One People -One World Closing Its Doors
One People-One World Closing Doors
Better Look Quickly!
After seven years of thriving business... One People Gift Shop, located at 425 D Street in Anchorage, Alaska is closing its doors. The public notification sign is already posted.
This unique gift shop is teeming with native Alaskan and African artifacts. You can find bead work, ta pa cloth, scrimshaw and jewelry.
Shop is Representative of Hand Crafted Objects From Around The World
It's the kind of a shop that makes you feel like you've happened across a real find. Hand crafted items from all over the world let you understand how the name One People - One World came about. It takes only a quick glance to understand that this shop represents the world and not one particular culture.
Again... It Comes Down to Character
It does appear that the majority of people think new and expensive is better than old and unique. This shop had more character than any I've encountered in Anchorage. It was fun to rummage around, look under stacks, turn the next surprising corner. Shopping was truly an experience.
So What's Up With People?
It has to make you wonder why this shop wasn't able to survive our current economic conditions when others apparently are. I've watched tourists whip out those charge cards for high priced items in other Anchorage stops. I've seen the totes from Nordstroms being lugged back to the hotels. I've seen the money spent on food and drink in the downtown cafes. Why can't a place this cool make it?
A Story Behind Each Object
While browsing and wandering through One People Gift Shop a particular wooden mask drew my attention. It was very old and really kind of scary looking. Of course there was a wonderful story accompanying this mask. Trevor, the owner, said that a local Anchorage artist named Susie Silook had traded this particular piece some years back in exchange for clothing. The exact details of this conversation are not substantiated by the artist. However Trevor went on to say that some of Susie's current pieces did show the same long-faced influence of this ancient African mask.
I purchased the mask and started looking into this artist Susie Silook. Of course another story started unfolding as I read about her efforts toward people of native Alaskan decent (particularly women) who were victims of abuse. The artist's statement explained Susie's background and the evolution of her current style. One thing was certainly clear... if Susie did have to trade her belongings for clothing in the past... she certainly didn't have to do that now. It was pleasing to see her "high end" creations in museums as well as numerous galleries.
Tales written by Susie Silook's family about the early life.
The Stories Make the Shop
I feel more like this is more of an obituary, than a simple piece about the closing of a shop in Anchorage, Alaska. It is with sadness that I let go of my new find. But the mask holds its own stories. Its cheekbones and features make me wish to know more.
One People-One World may be closing its doors soon... but the mask (currently in my possession) will be making its way to Florida. From Africa to Anchorage to Florida. Quite a story for an old piece of wood. This shop was a gift. Its doors may be closing, but its stories will survive and continue.