Big Sky Fiber Arts - United States

from Annalisa Chelli - 04/11/2022

Annalisa Chelli

Here at DHG we are one big family. this family is made up of those who work here, but above all of those who shop with us every day, such as our resellers, with whom we always happy to collaborate with to find the most suitable solutions and the most interesting ideas. Each†reseller†offers us invaluable assistance and part of our success is achieved by their dedication. For this reason we have decided to give a platform to our†resellers; to†share with us a little bit about themselves in this dedicated area. Today, we hand you over to Big Sky Fiber Arts.

Karen Straight, founder Big Sky fiber art, Kalispell (MT)US

I am a fiber artist living in Montana, USA, about 40 minutes from Glacier National Park. I love working with various mediums, but wool is my favorite. It is simultaneously painterly and sculptural. The very nature of wool lends itself to realism, texture, two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of art, leaving the opportunity open for the incorporation of unexpected elements. When I paint with wool, I try to connect with and capture these amazing scenes and beings living in my area, especially their beauty and fragility. I favor realism, enjoying how this approach encourages us to celebrate animalsí natural beauty and engage directly with them, their needs, and their environment. Wool lends itself readily to this approach.

How and why did you start this business?
I live in Kalispell, Montana against the backdrop of the Swan Mountain range with my spouse, six rescued horses, three dogs, and cats. I am a sociologist by profession. Iíve used my degree to teach at colleges, direct a sanctuary for non-profit animals, teach in the developing world in a health and community program, and work with immigrants. Eleven years ago, I (and my human/critter family) moved to Montana and began what has turned out to be a new chapter in my life. I learned to crochet at the feet of my Nana when I was four. Since then, I have turned to art for joy, inspiration, healing, and community. I love the way art brings people together to share and create. Surrounded by the beauty of NW Montana, I canít help but be inspired to create. It is here that my love for fiber arts has really taken root. This passion led to the recent creation of Big Sky Fiber Arts. I love every aspect of the business. It is a joy to find wonderful materials to share with artists. I am always delighted and inspired by how my fellow artists use these products in their wonderful creations.

Why did you choose to be a DHG reseller?
DHG was a natural choice given my love for high quality material made with respect for the environment and animal welfare. It is important to me that DHG takes great care in purchasing wool from businesses that place importance on animal welfare. Their commitment to dying processes that protect the environment is critical. I love to paint animals with wool, and my client base does as well. When I told staff members at DHG that I wanted 23 new colors dyed for me in mostly shades of brown, sienna, cream, and gray, they didnít blink! Instead, they asked for my color samples, produced the wool, and made me and my client base even happier. Now I offer my clients 96 colors of carded New Zealand batt, perfect for needle felted paintings. 

How do you build trustworthy relationships with your customers?
I run Big Sky Fiber Arts because I find joy in inspiring others to create and feel success and happiness in the process. As an artist myself, I know that high quality products and a wide range of products make all the difference. I inspire trust through the quality of the products I offer, education, availability, and quick response time. My clients come to know me through email, phone, and through classes. We connect out of a shared love for art, and I freely share in my knowledge. I love having these exchanges, whether through email, phone calls, or classes.

Do you like the craft world, why?
I love connecting with others based on a shared interest in creativity. Creativity makes people joyful. Through art, we come to know people from diverse backgrounds in an atmosphere of friendliness and openness. When we create together, we learn more about our art and come away feeling more connected with others. Some of my most joyful moments have happened when creating with others. I love to see how people use unique supplies in amazing and new ways.

What sets you apart from other resellers?
I am a fiber artist. I love the art of painting with wool, and I sell my work in galleries in Montana. When people connect with me, they are connecting with an individual who shares their passion for this artform and can provide them with both knowledge and supplies. Additionally, thanks to DHG, I offer several colors that you cannot buy anywhere else. These colors help artists to render animals in felt beautifully!