“We both called off of work the next day, borrowed a trailer from a friend, and brought home our first four beautiful alpaca girls,” says Carina Havenstrite.
In June of 2016, when she and her husband came across an alpaca farm shutting its doors and searching to relocate its herd, their dreams of having animals became reality. In addition to being the mother of two young children, Carina Havenstrite became the caretaker of four alpacas.
She and her family live in Covington Township and share the work of owning an alpaca farm. The farm started with the four alpacas that she adopted in 2016. Almost five years later, she now has 19 alpacas and plans to keep that number growing.
While performing the routinely and necessary task of shearing alpacas, Havenstrite transformed this typical farm activity it into her own business. The fibers from her pet alpacas warm the feet of her many customers.
Although Carina Havenstrite, the owner of Alpacas of Windy Haven Farm, did not make the conscious decision to start her business, she makes diligent choices toward seeing her business prosper. As a new business owner, making her business dreams come true is still a work in progress. However, Havenstrite has experienced growth and recently launched a website for her business. A section of her website even takes customers on a virtual tour to meet alpacas.
She plans to offer farm visits, painting gatherings, yoga, photography opportunities, and more.
“We are also looking into partnering with additional U.S.-based artists and businesses to increase the range of products we have to offer, as well as partnering with local businesses to offer our products in their stores,” Havenstrite said.
Havenstrite was born and raised in Dunmore. She attended Dunmore High School and graduated from Keystone College with a Bachelor’s Degree in social science. Having lived in Northeastern Pennsylvania her entire life, Havenstrite shows immense pride and care for her local community.
“I spent the majority of my professional career working in the HIV field and currently spend my days writing and managing grants for the Lackawanna County district attorney’s pffice, particularly regarding combating the opioid epidemic and working with local law enforcement to keep our local communities safe,” she said.
She also has spent significant time doing volunteer work in Peru, Haiti and Kenya.
Havenstrite cares for her community, her alpacas and especially her family. Although owning a business offers flexibility, getting a business off the ground is time-consuming. She is also two young children while working as a full-time business owner.
She understands the trials and tribulations of starting a business. As someone who has received advice and support from many local small business owners while starting a business, Havenstrite offers her advice and support to others who want to start their own businesses. She stresses the importance of doing research and utilizing resources. She emphasizes the importance of networking, as it can offer additional learning experiences. Havenstrite acknowledges that starting a business can be overwhelming, but preparation and knowledge help..
“Also, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. You never know what your dream could have become if you don’t give it a chance,” Havenstrite said.