Luxurious Apparel in Alaska Native Furs

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From Kotzebue to Ketchikan

Etsy Lynx and Sea Otter Blanket

It doesn’t faze some people to hop on a snow machine (snowmobile, for you lower 48’ers), drive 40 miles in -20 below zero to check a short trap line for the infamous abundant, Alaskan lynx. But that’s what it takes to offer you the best-looking fur first hand. Of course there is always the long snow blown drive back hoping your thumb doesn’t go numb from holding the throttle to long. And then the true work begins with skinning and fleshing of the animal’s thin skin. Drying time, tagging, packaging, shipping and then sending; trusting the tannery will do a good job.  That is a small part of how this unique blanket is created.

links to kotz2

The second part is the harvest on the big blue ocean for the largest weasel that can weigh up to 100 lbs. With no shortage in Alaska of the richest fur bearing animal, harvesting is a 2400 lbs. a day chore. Lifting the animal into the boat, out of the boat up to a skinning table, fleshing a heavy hide, and then washing. It all tallies up to…a lot of work!  And don’t forget the shipping of the heavy dry hides to one of the only 3 federally permitted tanneries left in the U.S.. Costs of tanning are like renting in Park Place with no choice of playing the Monopoly game.

So when you look at this soft, warm blanket, please remember the bone chilling frost on the face, numb fingers, and sore back that went into making this one of kind “thing”. Oh, and the great craftsmanship. lol

Thank you,

Christy

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New York meets Alaska Native

Its a long way to travel, but well worth it if you can afford the hotel. A coffee shop around every corner and combination smells of Falafel, fuel, and perfume waft through the sidewalks.  A far cry from the hometown smells of ocean, seaweed, and moss laden tall trees.

Some people are nice and some seem to stare right through you. But the trusty police man is always there to help you…especially if your lost.

The showing of beautiful Native works of art was in the National Museum of the American Indian first week in December. A small hand picked collection of some of the best American Indian artist in the U.S..

Each with there own style and purpose in life.  Artists want to save the traditional values in culture but yet perpetuate new growth to meet the trendy demand.  Each piece of art displayed took hours of concentration, talent and was available for purchase to the public. I might also add, at less the cost it would be in a gallery and straight from the artist that created it.  I have noticed their are getting to be fewer and far between places that offer such an opportunity.  Even more detrimental is the audience that doesn’t understands that such work is unique and can’t be bought at Walmart.

Locals and visitors flocked the tables at a chance to purchase the first unique pieces on Preview night. A few glass wine goblets smash the floor later in the night. Cash flows smoothly, but some artist found it hard to run a transaction through their card readers and have to manually write their slips. This can lead to issues of trust and if the card is true. I didn’t have problems with my card reader. I have an Alaska 2nd party credit card service who deals with these issues first hand and ensured me with the small band width program they use, I should not have any issues. Yeah! Alaska USA. I did have two cards decline, but the issues were worked out.  The main reason for transaction issues is the 113 year old beautiful, Beaux-Arts style, solid cement building cuts your bars down to two. Beauty can’t be helped. One must talk to those credit card programmers…if your “Square”, sorry, good luck.

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Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House at Bowling Green

Sunny warm days don’t help to sell fur apparel. But we all know it will get cold…sometime?? Two weeks later, it just got warmer…lol. It remains a toss up whether or not to return. But all in all, it was a great experience and you just can’t put a price on that.

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