. So it’s a completely different product than what we’re doing here is raising the highest quality alpacas that we can in the United States.
DEBRA: I love alpacas. I don’t know that everybody, the average person, who might be listening has maybe ever even seen an alpaca, or know what they look like. But I’ve seen alpacas. I’ve been to alpaca farms, and I’ve seen them at the county fair and things like that.
And they’re just wonderful, wonderful animals that I always feel peaceful around them.
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: I can’t believe you said that, Debra, because you want to know what animal is associated with peacefulness. When mythological Mother Nature of the Peruvians gave them the alpacas in the story, Pachmana is her name.
And she said to them that this animal would bring peace in their life, and it would provide for them everything they needed. As long as they cared for the alpaca, it would continue to bring them peace.
And we named our pillows Pachmana pillows after that concept.
It’s the same thing. The alpaca brings a peacefulness in your life. The pillows bring a peacefulness to your sleeping. It really is there.
I can’t tell you why but there just is a peacefulness around all of the products, as well as the animal.
DEBRA: There are. I’ve never worn an alpaca sweater, but I can imagine sleeping under an alpaca blanket.
When I’m around alpacas—I have been around alpacas, like I said, on a farm, or at the fair, and I don’t even know these alpacas, and they come. It sounds like an alpaca pet. But they come over to the fence, and they’re just right there, and they let me touch them, and they lick my hand, and things like that. And they have these beautiful eyes. And they just have this feeling of peacefulness that makes me feel peaceful too.
They’re not aggressive kind of animals, or scary animals. It’s just the kind of animal that you would just want to cuddle up with and sleep.
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: And that’s why they’re great in pillows.
DEBRA: As far as I’m concerned, you couldn’t have picked a better fiber for a sleeping pillow because the animal itself has that quality, in addition to its fiber having that quality.
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: Alpacas are cousins to the llamas. People are very confused. They think they’re mini llamas.
Alpacas weigh about 150 pounds. A llama gets up to 400 pounds. A llama’s primary use is as a guard. It has a guard and a territorial personality. And the reason is because it’s using that spit as a weapon.
Alpacas are just the opposite. Alpacas run away. They are a shy creature. They have no way to defend themselves other than to run.
The difference in personality, as well as price, a llama cost about $2500. A good quality alpaca sells for $35,000 to $45,000 on average, going up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and even up into the million-dollar ranges. They are one of the most expensive livestock in the world, as I said, and one of the most sought after, because of the properties of their fiber.
DEBRA: Wow. Well, I’ll have to really appreciate my pillow even more than I already do.
Let’s talk about how alpacas are raised. What do you feed them? Do they just hang out in the alpaca pen? What’s the life of an alpaca like?
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: Alpacas are a very hardy animal. They’re part of the camelid family. So we know how camels are, how hardy they are. Alpacas are as hardy, if not hardier than the camel. They can do everything the camel can do, except store water. But they also come from some of the highest elevations in the world, like the Indian mountains, and places like Machu Picchu, which you and I would have a hard time breathing in.
Because of their hollow shaft system, they actually are like a polar bear, in a way. They can withstand the heat and the cold.
That hollow shaft system works like a ventilation system on the animal. It keeps it warm when it needs to be warm, and it keeps it cool, when it needs to be cool. And that’s why our pillows do not get hot because what it does on the animal, it does on us. It does with us. It’s the same thing.
DEBRA: It has that breathing quality that’s really good. It’s not like a plastic pillow or foam pillow. My head keeps very cool at night. I’m very comfortable.
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: Exactly. And that’s one of the things people ask us a lot about pillows in general, is do they get hot. No because the alpaca fiber is a natural fiber versus this poly garbage that is nothing but chemicals, and it’s basically the plastic.
That’s why you’re getting hot. That’s why you’re breathing in these chemicals and getting sick.
The natural products, there’s no comparison to them. Mother Nature knows best. Let’s just face it. We can’t ever compete nor should we be competing. We should be going back to natural things.
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: Exactly. I agree.
DEBRA: And we’ll talk more about this after the break. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. And if you want to go see an alpaca, and take a look at these pillows, you can go to USAlpacaCompany.com, or you can also go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com, and there’s a link there. And if you don’t see the link, you could just go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com and type “alpaca” in the search box, and it will come right up.
I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. We’re talking with Robbin Martinelli, founder and owner of US Alpaca, about pillows.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guest today is Robbin Martinelli, founder and owner of US Alpaca Company, which specializes in alpaca breeding, exquisite alpaca fashions, alpaca pillows, Pendleton alpaca blankets, all made in America. And you can go to their website at USAlpacaCompany.com.
Robbin, tell us more about how the alpacas are raised and the fiber is removed. I’m assuming that you shear it like a sheep would be sheared for wool?
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: It’s similar. I want to invite all of your guests any time if they’re in the area to come on over to our farm. The name of our farm is Smith Mountain Lake Farm, and we’re in Hardy, Virginia. And we’re in the Smith Mountain Lake area of Virginia, which is near the Blue Ridge Mountain.
And we do farm tours every single day, all day long. It’s a $5-fee, and it’s about a two-hour tour. And that’s exactly what we teach everybody. When you come in, we teach you all about the history, the science of the alpaca. We also bring you to the moms and babies. We teach you about gestation periods, and the lifestyle of the nursing and the breeding.
We bring you all around the farm, we teach you about the behaviors of the animals. You get to feed them, hold them, hug them, touch them.
And then we bring you back inside, and we teach you about fiber. We have you judge it, we have your hands on it, we teach you about how we make the products we make, and what’s so important about the alpaca industry in general.
It’s doing two things. It’s bringing back the textile industry to the United States. Why? Alpacas are raised here, alpaca products are made here, and are sold here. We cannot raise the herds fast enough for the demand of alpaca fiber in the United States, let alone the world.
The next thing is, it’s bringing back the family farms. Alpacas are a fully insurable animal. They’re not considered exotic.
They’re considered livestock—the most expensive livestock in the world and the most sought after livestock in the world.
And because of that, they’re an insurable investment, and there’s also a write-off for up to $139,000 to buy them with, Section 179(a) of the Tax Code.
So it’s one of the best investments out there whether you want to be a farmer or not. Some people buy alpacas for purely for the investment. We keep them on our farm for $3 a day, if that’s something you’d want to do.
So there are so many things to learn about the alpaca. The alpaca is an easy animal to care for. They’re grazers. They have only one row of teeth, they have a hard plate on the top, like your gum without any teeth on it, and so they mow the grass.
They’re actually the green livestock. There’s no other animal out there that’s as nature-friendly as alpacas are. They have pads on their feet, not hooves. They actually leave no footprint.
They also are communal poopers, and they do this as a way of marking important places to them, which keeps the pastures clean.
The alpacas have no odor. Their fiber has no odor. And their manure, which we call beans, virtually has no odor.
They’re also a quiet animal. They hum to each other. They hum to their baby.
DEBRA: I love it.
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: They’re an animal that people want in their communities. There are people out there who just have never understood the importance of the alpaca because they don’t know enough of them.
There are only 4000 alpaca farms in the Unites States today. Remember, this business just started in 1983 when the alpacas were first allowed out of their country. Before that, socialism had been in those countries, which stopped anything from alpaca being sent out.
1983, the first that alpacas are actually allowed out of their country and into the United States.
And so this is what is important about learning about these animals. They are a magical animal. And again, their fiber is absolutely fabulous. The animals are sweet. There’s nothing like them. And the products that we make reflect that.
Our pillows are sold nationally. We have people who call me and e-mail me whose children have had all kinds of issues of asthma and allergies, and they’re sleeping on our pillows, and it’s the first time that they’re not having reactions. They’re having a positive quality of life changes in their lives simply because they’re changing pillows.
Pillows are where your faces eight hours a day. You’re breathing those chemicals in. It’s affecting you. It’s being called the silent pandemic of all of these things—neural development things, neurological, as well as asthma, infertility. It’s through the roof in our country. Why?
These chemicals in those pillows, these polystyrene actually lower the testosterone levels in men and the hormone levels in women. This is why infertility is such a problem in the United States because of things like the pillows you’re sleeping on.
DEBRA: That’s exactly right. I just want to interrupt you because I know that this might sound fantastic to somebody listening to this, that a pillow would do that. But I’ve been researching this stuff for 30 years, and what Robbin is saying is exactly right.
We do need to be changing our pillows. We do need to be changing our beds.
We need to be changing everything, and this pillow is—I can’t recommend a better pillow for all the reasons that she’s been talking about. This is the pillow that I sleep on. I think it’s the perfect material for a pillow, and alpacas just are—I think that in some ways, some people think that we shouldn’t be using animal materials. But when we look at all these benefits of alpacas, it just is amazing.
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: Why wouldn’t be using them? The animals are not being harmed in any way. This is a byproduct of their fiber. You asked about shearing. We shear them once a year in our farm, and our shearers actually come in from New Zealand and the United States. And these guys are amazing. The two guys that we use quite a bit are fourth generation shearers, and they’re 24 years old.
They’ll shear all 50, 60 of our alpaca in about three hours. It’s an art to watch these guys.
So anything in the alpaca business, any business that you can think that can be related to alpaca is a very lucrative business because the alpaca companies, the alpaca industry is out there, and we’re looking for all of these great product and great quality things that we can bring into our own farm life.
Like I said, it’s bringing back the family farm, it’s bringing back the textile industry. Alpaca is one of the only things you could wear fur because you’re not killing the animal. You’re actually shearing it, and not harming any animal, and having the most luxurious, most beautiful product that you can absolutely imagine to be wearing.
DEBRA: Tell us what else you make. Tell us more about your other products beyond the pillows.
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: The products that our farm directly makes are going to be our pillows which are made from the seconds, which is the neck and the part around that blanket area. The blankets of our animals go to make Pendleton alpaca blankets. And we sell them on our farm as well. It’s greatly reduced from Pendleton, but we actually use all of the blankets for that.
And that uses up most of the products that we have. We actually sell other products, socks and things like that, that are also made in the United States. But we also bring in things from Peru, and the reason that we bring in things from Peru is because the fashion industry is still owned by the Peruvians.
They’ve been doing it for years. They’ve got over two-million alpacas, and the cultural artistry in what they do is fabulous.
We’re not quite there yet. But I do have a piece of really interesting news. Not this Winter Olympics, but the next Winter Olympics, it looks like Ralph Lauren is actually going to be using American alpaca for our Olympians. And that is pretty exciting stuff.
DEBRA: That is exciting. Well, Robbin, it’s been great to have you on the show. I’ll just say again how much I love your pillow, and it’s been great to hear about alpacas. The next time I’m in the Virginia area or driving through, I’m going to come see your alpaca farm, and in the meantime, I’m going to see if I have an alpaca farm here locally where I live, and just go visit them because it’s just a wonderful experience.
So thank you for being with us.
ROBBIN MARTINELLI: It’s my pleasure. And any of you are welcome to come to Smith Mountain Lake Farm, and our website is SmithMountainLakeFarm.com. Give us a call. We’d love to see you and get your hands on and get your alpaca hugs.
DEBRA: So you’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. If you go to my website, ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com, there are many things that you can find, in addition to the link to be listening live to this show, which you probably already found. There are also the archives of all the shows that I’ve done, and this show, as well as all the shows in the future, and all the shows from the past are available for you to listen to. Just go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com, and click on “archived show blog.” It’s right there under my picture, and “archived show blog” and you can look at all the shows that we’ve been doing.
I’m just continuously amazed and pleased every day at all the wonderful information that come from all the guests. And you can also find out, I publish the schedule of all the upcoming guests for the week at ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com.
You can listen anywhere in the world, listen to the archives 24/7.
Also, if you go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com, across the top, there is a menu of different parts of my website. Q&A has thousands of questions that I’ve answered. And Debra’s List has lots of products that are toxic-free.
Just go and search around my site, and you’ll find lots of things.
Thank you for joining me today, and tell your friends. This is Toxic Free Talk Radio.