The American Fiber Company is in business to process alpaca and other fiber into batts, roving and yarn. We strive for quality excellence and superior customer service. Our goal: provide high quality products that will exceed our customers expectations.
Operating as usual
Sorry I (Mike) have not written in awhile but with the holiday season (markets, making products, etc.) we have been extremely busy.
I took some fiber over to Simon's to have it processed - while you wait service! The machinery worked very well and carded five pounds of our fiber quickly. The density of it was cloud-like so we will use it for felting.
If you have fiber that you would like to have carded, please give Simon a call and he will help you out.
Thanks - Mike
[08/20/15] Simon called today and indicated he is making progress on the machinery. He is now able to card sheep AND alpaca fiber into batts. Next up will be roving and then of course, yarn. If you need batts, just give him a call! Thanks - Mike and Simon.
Hello - I was out to Simon's ranch today and he indicated that he is able to provide carding services for cloud products only at this time. He will be able to card for batts and roving within the next two or three weeks. He is waiting on some parts but should be ready to go once the parts arrive. Here are a few pics from today. Thanks - Mike and Simon.
[12/15/14] If you need a price list or an order form, please click on photos, click albums and then click forms. A price list and an order form are available there. Thanks - Mike
This is our price list.
Hello - hope you all are doing well. I spoke with Simon today and he told me the carding machine is operational. He will be taking orders for batts and roving and has already spoken to alpaca ranchers that made contributions to this effort early on. I will post an order form in the near term and will place the order form and the price list in the "Photos" section of this page. If you would like to place an order, please print and fill out the order form and then contact Simon. He will let you know when to send the fiber. He does not want to stock pile fiber, so please call first.
Simon also indicated that his goal is to begin processing fiber into yarn by the January - February time frame. We will keep you posted on the progress of this side of the mill.
That is all I have for now - thanks. Mike and Simon
[10/30/14] Simon will be at the Kid N Ewe event coming up this November 7th in Boerne, TX. He has made arrangements to have a trailer there so he can haul fiber back to the mill. If you are interested in dropping off some fiber at the event, please call 361-354-4445 and ask for Arlene Williams. Thanks!
[09/30/14] The equipment is in place and we are on schedule to have it running by the end of October. Simon is working on the power plant for the equipment so when this task is complete, we will begin with our first run of fiber. FYI: Simon will be at Kid N Ewe in November (Boerne). He is looking into the possibility of picking up your fiber there. Thanks - Mike and Simon
[08/25/14] FYI: Simon has been working on setting up the equipment. His goal is to have all of it running by the end of October. Thanks!
The equipment arrived yesterday on two semi trailers. This is not your typical mini mill. This is a Texas sized mill which can handle 1,000 pounds of fiber a day. We will not be processing that much at first, but it is always good to have some wiggle room. Enjoy the pics!
Thanks - Mike and Simon
[06/13/14] More delays ... The equipment is scheduled to be loaded onto the semi trailers this Monday, June 16th. When we receive the equipment, we are going to give Murphy's Law a rest! Thanks - Mike and Simon
[05/29/14] We had a delay on shipping. Update - the equipment is scheduled to ship Monday, June 2. Stay tuned ... Thanks - Mike and Simon
[05/19/14] We hope everyone had a good weekend. The fiber mill equipment will be delivered this week - some of it will be here Monday or Tuesday. There is plenty of preparation ahead of us and we are ready! We will post updates more often since things are moving ahead and progress will ramp up. Thanks - Mike and Simon
[05/02/14] An Update: Simon purchased the carding machine, spinner/plyer and pindrafter. The equipment will be shipped on two semi trailer trucks in about three or four weeks. The carder is capable of processing 1,000 pounds per day! We will not be processing that much per day but this machine is a beast. The next thing to do is get the space in the building ready for delivery of the equipment. I will post photos when the equipment arrives. Thanks - Mike and Simon
[04/25/14] NEWS FLASH: Simon received word today that the loan for the fiber mill was approved! It has been a rocky road at times, but we finally prevailed. Texas will soon have a fiber mill of its own - The American Fiber Mill. To those that contributed to this effort, thank YOU. Your faith and trust in us is unmatched. We will continue to work for you and get this off the ground. Simon will be traveling to Alabama to check on some mill equipment. There is much to do but that is fine. We have the funding, so onward. Thanks, again and we will keep you posted. You will begin seeing pictures on this time line regarding progress, etc. Thanks - Mike and Simon
[04/15/14] Simon will be at the Yellow Rose Fiber Festival coming up June 6th - 8th. If you would like to visit with him, please stop by his booth on Saturday. Thanks
[03/28/14] We are still working on the fiber mill project - perseverance is key. We have enough money to possibly hold some mill equipment but do not have the loan to make the purchase, yet. Until we have the loan, we are really not in a position to buy the equipment. However, we have been keeping our eyes open for equipment just in case the loan happens to come through. We have seen five cases where the equipment met our specifications but it sold immediately in every case! There is a real demand out there for fiber mill equipment so we just need to be ready when it becomes available. As I mentioned, we will be in a better position when the loan comes through so we will keep at it. Thanks - Mike and Simon
[02/20/14] A day or two can change things pretty fast. We have a couple of positive developments we would like to share: Simon has closed a deal on renting a building for the fiber mill! The building is located near his home, so it will be very convenient. He is also working to secure fiber mill equipment which is located in Oklahoma. There is another prospective buyer, so we shall see what happens. Simon is also working with a different local financial institution on the funding. This particular banker is very familiar with the operation so perhaps the loan will turn out in our favor. For individuals or ranches that pre-paid for fiber processing: We are getting closer to April (shearing) so it may be difficult to guarantee that your clip will be processed in the near term. We are doing everything we can to get this going so please hang in there. Thanks again for your faith and trust in us. We will post here again as things progress - hopefully sooner than later. Mike and Simon
[02/18/14] I do not have any good news to share today. The loan request for the fiber mill has been turned down. We are still working on other alternatives so we have not given up. At this point, the possibility of a Texas fiber mill fully operational within the next few months looks pretty dim. Sorry - we are as disappointed as you are. If you pre-paid, Simon will be sending you a check. Thanks again for your support and trust. We are very grateful for the faith you have in us. We have not given up. Mike and Simon
[01/05/14] Hello everyone - we have a bit of good news to share. Simon and I met with an investor from Houston this afternoon. He is interested in our endeavor and has an exceptional background to bring to the table. He has been involved in the private sector for 22 years, has an MBA and is a computer scientist. He is interested in helping by providing funding for the down payment. He will also provide other services to help get this off the ground in the near term and long term. We have details to work out but things are looking up. We will keep you abreast of progress. Hopefully, this will move forward very soon. Thanks - Mike and Simon
[12/08/13] Thank you for the question, Ms. Hall. Sorry I did not respond right away but we have been very busy at the markets (Christmas markets, etc.). As I have mentioned previously, the loan is in the hands of the Small Business Administration. The bank approved the loan but the SBA needs to provide their approval, in order to back the loan and then the bank will release the funds. So ... since the SBA is dragging their feet, we are looking into other funding alternatives for the down payment. If we can get a loan for the down payment, then we will have access to the rest of the funding from the bank. I hope the above all makes sense. This is moving painfully slow, but we will keep at it. Thanks - Mike and Simon
[10/08/13] The loan is in the hands of the Small Business Administration at this point. With the government shutdown, it might be there for awhile. We are pressing forward ... Pre-paid orders amount to $6,000, thus far! The largest was $2,500. If you would still like to pre-pay for your 2014 clip, please send the form and your check. All of the information is on the form, below. I know we keep moving the deadline (because of loan delays), so the new deadline is November 2nd. Perseverance is so important with any endeavor, project or even just a task. We have plenty of resolve so let's stick with this. One way or another, there will be a fiber mill in Texas for us. Thanks - Mike and Simon.
[10/02/13] FYI: Still waiting on the bank ... I will provide an update as soon as we hear from them. Thanks - Mike
[09/14/13] We met with our bank officer, Michael Soliz today. At this juncture, it looks like we might be receiving the big loan. Mr. Soliz has a positive outlook on our project and it appears he will be recommending approval of the loan to his board. I have guarded optimism that this fiber mill project will move forward and I will let you know the status as soon as we know. Again, thank you all for the continued support. The pre-paid contracts helped a great deal. It is obvious to us and the bank that Texas needs a fiber mill - the demand is definitely there. If you would still like to take advantage of the pre-paid contract offer, please send your check and the form by September 30th. Thanks - Mike and Simon.
[09/06/13] The bank is sure taking its time. We did not think it would take this long to receive an answer on the loan. So ... in the meantime, we will extend the pre-paid contract deadline date to September 30th. Thank you for your patience. Mike
We are up to $5,500 in pre-paid contracts. Thank you all, very much! I will let you know ASAP when we hear from the bank.
Thanks, again - Mike
[08/31/13] Here is another update: We have received $4,500 from Texas alpaca ranches for their 2014 clip. Thank you for having faith in this endeavor. We are still waiting on the bank. Perhaps it is good that they are taking the time to review our proposal. They have not said no to the loan. We are really hoping a yes will be coming soon so we can get this off the ground. Thanks, again. Mike
[08/22/13] An update - We supplied the First National Bank in Beeville, TX with additional information as they continue to review our fiber mill proposal. We are hoping to get an answer regarding the loan within the next week or two (hopefully in one week!). We will let you know as soon as we get word on the loan. Thanks
[08/17/13] I talked with Mr. Soliz, an officer at First National Bank today. At this time, they are still reviewing our file/information so we do not know if the loan will be approved, yet. I will let you all know as soon as possible. A special thanks goes out to ranches that have pre-paid, thus far. Mr. Soliz views the pre-pay activity as a positive aspect, in terms of cash flow. Mike
[08/16/13] So far, Alpaca ranches in Texas have pre-paid $3,500 for their 2014 clip (forms and checks received). We should be hearing from First National Bank this week regarding the loan. I will keep you posted on the status of the loan. Keep those questions coming! Thanks - Mike
[08/06/13] We received the first contribution form and a check for $500.00. As a friendly reminder, we will be accepting contributions through the end of August. Please let us know if you have any questions. Thanks - Mike
This is the contribution form. The deadline for turning in the form and payment is August 31, 2013. The mailing address is on the form. If you have any questions, please post them here so everyone can see the questions and answers. Thanks!!
Simon and I met with Mr. Martinez (SBA) and Mr. Soliz (First National Bank) yesterday. The conversation was very engaging and positive. Mr. Soliz was interested in our endeavor and was straight to the point. We should know in about a week if we will receive the loan. Mr. Soliz will be taking our proposal to his board.
If you are still interested in pre-paying for the 2014 clip season, we will be offering the pre-pay program for a limited time. The advantage is you will receive a reduced price for fiber processing. The deadline to apply is August 31, 2013. I will be posting the form tomorrow or Sunday.
An update: Simon and I will meet again with Mark Martinez from the SBA tomorrow to cover financials, cash flow, etc. From there, we will be meeting with an officer from the First National Bank. We will let you know what transpires.
Does anyone have any questions or suggestions at this point? If so, please post them here so everyone can see the questions and answers.
[07/21/13] Diane Cogan of Corpus Christi asked that we share our business plan. The plan is in the photo album, American Fiber Mill Business Plan. The financials section is not included as it is personal information. The auto-date on the cover is July 21 2013 (today). We put the plan together in June of 2013. Thanks for the question, Diane.
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