NikkiSue has spent her entire life involved with animals. Growing up for many years, she participated in the 4-H program and volunteered at a local stable from the age of 10 on. By the age of 12, she had horses of her own and started showing them in hand and under saddle in both English and Western disciplines. She continued to care for horses at the local stable even after high school while working to obtain her degree in barbering and cosmetology.
The Flanigan’s alpaca adventure began with her husband Lee in 2002. They researched the industry extensively via the Internet, written literature, seminars, shows and farm visits. In 2004, their information gathering turned into business planning. East Coast Alpacas was born. Located in Limington Maine, the staff consists of NikkiSue, Lee and their two children, Austin and Alicia. NikkiSue continued to attend as many seminars as possible as well as learning to spin, knit, felt, weave and dye fiber. Her passion for fiber arts is a never-ending project. As her alpaca knowledge grew, so did NikkiSue’s fascination with alpaca fiber and its different characteristics. She found herself wanting to have her hands in more and more fiber.
After more seminars, fiber sorting, and working at fleece shows, NikkiSue entered the AOBA Judging program and completed her certification in 2012. NikkiSue is honored to be apart of the AOBA judging system and looks forward to having her hands in many fleeces as the industry continues to grow over the years to come.