We had the good fortune of connecting with Maggie Fike and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Maggie, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
Right now my biggest inspiration comes from different forms of art, specifically- rugs and the artist in the rug making community. During the lockdown due to the pandemic I discovered a form of art called “Tufting”. Its a way to hand make rugs, and I fell in love! Because I didn’t have the tools yet for tufting I started with punch needling and moved from there. I am really inspired by artists such as Caroline Kaufman @CarolineKaufman, Shelby Hi @Shelby_hi, and Caroline Gayle @Caroline_Gayle. Some of my favorite artist accounts on instagram are @comfortablefiels @nikicarr @devonmade.glass @slimyoddity and @evanmcohen. Inspiration for me comes from pretty much every source. Art Deco vases and glass is something I find very pleasing to the eye. I love home furnishing and decor from the eighties and feel the shapes and different materials used give off this structured yet playful vibe while still being chic. Ettore Sottsass and Charles Rennie Mackintosh are some of my favorite architects and designers. Fashion and art to me go hand in hand to me. Some creatives in fashion that I’m always drawing inspiration from are Marc Jacobs, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, and Allison Bornstein. I also find inspiration in the small things. Outside my window at home I have a dogwood tree and it is so beautiful when it blooms. It provides this clear depiction of the seasons changing and is a reminder that things are temporary. I find I can draw inspiration from anything if I question it. If I stay curious, I’ll stay inspired!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m choosing to talk about me as an Artist today because honestly, I haven’t always thought of myself in this way! I always knew and believed I was creative and it showed up when I taught yoga or barre but when it came to taking an idea and putting it on a medium, solid and something I could hold and feel- it was a struggle. The pandemic gave me a lot of spare time and I thought, “Now I’m finally going to make some art!” Rug making, has had me excited for months now. This medium is something I find so pleasing and refreshing. They’re so many artist doing amazing and unique things and showcasing it online, I kept getting more and more interested as I saw more. Translating artwork into rug form has blown up in the last year and I’m so glad to be a part of the trend. My new passion has come with its ups and downs. Because I was a complete beginner, there was a ton of research on the materials needed as well as how to do it!. Sourcing the materials was a challenge of its own and still continues to be at times. I made my first rug by hand using 100% wool yarn I got at a local shop called The Craftivist in Atlanta. I did it by a method called punch needling. Using a needle that guides a thread through fabric. I spent 15-20 hours on my first rug doing it. For-sure one of the challenges was the amount of tedious work it took hand punching each thread into the cloth. I was determined to make a rug with or without the gun and I’m glad I went through with it. If you want to follow along with my journey of making rugs my instagram is @HappyTuft / happytuft.com I feel strongly about using high quality material that is eco friendly and is made to last. I believe that using tufting quality materials will create a rug that is tough and will withstand a life in use.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love this question because I live in the Midtown and it’s the perfect location. Walkable to just about everything and a quick drive away from anything! We’re just half a mile to Piedmont Park so a walk to the park with a picnic is a must! Oak Hill is the most beautiful spot in the park to lay a blanket down and catch some shade under a beautiful tree and people watch. Atlanta has some really amazing antique shops that I’m always trying to bring my guests. Highland Row in Poncey Highland, Kudzu in Scott Dale, City Antiques in Roswell and Antique Factory in Chamblee are all worth checking out! If you’re wanting to look at more home good, Westside Market is a huge warehouse that has 100’s of booths full of amazing unique pieces. One place I take anyone I can is Chong Qing Hot Pot in China Town Food Court off Buford hwy. This Authentic Sichuan Chinese food will leave a lasting impression. Opt for the Dandan Noodles, Fish and Eggplant (but make it spicy with garlic sauce) and you won’t regret it! Other dishes I’d recommend; fish hot pot, spicy chicken, cold noodles, sweet and sour clear noodle soup or cold jelly! If Sichuan isn’t you thing, Quoc Huong Banh Mi Fast Food has amazing banh mi for under $4 each. I really enjoy the vegetable or pork. While we are out this way we’d have to hit Buford Highway Farmer’s Market! Being one of the largest international grocery stores in the north east, I could spend hours here finding exotic ingredients you can’t find anywhere else. The store is well designed and each aisle is dedicated to a country or region. They even have an entire aisle just for ramen! Walking in Atlanta is a form of entertainment within itself and I love to walk to get coffee or a sweet. My two go-to spots are Sweet Hut Bakery on Peachtree St. and Starbucks. Any Starbucks but if you’re feeling adventurous the Starbucks Reserve on Peachtree and 7th serves up delicious drinks. Another thing that’s awesome about Atlanta are the Markets! Ponce City Market is also a short walk from where I live and right on the Beltline. I love Saint Germain Bakery and Five Daughters Doughnuts for sweets and Ton Ton for some Ramen! Krog St Market is also along the Beltline and great when feeding a group. I love that you can each get the food and drinks you want and sit cafeteria style. Varuni Napoli has pizza, salads and cannolis that are mouth watering!!! I would take my guest to Exhale Spa and have them take one of my barre or yoga classes and after we would either hang out in the saunas or relax and get a spa therapy. This is always a great way to wind down from a busy trip with friends or family. It always impresses as well!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
When it comes to where I am today and how much I have changed and grown as a person, I couldn’t have done any of it without my unconditional love and support from my wife, Liv. They has been my number one fan with each and every activity and adventure I have ever tried since I was eighteen and wanted to be a hula-hoop-dancer. Fast forward ten years and she is still supporting me as I am thriving in my career in fitness and shift focus to dive into my passion for rug making. No matter what I’ve thrown at Liv, they have embraced me and my willingness to try, with open arms and just as much excitement for me as I have for the project ahead.

Website: Maggiefike.com, Happytuft.com

Instagram: @maggiefikeyoga , @Happytuft

Linkedin: Maggie Fike

Youtube: MaggieFike

Image Credits
David Parham photographer photo1-3

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlana is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.