Altiplano Insulation offers refined yet rustic imported clothing line
High on the Andean Plateau lies a region known as the Altiplano and since late May one new Grand Lake business has been offering a selection refined yet rustic clothing made right in the heart of the South American mountain range.
Altiplano Insulation opened for business in downtown Grand Lake in late over the Memorial Day weekend. The company sells high quality clothing made in La Paz Bolivia exclusively from the milled fibers of llamas of the Altiplano. Llamas from the Altiplano have hollow fibers that help insulate in colder temperatures and also remain warm when wet.
The soft and supple fibers, somewhat comparable to cashmere in feel, are woven together to form sweaters, vests, coats, scarves and other products. The line of clothing options sold by Altiplano Insulation is both stylish and functional serving as appropriate attire for both an evening out at an upscale restaurant or a day working cattle on the ranch.
The owners of Altiplano Insulation, Stan and Dianne Ebel, design the garments themselves. The couple owns their own herd of llamas near Loveland that they rent out to hikers and hunters as pack animals. For over a decade now the Ebels have been selling clothing under their Altiplano Insulation brand online and in a few select high country shops.
The new store in Grand Lake is their first brick and mortar location exclusively selling the clothing line. The couple had long sought the perfect location for a formal store but ran into roadblocks for a variety of reason.
“We felt that our clientele are already interested in the product without knowing it exists,” Stan Ebel said. “They are looking for a better product, sustainably and a high degree of function. For anyone that retails (our products) they need a concentration of designs; that creates an appreciation of the versatility of applications.”
Running the store for the Ebels is Dianne’s brother and Grand Lake resident Neil Cross. When Cross came to the Ebels with a potential store location in Grand Lake they finally felt like all the pieces had fallen into place.
“Grand Lake is a mountain town, outdoor oriented and focused on suitability,” Stan said. “We opened the venue for people to actually see and experience the product.”
The company’s name, derived from the insulating quality of the llama fibers, was a conscious decision by the Ebels to develop a brand that is somewhat counter-intuitive for a clothing company. According to Stan the company is occasionally mistaken for construction insulation firm, a notion he seemed to relish with a sense of comedy.
Altiplano Insulation is generally open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. The store is located at 917 B Grand Avenue in downtown Grand Lake directly adjacent John F. Williams Photography. You can also check out their product line online at http://www.altiplanoinsulation.com.
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Diane Howell, 77, only leaves her house right now for errands and essentials. As part of the age group considered most vulnerable to COVID-19, she’s felt isolated as she avoids most social interactions.