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 Our Team










Carol Brown grew up in the suburbs of San Francisco. As a girl spending time in the sewing room with her mother, she learned to sew from an early age, making doll clothes from scraps. It all started quite literally at her mother's knee, and she has never stopped sewing.

When Carol graduated from high school she took her sewing skills and moved to Berkeley. She moved around between Berkeley and Oakland for the next few years before settling in San Francisco where she earned a Bachelor of Art in art with an emphasis in textile from San Francisco State University. Upon graduation she took a position with Laurel Sprigg Custom Interior Sewing in San Francisco making custom soft furnishings for a very exclusive clientele. At Laurel Sprigg, Carol found she could put her textiles skills and knowledge to work, while learning more every day in a stimulating creative environment. One high point of her career at Laurel Sprigg came when Carol worked on the team that assembled hand-sewn curtains for the King of Thailand's new summer palace in the 1990s.

In 1999, Carol moved to Columbia, Missouri. Carol started her own custom interior sewing company in Columbia and makes curtains, slipcovers and bedding for interior designers. Carol has always enjoyed sharing interests in textiles and fiber with mother-in-law and Heartfelt partner Diane Peckham. The creation of Heartfelt represents the natural progression of their shared interests. The partners in Heartfelt are all alpaca farmers, with the exception of Carol. The only animals she is responsible for are 2 guinea pigs.

Working with the alpaca fiber in a felted form combines Carol's love of painting, drawing, and design with her passion for working with textiles. Felting a design onto a rug is very much like "painting" with the fiber. Carol dyes fleece to supplement the 22 naturally occurring colors of the alpaca fiber, and she has created many of the Heartfelt designs.

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Linda Coats has raised alpacas for over 10 years on her farm just south of Columbia, Missouri. She grew up in the city of Columbia, but spent time on her grandparents' farms where she developed her love of animals.

Alpacas require little care and are easy on the land. They produce a soft, warm fiber that comes in 22 natural colors. The color of a newborn cria is always a surprise, and the babies are quite entertaining as they frolic around the pasture together.

After raising other exotic animals on her current farm, Linda found alpacas to be the best choice for the interests in spinning and weaving that she had acquired while raising miniature sheep. As a member of the Columbia Weavers' and Spinners' Guild, Linda offers her handmade alpaca items for sale at their annual Holiday Exhibition and Sale. She also demonstrates triangle loom weaving at several community festivals throughout the year. Being able to use the home-grown alpaca fiber on the FeltLoom™ has opened a new avenue for her fiber.


Mary Licklider started life as a dairy farmer's daughter in Washington, Missouri. She did all the usual farm-kid stuff growing up. She learned to drive a tractor and spent hours helping with field work, participated in 4-H and showed the family's Guernseys at local fairs, sewed her own clothes, and complained about too many drafts and not enough closet space in the 2-story farmhouse her great-grandparents had built.

After high school and the local community college, she married Gary Licklider and moved to St. Louis County to finish a degree in English. Mary taught junior high and high school students in Webster Groves, Pacific, and Columbia, Missouri, over a career of some 22 years that included the acquisition of master's and doctoral degrees in education. She eventually left the schools and took a position at the University of Missouri where she has developed a campus-wide network of grant writers.

Mary and Gary moved from the St. Louis area to Columbia, Missouri in 1979 and within a few years had purchased land and built a house west of town. This is where they started Curly Eye, their alpaca operation, in 2002. It's not unusual for visitors to ask how the Lickliders got into alpacas. Mary answers that alpacas are as close as possible to the sweet-natured Guernseys that she grew up with–without having to get up every morning to milk! The deadline-driven nature of grant writing work can be stressful, and the calm of the alpaca barn is good therapy. Beyond that, Mary's years of sewing her own clothes enable her to recognize a good fiber when she sees and feels it, and another of the attractions of the alpaca business for her remains the excellence of alpaca fiber. It was a "natural" for her to join Heartfelt to develop another venue for the fiber she and the other Heartfelt farms produce.

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Diane Peckham grew up in a small town in northwestern Pennsylvania. After graduating from college, she married Nick Peckham and moved to Berkeley. For the next 15 years, she moved from the East to West Coast and back again several times before finally settling down in Missouri. While raising three children and working as a medical technologist, she received a master's degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Diane brought the first alpacas to mid-Missouri 20 years ago and with her husband, founded MOPACA, the Midwest Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association. MOPACA has grown to become one of the major alpaca organizations in the country and is nationally recognized for the quality of its educational offerings and annual alpaca show.

In 2004, Diane retired from the University of Missouri after 25 years and has since devoted full time to raising alpacas and indulging in the pleasure of fiber arts. When the FeltLoom™ became available, she and her friends invested in one. Diane sees the loom as a wonderful way to be creative and provide a lovely, durable and unique alpaca product. And she adds that it's really fun!