Amber Jensen of ha! shop + studio wins Our State Made in NC Award

Press release from Bright Planning:

Amber Jensen, co-creator of ha! shop + studio, has been named the winner of the Style category in the Our State Magazine fourth annual Made in NC Awards for her classic patchwork pack.

These handmade backpacks, which are designed by Jensen with an eye toward the shapes and textures experienced during her hikes across the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, bring together a striking color palette in wool felt, rustic brown waxed canvas, and honey brown vegetable tanned leather in a durable and light design.

“This is how you keep a traditional craft vibrant, dynamic, and relevant in a world of mass production,” Jensen said. “Each step is meditative and thoughtful; each finished piece a visual reflection of time, care, and a love of place. What happens next, as the waxed canvas is marked by new travels and the pack relaxes into the form of its new caretaker, inspires my imagination and the desire to create more.”

The Made in NC Awards highlight the best North Carolina makers, bakers, crafters, and creators, specifically celebrating handmade products and creative ideas. Winners of the awards are chosen in five categories: craft, drink, food, home & garden, and style. Past winners in the Style category include Cindy Sheppard, a leatherworker who crafts handmade shoes and handbags at her Concord, NC shop ShoeBeeDo; and Ole Mason Jar, a socially conscious, Southern lifestyle brand focused on menswear from Charlotte, NC.

Along with the other winners, Jensen will be featured in Our State Magazine’s December 2019 issue and is invited to be a Marketplace vendor at the 22nd Annual Best of Our State event at the Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, NC January 3-4, 2020.

“Amber’s artworks are an intimate, visual invitation into that often-elusive sense of belonging we so often yearn for,” said Hilary Nylander, the other co-creator of ha! shop + studio. “As you stand in front of one of her drawings, wear one of her backpacks while hiking the hills, or run your hands over her woven cloth, she welcomes you to connect with her deep feeling for sense of place, home, and shelter.”

You can visit ha! and see more of Jensen’s work during the next Third Thursdays event on October 17 from 5-8 pm. Explore the quaint town of Marshall as local creatives open their doors to celebrate art openings, working studios, shopping, and other community activities.

About ha!

ha! is a studio and shop located in Marshall, NC. Featuring drawings and woven works from Amber Jensen alongside additional artists’ works in glass, ceramics, jewelry, painting, and more, ha! is a joyful exploration into creative works of all kinds and the fantastical sense of belonging that arises in the spaces in between. Learn more at

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