People of Forks, Washington Exclusive Interview: Tena – The Forks Forest

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Journey Through Forks, WA

Twilight Saga, Forks Washington

To kick off my Into The Twilight: A Journey Through Forks, Washington series I wanted to share an exclusive interview I conducted with Tena, the owner of the Etsy store: Forks Forest.  Before taking my daughter to visit Forks for her 13th birthday I purchased an album from Tena’s store online.  T and I were able to meet Tena while we were in Forks for our stay and even had the opportunity to see all her store items in person.  Tena was very sweet and went out of her way to accommodate us.

Bella's Birthday in Forks Washington - Twilight Saga{Tena on the right, her sister-in-law on left}

Were you familiar with the Twilight Saga Novels before the movies came out?

Oh yes.  Stephenie Meyer came to Forks in the summer of 2006 on a book tour and read passages from Twilight at the town’s park and then had a book signing at the local library.  I had been hearing about the books before but had not gotten a chance to read the story about Vampires in our little town, Forks.  Around 200 people attended the event but unfortunately I couldn’t make it.  Oh what a ‘do over’ I’d like to have for that day.  A few months later I found the time to read Twilight and I was so sorry I had missed my chance to meet Stephenie Meyer.

Did you ever imagine that the Twilight Saga would cause people to flock to Forks, WA in the way that they have?

No one could ever have imagined this 6 years ago.  The Twilight Saga has a complete life of its own that nothing can compare to.  Personally, I love it.  I’m a fan of the books so it’s just like throwing a party at my house.  I meet fans online and they look me up when they come to Forks.  We go for lunch or meet for coffee and I’ve even had fans come stay with me.  This past summer crew members of The Hillywood Show came and stayed to film part of the Eclipse Parody in my backyard.  We all had dinner here at my house.  These kind of things would never had happened if it wasn’t for Stephenie’s books.

How did the Twilight Saga change your life living in Forks, WA?

I’m not so sure my core life has changed much.  I still hold the same job and do all the things I love to do; garden, travel, family events.  The one hobby I have seen blossom is my crafting and starting business with the Twilight items.  That all started in Jan of 2009 when my grandson needed help in raising funds for a sports trip to Australia and I came up with the Forks Forest bookmark idea to sell to fans.  It was then folks encouraged me to set up a store on Etsy.  By the time I finished the fundraising I also had started to make jewelry and it just keep going.  Now I’m also a fan of The Hunger Games series and make Mockingjay themed jewelry.

Does the tourist traffic feel overwhelming in your small town?

At the beginning it was so surprising to see so many fans taking pictures all over town and getting so excited about our school, LaPush, ect.  But as each new book came out and then the movies it just exploded.  Some days throughout the summer 500-700 visitors a day login at the visitor’s center.  Traffic backs up at our one stop light sometimes 4 blocks long.  It’s really crazy.  It’s just like that in the summertime though, the rest of the year it’s totally manageable.

What is one funny, strange or even the best Twilight story you have experienced.  A memory that stands out for you….  Could be a fan experience you witnessed or your personal story.

I guess one thing that stands out is the love the fans have for anything Forks…  it’s amazing.  When we were doing the trip fundraiser for my grandson we had one huge raffle basket and sold tickets for the drawing on the weekend to fans.  One couple and teenage daughter came by and we explained what the goal was. They just donated $100 towards the trip right on the spot.  I was overwhelmed, but they insisted.  People come with love and wonderment when they visit us.  It’s like an adult Disneyland adventure.  (PS, we raised $2000 with that basket alone, and he had an absolutely fantastic time in Australia)

Tena moved to Forks, Washington when she was just a mere 17 years old.  She completed her high school years attending Forks High where she met the love of her life whom she’s been married to now for 43 years.  Together they have raised 3 sons and are now blessed with 12 grandchildren.  Their growing family loves to come home to visit them and they get a lot of mileage out of the fact they have Forks connections.

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Series Navigation<< Into the Twilight – A Journey Through Forks, WashingtonHow to Plan a Twilight Trip to Forks, Washington {Official Home of the Twilight Saga} >>

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Comments

  1. Bella Colella says:

    Too cool, I loved reading!! Thanks for sharing!! Iam going there in january i hope I have a fun time also!! :)
    Patti

  2. Loved the interview on Tena. She is such a sweetheart & humble. I adore her items on her Esty site so you can say I’m a Forks Forest Addict. Thank You for sharing!

  3. Wow – its amazing how a series of books can change the whole identity of a town like that! Its nice to see that the residents seem to embrace it rather than let it bother them. Enjoyed the interview!

  4. Tena sounds like a great and generous lady! I haven’t read the books or seen the movie but I can only imagine what life must be like now. Thanks for the link to her shop, I needed to find something Twilight-ish for my daughter…she’s a total fanatic!!!! ;D

  5. What a fun interview! I can only imagine what a book series and movie like Twilight would do for (to??) a small town like that.
    Lolli @ Better in Bulk´s last blog post ..Tempur-Cloud Pillow from Tempur-pedic

  6. awesome post. i’m not a big twilight fan but i think the whole phenomenon has been fascinating. and how awesome for a sleepy town like forks to get all that tourism!

  7. As a native Washingtonian, I still find it awe-inspiring that the drab blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town of Forks has become such a sensation.

    We used to camp in the area when I was a kid and my siblings and I would complain about the long boring drive.
    mamikaze´s last blog post ..Day Four

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