Alpaca Farm

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COLUMBIA - An alpaca farm named Curly Eye opens only a handful of times a year to inform shoppers of alpacas.

They open on Small Business Saturday because of it's importance to the community. Mary Licklider says knowing where products come from is important to her. 

Curly Eye co-owner Mary Licklider said, "There's national attention to buying local. I can tell you that grey sweater over there came from Julio." 

Julio is an alpaca they own. Curly Eye is home to Gary and Mary Licklider. The Licklider's started owning alpacas 16 years ago. For the last 12 years, they are open the two Saturday's after Thanksgiving and the weekend of National Alpaca Farm Days in September. 

One of the reasons the Licklider's got into alpacas was because Mary Licklider knit and crocheted all her life.

"When we learned about alpacas, I thought it was really amazing," Mary Licklider said. 

Mary Licklider stayed in the store to tell buyers how to care for their alpaca fiber items. The store had everything including alpaca yarn, coasters and sweaters. 

Gary Licklider was out near the alpacas showing visitors how to feed the alpacas and answering alpaca-related questions.  

He said alpacas are easy on the land and are low maintenance. Gary Licklider said, the alpaca farm "just kind of fit" into their lifestyle. 

A visitor and shopper said they wanted to show their kids a different type of farm animal and that they just couldn't beat the weather today. 

The Licklider's own 14 alpacas and house another six. 

"They all have personalities... the way they interact with each other, it's just enjoyable watching that," Gary Licklider said.

Curly Eye will open again on Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.