NEW VENTURE: Barbara Balkwill, Stacy Krzewina (front) and Jenny Jennings from Alpaca Arts Collective will open their new store next month.
NEW VENTURE: Barbara Balkwill, Stacy Krzewina (front) and Jenny Jennings from Alpaca Arts Collective will open their new store next month.

REVEALED: COVID inspires new venture for quirky group

THE cancellation of markets and festivals around the region has prompted a group of Granite Belt artisans to expand their business and launch a new store to sell their boutique product.

Alpaca Arts Collective, which exclusively uses alpaca fibres to create jewellery and garments, will open its first store in The Summit next month.

Founder Stacy Krzewina hoped the permanent base could see more people educated on the uses and benefits of alpaca fibre.

“We have information about how alpaca fibre is processed and the different avenues you can take, as well as some tools of the trade,” Mrs Krzewina said.

“We take a lot of products that we we’ve made (when we go to market) and a lot of props to explain how the fibre is processed, but when you’re setting up for a day or two, you’re not showing it properly.

“This way, people can come in and have a go themselves.”

The Collective, which is made up of artisans from three alpaca farms, has seen an increase in the number of spinners and weavers turning to the textile.

Stacy Krzewina, Barbara Balkwill and Barbara Fischer are eager to showcase the talent of artists from across the region.
Stacy Krzewina, Barbara Balkwill and Barbara Fischer are eager to showcase the talent of artists from across the region.

Mrs Krzewina said the cancellation of markets presented an opportunity to refocus their business.

“At least if we have our own store, we can manage (COVID regulations) ourselves and still provide an outlet and destination for people to come to,” she said.

The store will open on Saturday, November 9.

“There are lots of talented artists in this area and it would be nice if there was a permanent base where tourists and locals could come,” she said.

“That’s what we’d love to do but we’ll start with this.”

The Alpaca Arts Collective store is at 117 Granite Belt Dr, The Summit.

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