12
Feb
14

Souvenirs bridge cultures!

Souvenirs can be the badge of life changing experiences!

What is a Souvenir?

  • Something that is kept as a reminder of a place you have visited
  • An object that recalls a certain place, occasion, or person; memento

If we look around our desk –  right now, our room – this moment, I bet we each would see an object that reminds us of another place or time: a memory, and accomplishment, a person or an event that helped build who we are at this moment.

Icy Strait Point is in the business of building memories, and our Retail Department and our team Retailers help our guests remember us,  our home, this wonderful place in Alaska.  I get EXCITED when I think of how powerful our task is in selling: mugs, tee shirts, pins, pens, jackets, hats, cards, books, soaps, toys, sculptures, photos, treats, and on and on.

When our guests step ashore, they are entering the unknown, a new, and perhaps, daunting place.  Who are these Hoonah people?  What is this place about?  Will I feel at home?   Instantly folks glance about for familiar clues to help them on their day’s journey.  As they look around, the welcoming smiles of our staff and sturdy architecture help them feel welcome, at ease, ready to explore and experience Alaska up close.  Later, after sense-filling tours, and fresh tasty meals,  we offer a tangible way to make the day last…..

And this is where souvenirs are born.

???????????????????????????????We retailers take our jobs seriously.  We strive to make our visitor’s Alaska experience tangible.  We help people go back to their homes as ambassadors of Icy Strait Point.  Every mug reached for at morning coffee time, each hat tossed on en route to the way to the grocery, each tee-shirt proclaiming a visit to Icy Strait Point pronounces “I was in a remarkable place and met remarkable people”.   All 16 retailers search for gift suppliers – major and modest – expensive an incidental  –  that help bridge the space and time between who our guests were BEFORE they visited and WHO they are now having shared time with us.  Even a refrigerator magnet with NW Coast or Tlingit design tells a story of new awareness.  A pot holder with a Salmon design helps tell the story of how we are connected to the bounty of this land.

And we can poke fun at ourselves, because we all want our guests to buy LOTS of memories….some from each of us!  Believe it or not, we actually factor in lightweight and packable treasures into our product selection (why, a beautiful Alaskan made bracelet takes up NO room in a suitcase if it’s on one’s arm!) .  Icy Strait Point is home to dedicated,  experienced retailers who offer their view of our world to our guests.  We each have a special understanding of our craft, our own passions and our customer’s needs, wants and inspirations.  Gifts can tell a story of history, of nature, of cultures, of this unique world in Alaska.

So the next time you stroll thru our shops, think about how  we help keep Icy Strait Point in the hearts of our guests long after they have sailed home.  One mug at a time.

– Eleanor Davenport
Director of Retail


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