Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Featured Exhibitor: Hagen and Oats


Hagen and Oats has us dreaming of all things rustic-chic! We love the way Nikki Hollerich and Anna Hagen create elegant wood products that showcase our Minnesota pride. These sisters have a lifetime of experience with everything art and design, and it shows from their technique to the finished product. Get ready to swoon over their charming handiwork!



Who are you and what do you do?

We and Nikki and Anna, two sisters and some tools. We have always been hands on girls. We acquired a band saw from a family member two years ago and decided we wanted to make a piece of art for Anna’s mantel. We did some research on how to use the tool, put some ideas together and after a few days we had ourselves a giant deer, made from scratch. We posted the piece on Facebook and within a few hours we had seven orders. We decided to go with it. Our next piece was a cut out of Minnesota, then Wisconsin, a bass, etc. We hit the ground running and we haven’t looked back.



What was your first memory of making something?

When we were about eight and ten years old, we helped our dad build a wood strip canoe in the garage. We still use it today. We also helped bondo and fiberglass cars and rebuilt a 1970 VW Bug. We were always making something.

Have you always been passionate about art and design?

Anna and I have been saying “we can make that” since we can remember. Our parents taught us how to think outside of that box and we definitely try and do that. We often joke about all of our different art phases. There is not an isle at JoAnn Fabrics that we have not attempted to do. We have done string art, pottery, jewelry, painting, wood burning, etc. We gave wood working a go and it was the right thing at the right time. I went to school for Graphic Design and Anna and I have both been in management so I think the combo pack of skills has really helped us. We now have coined Hagen and Oats as our weekend project gone bananas.



What do you think sets your designs apart from others?

We are women in a woodshop and that in it self has really helped set us apart. Nikki is an artist by trade so her staining technique is pretty unique to us. We also cut all of our art by hand with a scroll saw. There are a lot of similar looking pieces out there produced by machine and we take pride in the hand quality aspect.

How does the city you live in influence your work?

There are so many iconic images that represent Minnesota. It would be hard to produce the variety of work we have in a state we didn’t grow up in. The experiences we have had here really help us develop a sense of what a true Minnesotan is. The Boundary Waters, cabin life, Paul and Babe, winter carnival; all of these experiences have influenced our ideas for art. It seems like every piece of art we make triggers the next idea.


Where did your business name come from?

Our company name is based off of Anna’s last name (Hagen) and Nikkis’ cat (Oatmeal). We didn’t know we would actually become a legitimate company and have to tell people we named our business after a cat, but here we are.


What are some tips or suggestions you’d like to offer to fellow makers?

Follow your gut. Everyone has an opinion about your product. Take that in stride. Not every business is ran the same way and what works for someone else may not work for you.
Plant seeds. Everywhere. You may feel like you have a bad show, or a slow week, etc… but every conversation matters and you never know who you will meet or talk to.



Check out more of Nikki and Anna's beautiful work online, and be sure to stop by their booth at the Minneapolis Gift & Art Expo, November 3-5, 2017 at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

Posted by Admin at 1:38 PM  ⁙  0 COMMENTS

CATEGORY:  Featured Exhibitors
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