In Kodiak, many people use the resources they find around them to concoct their meals, their art, and their livelihoods, and an upcoming market will highlight that unique Kodiak flavor. Made in Kodiak is a membership-based group that brings together artists from the Kodiak Archipelago and helps them sell and promote their creations.
President Sara Sundsten is not only the group’s president and a member, but an artist herself, and she takes natural treasures and makes them into something new.
“I’m always out fishin’ and huntin’ and I find stuff, and that was kind of how it developed. And all of a sudden I had a huge inventory and I started making things. I’m always trying to not go to the store and buy something, so I’m trying to create it.”
For example, she’s turned bull kelp into wreaths and shells into glitter, and it makes sense that she’s so resourceful when you hear about her childhood. Sundsten says she grew up on a homestead in the Tundra.
“They asked at this group I was in one time what you used to do on Saturday morning as a kid. And everyone’s like, oh, we watched cartoons. I said we used to take a deck of cards and draw the deck of cards and whoever had the low card had to go get the eggs and milk at the spring. Nobody wanted to go out early in the morning down to the spring, you know, where it was our refrigerator.”
Sundsten says Made in Kodiak’s membership is expanding enough that customers can pick and choose between popular items, like soap or jam, from different sellers. And not only is Sundsten the Made in Kodiak president and a participating artist, but she’s also a consumer.
“I like the feeling of giving back to the community and being part of that. I always try to buy here, and that’s a good feeling too. I always try to buy from our vendors, even myself personally, because I think everything’s just so unique. And there are all different vendors of every kind of handmade, homemade thing that you can think of.”
If you’d like to check out some of those vendors and their wares, the Made in Kodiak Fall Harvest Show is taking place at the Harbor Convention Center Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.