Keep Kentucky fiber Kentucky Proud!
We want to open a fiber mill in Shelby County, Kentucky, minutes from I-64. The last working mill in the state has decided to sell, leaving our 10,000 producers without a local processing center. Our mill will provide jobs, centralize wool production in the state, and act as a step in the vertical integration of local fiber and textile production.
Update October 10: The owners of the Belfast equipment have decided to pursue other buyers. Meanwhile, we learned that it would be better for the health and longevity of our business to use larger equipment, so we are now searching for the pieces we need to at least start milling roving.
Update September 7: We are still accepting donations to our gofundme. We are also meeting with two potential angel investors. Thank you for your encouragement and your continued patience as we try to make this happen for everyone!
Update June 25: THANK YOU to all who have supported us this far! The campaign is underway and you are showing up for it! Click below for a letter of intent to fill out and mail back or a brochure to print and/or pass on, and keep spreading the word to everyone you know. Campaign rewards are posted; we ultimately choose GoFundMe because it has the lowest fees (which helps all of us) and it's easiest to co-ordinate donations as the campaign progresses. Be sure to follow the mill project on Facebook to keep abreast of new info!
Producers will be able to have their animals sheared at the mill and either receive a check for selling their fiber to us or place their order for processing. A dedicated shearing crew will not only be on hand in our shearing shed, but will eventually travel to arranged locations statewide to offer mobile shearing days.
Of course we'll offer all the services on which you depend: scouring, picking, carding, roving, spinning, dehairing, corespun, and blending.
In addition to hosting tours and artists in residence, we will provide year-round shearing lessons, host some of the state fiber activities, and provide a home for Kentucky's annual Wool Pool. We will partner with local agricultural programs, universities, and high schools to create internship opportunities. In future, we intend to have on-site exhibition stations: plots of natural dye and fiber plants, a barn with a variety of KY's fiber animals, craftspeople in residence, etc.
Parity Pricing for Producers
As wool growers ourselves, we understand the difficulties faced by the 10,000 fiber producers in our state. We believe that all fiber has purpose and value, and we are dedicated to helping you achieve the most from your raw goods. We believe that the Fibershed model of soil-to-soil textiles produced and purchased within a region offers the best opportunity for the fiber industry to be sustainable. In addition to eliminating shipping costs for most Kentucky producers, we aim to increase your profit by purchasing your fleeces at much higher prices than the commercial market.
How can I help?
Sign a Letter of Intent: this is not a contract; it merely aids investors and grantors in understanding that Kentucky needs this business and helps us forecast how much fiber is out there waiting to be processed so we can better serve you.
Spread the Word: tell all the producers you know! Have them find me at a fiber festival! Follow us on Facebook!
Donate to our crowdfunding! gofundme.com/ballyhoo-fiber-mill
Donate privately: we promise that every dollar you donate will absolutely be put toward the mill, and if we don't get it, we'll hand your check back.