Catch Spring Fever With the Last Second Saturday of the Season

Celebrate Spring with Second Saturdays!

The off-season transforms Seward from a bustling visitor hub to an oasis for Alaskans to play and recharge. To celebrate this special time of year, we’ve launched Seward Second Saturdays, a community-wide event scheduled for the weekends of Jan. 13, Feb. 10, Mar. 10, and Apr. 14. Enjoy quieter trails, fun activities and special discounts before the crowds return!

Participating Businesses for April 14

Downtown

Homer artist Felicity Jones will be at Brown & Hawkins Mercantile

A Flyin’ Skein
$5 make-and-take button tassel

Big Bay Beginnings Child Development Center
20% off general admission

Brown & Hawkins Mercantile
Meet the artist: Felicity Rae Jones of Homer, 11:30–5:30
Flame the Owl (Bird TLC), 12-1 and 2-3

5th Ave. Fitness
Open to the public, 11-3

Frontier Trading Post
Free coffee or tea drink with $50 purchase

Once in a Blue Moose
Presenting Ravenlady Pottery; $10 off purchases of $50 or more

Port City Players presents Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Church of the Nazerne. Two showings: 1 pm and 7 pm

Don’t miss the Port City Players production of this beloved musical!

Sew’n Bee Cozy
Make-and-take craft project, select sale items

Seward Community Library and Museum
Drop-in crafts and free museum entry

Starbird Studio (221 4th Ave)
20% off purchase, 4–8 pm

The Frame Cottage
Free drawing – 20% off personal framing

The Painted Whale
Paint & Sip at The Breeze Inn (registration required)

The Ranting Raven
In-store specials and clothing sale

The Yukon Bar
Sip-and-tie dye, 5–7 pm
Live music by Sean Larose, 9:30 pm

Urbach’s
30% off shoes and boots

Photo: Jeremy Welles

Harbor

Harbor 360 Hotel 
20% room discounts for walk-ins

Kenai Fjords Tours Gift Shop
30% off Skhoop and Helly Hansen

Sailing, Inc.
20% off learn to sail package

Seward Ocean Excursions
10% off spring tour of Resurrection Bay

Woody’s Thai Kitchen
Great thai food!

Out of Town

Seward Nordic Ski Club @ Mile 12 (Divide Ski Area)
Spring party, ski games, bonfire, hotdogs

The Pit Bar & Liquor Store
Mermaid Sip-and-paint (reservations required)

Make the Most of Your Visit With Our Itineraries 

We’ve developed an itinerary for couples looking for a low-key, luxurious getaway or for individuals looking to recharge.

Looking for fun activities for the whole family? We’ve got an itinerary for that, too

Endless Shoulder Season Fun

Here are just a few ways to spend a weekend getaway in Seward!

  • Take a private boat charter on Resurrection Bay
  • Ride your fat bike to Exit Glacier 
  • Kayak out to Tonsina Point
  • Cross-country ski freshly-groomed trails on Bear Lake or at Mile 12 
  • Heli-ski in Seward’s coastal mountains 
  • Soak in a hot tub while watching the kids play in a pool overlooking the boat harbor
  • View Seward’s 12 original murals—we’re the Mural Capital of Alaska!
  • Indulge in local seafood while sipping a perfectly paired wine
  • Comb the beach for treasures
  • Walk the docks in the boat harbor to look for sea otters
  • Watch Alaska SeaLife Center Staff care for a rescued marine mammals
  • Shop for some of the nicest clothing, home decor, fabrics and yarns, art, jewelry, and tasty treats in our historic downtown
  • Wash down a mouthwatering burger while enjoying an Alaska brew
  • Get a tattoo from an award-winning artist
  • Stay in a cozy cabin in the woods
  • Enjoy waterfront walk, followed by a relaxing massage
  • Dance to live music with a fun, local crowd

Have a question about Seward Second Saturdays or other Seward activities? Contact the Seward Chamber of Commerce at 907.224.8051. Are you a business that would like to participate in an upcoming Second Saturday? Contact the Seward Business Network at sewardsbn@gmail.com. 

Member Spotlight: Flynn Fotography

Q&A With Kally (Flynn) DiMarzio of Flynn Fotography

It’s often said that people make the place, and we couldn’t agree more. Our new spotlight series introduces you to Seward Chamber of Commerce members who make our community an incredible place to live, work and play.

Kally (Flynn) DiMarzio is a wedding and family photographer, specializing in adventure elopements and small intimate weddings. Born and raised in Juneau, she turned her love of photography from a hobby into a business, and in 2012 Flynn Fotography was born. From local families updating their family portrait, to a couple from the Midwest eloping to Alaska to tie the knot on a glacier, to a couple from the other side of the Peninsula who are planning a wedding with 20 of their closest friends and family; her clients are go-with-the-flow and up for anything, which is how Kally creates works of art encapsulating special moments in each photo.

We recently sat down with Kally to learn more about the journey she has taken as a small business owner in Seward.

An avid adventurer, Kally uses the natural scenic beauty of Seward to create lasting memories for her clients. Photo Courtesy of Flynn Fotography.

What do you like most about living and working in Seward? 

I am a life-long Alaskan girl, raised in Juneau.  I love LOVE. I love LOVE stories. I love my husband. I love adventuring. I love camping and fishing. I love trail running with my dogs in the rain. I love yoga. I love good lighting. I mean, I really love good lighting. I really love capturing love and life by way of photography. Seward is one of the few places where all of my loves coexist. 

How long have you lived in Seward? What first brought you here?

A boy brought me to Seward; I met my husband Ken in Juneau and we started our journey to Seward in April of 2016. We opened business as a new charter company, Seward Maritime, with our boat, Point Retreat. We primarily work with Sunny Cove Sea Kayaking to take visitors into the Kenai Fjords National Park. Along with helping to manage the charter company, I’m building a client base for my photography business in Seward.

Describe a risk that you’ve taken in your business that paid off.

Starting the business itself was a risk. It’s been six years now and I’m happy I took the risk.

Whether it’s family portraits or weddings, Kally captures natural and scenic moments. Photo Courtesy of Flynn Fotography

What makes your business special or unique? In other words, what are you known for?

My specialty is small outdoor intimate weddings and elopements. I am so lucky to have the greatest clients that are open for anything. I have been known to jump in and play hairstylist, makeup artist, chauffeur, wedding planner, even the officiant! Whatever it takes.

What is the best compliment your business has ever received?

During my first few years of business in Juneau, before moving to Seward, the community voted and awarded me 1st Place as “Juneau’s Favorite Photographer”. That reassured me that I made the right choice in starting Flynn Fotography.

Where’s your favorite spot in Seward to unwind?

The trails in and around Seward are spectacular. I’m happy on any trail with my pups and husband.

Feature Image: Kally’s eye for beauty creates stunning photographs with a natural backdrop. Photo Courtesy of Flynn Fotography.

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For more information about Flynn Fotography, click here or call 907.723.6195.

Want more information about Seward or our Chamber of Commerce? Call 907.224.8051.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Member Spotlight: The Veggie Bus

Q&A With Jeff Babbit of Alaskan Homegrown’s Veggie Bus

It’s often said that people make the place, and we couldn’t agree more. Our new spotlight series introduces you to Seward Chamber of Commerce members who make our community an incredible place to live, work and play.

Owner Jeff Babbit runs Alaskan Homegrown; a 30 acre, off-grid farm located in Kasilof with less than 10 staff members. He started in 2006 and has grown to include 26 greenhouses which provide much of the vegetables for sale in the Veggie Bus, which is the first mobile farmer’s market in Alaska. The Veggie Bus travels around the Kenai Peninsula selling produce from his farm, as well as organic pork and eggs from a neighbor’s farm, and other homemade products from local artisans and producers.

We recently sat down with Jeff to learn more about the journey he has taken as a small business owner in Seward. 

Jeff Babbit brings his Veggie Bus to Seward every weekend year-round. Photo Courtesy of The Veggie Bus

How long have you lived in Seward? What first brought you here?

I live in Kasilof, but the Veggie Bus has been coming to Seward for some time. We are happy to announce a regular schedule this summer. The Veggie Bus will be in the parking lot near The Cup coffee shop on the Seward Highway year-round every Friday from 11 am until 6 pm and Saturday from 11am until 3 pm.

What makes your business special or unique? In other words, what are you known for?

Well, growing veggies in Alaska is pretty unique! As the summer progresses, you’ll find more and more vegetables and fruits available from Kasilof. In the meantime, we’re supplementing what we do have with eggs and meat from Lisa Rae’s farm in Kasilof, along with year-round produce like potatoes, turnips, potatoes and more.

Tell us about a product that you’re particularly proud of.

Our lettuce is the best product. We can grow and have available 100 pounds of lettuce a day all the way until late September!

Lettuce grows at Alaskan Homegrown farm through late September! Photo Courtesy of The Veggie Bus

What would people be surprised to learn about your business or your journey as a business owner?

Ten years ago, a friend and I started the first farmer’s market in Soldotna with just two vendors. It took a lot of work, but now it’s grown to over 60 businesses participating with live music and entertainment. I’m hoping I can recreate that in Seward and am looking for vendors and farmers to join in!

Describe a risk that you’ve taken in your business that paid off.

Buying the Veggie Bus was a huge risk. At the time, it was a lot of money, but now I have a mobile market and can reach a lot more people in communities all over the peninsula.

Yellow beets are a local favorite from the farm. Photo Courtesy of The Veggie Bus

What do you like most about working in Seward?

Seward is such a great small town and the community has been incredibly warm, friendly and supportive. I appreciate people going out of their way to support local produce.

What is the best compliment your business has ever received?

Customers tell me a trip to the Veggie Bus is “fresh and friendly”!

Tell us about a community member in Seward who you admire.

I’m not very good at the technology side of things, so I really appreciate all of the locals who have created Facebook posts on Seward Events or Seward Services to get the word out when the Veggie Bus is in town.

How do you spend your free time?

HaHA! Farmers don’t have free time; something always needs to be done!

Where’s your favorite spot in Seward to unwind?

Tony’s Bar has friendly bartenders and is great for an after work drink. The Zimmerman’s at The Highliner have been so helpful and kind to me and their food is delicious. The Highliner and The Cookery are serving up products from the Veggie Bus too!

Is there anything exciting on the horizon that you’d like to share?

There is a lot of interest in starting a farmers market in Seward. I’m still looking for vendors, and hope to get enough contacts to make this happen next summer. Get in touch with me if you or someone else is interested in creating a locally sourced food and artisan market in Seward!

Feature Image: Welcome to Alaska’s first mobile farmers market! Photo Courtesy of The Veggie Bus.

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For more information about The Veggie Bus click here.

Want more information about Seward or our Chamber of Commerce? Call 907.224.8051.

Member Spotlight: Brown and Hawkins Mercantile

Q&A With Cliff and Linda of Brown and Hawkins Mercantile

It’s often said that people make the place, and we couldn’t agree more. Our new spotlight series introduces you to Seward Chamber of Commerce members who make our community an incredible place to live, work and play.

Linda Chichester and Cliff Krug moved to Seward in 2015 and acquired the historic business, Brown and Hawkins Mercantile. This general store offers a unique assortment of apparel, jewelry, art, and home goods along with an assortment of Alaskan made treasures. They celebrate the 100+ years that Brown & Hawkins has served Seward locals and its visitors by maintaining a connection between yesterday and today through dynamic product selections, displays, customer service and community engagement.

We recently sat down with Cliff to learn more about the journey he and Linda have taken as small business owners in Seward. 

Co-owners, Cliff and Linda celebrate all that Alaska has to offer with their store, Brown and Hawkins Mercantile. Photo Courtesy of Cliff Krug.

What makes your business special or unique? In other words, what are you known for?

We try to offer a wide range of interesting things for the entire family that aren’t easily found but are still reasonably priced.  Our goal is to cover a wide range of categories so that guests can enjoy a one-stop shopping experience. We are flexible with our buying so that we can bring in what is needed when it is needed. Our commitment to celebrating artisans extends, not just to Alaska beyond as well. There are so many talented people to discover and share together; they can enrich our lives. Finally, we are always looking for deals to pass on to our customers. We will always maintain an off-price section of things, in limited quantities that are really, really, really, good deals.

Tell us about a product or service that you’re particularly proud of.

That is a tough one because there are so many things – in the end we never stop trying to find unique things that can create meaningful connections, no matter how small, between a vendor or artist and our customers. We are proud of the range of products that we carry and this range is ultimately a reflection of Brown & Hawkins’ history. It’s not just a nice place to shop, it can be an inspiring place to just visit.

What is the best compliment your business has ever received?

All the local support. So many people come into our store saying that they came because someone had told them they had to check it out.

Describe a risk that you’ve taken in your business that paid off.

We opened in the off-season, but a lot of concerned people suggest to us strongly that we should wait until spring. However, we felt that it was the best time to get comfortable in the space, interact with our shoppers and nurture the store. Not only was it the right choice but it really allowed us to bond with the Seward community on a whole different level and identify unique opportunities like Seward Second Saturdays. This wouldn’t have been possible if we had opened in the spring instead.

Flexibility in buying makes Brown and Hawkins a one-stop shop for Seward locals and visitors alike. Photo Courtesy of Cliff Krug.

What advice would you give to a new business owner who is working to build a business like yours?

In today’s market, in order to maintain sustainable growth, we recommend trying to create meaningful connections with your customers. Get to know your customer and find out what they really want. Be flexible and willing to adapt to their needs and evolving lifestyles. There are so many ways, big and small, to do this day in and day out.  And it is through doing these things and finding new ways to do these things that you will keep yourself and your business fresh, relevant and vital.

What would people be surprised to learn about your business or your journey as a business owner?

Linda crewed Hot Air Balloons for 15 years in USA & Europe. I taught Theater Lighting in Europe for 7 years. Linda & I first met when Linda hired me to work with her at the Mt. Roberts Tram in Juneau before we moved to Girdwood.

What do you like most about living and working in Seward?

First, the amazing world that surrounds us everyday. It can take your breath away in a moment. Second, the people and the community that they have built. Third, the history is all around you and even if you dig just a little you can appreciate how vital Seward has been to Alaska over time.

How long have you lived in Seward? What first brought you here?

I got a job managing the retail shops at Pursuit/Kenai Fjords Tours three years ago while Linda worked as Director of Retail for Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center. She transitioned into managing the Once in a Blue Moose stores here in Seward seasonally over the following year.

Cliff and Linda work hard to showcase local Seward and Alaskan artists that are both well-known and up-and-coming. Photo Courtesy of Cliff Krug.

Tell us about a community member in Seward who you admire.

Wow, that is a tough one too. There are so many amazing people here in Seward. Tom & Kathy Gillespie, Hugh & Iris Darling, Jennifer Headtke, Judy Odhner, Ron Wille and Nicole Lawrence just to name a few. They have all helped, encouraged and guided us in so many ways, big and small, from the beginning. These are all people that welcomed us to Seward and in one way or another showed us their way. And they have even provided a timely reality check or two when needed! We are grateful to know them all.

How do you spend your free time?

We love what we do so we are always looking for new products, assessing numbers and strategizing. But a good walk, a good meal and a nap are always welcome in between!

Where’s your favorite spot in Seward to unwind?

Right now, we love eating something scrumptious at Zudy’s on the deck, in the sun, as the whales are bubble net feeding. In the fall, we enjoy our decks in the morning or evening. There’s nothing like a good cup of coffee in the morning or a chilled glass of riesling in the evening looking out onto the bay. It does the soul good.

There are so many great wilderness areas to explore around Seward and Kenai Fjords. If you had a free weekend, where would you go?

Fox Island is a special place for us. Cathy Martell has really created a magical place out there to stay. We are dying to get out to Orca Island Cabins too. We also want to get out kayaking more.

Is there anything exciting on the horizon that you’d like to share?

We will be adding outdoor gear and some more specific things that locals have been asking us to carry this fall. We are continually looking for great bargains so watch our Facebook page for arrival announcements. An eCommerce site is on the horizon for end of 2018 too with the help of our friends at Able Millane Web Services!

Feature Image: Shopping in the historic Brown and Hawkins Mercantile is like stepping into the past. The city of Seward is lucky to have a store that has endured more than 100 years in the historic downtown district. Photo Courtesy of Cliff Krug.

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For more information about Brown and Hawkins, click here or call 907.831.1995.

Want more information about Seward or our Chamber of Commerce? Call 907.224.8051.

 

Member Spotlight: RAWsome Photography

Q&A With Oksana Skolnaja of RAWsome Photography

It’s often said that people make the place, and we couldn’t agree more. Our new spotlight series introduces you to Seward Chamber of Commerce members who make our community an incredible place to live, work and play.

Oksana Skolnaja was born in Lithuana with a camera in her hand. As a long-time resident of Seward, she has made a name for herself fileting halibut quickly and perfectly while deckhanding with Crackerjack Fishing Charters and has recently turned her attention back to her photo art with her business RAWsome Photography. Whether she is capturing lifestyle, family events, wildlife, travel and glamorous portraiture, her lively and fun style shines through each photo. She strives to capture beauty and special moments and create memories with clients who favor a less traditional approach.

We recently sat down with Oksana Skolnaja to learn more about the journey she has taken as a small business owner in Seward. 

Photographer Oksana Skolnaja balances being a full-time mom with her new business. Photo Courtesy of RAWsome Photography

What makes your business special or unique? In other words, what are you known for?

My photography is unique in my own expression, the way I see things through the lens. I’ve been told I make people look happy and beautiful and I am good at creating memories.

Tell us about a product or service that you’re particularly proud of.

I just recently finished photo visuals for The Retreat Salon and Day Spa’s new website. It’s going to be great! I am grateful and happy I was able to collaborate with Crista and her amazing team. Stay tuned for the updated website! My marine wildlife and bird canvas prints will also be available for sale at the salon through the month of June.

What would people be surprised to learn about your business or your journey as a business owner?

I’ve been taking photographs ever since I can remember. This year I decided to become a business owner and continue capturing people in their essence.

Shots like this one capture Oksana’s fun and energetic perspective behind the lens. Photo Courtesy of RAWsome Photography

What is the best compliment your business has ever received?

There have been a few, but one of my favorites was being told that I captured some precious moments that would last a lifetime.

Describe a risk that you’ve taken in your business that paid off.

I’ve recently made business decisions that paid off financially and more importantly created new partnerships that are growing my business. Networking is a must if you’re a business owner!

What advice would you give to a new business owner who is working to build a business like yours?

I would recommend a good client management system to keep track of contracts, emails, proposals, and invoices among other things. As a busy mom, I am definitely trying to work more efficiently!

How long have you lived in Seward? What first brought you here?

The first time I came to Seward was during my college years back in 2005; I worked at the Breeze Inn as a waitress for the summer. This lively and beautiful town fascinated me, so I had to come back! I moved to Seward in 2009 and began spending summers in Seward and winters in Girdwood. Four years ago, I moved full-time to Seward.

Focusing on the smaller wildlife in Resurrection Bay, Oksana finds the beauty in things that others often miss. Photo Courtesy of RAWsome Photography

What do you like most about living and working in Seward?

I love the arts and Resurrection Bay. Summer brings so much life and interesting people. During the winter, I love hiking and skiing, doing yoga and relaxing.

Tell us about a community member in Seward who you admire.

I admire quite a few small business owners who took a leap of faith and grew their business in this community; there are too many to name.

How do you spend your free time?

I’m a full-time mom, which takes a lot of time, but I also manage to get in a lot of hiking, running, biking, fishing and relaxing with my family.

Where’s your favorite spot in Seward to unwind?

I love hiking Lost Lake Trail! And now that Yoga Space has opened I will be attending more yoga classes!

Oksana captures Alaska’s iconic bald eagle fishing the waters near Seward. Photo: RAWsome Photography

If your life was a book, what would the title be?

The Rawsome Adventures of Oksana Skolnaja

There are so many great wilderness areas to explore around Seward and Kenai Fjords. If you had a free weekend, where would you go?

I would go on an overnight camping trip to Caine’s Head or out to Orca Island for a more private getaway. I would also go to Harding Ice Field, which is one of my favorite spots to go on long hikes along with Lost Lake.

Is there anything exciting on the horizon that you’d like to share?

I would like to focus more on capturing families and couples who are visiting Seward who would like me to photograph their adventures and special trip of a lifetime moments. Then they wouldn’t have to worry about taking quality photographs of their trip; they could just focus on enjoying their time in this amazing place!

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Feature Image: Oksana’s keen eye captures seals hauled out on a waterfall. Photo: RAWsome Photography.

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For more information about RAWsome Photography click here or call 907.903.7793. 

Want more information about Seward or our Chamber of Commerce? Call 907.224.8051. 

Member Spotlight: Bardy’s Trail Rides

Q&A With Breanna Dodson of Bardy’s Trail Rides

It’s often said that people make the place and we couldn’t agree more. Our spotlight series introduces you to Seward Chamber of Commerce members who make our community an incredible place to live, work and play.

Bardy’s Trail Rides offers diverse 2-hour horseback rides twice a day from May through September to locals and visitors alike. Seward local, Breanna Dodson, takes riders through the rain forest of Seward where moose and bear roam and shows guests part of old town Seward that was destroyed by the great earthquake of 1964. Then the horses carry guests out to the grasslands at the beach of Resurrection Bay where the wild flowers meet the ocean. Often riders will find themselves trotting beneath massive bald eagles and encounter diverse birding opportunities. The horses meander through moss-laden forests and take riders across rivers where salmon swim between the horse’s legs on their way to spawning grounds. Breanna has spent the last eight years developing this unique tour to show visitors a different side of Seward.

We recently sat down with Breanna to learn more about the journey she has taken as a small business owner in Seward. 

Seward local, Breanna Dodson, takes locals on a ride of a lifetime through temperate rainforests, beaches and rivers. Photo by Ron Niebrugge.

What makes your business special or unique? In other words, what are you known for?

We pride ourselves on excellent customer service. We keep out tours at 7 people or less so everyone is getting the attention or service needed.

What would people be surprised to learn about your business or your journey as a business owner?

I was born and raised in Seward and started this business with my dad when I was 14 years old. It was intended to use it to pay my way through college, which I did. I always thought I would sell it when I graduated, but I enjoy the business and meeting new people. Every year I keep saying “Oh, just one more year.” I think I have been saying that for 8 years now!

Tell us about a product or service that you’re particularly proud of.

We were ranked top 10 trail ride by USAToday and we were on a TV series called Equatrekking which aired on PBS.

What is the best compliment your business has ever received?

I hear quite often that our ride was the best trail they have ever done from guests who ride on every vacation. We also hear how well-maintained and cared-for our horses are. That means a lot to me because our horses are part of the family.

What advice would you give to a new business owner who is working to build a business like yours?

Every customer is important. Treat them like a person; without them you have no business.

If your life was a book, what would the title be?

Off the Beaten Path

Bardy’s Trail Rides gives visitors a glimpse into the history of Seward. Photo by Ron Niebrugge.

How do you spend your free time?

There is no free time when you own horses.

What do you like most about living and working in Seward?

I love the small town atmosphere and how most in the tourism industry work together to make Seward a fun-filled stop for our guests.

Where’s your favorite spot in Seward to unwind?

On my horse’s back, riding through the woods.

There are so many great wilderness areas to explore around Seward and Kenai Fjords. If you had a free weekend, where would you go?

My favorite place to explore and experience is camping on Porcupine Island on Kenai Lake.

Feature Image: Bardy’s Trail Rides gives visitors and locals a unique perspective on the epic views of Resurrection Bay. Photo by Ron Niebrugge.

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For more information about Bardy’s Trail Rides or to book a tour, click here or call 907.362-7863.

Want more information about Seward or our Chamber of Commerce? Call 907.224.8051. 

Member Spotlight: Alaska Dream Charters

Q&A With Levi and Mallory of Alaska Dream Charters

It’s often said that people make the place, and we couldn’t agree more. Our new spotlight series introduces you to Seward Chamber of Commerce members who make our community an incredible place to live, work and play.

Alaska Dream Charters provides a personal and individualized fishing experience. Specializing in six-passenger charters, Levi Rangel and Mallory Rice offer a smaller boat and fewer patrons on each trip allow for one-on-one time with experienced captains and deckhands. Chasing everything from big Halibut, Salmon and Rock Fish, their captains and deckhands have a flair for teaching and are willing to provide as little or as much assistance as desired in each fishing adventure.

We recently sat down with Levi and Mallory to learn more about the journey they have taken as a small business owners in Seward.

Owners Mallory Rice and Levi Rangel share their love of the outdoors with their guests. Photo Courtesy of Alaska Dream Charters.

How long have you lived in Seward? What first brought you here?

My husband, Levi Rangel and I have lived in Seward for 2 years with kiddo Camille. We are in our second year of business in Seward. Operating a business like this has been in our sights for years. With over 20 years of fishing and hunting experience, Levi has fished all over North America from Canada to the U.S and Mexico. He has done it all, but Alaska is where big fish live! That is why we have decided to pursue this business and this dream in Seward, Alaska.

What makes your business special or unique? In other words, what are you known for?

Alaska Dream Charters not only prides itself in specializing in six-pack charters but we also specialize in customized trips. We allow customers to buy out our boats for the day for a private trip or create special packages that can include everything from sightseeing, hunting drops and of course FISHING!

Tell us about a product or service that you’re particularly proud of.

We pride ourselves on customer service. Guests have a personal interaction from the moment they call us all the way to being personally escorted to the boat. We take complimentary photos during and after the trips so that the customers can focus on catching fish and not the camera.

Catching monsters on board F/V Hell on Reels. Photo Courtesy of Alaska Dream Charters.

What advice would you give to a new business owner who is working to build a business like yours?

It’s not a 9-5 job and requires dedication and sacrifice, but is worth it in the end.

What is the best compliment your business has ever received?

We have been told that it is nice to have a company that not only produces fish but also professionalism.

What do you like most about living and working in Seward?

Seward is a community of like-minded individuals who seem to share a love for this state that is unmatched. We very much enjoy Seward’s quaintness, hard working values and people.

Tell us about a community member in Seward who you admire.

Jessie and Samantha Osborn are two individuals that we admire. They are a couple that is in business together and they continue to help us navigate the road as both business owners and a married couple.

Mallory and Levi have now acquired Camelot Cottages to make their guests’ fishing adventures even more comfortable. Photo Courtesy of Alaska Dream Charters.

How do you spend your free time?

We hunt and fish of course!

Where’s your favorite spot in Seward to unwind?

We enjoy the Breeze Restaurant. It’s easy going, good food, and enjoyable atmosphere.

There are so many great wilderness areas to explore around Seward and Kenai Fjords. If you had a free weekend, where would you go?

We would probably take the boat into Aialik to the glacier, camp overnight, fish and bear hunt along the way.

Is there anything exciting on the horizon that you’d like to share?

We have purchased Camelot Cottages in Seward; while it is a separate business we are creating both stay and play packages joined with Alaska Dream Charters to include lodging and fishing.

Feature Image: Everyone loves salmon! Photo Courtesy of Alaska Dream Charters.

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For more information about Alaska Dream Charters click here or call 907.422.7070. For more information about Camelot Cottages, click here or call 907.362.7843.

Want more information about Seward or our Chamber of Commerce? Call 907.224.8051. 

Member Spotlight: 60 Degrees Adventure Charters

Q&A With Laura Schneider of 60 Degrees Adventure Charters

It’s often said that people make the place, and we couldn’t agree more. Our new spotlight series introduces you to Seward Chamber of Commerce members who make our community an incredible place to live, work and play. We’re proud to present one of the few multi-day charter options in Seward, 60 Degrees Adventure Charters.

Laura Schneider and Kenneth Cardwell create customized trips to explore the waterways of Seward and the Kenai Fjords National Parks for families or groups of friends. Whether it’s fishing, wildlife viewing, kayaking or other water sports, beachcombing or hiking, these two adventurers have done it all and enjoy sharing their passion for exploring and sharing the treasures of the Resurrection Bay and the fjords with their guests.

We recently sat down with Laura to learn more about the journey she and Kenneth have taken as small business owners in Seward.

Captains Laura and Kenneth regale guests with stories from years of working in Alaska waters. Photo Courtesy of 60 Degrees Adventure Charters.

Tell us about a product or service that you’re particularly proud of.

What makes 60 Degrees Adventure Charters special is our flexibility. We help guests craft a custom itinerary that’s perfect for them. It may be four days of halibut fishing, a focus on whale watching, becoming an expert kayaker, or balancing time on the water with evening campfires on the beach and hikes to a glacier, the only limitation is our guests’ imaginations! We love creating multi-day excursions that allow visitors the best chance to truly experience Alaska’s wonders from the water.

Cooking and putting together bright, fresh recipes that plate well and taste delicious is another of our passions. We showcase local ingredients whenever possible, including beef and pork raised in Alaska and freshly-caught fish. Veggies that grow well in Alaska are complemented with other items from the market. Sometimes, I even make goat cheese that I share with guests.

What makes your business special or unique? In other words, what are you known for?

Our boat, the M/V Caroline offers transportation, lodging, meals and outdoor excursions all wrapped up in one inclusive experience. 60 Degree Adventure Charter’s extended tours focus on our guests interests, and reveal some of the most beautiful views anywhere in the world. We serve as your captains, tour guides, chefs and hosts and will regale you with tales from Alaska, delicious home-cooked meals, and expert suggestions on wildlife viewing, fishing, kayaking, hiking, beachcombing, and more.

Get up close and personal with a tidewater glacier on your customized adventure. Photo Courtesy of 60 Degrees Adventure Charters.

What would people be surprised to learn about your business or your journey as a business owner?

I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and earned a degree in Information Technology from the US Naval Academy. After a tour in Japan, I started commercial fishing in Alaska and was hooked. Kenneth was also a commercial fisherman for seven seasons. Years of commercial fishing has now led us to owning a charter company in our new home where we can show visitors all of the wildlife, mountains, glaciers and ocean that we love.

How long have you lived in Seward? What first brought you here?

We chose to move to Seward one year ago because it is one of our favorite towns in Alaska. I first visited when bringing friends’ boats from Prince William sound after the fishing season. I always walked away from my visits wishing I had been able to spend more time here.

Seward is also a thriving tourism market, but there were few multi-day charter companies. So we saw an opportunity for growth and started 60 Degrees Adventure Charter to meet that need. This also allowed Kenneth and I to spend our whole year working together. Not only did we build something that allowed us to be out on the water we love so much, we’re also able to share that passion with others.

What do you like most about living and working in Seward?

Getting to know people over the winter and the beautiful view every time you drive into town! The views from Seward from mountains to see are incredible!

Tell us about a community member in Seward who you admire.

We have been overwhelmed by how supportive the charter community has been to us. Everyone has helped with tips and referrals and genuine goodwill. We could not be happier to be part of this great group of people.

There are so many great wilderness areas to explore around Seward and Kenai Fjords. If you had a free weekend, where would you go?

We love hiking up to Lost Lake with our dog Elri.

Feature Image: M/V Caroline offers guests a luxurious experience exploring Kenai Fjords National Park. Photo Courtesy of 60 Degrees Adventure Charters.

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For more information about 60 Degrees Adventure Charters or to book a trip, click here or call 907.521.8196.

Want more information about Seward or our Chamber of Commerce? Call 907.224.8051. 

New Vessel Joins Major Marine Fleet

Major Marine Tours Welcomes a New Vessel to its Seward Fleet

SEWARD, Alaska—Major Marine Tours is kicking off the 2018 summer season with a new addition to its fleet of vessels! The Kenai Fjords 360 is a custom-built, high-speed catamaran is named for its 360-degree wraparound top deck. This design offers passengers unparalleled wildlife and scenic viewing opportunities. 

The state-of-the-art catamaran arrived in Seward from La Connor, Wash., last week, and will go into service for Major Marine Tours beginning mid-May.

“This custom-built catamaran was designed so our passengers could have a unique and memorable experience viewing glaciers, wildlife and scenery,” said Tom Tougas, owner of Major Marine Tours.

“As a locally-owned company that has been investing in Alaska’s tourism industry for more than two decades, we are certainly thrilled to introduce this new vessel to our fleet. We’ll be able to take more Alaskans and visitors out to experience and appreciate the stunning beauty of Kenai Fjords National Park.”

Designed with passenger comfort and the environment in mind

In addition to the wheelhouse being located on the second deck to allow for top-deck viewing, the Kenai Fjords 360 is also the fastest catamaran of Major Marine Tours’ fleet. The new vessel has the ability to cruise up to 30 knots (about 35 miles per hour).

Environmental sustainability is a top priority for Major Marine Tours. The Kenai Fjords 360 is powered by EPA Tier III, fuel-efficient and low-emission Caterpillar C32 engines, minimizing its environmental footprint.

The 150-person capacity catamaran was designed with passenger comfort as another priority. Features include snack and beverage bars on the first and second decks, a large galley for dining, and three restrooms on board.

The vessel’s new home

The Kenai Fjords 360 will board directly behind the Seward Harbor 360 Hotel, a Major Marine Tours accommodation. Both are conveniently located less than a block from the Alaska Railroad Depot.

The Kenai Fjords 360 is the ninth vessel in the Major Marine Tours fleet and will support Major Marine Tours in its six-hour Kenai Fjords National Park Cruise. The cruise visits an actively calving tidewater glacier, provides opportunities for whale and wildlife viewing and features Major Marine Tours’ Alaska salmon and prime rib buffet.

About Major Marine Tours

Major Marine Tours offers world-class wildlife and glacier cruises from Seward and Whittier, Alaska. Major Marine Tours is a locally-owned, family company celebrating over 25 years of sharing the beauty of Alaska with its guests. Seward cruises explore the tidewater glaciers and abundant wildlife of Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park, and the Whittier cruises explore the dense concentration of glaciers and waterfalls found in the calm, protected waters of Prince William Sound. Most cruises feature National Park Ranger narration and an Alaska salmon and prime rib buffet, freshly-prepared on board and served during the cruise. For more information, visit majormarine.com

Member Spotlight: A Flyin’ Skein

Q&A With Cindy Clark of A Flyin’ Skein

It’s often said that people make the place, and we couldn’t agree more. Our new spotlight series introduces you to Seward Chamber of Commerce members who make our community an incredible place to live, work and play.
 
A Flyin’ Skein is a yarn store and more. Not only does owner Cindy Clark supply Seward with a variety of fibers, but she also has art supplies, jewerly-making supplies, and offers classes for a variety of crafts. She is always expanding what she does. She caters to creative clientele who have exciting new projects and want to experience fiber with new techniques and color blending.
 
We recently sat down with Cindy to learn more about the journey she has taken as a small business owner in Seward.

 

Owner Cindy Clark makes her yarn store a haven for creative endeavors. Photo Courtesy of A Flyin’ Skein.

What makes your business special or unique? In other words, what are you known for?

A Flyin’ Skein is known for customer service. We will help in any way with anything we can, even if it isn’t yarn related. In addition to helping people in person, I’ve done Facetime sessions with customers who have a problem with their knitting and don’t know how to fix it. I’ve also even shown customers how their keyless systems work on their new cars, others how to navigate their new iphones or ipads and fixed problems for them. I’ve given the term “full-service yarn store” a whole new meaning!

What would people be surprised to learn about your business or your journey as a business owner?

In my other life I was an Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technician. I never imagined being known as ‘The Yarn Lady”. I thought I’d have a quilt or bookstore. But here I am, more than ten years later and it is my passion. I love being able to empower people. Sometimes people feel as if they are powerless over lots of stuff in their life; learning to make something and control how it happens is very satisfying. It also gives people the opportunity to believe in themselves. If you find out that you can do something you thought was impossible, other doors will open because of the confidence you gained. Some people I’ve taught can’t imagine how they survived without it; knitting is not only a creative outlet but a great strategy for stress relief as well.

Sheep Shades Yarn is hand-dyed, custom-colored yarn available in Seward. Photo Courtesy of A Flyin’ Skein.

Tell us about a product or service that you’re particularly proud of.

Last summer we introduced Sheep Shades Yarn – our very own colors of yarn, hand-dyed in Seward Alaska. It has been a big hit and a very enlightening experience; the logistics of keeping up with the high demand has been a learning experience. Most people don’t realize that yarn and quilt stores are vacation destinations for visitors or at least a significant factor to vacation planning. Stores that produce something that can only be acquired at that one store has a magnetic pull for those looking for something unique.
 

Describe a risk that you’ve taken in your business that paid off.

We now have classes that are based on personal schedules. On the webpage is a tab for Classes, you can see everything we do, fill out the form for what you want to learn, along with the days and times that are good for you and we create a class for you. You can even request a craft or class that isn’t listed and if it is possible, we’ll create it. We also started DIY or Make n’ Take kits. You can either sit in the store and make the craft or buy the kit to take home and make later.

What is the best compliment your business has ever received? 

“The only reason I come to Seward is to go the yarn store.”

What advice would you give to a new business owner who is working to build a business like yours?

Go to the Small Business Development Center, they have the answers to all the questions you could possibly have and they can help with the finances to get you up and going.
 
A yarn shop is a refuge for people looking to relieve stress. Photo Courtesy of A Flyin’ Skein.

Tell us about a community member in Seward who you admire.

Cindy Capra is one of the most creative people I know and she inspires me to expand my skills and knowledge. She is also my go-to person when I have an idea and she helps me work out the details. She has always been, and continues to be, my biggest supporter and advocate.

 

How long have you lived in Seward? What first brought you here?

My husband came up on a fishing trip and when he got home announced that he wanted to move to Alaska. I responded with “I’ll be ready at two.” We came up two months later. He had been to Homer but not Seward. When we got to the Homer turnoff, we decided to see what Seward had to offer and it felt like home. We moved here the next spring.

What do you like most about living and working in Seward?

I just love Seward, the views, the people, and even the weather. Best of all, there are no bugs or slithery things. I’m from Florida, the land of cockroaches and snakes.

How do you spend your free time?

In my free time I’m knitting, crocheting, preparing classes, updating the webpage and searching Pinterest; sometimes I’ll be really irresponsible and read a book. My mind is always “on”. I have a hard time not thinking about how to make the store experience better.

Where’s your favorite spot in Seward to unwind?

Curled up in my chair, binge watching an old TV series with a project, hoping to not drop any stitches while laughing or crying at whatever I am watching.

If your life was a book, what would the title be?

Aside from yarn, A Flyin’ Skein has everything you might need for any craft project. Photo Courtesy of A Flyin’ Skein.
Never Saw That Coming!!!

There are so many great wilderness areas to explore around Seward and Kenai Fjords. If you had a free weekend, where would you go?

I am not much of an adventurer. I’m more of a homebody. If I have a free weekend it is usually spent being a little lazy, at least in the morning, but by the afternoon, I’m either working on a new project or finishing a Work-In-Progress (WIP) that has been hanging around for too long. Don’t ever ask a crafter how many WIPs they have; it ranks right up there with never ask a woman how old she is.?

Is there anything exciting on the horizon that you’d like to share?

I’m always on the lookout for new classes or techniques to introduce and a couple of new Sheep Shade colors are being examined.

Feature Image: Shades of summer brighten up this little corner of Seward all year round! Photo Courtesy of A Flyin’ Skein. 

***For more information about A Flyin’ Skein click here, call 907.224.KNIT (5648) or head down to 223 4th Avenue in Seward.


Want more information about Seward or our Chamber of Commerce? Call 907.224.8051. 

Member Spotlight: Ukanuzit

Q&A With Shelly Shank and Melissa Houselog of Ukanuzit

It’s often said that people make the place, and we couldn’t agree more. Our new spotlight series introduces you to Seward Chamber of Commerce members who make our community an incredible place to live, work and play.

In 2014, Michelle Blalock, Melissa Houselog, Brad Entwisle and Shelly Shank opened a local thrift store, Ukanuzit. They are supported by items donated by the community, which they then sell for reasonable prices. While they are not a non-profit, they do give back to the community in the form of scholarships, prizes and donated items for charities and events.

We recently sat down with Shelly and Melissa to learn more about the journey all four owners have taken to run a small business in Seward.
These four have made Seward a hot spot for second-hand shopping. L to R: Melissa Houselog, Shelly Shank, Michelle Blalock, Brad Entwisle. Photo Courtesy of Ukanuzit

What do you like most about living and working in Seward?

Shelly: We all love this community. We have a very giving and caring community and we are proud to be part of it.
 
Melissa: Ukanuzit has been fulfilling and a true labor of love. Our customers are the best!

 

What makes your business special or unique? In other words, what are you known for?

S: Last year, blogger Trent Jonas rated us the #1 thrift store in the State of Alaska. Since the Seward community is so great about donating items to us, we have a ton of inventory to turn over and are making a name for ourselves as a “funky boutique” with a lot to offer.

Family fun means dressing up at Ukanuzit! Photo Courtesy of Ukanuzit.

What would people be surprised to learn about your business or your journey as a business owner?

S: Our prices are lower than the thrift stores in Anchorage. We actually have a customer base that travels from Anchorage to shop with us.

Tell us about a product or service that you’re particularly proud of.

S: We are proud of the relationships that we have gained. Our store seems to be a great meeting place for some.
 
M: Knowing that we have helped keep tons of stuff out of the landfill and keeping prices low so we can offer treasures to people in Seward is truly a heartwarming and rewarding experience. It really is a dream come true.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure…Ukanuzit brings happiness to all! Photo Courtesy of Ukanuzit.

What is the best compliment your business has ever received?

S: People tell us we are the best thrift store they have ever been to.
 
Describe a risk that you’ve taken in your business that paid off.
 
S: Jumping into our business was our biggest risk and it has paid off with a lot of hard work and support.

What advice would you give to a new business owner who is working to build a business like yours?

S: The biggest one would be to “Make sure there is a need for the business”.
 
 Feature Image: Kids find rainy day fun dressing up at the local thrift store. Photo Courtesy of Ukanuzit.

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For more information about Ukanuzit click here, call 907.224-5268, or head down to 339 5th Avenue in Seward.

Want more information about Seward or our Chamber of Commerce? Call 907.224.8051.