Made in Alaska: Inside Sevigny Studio
"Made in Alaska" products bring Alaska around $133 million
Each year “Made in Alaska” labeled products bring in around $133 million to our state, according to the Department of Commerce.
In Downtown Anchorage you’ll find a number of shops sporting local goods.
Mary Grenier has a thing for sweaters, and for an artist inspiration can come from anything. “I saw this and I just screamed,” said Grenier, holding a sweater. “I thought this just rocks.”
She has bins of sweaters, but all of these thrift store pleasures get put to good use. “Last year we flew our four kids up for Christmas off mitten money.”
She spends her free time transforming sweaters into hats and mittens in her basement.
“It took me a long time to consider myself an artist rather than just doing crafts.” She is just one of dozens of local artists who show their work at Sevigny Studio, on 4th Avenue.
“The studio is its own piece of artwork, and I love finding other artists who have that similar feel and flow,” said studio owner Katie Sevigny. “So when you walk through, it keeps your eye going from the next artist, to the next artist because we all have that funky, colorful vibe.”
Some of the shop's funkiest pieces are made from Sevigny herself.
“I do a lot of colorful work,” said Sevigny. “People know me for my paintings, whimsical style [and] my trees – I paint a lot of trees.”
Everything in her gallery is hand-made, and 80 percent is made locally. She said her mission is to support local artists.
“Art is something that never should be outsourced. It’s something we need to keep here in the state, and it’s part of out culture and who we are.
“There are sculptures, and totems, and Ulu knives, and things like that that aren't made here and there are artists here that can do it and are more than willing to do it. We just have to make people pay what these artists are worth, instead of just buying something made in China.”
She is inspired by the world around her and she hopes her gallery inspires other people to look for the “Made in Alaska” label.
Sevigny expanded her business and recently opened a gallery in Skagway.