We love all the yarns on our shelves, and some have a story that deserve special attention.
June Cashmere is based in Kyrgyzstan, a remote land of mountains and nomadic shepherd communities that demands adaptation for survival. The region’s cashmere goats have responded to the elements by developing a soft and exceptionally warm downy undercoat; Krygyz shepherds depend on animal fiber (june in Kyrgyz) for warmth and sustenance.
“We believe that when a business deliberately aims to benefit everyone involved that amazing things happen.” --Sy Beholavek
June Cashmere took root in 2007, when J. C. Christensen and his family met a group of Kyrgyz artisans who were traveling in the U.S. and came to understand the need for revitalization of the Kyrgyz fiber industry: While the country’s cashmere goats had long produced elite fiber, shepherds had virtually no access to international buyers offering fair market value. J.C reached out to Ohio’s Sy Belohlavek, who moved to the country with his wife and children in 2010.
After learning the language and establishing relationships with community leaders, Sy began to develop education and training programs to help Kyrgyz shepherds collect and sort their fiber. Over time, Sy developed programs to help Kyrgyz shepherds collect and sort their fiber. Now Sy and his team travel from village to village purchasing raw cashmere that has been gently hand-combed from each goat, ensuring that the shepherds receive fair compensation for their fiber and reinvesting a portion of proceeds into this mountainous community.
The final product is soft, warm, sustainable, durable, and very special.