Take a right off Germany Road, down a ways on Barton Road and you’ll see what looks like a normal house, but tucked away between an abundance of trees and behind a charming midwestern home is a 10 acre stretch of land with 40 alpacas grazing, lounging under a tree, and chasing Khan the dog.
Kate Campbell has been living at 5108 Barton Road in Williamston since 1994 and operating Circle 6, her alpaca farm, since 2004. A Wayne State University graduate, full-time nurse and mother, Campbell also tends to the Suri alpacas and maintains the land.
“I was really close to getting my masters degree in nursing and instead I started the farm,” said Campbell.
Campbell grew up in the country and said she always wanted to raise her children on a farm; but that, and her love for animals, it isn’t the only reason why she started Circle 6. Suri alpacas, like the kind Campbell homes, produce the best wool for winter gear like scarves, socks and gloves.
Almost all year, Campbell, with the help of her husband and four children, manage all the alpacas, but give extra TLC to the ones that will produce the best wool, therefore producing the softest, warmest pair of gloves.
Along with selling hats, toys, boot liners and blankets on Amazon, her own online store, and Town Peddler in Livonia, Campbell also sells to the Williamston area at Sign of the Pineapple Antiques, a store she previously managed. She’s had her own stand there for almost 20 years, with the most popular product on the stands being socks, made of wool from her beloved alpacas.
“From now on, this stuff is going to be flying out the door,” said Sign of the Pineapple Antiques manager Kathy McAuliffe.
“Once you’ve used these,” said McAuliffe, motioning to the socks, “you will be back. It’s not cheap, but it’s very worth it.”
Aside from their partnership, Campbell and McAuliffe are very good friends, and she enjoys not only the business that the Suris’ bring, but the happiness that they bring Campbell.
“She enjoys it, she’s a farm girl and she really loves it,” said McAuliffe.
Though Campbell would like 25 acres of land for the alpacas, she’s quite content with where she is now.
“I’ve got such a great piece of property here,” she said, “It’s a lovely home, we have wonderful neighbors. I had somebody ask me, ‘why don’t you move?’ Well, I wouldn’t be 25 minutes from my work in East Lansing or close to my store in Williamston, it’d be a big deal.”
Something Campbell is looking to expand on, however, is her social media presence. Circle 6 had an open house on Sept. 28 that was visible on Facebook events, but Campbell is hoping to increase her presence and popularity by using Instagram, under the handle kate.williamstonalpaca.
“I’m on it, working on it, practicing. It takes awhile to get the hang of it,” she said.
At a Biggby Coffee down the street, Delia Raymond and Rose Lemieux were surprised to learn about Circle 6.
“I had no idea there was an alpaca farm around here,” Raymond said.
“Yeah, me neither. If I knew about it though, I’d check it out. I love alpacas,” agreed Lemieux.
Other than Instagram, you can find Campbell and all her babies on Facebook, Williamston Alpaca-Circle 6, Williamston Alpaca on Amazon and on williamstonalpaca.com