Spirit of Sunday Alpacas

Spirit of Sunday Alpacas is a 10-acre farm in Rutherfordton, NC that raises alpacas for their fiber. The farm is owned and operated by Dana Waxler. Dana is a Mechanical Design Engineer who’s living her childhood dream of raising animals on her farm. 

As a child riding horses in Western Pennsylvania, she dreamed about owning a farm, and at 38, her dream came true when she purchased her first farm. This is where she discovered her passion for alpacas! 

Her Western Pennsylvanian farm started as a place for Dana to enjoy riding her horses and spending time working with her dad, but a Google search for a pasture mate for her horses changed the farm’s focus. She began searching for llamas, but after going down the rabbit hole that is the internet, she stumbled upon alpacas. After a quick visit to a nearby alpaca farm, she was in love and ready to dive in!

In 2007, Dana purchased five alpacas for her first herd (4 females and 1 intact male). Over the next ten years, she raised, showed, bred, and sold alpacas in Pennsylvania with her dad. At one point, her herd was up to seventeen alpacas. Unfortunately, in 2013 Dana’s dad passed away. This is when she began to think about downsizing.

A few years later, she met someone and got engaged. The couple dreamed of moving down south for warmer weather. They researched, downsized, and eventually purchased property in Rutherfordton. Then tragedy struck again. Dana’s fiance became ill and passed away just a month after closing on the property.

She decided to continue with their dream of moving to North Carolina and arrived at her current farm in Rutherfordton in 2018 with her downsized fiber alpaca herd, three horses, a few barn cats, and her dog. After showing and growing her herd in Pennsylvania, she has decided to focus on the fiber industry and keep her herd small to give her animals maximum individual love and attention. 

Spirit of Sunday’s current herd consists of 5 alpacas (2 Suri and 3 Huacaya Alpacas). Huacaya Alpacas are the fluffier breed. The alpacas are fed an alpaca feed formulated for high-quality fiber and a carefully selected soft leaf hay. Dana also keeps meticulous health records for each alpaca and is committed to her animals’ physical and mental health. 

Dana shears her herd once a year. After shearing and skirting the unprocessed fiber on the farm, the fiber is sent to a co-op in Massachusetts to be transformed into the yarn, socks, scarves, shawls, and headbands that Dana brings to market. 

These products are naturally temperature regulating, moisture-wicking, & hypoallergenic. And they are softer and warmer than similar sheep’s wool products. 

To learn more about Spirit of Sunday Alpacas, visit the Rutherford County Farmers Market or email Dana at dana.waxler@comcast.net.