AlaskaNative.Life is a new brand operated by Bristol Bay Native Corporation [BBNC]. The goal of the brand is to support Alaska Native artists first in Bristol Bay and ultimately statewide, by providing a sales channel to help sell and promote their art.
The idea for the AlaskaNative.Life brand arose from Mission Lodge [BBNC subsidiary in Bristol Bay], which operates a small gift shop that sells clothing, apparel, gifts and accessories. In the summer of 2014, the gift shop management began to sell jewelry for the first time. Even though customers bought the jewelry that we had in stock, they found that their clients were more interested in buying locally made crafts and art rather than something they could get at home. Further, their clients wanted to be able to tell a story that matched their unique experience in Alaska and compliment it with a gift just as unique as Alaska its self.
To respond to this need, the Mission Lodge management staff plans to expand its gift shop offerings to include a variety of Native artwork. The inventory will include both mass production items such as t-shirts and stickers, as well as traditional art of all kinds. But why stop at the little Mission Lodge gift shop? Why not take the idea to the entire region? Or entire state? Or better yet, let’s take it to the entire world – aka. the internet. And thus, AlaskaNative.Life was born.
As this grows, proceeds from sales will be used to set up scholarship funds for young artists and continuing education. If you are an Alaskan Native, we encourage you to join us and share your work.