How We Got Our Start
Olivier and Patricia and their two daughters join a passion for fiber with a passion for breeding beautiful, high quality alpacas. Their alpaca business began with a search for how to utilize their six acres of land in upstate New York. They discovered alpacas while researching on the Internet. Olivier and Patricia began to visit farms, read books on raising alpacas, and investigated the industry further, by attending shows and farms, meeting many wonderful breeders who shared their years of experience.
Soon they reorganized their house and acreage in Warwick to change it into an efficient small farm, custom-built for alpacas. In November of 2003, they brought home three pregnant females each with a cria (baby alpaca) at her side. Since that day, there has been no doubt; life has clearly changed for the better!
The Shalimar Alpacas breeding goals were set from the start, as Olivier explains, “When we selected our starter herd of females, we looked first for conformation and fiber quality. Then we chose herdsires well known for their potential to pass both quality fiber density and bone structure on to their crias. Our latest generation of alpacas now has outstanding fiber micron counts, along with great bone structure and density.”
Shalimar Alpaca’s objective is to blend quality breeding with high fashion. Not only do they strive to have the best alpacas possible, they intend for their fiber to help create a clothing line at the top of international fashion.
Patricia, raised on a farm in Columbia; then in the capital city of Bogotá, studied textile design in Columbia and later in Mexico. A skilled weaver for more than 25 years in South America, Switzerland, France, and the United States, she is already producing and selling highly sophisticated alpaca fiber fashions.
Olivier, a creative perfumer by profession for over 30 years, has created perfumes for companies such as Elizabeth Arden, Dior, Elisabeth Taylor, and Estee Lauder. His work has kept him close to the international fashion scene. With the exception of Olivier and his father, the Gillotin family has been involved in textiles for centuries. This combination of skill and family history lends itself perfectly to raising quality alpacas and helping others appreciate the high fashion potential of alpaca fiber.