Alie Rich - Founder & Art Guide
Alie is the Owner, Creative Director & Lead Nature-Art Guide at Wild Roots Studio where she offers earth art installations and soulful nature-based art workshops that help to strengthen one’s connection to nature and explore their wild creativity. She is endlessly inspired by the peace, joy, and imagination that nature stirs in one’s heart. She believes that art & ritual are powerful ways to tune into our innate natural rhythms and find a deeper heart-centered connection to ourselves and the wild world around us.
In 2013, Alie made a decision to leave her career in Sustainability to create Wild Roots Studio, in hopes to reconnect to her inner creativity and to find a more soulful connection to both humanity & this beautiful ecosystem we live in. Alie believes that a concern and care for the Earth is typically sparked as children (and adults alike) experience the magic and wonder of nature. Nature based art is a great way to deliver this experience. Creating art with nature reminds us of our innate and deep rooted connection to our Mother Earth.
"Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from." -Terry Tempest Williams
Alie worked as a Head Gardener for Omega Institute for Holistic Studies and Sustainability Specialist at New Belgium Brewing Company before starting Wild Roots. She studied Fine Arts at Colorado State University and received a Permaculture Design Certificate from Quail Spring Permaculture. She also studies under Marghanita Hughes in her Educating the Hearth through Nature Program and recently completed the Wild Woman Circle Leader Training.
When not making art you can find her playing with and loving on her two children, hiking, gardening, star gazing or tending to her bees.
Whitney Phippen - Art Guide
Whitney works alongside Alie teaching, dreaming up classes and creating projects here at Wild Roots. Whitney considers herself to be a student of life and nature. She loves nothing more than exploring the mountains and creating things with her own two hands.
Whitney finds joy in sharing her love of art and craft with other people, especially children; their boundless imaginations and unquenchable curiosity are a source of constant inspiration for her. Whitney loves art, crafts and nature in any and all shapes and sizes. When she is not busy creating something, she can be found trying to figure out what to make next.
Whitney started her career in art (and nature!) at a young age selling painted rocks and handmade bird nests from a “craft stand” in her front yard. She grew up drawing, coloring and making things everyday and hasn’t stopped yet. In college she studied photography and graphic design as well as drawing, printmaking and book binding. From there she went on to work as a freelance graphic designer and photographer. She launched a greeting card line, followed by a custom-jewelry business and a handmade children’s clothing line; both of which have been featured in popular magazines. Touring the country participating in craft fairs and maker’s markets gave her the idea to start a series of craft fairs back home in Fort Collins. In 2008 Whitney created The Handmade Militia and started organizing and promoting local markets for other makers in the Denver, Boulder and Northern Colorado area. While her jewelry business continued to grow, Whitney found joy in staying at home raising her three beautiful children, who luckily, love to make things as well.