Cassidy and Caitlin McAuliffe are storytellers, and they tell their stories through their art.
The two sisters, and faces behind the Woodland Sisters, have spent the last couple years on their increasingly busy side project making ecologically inspired art.
Cassidy and Caitlin grew up on Lake Panache, just outside of Sudbury, and they said that’s where their love of nature stems from. These days, Cassidy is doing a masters in science communication, and Caitlin is in women's and indigenous studies.
When they find the time, they take a day to work together, a day that usually combines a little exploration with a little work.
“We try to plan days together, Cassidy and I will go camping and integrate doing the Woodland Sisters stuff,” explained Caitlin. “If we get together and we need to stamp the notepads, we’ll spend some time in the studio doing that but we’ll take a break and go canoeing on the river.”
The notepads are the sister’s newest project, and is one of the products available in the Sudbury in a Box custom made boxes.
The hand printed pads with Northern motifs like moose, trees, and paddles are made with recycled paper. This and other products aren’t just inspired by nature, they also give back to it.
“It’s been a year since we started with the notepads, and we’ve actually diverted around 45 thousand sheets of paper from the recycling paper, and limited the amount of water usage and electricity that would go into processing it,” said Cassidy.
They’re also working towards donating proceeds to lake stewardship in the area.
Being a part of initiatives like Sudbury in a Box is important to the sisters, too.
“We definitely wanted to support shopping local,” said Caitlin. “We initially got involved when Emily asked us if we’d be interested in drawing up a thank you card to go in the box, so we drew a little black bear eating blueberries that said ‘thank you for supporting local’...Then, this year, now that we have the notepads up and running, Emily asked us if we’d like to have the notepads in the boxes, and we’re really looking forward to it.”
The next year promises to be a busy one with both sisters in school, working, and relocating their studio from Whitefish to Sudbury, but they’re already looking forward to what’s next for the Woodland Sisters.
“There’s definitely potential in the future that we’ll think of more products that align with our morals, making sure that the materials are organic or sustainable,” said Cassidy.
The Woodland Sisters’ products are available at local stores and markets including the November 4 Makers Market at the McEwan School of Architecture, and even in some Manitoulin shops. For a full list of where you can find their products, visit their website at www.woodlandsisters.com.