Local shopping is smart shopping

With Christmas just days away, there’s still time to find delightful gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list

Christmas is less than two weeks away, but it’s not too late to find that perfect gift for the special people on your holiday gift list — and support Cordova’s economy by shopping local.

Cathy Long, executive director of the Cordova Chamber of Commerce, said shopping locally is the only way to go.

“Studies show that what makes an economy strongest is how many times dollars can be traded and still remain in town. I think this is especially true for places like Cordova. Being as far removed as we are here, local vendors work harder and invest more to offer inventory options in town. It’s easy enough to order something from Amazon, but what happens when you need something today? If we don’t provide patronage to local business on a regular basis, how can we expect them to have inventory in stock when we need it?” Long said.

“It also shows that you care about your community. It’s not always possible to buy 100-percent of what you need in town, but why not shop Cordova first,” she said.

1.  Copper River Fleece

Copper River Fleece is unique clothing for a unique life, boasts their brand-new website.

Traveling Cordovans have spotted people attired in Copper River Fleece jackets in New York City, as well as numerous other cities in the Lower 48.

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Jenny Park, the founder and owner of Copper River Fleece, opened her doors here in 1995.

The clothing is weather-resistant, stylish and one-of-a-kind, and the coats, hats and jackets for men, women and children sport embroidered trim designed by Cordovan artists.

“All garments are original and unique,” Park said. “We use high-tech fabrics engineered for weather-protection, warmth and durability. With our on-site customization, everyone in the family will be delighted with a garment especially designed to their taste! It’s also a plus, being able to shop locally and not have to worry about something ordered online arriving in time,” said Cindy Maxwell, the store’s manager.

Catering to the harsh, coastal Alaska weather also helped shape the style and functionality of the garments made by CRF.

Socks, hats and purses are available for under $50, while fleece blankets, stretch hoodies and the company’s signature CRF jackets over $50.

Copper River Fleece is open Mondays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with extended hours Dec. 16 and Dec. 23, from 7-9 p.m., for Cordova’s Moonlight Madness event.

“The 12 Days of Christmas special started Dec. 12, and during Friday nights’ Moonlight Madness events we will have a drawing to win a stretch hoodie, along with a balloon sale,” Maxwell said. “Shoppers can pop a balloon during checkout, to find out what kind of discount they may receive.”

Contact information:

Phone: 424-4304

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.copperriverfleece.com

David Little’s photography is a wonderful way to treat loved ones to the vivid colors of our hometown.
Photo by David Little,
David Little Photography/For The Cordova Times

2. David Little Photography & Laura’s Shoppe on Main Street

David Little’s specialty is capturing the essence of Alaska’s Northern Lights, local landscapes, seascapes and people in a way that speaks volumes about Cordova.

“What I like about photographing in and around Cordova, is the variety and unexpected beauty that seems to be everywhere.,” he said.

“My aim is to take photographs that one not only sees, but feels. I want my photos to evoke emotion as well as invite the viewer to see these views for themselves.”

Little is often awake at 3 a.m., waiting patiently for the aurora to appear, or photographing long-exposure nighttime shots while the rest of Cordova’s residents are sleeping.

“People ask all kinds of good questions about equipment and photography, but the most important thing is to be there. If you want beautiful photos, stand in front of beautiful stuff,” Little said.

Mim Hodges models a pair of pajama pants from the Alaskan clothing line available at Laura’s Shoppe on Main Street. In addition to clothing items, Laura’s carries smoked Copper River salmon gift packs, Alaskan art and more. Photo by Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson/The Cordova Times

Little’s photographs, prints and cards are available at Laura’s Shoppe on Main Street.

For Christmas and special orders, Little prefers a week’s notice, but said he can often print the same day. “Cards can be printed with most photographs of your choosing, as can matted prints,” Little said.

Laura’s Shoppe keeps Little’s work in stock, along with fine Alaskan gifts, Native art, jewelry, and collectibles. Her shop is open from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and will be participating in Moonlight Madness Dec. 16 and 23.

Gift certificates are available from Little and Laura’s Shoppe.

Contact information:

Phone: 907-491-0288 – David Little;

Laura’s Shoppe: 424-3144

Email: [email protected]

Website: DavidLittlePhotography.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/David-Little-Photography-417034048387776/?fref=ts

Second Street Antiques is a gift shop full of vintage treasures, including Mt. Eyak Ski Area trays and Christmas ornaments.
Image courtesy Joy Landaluce/For The Cordova Times

3. Second Street Antiques

For that someone infatuated with antiques, old lace, and old-fashioned kitchen tools,  Second Street Antiques is just the place to find a gift.

Joy Landaluce, the shop’s proprietress, loves collecting many vintage items in her store in the Ed Zeine Building on Second Street.

Merchandise includes hand embroidered tea towels, rhinestone jewelry, vintage fashion robes, dresses, antique tea sets, old-fashioned pictures, marble ornaments, local hand carved gifts and other assorted collectibles.

“Christmas is a great time to give a gift which has been made by hand,” Landaluce said. “I carry aprons, flour sack towels, Mount Eyak Ski Area trays, and vintage holiday dresses and bed robes. I invite you to come down during our special Christmas hours. Happy Holidays!”

Second Street Antiques’ holiday hours for Dec. 20-24 are from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Contact information:

Email: [email protected]

Many other shops will be open for extended business hours Dec. 16 and Dec. 23, for Moonlight Madness, from 7-9 p.m.

While out shopping on Main Street and with other merchants, visit the Little Cordova Bakery near Cordova’s north harbor.

Theresa Carte, TLC baker and owner, invites holiday shoppers to come in from 5-9 p.m. Dec. 16 and 23, for coffee, tea, holiday cookies and just to say hello.

Gift certificates are available.

Moonlight Madness shopping event

Dec. 16 and 23, 7-9 p.m. 

*unless otherwise noted

  • AC Value Center
  • Ace Hardware
  • Camtu Center
  • COPE Christian Bookseller
  • Copper River Fleece
  • Copper River Watershed Project
  • Cordova Drug
  • Cordova Gear
  • Cordova Historical Museum
  • Cordova Telephone Cooperative (Dec. 16 only)
  • Cordova Wireless (Dec. 16 only)
  • Ilanka Cultural Center
  • Laura’s
  • Lures Salon and Spa
  • Nichol’s Front Door
  • Net Loft
  • Salvation Army
  • Serendiptea
  • Sue’s Knives and More

*If you don’t see your favorite store, please check with the merchant to see if they’ll be open for Moonlight Madness, Dec. 16 and Dec. 23.

Happy holidays, Cordova!

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Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson
Cinthia Gibbens-Stimson is a staff writer and photographer for The Cordova Times. She has been writing in one form or another for 30-plus years and has had a longstanding relationship with The Cordova Times starting in 1989. She's been an Alaskan since 1976 and first moved to Cordova in 1978. She's lived in various West Texas towns; in Denver, Colorado; in McGrath, Cordova, Galena, Kodiak, Wasilla, Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska and in Bangalore, India. She has two children and three grandchildren. She can be reached at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram @alaskatoindia.