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Business profile: Susan Moreland

Owner, The Alaska Index Network

Posted: Tuesday, February 08, 2000

Susan Moreland

Title and firm: Owner, The Alaska Index Network.

Services: Moreland has been assembling the Alaska Advantage Mall, an on-line shopping directory specializing in unique Alaskan items. The Web site, www.alaskaadvantage.net, now has full listings for four businesses: Back Bay Botanicals of Port Alexander, Cha Gallery of Alaskan Artists of Juneau, Taku Smokeries of Juneau, and Ivory Jacks Trading Co. of Bothell, Wash. She plans to add another 15 to 25 businesses in coming months, as the tourism season approaches. She says she won't feature head-to-head competitors, as she looks for retailers who have their own niche.

The concept: While individual businesses might have their own Web sites already, maintaining them can be too labor-intensive, especially during the tourism season, Moreland said. The Alaska Advantage Mall can feature the top handful of products from a given store, along with a link to the store's site, giving Net surfers a quick and easy look without overwhelming them, she said. Her marketing contractor, Web Weavers of New York, is working to make the Web site easily accessible to search engines.

Biographical information: Formerly from California, Moreland has been an Alaskan most of the time since 1974, when she moved to Ketchikan after vacationing there during what she later learned was an unusually sunny period. She had an interior design business in Ketchikan. She left Alaska in the late 1980s, but moved to Juneau a few years later. She was sales and catering director for the Baranof Hotel from 1991 to 1999, leaving last August to work for the school district, a job she thought would afford her more opportunity to develop her Web site.

Family: Susan and her husband, Chuck Moreland, have a 14-year-old daughter, Terra. Susan's sister, Barbara Murphy, is in Juneau, and her brother, Bob Caldwell, is in Wrangell.

Business tip: ``You definitely need to do your research first. Expect that whatever you estimate it's going to cost, it's going to cost more. Preparation, I think, is the best key.''

Contact information: 790-2177.



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