Its a tough job hunting and harvesting the animals you use to make your crafts. Remembering the smell of tanned seal fur when my grandmother would stitch a smoked moose hide moccasin. That great memory is where the basis of my business started.
My first pattern that I made was an evening purse. I made a few fur purses to go along with selling seal skins to the native elders. Much to my surprise, people liked the quality and uniqueness of my fashions. Which spurred me on to make a few more unique patterns. 10 different patterns later a lady stepped up to my table while at a craft fair and asked, "do you make seal mittens?" I said, "no". "Can you make me a pair?" "I can try". Two weeks later, she was wearing a specialized, difficult to make, pair of unique seal skin mittens while watching the Iditarod mushers cross the finish line in Nome, Alaska. It's these people, my customers, that make the difference in my life.
This is one of the most rare opportunities left in the U.S.. I get the privilege to work with our ancestral animals and I'm able to share such a rare gift with you...my future buyers.
Awards & Shows for sea otter fur work
2015-2018 SWAIA/ Santa Fe Indian Market, New Mexico
Honorable Mention in Diversified Arts with "Taboo Lovebirds" Capelet-2018
First Place in Diversified Arts with Dress Vest, "Alaskan Lady"-2017
Best of show in Contemporary Fashion contest with dress vest, "Alaskan Lady"-2017
Second Place in Diversified Arts with a V-neck collar in Alaskan materials-2016
First Place and Best of Division in Textiles with a sea otter vest-2015
2017 Cherokee Art Market Tulsa, Oklahoma
Innovation Award for "Taboo Kusax'an (Love) Birds, Sea Otter Capelet-2017
Third Place for "Alaskan Lady" Sea Otter Dress Vest-2017
2015-2017 Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian Native Art Market, New York
Showcasing latest fur creations for the east coast in lower Manhattan
2011-2017 Ketchikan Winter Arts Fair
Donated and sold seal and sea otter apparel to local residents in my home town. Ketchikan, AK
2011-2014 Alaska Federations Conference
Sold seal and sea otter fur apparel and networked with senators on "significantly altered" issues. Anchorage and Fairbanks
2009-2017 Fur Rondy Native Arts Market
Sold sea and sea otter apparel to visitors and raw materials to natives. Anchorage, AK
4 page article relating to sea otter issues with Don Young's bill and federal prosecutions of Natives.
The Real Fur Journey...
I guess I've wanted to be an artist since I was 5 years old. I was very happy to get paid to work in such a unique field where many starve, lol. I had no idea that all of those jobs; window painter, coin designer, sculptor, computer graphics, illustrator, and fly tier...would lead me to where I am now. A very happy real fur fashion designer.