TRESKA STEIN LOVES THE SIMPLE PLEASURE of a soft, comforting sheepskin. There’s beauty in it, yes, but something deeper too.
“Each sheepskin I select is a direct reflection of the wild landscapes that the animals roam freely upon,” says Stein, who launched Sheepä, a sustainable, plant-processed sheepskin company based in Santa Fe, in October 2021. “They are soulful, one of a kind, telling stories of sage, sandstone, and endless blue skies.”
Born in Germany and raised in Taos, Stein partners with three to four shepherds who tend flocks of Navajo-Churro sheep. Descendants of Iberian sheep, the desert-hardy, billowy-locked flocks have made the Río Grande Valley home for centuries. Her tanners work traditionally, curing hides with salt, Mimosa bark, and the sun’s warming rays. They skip the harsh chemicals, such as formaldehyde, used by commercial tanneries.
The hides make great throw rugs, couch covers, and comfy spots to bask and read in the sun. “I can’t get enough of honey and golden sheepskins,” she says. “I am drawn to the rare and unexpected, like a milky white skin with gold flecks, silver hides with ultralong wool, or the honeycomb hides that evoke terra-cotta.”
Stein also practices and teaches breathwork, a conscious breathing technique that involves inhaling and exhaling with focused attention, and she views Sheepä as an extension of that work. “Mindful consumption and curation of our home space is a powerful step in supporting our sense of well-being,” she says.
Read more: A group working to reinvigorate New Mexico’s pastoral history wants to show you how to shear sheep.