Photos submitted by Ashley Morken
Get ready for a burst of color and texture thanks to Bridget Solsaa of SOLSAA! We are obsessed with the entire vibe of what she creates. You’ll find Bridget in APT Studios at West Acres and a part of Unglued: Craft Fest March 10-11.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I moved to the Fargo-Moorhead area in 2017 after graduating college in my hometown, Aberdeen, SD, and since then, have been working my way into the local art scene. I graduated with a BA in Fine Art with an emphasis in painting and an interest in graphic design. I have been known to enjoy a good ol’ craft from time to time, like crochet, quilting, cross stitch and many other things, and have dabbled in mixed media working with craft supplies and turning them into fine art pieces. Before I started tufting, I was really into collecting found photography (kodachrome slides, yearbook photos, etc.) and making cross stitches and large-scale pom pom portraits. Let’s just say I have a thing for fiber.
Describe what type of products you make under SOLSAA.
I make tufted rugs, and other tufted goods such as wall hangings, mirrors and mug rugs.
Tell us how you got started with a handmade business?
I have always been hands-on when creating, and what’s better than making my own handmade products?
Where do you get your inspiration for what you create?
I’m a real sucker for vintage. I don’t know what it is about novelty, but I absolutely love it! Some days, I randomly get an idea and just go with it. There was also a solid month where I couldn’t stop seeing bananas, and thought “does the universe want me to make a banana rug?” and so I went with it. As far as my other designs, I enjoy playful, fun and iconic imagery like a smiley face or a magic eight ball.
What is your personal favorite item you’ve crafted up so far?
I’d have to say it’s a good toss up between my most recent triple rainbow rug or the orange marble rug.
What is something people might find surprising about working tufted rugs?
Every once in a while I will get a passerby at my studio, and they sometimes say “WOW! This new craft is fantastic!” Little do they know that many retail stores today currently sell tufted items! It’s hard to believe because they look so well made, but a majority of rugs, pillows and other items are tufted either by hand or with the use of a tufting gun in other countries.
What is one craft you haven’t really dabbled in yet that you want to try someday?
Oh, I have been wanting to find a chain stitch sewing machine for quite some time and would love to learn how to use one to make patches. I have also been interested in getting a knitting machine, but we’ll see how that goes!
What is something you’ve enjoyed the most about doing this handcrafted business?
The process gets me every time. No matter how complicated the design is, I’m always down to tuft.
What is the most challenging thing?
Oh man, marketing, marketing, marketing. I am also not that business savvy, and that in itself is sort of a struggle.
What is a word that best describes you?
What advice would you have given yourself 5 years ago?
Girl, take a business class.
Where can people find your work?
My studio space is located in West Acres Mall at Aptitude Creative Studios in Fargo, ND. As for the interwebs, you can find me on Instagram, TikTok or my website below!
Website/social to keep in touch: