THE STORY OF FRANKLY ALPACAS
Frankly Alpacas is the result of years of dreaming about a life in the countryside, working with animals, getting away from the hussle and bustle of the modern world and giving something back to society.
We're John & Natalie - we grew up in urban areas but have shared a strong interest in working with animals for many years. Some time ago, we dipped our toes in the water by keeping ducks, chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs in our back garden and inviting local children to visit. After a house move in 2016, due to covenants on the property we were unable to retain the animals but we continued to enjoy visits to the countryside to take part in animal experiences provided by others. Natalie also maintained her interest through regular horse riding activities.
The pivotal moment came during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. To get a break from the stress and anxiety everyone was suffering, we decided to visit some alpaca farms (when restrictions allowed) and found the experience of being around alpacas incredibly relaxing and therapeutic. We subsequently developed an interest in alpacas and began visiting farms and breeders to gain further information and hands-on experience.
After considering our future in the wake of the pandemic, despite successful careers, we decided to fully commit and develop a business based around our love of animals, so we could bring that same sense of relaxation and tranquility that we experience when we spend time with alpacas to other people.
In 2021 we bought our first alpaca, a white female huacaya alapaca named Stala, from Toft Alpacas near Rugby. Under the guidance of the ever helpful and kind Rob and Shirley Bettinson, we began to get an understanding of what was involved in keeping alpacas and how to work with them effectively. We thought we'd spend a couple of years doing research and learning the ropes, with a view to opening our own farm in a few year's time.
Circumstances, or fate if you like, had other ideas!
In the Autumn of 2021, we met James Armitage at Mad House Farm, set in the gorgeous surroundings of the Willey Estate near Bridgnorth in Shropshire. He had a beautiful herd of alpacas and had been providing much-loved Paca Picnics and Treks for a couple of years, but he was looking to fulfill some new dreams in pastures new. Opportunity seemed to knock! We couldn't resist.
Frankly Alpacas was born and we find ourselves delighted to be here in the beautiful Shropshire countryside, building on James' great work at Mad House Farm. This is just the beginning for us and we have many plans for the future of Frankly Alpacas that we're hugely excited about.
Alpacas got us through a very stressful period and we're sure an experience with them can do the same for many people in today's busy, digital and complicated world. We want to help you feel that same sense of relaxation, happiness and wellbeing that we did when we first met alpacas, and which we have the privilege of enjoying every day as alpaca owners.
Come and see for yourself - we look forward to seeing you and hope we can help you to fulfil a few dreams of your own.
John & Natalie Franklin-Hackett