Anhaica Bag Works

Name | Hometown | Currently Reside In?

Marina Mertz / Tallahassee Florida

Is your work influenced by season or changing weather?

yes! Here in the south we don’t really have seasons so much as we have hot and rain. I design for the rain and look forward to cool temperatures to get out in play in.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever gotten in the mail?

This is so hard! I have gotten amazing artworks that I will treasure a lifetime, my wedding dress, letters from friends…. but I also just got a check in the mail for a personal loan to build a home! Its really wild to think about building a whole house but we found a plot of land in the middle of town and fell in love with it, I know we will create the most wonderful memories there, its a few blocks away from the schools I went to and Sagan will be able to walk or bike there when she is old enough. Our best friends live a stones throw away. We didn’t qualify for a conventional bank construction loan, so this personal loan from my grandfather means the world to me.

What is your favorite holiday tradition (new or old)?

“Walks in the woods before feasting at a table with family and friends // stuffing big fat green olives with fresh garlic and preserving them in oil for holiday gifts.

I always prepare for the holidays year round by preserving and canning what is in season, so in fall my shelves are full of jams and pickles. We also started a family tradition of making vegan truffles and other various candies every Christmas, so for every holiday party host, friend and family we make up a basket of canned goodies and sweets to gift.

How do you find comfort?

Swimming does it for me every time, it can be a work out of swimming a mile in the pool or a soak in the ocean or one of our many fresh water sinkholes. I know that if I don’t take the time to get immersed regularly I start to fall apart a little. Also cooking and baking wholesome foods for my family and trying out new recipes. I can’t wait for my daughter to be able to help in the kitchen! I try and stay away from consumerism as self care and focus on connecting with myself and my family as a way to recharge and re-energize.

Do you have a favorite fall/winter/holiday memory?

My daughter was born last fall, right before the holidays. The memory of Justin and I fixing Thanksgiving dinner while she slept in a chair for the first ( turns out only) time, we bustling around the kitchen making pies and nut loafs. We turned up at Thanksgiving dinner loaded with way too much food and a newborn. Its funny because before I had a kid I loved the holidays and could have thought of a million different amazing moments during them but now I just think about all the future memories I get to make together with my little family.

What is your go-to holiday dish?

As vegetarians, we are often tasked with bringing a main dish and I always bring pie. My go-to veg main dish is a nut-loaf. We don’t really follow a recipe, its more of an anything goes type of dish. Ground up nuts, savory mushrooms, shredded veggies, seeds and fresh herbs. Baked until firm and served sliced covered in gravy. Living in the south a pecan pie is a must for holiday gatherings. Put down the Karo syrup and pick up a bottle of fresh cane syrup, being sold out of the back of pick-up trucks along the highway down here.