Entrepreneur + Empire Builder 

You may know Annie Anderson as the face behind Happy AK.  Annie is born + raised in Alaska and started her headband business roughly seven years ago.  Annies handmade headbands are worn on a daily basis by so many!  What you don’t know about Annie is she is an Alaskan Secret Crusher! 

She hunts, fishes, hikes mountains, mountain bikes, attends all of her children’s hockey games (in state + out of state), takes them all rock climbing, and still finds time to remodel a house!  Annie manages her time between her successful business, her family + her love for the outdoors with so much grace, she will leave you guessing how she could get it all done!!!

On a personal level, Annie  has been a mentor and friend to me since the first time I met her at a very cold Vintage Market, in Palmer, Alaska.  Annie has been, and continues to be, an inspiration to me and so many others trying to create wearable art for people. 

I consider her one of my closest friends, in the business + personal world!  Annie always has words of encouragement, ideas and advice to offer, and is such a pleasure to chase on the trails!!  I am very exciting to share her story with all of you.  This is Annie. #IAMALASKA

What are you excited about right now?

SUMMERTIME!!! Like most (all?) Alaskans, when the days get long and the trees leaf out, I can't help but get excited about summer adventures! It's my busy season for work so most of my adventures will be professional rather than recreational, but there are so many neat places I'm excited to see this summer!

After reading the email we sent describing this project, how does the phrase “I AM ALASKA” resonate/mean to you?

The project resonates with me because you seem focused on the personal attributes of Alaskan women, and what allows them to be happy and fulfilled. There are plenty of brands that are more focused on insta-worthy photos, and so can lead to highlighting women of a certain aesthetic.

Projects like this will draw from a broader segment of women, which I think is important for visual representation (i.e. you don't have to be an unblemished XS to proudly wear this product) and will introduce us all to some pretty amazing folks.

Describe you best Alaskan adventure?

My best Alaskan adventure has to be when we took our kids on their first overnight backpacking trip to Eagle and Symphony lakes. The weather was beautiful, we had another family with us, and we packed our sup with. The boys fished while the sun set behind the mountains.

We got to sup on the glacier blue water and see bears roaming the hillside. We swam in the cool water and I hiked a new peak where I got to see sheep hanging out on the cliffs. We all had a great time and now we go on one overnight every summer.

What do you love about living in AK?

I love being surrounded by such active, friendly people. I love that I can walk out my door and go on almost any adventure I want! I love seeing kids who enjoy the outdoors and who play outside in all weather conditions.

Alaska can be cold and dark but I think all the good outweighs that. Alaska is beautiful everywhere you look!

How did you discover SWOOP?

I was lucky enough to have had a booth right next to SWOOP. I saw her products and thought they were pretty great! Now I have SWOOP underwear, a SWOOP bra, and two SWOOP hooded dresses! I love them all and Lynn is an amazing human so I will continue to support her and her products!

What gives you inner strength?

The Lord gives me strength. Without Him, I would have nothing so I am very thankful for all that He provides. When I am struggling in any way, I know I can call on Him for strength, encouragement, peace, etc.

What do I like to do when no one else is around?

This sounds dorky but, if it's winter I like to light candles and read a book, cuddled in my bed. If it's summer and sunny out, you can find me reading a book by the lake! I never have much free time where i am alone so it feels like a vacation. 

Surprise skill: Shooting

Favorite superhero: Duh, Thor

Favorite/current song on repeat: Heartland by Hailey Whitters

Favorite space in your home: My deck

What is your favorite month in AK: The sunniest one!

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