Driven by years of friendship and a shared love of nature, Allison and Carrie founded Fiddlehead Creations in 2017. Combining their talents in photography and design with complementing career paths they create bags with seasonal patterns that reflect the natural world surrounding us.
Current collections include Monarch, Sword Fern, Honey Bee, and Coral. Each is chosen to bring awareness and support to the changing and challenging reality of their habitats – 10% of net proceeds go directly to conservation through donations to The Nature Conservancy, Racing Extinction, and Sierra Club. The designs begin as original photography and are printed on fabrics made from recycled water bottles and Eco-friendly paper.Stop in Saturday September 21st between 12-4p to meet the makers and shop their selection of goods.
How would you describe what you make?
Our products are designed BY NATURE. FOR NATURE. We are a team comprised of a graphic designer (Allison) and a biologist (Carrie). We both take photos of patterns that occur in nature, using graphic design skills, those patterns are transformed into vector images. We have the designs printed using an environmentally friendly process (called dye sublimation) onto fabric made from rPET recycled water bottles. We use this material to create functional and fun wearable art in the form of bags. Our hope is to raise awareness for environmental causes by drawing closer attention to the beauty that naturally exists. 10% of our net proceeds go to nature conservation.
What drew you to this medium and style of work?
We are long time friends who both have a love of nature and photography. Fiddlehead Creations was born over a coffee discussion about just that and how we could combine our individual skill sets to create something unique.
Can you tell us about your favorite piece in the current collection?
Carrie: My favorite piece in our current collection is the coral tote. The new tote has been redesigned with 100% post-consumer plastic fabric and increased functionality. The coral design is both beautiful in color and raises awareness about coral bleaching.
Allison: I am currently carrying the Monarch Convertible Backpack. It is the perfect size to carry my laptop along with all the extra little things that a mom finds herself carrying around. I love that I can throw it on my back for longer treks but it is quick and easy to sling on one shoulder for speedy access. The key hook is a lifesaver, otherwise I’d lose hours of my day looking for keys at the bottom of my bag.
If you could collaborate with anyone (living or not), who would it be and why?
Carrie: As a Marine Biologist, I would be ecstatic to collaborate with the legendary oceanographer, Dr.Sylvia Earle. Earle has been an inspiration to me, both as a woman and a conservationist, for many years. Mission Blue, an organization she formed to embolden exploration and protect the ocean, is especially inspiring.
Allison: As a graphic designer and textile designer, I would love to collaborate with Armi Ratia, who founded the Finnish design house, Marimekko. Her use of color, scale, and pattern is nothing shy of spectacular in my opinion. She was a trailblazer in women’s fashion, putting forth designs that broke all the rules. She brought color and vibrance to a somewhat dismal post WWII society. Her patterns and designs are timeless and used to this date in her still thriving company.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Find your passion and it will lead you right into your purpose.”
Can you describe your favorite part of the process in your work?
Carrie: My favorite part of the process is diving deep into nature. I am always inspired when I am exploring outside, camera in hand, admiring nature’s unique patterns.
Allison: My favorite part of the processes is the transformation of our photos into the patterns. I love digging deep, zooming in close, and seeing what the patterns are really made of, then putting my own colorful spin on what nature designed.
When you are in the studio, what are you listening to?
Carrie: I am all over the map when it comes to my music choices. One day I’ll be working to modern folk, the next might be 90’s rap, followed by Latin music.
Allison: I have a constantly morphing “work playlist” I created on spotify. It contains everything from Lizzo to Leon Bridges to Caamp to Bruce Springsteen. When not listening to this, I have KEXP on.
What is your most treasured handmade possession?
Carrie: When my husband and I were in Venice for our honeymoon, we visited a local Murano glass blowing studio where we purchased a sculpture of an entwined man and woman. It now signifies the start of our love story.
Allison: My most treasured handmade possessions are the cut paper and pen self portraits my children both made in Kindergarten. They are part Piccasso’s surrealism and Henri Matisse’s cut out art period combined with the amazing freedom of expression that children bring to art.