Several questions have been asked of me about the "wool" part of St. Ansgar Saddle and Wool Co. So...
I've been a sheep shearer most of my adult life, so wool is important to me. If you get a chance to visit the shop, you'll find lots of real wool blankets and some good wool pads. I wear and promote wool myself much of the time and also handle several thousand pounds of all classes and types of wool as a buyer for Groenewold Fur & Wool Company. I'm also glad to refer anyone looking for certain types of raw wool to my clients who sell spinning or specialty type wool.
Shearing has been a great life for me. I've traveled a lot and worked with some of the best in the business. I opened the saddle shop with the thought that I won't be able to shear professionally forever, so I needed to start building a supplemental business. We have had the shop open only on the weekends through the first couple of years, and it's been a great success. Between the shop and the website, we've sold well over 300 saddles and met a lot of nice people along the way.
If you read the newspaper article attached to this page, I would add that I realized my goal of 200 sheep in a single shearing day; I actually sheared 211 in 8 hours back a couple of years ago. I was in western Iowa working with a couple of world champion shearers. My son, Bryce, paid me the ultimate compliment when he looked me in the eye and said "guess some people really do get better with age". You'd have to know Bryce to appreciate it, as he's a man of few of words and means what he says. I've had several day's over the 200 mark since then, but it gets harder and harder to recover from that kind of a day. So, while I always figure to shear, I'm thinking the days of chasing down the big numbers are limited, and I'll be spending more time in the saddle shop.
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Hopefully there will be more wool products in the St. Ansgar Saddle and Wool Company in the near future. I have some all wool hats ordered, and am always on the lookout for the best blankets and pads that I can find. I still shear most week-days and am in the shop on weekends, so I can't alway's get things listed (and thankfully, oftentimes the saddles sell before I have a chance to list them). Be sure and call or e-mail if are looking for anything in particular that you don't find on the website. We just may have it.