At the end of this year, we’ve had some time to reflect on everything we were able to accomplish throughout it. Looking back, one of the things that really stood out to us was just how much all of your support has helped us grow. Without fishermen, small business owners, conservationists, questioning students, parents, cannery workers, seafood experts, island people, homesteaders, boat drivers, designers, boat builders, journalists, guides, lobbyists, artists, teachers, adventurers, photographers, we would have no reason to do what we do. You challenge us, push us, and most of all inspire us. Thank you for sharing your stories and loving our clothing, your accomplishments and adventures inspire us to work harder to make you prouder. We feel very lucky to call a strong community like this our Salmon Sisters.
2015 was a great year! We are most proud of the products we made with other people in Alaska— beautiful fish leather wallets sourced from Tidal Vision and sewn by Mary Hayden of Homer, nautical pouches with Juanita’s Handmade of Anchorage, and holiday gift boxes filled with jewelry, smoked salmon, soaps, skin products, ceramic mugs, and spices from local Alaskan makers. We designed new shirts with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) and The Salmon Project, and enjoyed our continued work with our partners, the Alaska Marine Conservation Council and the Great Land Trust. Salmon Sister Katie Pitzman caught sockeyes in Cook Inlet which we smoked in Homer and offered on our webshop for the first time. We worked with amazing photographers Camrin Dengel and Scott Dickerson to take some beautiful images for our company. We made a robust line of custom boat hoodies for fishing families across the state of Alaska this Christmas — a project that brings us great joy every year. We also designed our first piece of apparel from start to finish! From sketches on napkins to product packaging, our three new Iconic Hoodies hit the shelves this winter season, and we are overjoyed that our customers love them. We do too.
Every day we realize more the good that we can do in our communities. A portion of our monthly sales go to organizations like the Great Land Trust, The Salmon Project and Alaska Marine Conservation Council, who are working to keep our water clean and our coastal communities vibrant. At the 2015 Marine Pacific Fish Expo (where Claire helped lead a panel on women in fisheries) we raised money to sponsor young fishermen traveling with AMCC to The Boston Seafood Show and Slow Fish in New Orleans this spring through our Young Fishermen of America hoodie sales. Over the holidays, we matched every order that came through our webstore with a donation to the Alaska Food Bank. We are fortunate to live in such a supportive community and are happy we are able to give back with our business.
And it’s nice to be noticed! Our friends at The Salmon Project featured Salmon Sisters in a edition of their Salmon Life: Salmon Love short films which were played around Alaskan theaters during the holidays. We were honored with a Alaska Dispatch We Alaskans story, a feature in Glamour Magazine, the Alaska Daily News, Rodale's Organic Life Magazine feature, and the New York Times. Our own writing was also featured in Youngbloods section of the North Pacific Focus Issue of National Fisherman. Yahoo!
As for our own fishing tales, we enjoyed another summer working with our family. A big and exciting thing, a new boat, came into our lives this year. The f/v Oracle tendered in Prince William Sound, and was run by Claire, her husband Pete and Emma’s man Jacob. Emma drove skiff for our family’s seiner the f/v Stanley K again, and enjoyed having our younger cousins, mom, and dog Smokey visit and fish for a few weeks during the season. Our family reconvened and climbed aboard the same boat in September to catch our halibut quota in the Bering Sea, returning, once again, to our childhood volcanos and windy weather known by our hearts as home. Emma jumped the halibut ship early to make it to Seattle for her first day of grad school at the University of Washington, where she is working on becoming a Master of Design for the next few years. Claire is holding down business operations in Homer this winter, running the show like a boss and getting out on Alaskan winter adventures always.
For Salmon Sisters, it’s looking like a great 2016! We’re already working on an exciting new project with Xtratuf, getting excited about the Young Fishermen’s Summit in Juneau this January, and traveling to the Boston Seafood Show with a stop at Slow Fish in New Orleans this spring with AMCC. We are planning pop-up shops around Alaska and the Pacific Northwest this year, so we can meet more of our customers in person. Our New Year Resolution is to eat Wild Alaska Seafood for 365 days this year, and we’re off to a good start with Winter King Salmon and King Crab from friends in Homer. We really can’t wait to show you what we have in store.
Cheers to the fishiest year yet!
Emma & Claire