Our Website: www.ashdalealpacas.com

Thursday 21 February 2013

Leaving Home Ain't Easy

It was an early start for Si on Sunday, he had a special delivery to make to a lovely couple in Torquay. Yes Biffy & Junior have a new home. They had really fallen for Biffy after visiting our website and were truly hooked when they met him in real life last week. Since we wouldn't let him go on his own the obvious choice to go with him was Junior, they have been partners in crime for all their lives having always shared a paddock, they were just as pleased with Junior especially when they saw how relaxed they both are when being handled. We have been taking these two to agricultural shows as an attraction for some time so are used to plenty of attention which I have a feeling isn't going to end any time soon.

As you can see they settled in immediately and I'm sure they'll be spoilt rotten but it doesn't mean I didn't start missing as soon as Si left.

Not that we needed it but this was another confirmation that good customer service will always win through. It's all well and good having a huge number of animals to choose from, but if you don't listen to what a potential customer wants they will look elsewhere, an experience the boys' new owners unfortunately received from a breeder much closer to them.

The new owners felt reassured that we will always be just a phone call away to offer advise or just reassurance.

Monday 11 February 2013

Knitta's Paradise

It has gone absolutely crazy here.  Chickens laying, chicken house orders,chicken sales, alpaca sales, press releases, knitwear and another string to our bow, dyeing.

As proud members of Somerset Smallholders Association we have been working with Rural Focus for some time as they offer some brilliant free training courses in the South West. They helped us a lot when we started the chicken house business and as it has been building up really well they asked if we would be willing to be featured in one of their press releases.  We agreed and they had already sent us a copy by email for approval after numerous telephone calls and a time was agreed for a photographer to come out on Thursday.  We had already agreed for a couple of prospective clients to come out that day too, we had spoken to them previously and had email contact.  It was an early start for us as Si had to find somewhere to put the chicken houses so that we wouldn't be wading through mud for the photographs which meant taking some apart and then rebuilding them on drier ground.  The prospective clients came out at 9.30am and we went to see the two boys that they had expressed interest in.  It did seem a bit unfair asking them to clean their wellingtons  in the disinfectant before we then had to wade through mud to get to the paddocks.  They loved Biffy and Junior and have agreed to take both of them together as they are great friends as they showed while we were with them by staying close together.  

Si and I had just said goodbye to the couple after agreeing on a time to deliver the two boys to their new home, not too far away. when Richard, the photographer arrived.  He had Si posing with chickens, the houses and also getting Ashdale Exhibition to pose with him.  Graham from Rural Focus also turned up and you can see him with Si trying to look casual leaning against the chicken house.  Si at 6'5" is almost bent double in the doorway.  I have to admit that Richard was amazing and some of the action shots he got were brilliant.  I wanted his camera and being a Scouser was trying to work out a way to separate him from it.

 I thought being a photographer would be quite a sedentary profession but he was marching around taking shots from all angles.

Si had to sit on a bucket which collapsed under him and Exhibition was so bored by this time that she just rested her head on his knee and went to sleep.

I have been quite busy myself with the knitting needles building stock for some exciting shows we have planned for the Summer

Although most knitwear customer love the natural blends that we use we have been asked on occasion for coloured garments so I have learnt a new skill - hand dyeing.  The top balls were my first attempts, I started with the deep pink and got so hooked that I ended up doing 5 different colours on my first day.  I have now also learnt how to do variegated by mixing 3 colours at once.  I admit it doesn't look much until it is dried and then reballed.  Next on the agenda is trying to dye some pastel shades for baby clothes.

So with all that has been going on here I think I have had the perfect excuse for lack of blogging.