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Meet Anna Hagen and Nikki Hollerich

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna Hagen and Nikki Hollerich.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Growing up, our parents strived to empower us. Our parents taught us that our gender was not a weakness, but our strength. We grew up hands-on and our parents instilled in us that hard work is a way of life. Our parents made sure we knew how to do a variety of tasks. For example, we built a wood strip canoe and rebuilt a 1970 VW Beetle. That drive to work hard helped develop our creativity.

Our company grew out of a creative project for Anna’s home. We inherited a band saw, and Anna saw it as an opportunity for a new mantelpiece. Thanks to social media, our lives changed forever and Hagen and Oats was born. The original design remains at the heart of our company and our logo.

Please tell us about your art.
Our art is rustic handmade wood designs that focus on both positive and negative space. Our lives and home state of Minnesota are often the inspiration for our art. From our weekends on the lake to our involvement in the LGBTQ+ community, our lives are visible in our art. For example our custom lakes and our stainbow line of products (stained like a rainbow).

We seek to empower people through our art. We strive to make customers an active participant in the creative process. We often focus on custom pieces that help bring a customer’s ideas into a physical piece of art.

In an often male-dominated space, we work to reestablish the perceptions of wood makers. Women and members of the LGBTQ+ community are the primary sources of woman-power behind our art. Women make up 90 percent of our makers.

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
I don’t know if we would say that the role of the artist has changed. Rather, it has illuminated how important it is for the individual to regain and use their voices. It is our hope that our art can serve a purpose for our customers. To our customer, our art should be a customer’s peace of resistance, their truth, or a calming reminder.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
We occupy many different retail, social, and craft spaces. The easiest way to see our work is on social media. We are active on Instagram and Facebook. If you find yourself in the Midwest, we can be found at the Minnesota State Fair, many of the local craft shows and festivals, and this fall we will return to the Mall of America. Otherwise, our traditional website.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kelly Weldon

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