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11 Important Lessons from the National Alpaca Conference

The Alpaca Owners Association held its annual National Conference at the Harrisburg Farm Show Complex, just a mere 45 minutes from Shippensburg. Hundreds of alpacas from around the country came to south central PA to showcase their fleece and to be auctioned off. 

After spending the day among these majestic creatures here’s what I learned:

1. Posture is everything!

While I was slouching around the complex looking for food, these guys were standing tall and proud all day.

2. Alpacas are direct descendants of unicorns. And unicorns still exist.

This pink glitter fluff also know as Paunicorn Fluff, is the softest, most magical thing you will ever run your fingers through.

3. Long hair don’t care!

90 percent of North American alpacas are teddy bear Huacayas, with short, curly, fluffy fiber. The other 10 percent are Suris, who rock long, silky fibers.These Suris, who came all the way from Nebraska, were flaunting some serious lustrous locks. I was jealous.


4. Every moment is a Kodak moment

Forget what you’ve been told about not looking directly into the camera. This fierce alpaca locked eyes with the lens and it couldn’t have been more glorious.


5. Don’t sell yourself (or you hair) short

Stuffed animals for sale at the show cost anywhere from $50 to $300. Yes, $300.Why? Because they are made from the alpaca fibers and no matter how much you deep condition your old teddy bear, he will never be as soft as these.

6. Friendship transcends race/hair/breed

This photo perfectly illustrates a Huacaya (second) and Suri (front) alpaca co-existing.Also, this photo proves it’s totally OK and not narcissistic to have a rug with you and your friends portraits embroidered on it.

7. Don’t talk to strangers

While alpacas are generally friendly creatures, they will keep their distance. Until you earn their trust expect a few cold shoulders.Also, the cute baby talk that may work on your dog will get you nothing but a “not amused” stare from these guys.

8.Ombre is still “in”

Perhaps the original trendsetters, alpacas often have different tones in their fibers, creating the perfect ombre.

9. Thick hair is a blessing and a curse

Pro: everyone is jealous of your thick mane. Con: everyone is jealous of your thick mane #drama

10. The world is your runway

Haters to the left! Strut, strut, strut!


11. My wardrobe is not complete

Sarah is the founding editor of Her Campus Ship. She graduated in May 2015 with a B.A. in communication/journalism and a minor in international studies. During her undergrad career she completed a fashion internship at Girls' Life magazine and an editorial internship at Redbook magazine. After graduation, she is headed to Istanbul and Venice to write about food and culture as an intern in iei Media's foreign reporting program. Upon returning to the states, she plans on pursuing a career in publishing.
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