Alaska clothing companies cash in on State Fair Crowds
Some people go to the Alaska State Fair for the food and the rides, but for others, shopping is the main attraction
The Alaska Chicks Company always makes sure to have something new to debut at the end of August. Owner Charity Folcik expects their zip-up sweatshirts with an XtraTuf design to be an especially big hit this year.
The State Fair is their biggest show; her company prepares merchandise three to four months in advance.
Folcik said Alaska Chicks will do about six months’ worth of business in just 12 days.
“We have three booths here to fill so, we have truckloads upon truckloads of stuff and we’re restocking every single day, probably two times a day,” she said.
Palmer resident Makayla Confer never misses a chance to stock up on new Alaskana gear.
"I love it because you can wear it fishing, make it cute, dress it up, dress it down,” Confer said.
Down the Purple Trail, the Susitna River Trading Company from Talkeetna is the new kid on the block. Owner Charla Rose said she wasn’t sure what to expect for her first show but brought a month’s worth of clothing to sell.
The State Fair is their opportunity to reach new customers.
"Three months is a pretty short time to make our living in Talkeetna so, we’re trying to extend that by having a little something else,” Rose explained.
All the Alaska options are a chance for customers to show off their state pride and shop small.
"They’re individual people trying to make their way in the world and it’s so good to support them and keep the money local, of course,” said Lisa Rodgers.
There are more than 30 clothing vendors throughout the fairgrounds.
Julie Vance brought her Shyine Designs all the way from Southeast.
"You have to create your own business in Haines, that’s the economy. I started making skirts and it took off,” Vance said.
She’s had a booth at the fair for three years where she shows off her eclectic prints and Tlingit artwork.
Like many people it’s the atmosphere that brings her back.
“It’s what a lot of Alaskans live for is this week. To be able to come out here and see everyone and wear fun clothes and eat fun things,” she said.