Business Profile: Color Creek Fiber Art
Location: 5520 Lake Otis Parkway, No. 104, Anchorage
Web site: www.color-creek.com
Major focus of services: Color Creek Fiber Art provides commercial fabric dyeing services for costumes, clothing and prom or wedding dresses. The studio also hosts paint-your-own-fabric parties for groups and leases space to art groups or artists. Color Creek offers classes from local artists including silk painting, bead weaving, children’s classes, mask making, basketry and others.
History of the company: In 1997 Alaskan Mary Hertert spent six months researching the possibility of opening her own business. She had heard of paint-your-own-ceramics businesses and wanted to develop a similar concept specializing in fabric painting and dyeing for clothing, scarves and fabric. She opened Color Creek Fiber Art on Nov. 1, 1997, in Anchorage. To date she believes her do-it-yourself-fabric-dyeing business is the only one of its kind in the United States.
Since opening the business, Hertert has shared space with bead artist Linda Smith. Today, they are joined by printmaker Laurel Carnahan.
Hertert specializes in fiber dyeing, painting on silk and custom pieces. Her custom work includes wall hangings, custom bedding, silk scarves, art quilts and art animals for Alaska’s Natural Wonder B&B, Alaska Dance Theater and Artworks Gallery among others. Earlier this year she helped students from Wonder Park Elementary paint banners and dye fabric to create a wall hanging for the multipurpose room. She has also crafted backdrops for Out North Contemporary Art House.
In April Color Creek moved to a new location, tripling the size of its studio.
Hertert also eyes the future, hoping to build commercial dyeing operations and explore art as therapy for people with disabilities.
Top accomplishment of the company: Hertert enjoys running the business of art, color and do-it-yourself. "I’m in constant amazement that it works, that people can have ideas, that there’s something of value (in fiber arts,)" she said. "I’ve never had so much fun in my life." Hertert credits loyal customers who have helped spread word about Color Creek.
Major player: Mary Hertert, owner, Color Creek Fiber Art.
Hertert spent 15 years in the computer and education industry. She came to Alaska in 1991, working on computer training in schools. Later she led training classes at Microage before starting Color Creek.
-- Nancy Pounds