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Meet the Maker: Candice English

This week we would like to focus on Candice English, the owner and operator begind The Farmer's Daughter Fibers. Fancy Tiger is excited to now carry her bases in Oh Dang!, Pishkun, and Juicy DK. Candice is a philanthropist, activist, and creative powerhouse, and we know you will enjoy learning about her as much as we did. 

Yarn skeins on rock
Photo Credit: Candice English

1. How did you get started in the fiber industry? What is your background?

I love to knit and I was doing a lot of plant dying. My first career was in Early Childhood Education, when that wasn't working for me anymore I dove into Farmer's Daughter Fibers!

Yarn in dye pots
Photo Credit: Candice English

2. What challenges did you face starting your business?

The biggest challenge for me was being insecure about just about everything. My business choices, the artistic approach, collaborations, social media. So many things. Once I let that go I was really able to move my business to the next level. That and 80 hour work weeks!

Display table
Photo credit: Candice English

3. Can you tell us a little bit about your nonprofit, Sisters United?

Sure! We started Sisters United in January of 2019. What started out as a monthly initiative to raise funds for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) has since turned into a life form of its own. Within the first year and with the help of the Fiber Arts community, we raised almost $20,000 for organizations who are empowering and supporting Native American Women and created the Sisters United Scholarship that awards one Great Falls Public School student with $5,000 of higher education.
The need for our efforts and organization quickly became evident as we started 2020 off by offering financial support for the search of Selena Not Afraid (Missing and Found Deceased, 2019). And just a few weeks into 2020 we obtained our 501c3. With this nonprofit status we have been able to transform our initiative into a grassroots organization that helps create opportunities for Indigenous Women and Children, offer financial support in the ground work to find Missing Indigenous People, and fund essential programs to heal our Indigenous Communities and to keep them safe.

Deer skull on brick wall
Photo Credit: Candice English

4. What does a typical workday look like for you?

It never quite looks the same but it is filled with mostly answering emails and trying to stay very organized. We have moved into a new retail space so it is really fun being a shop girl for part of the day. I am a pretty quiet and reserved person but I can talk about yarn ALL DAY!

Yarn skeins
Photo Credit: Candice English

5. How would you describe your design aesthetic?

Modern Romance? Western Chic? I don't even really know! I am inspired by western culture and history!

6. Are there any special eco-friendly practices built into your business?

We try to make small, eco friendly changes whenever possible. If our dye water is clean (which it usually) is we reuse that water until it isn't possible. 90% of our packaging is recycled, we either reuse boxes sent to us or we purchase recycled bags for shipping.

Yarn in dye pot
Photo Credit: Candice English

7. What is next for Farmer's Daughter Fibers? Is there anything that you're excited about?

Whew, we just made some big changes by moving our retail space. We are really excited to settle in here and keep growing our lil family business!

Yarn skeins on drying rack
Photo Credit: Candice English

8. Just for fun: If you could choose between being able to play any instrument you pick up, or being able to play one instrument with master skill, what would you choose?

Oh I would want to play any instrument I picked up. I am very tone deaf so any music ability would be amazing!!

To follow and support Candice's work, be sure to check out her instagram and website. You can support and learn more about Sisters United here!

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