Business profile

Posted: Tuesday, July 18, 2000

Title and firm: Owner, Treasures and Traditions

Services: Aspen teaches button blanket, traditional and contemporary regalia classes. Included is instruction on creating vests, tunics and octopus bags. As part of her classes, she provides button blanket kits, which contain all the necessary materials.

Biographical information: Aspen was born in Angoon in 1940. She lived in Sitka until third grade, then moved to Juneau. After graduating from JDHS, Aspen moved to California. She lived there until 1985, then moved back to Juneau and took a job at the Internal Revenue Service, where she worked until her retirement in 1990.

Aspen wanted to keep busy, so she started doing bookkeeping and taxes. Finding this boring, she began making button blankets for her daughters. Her skills grew, and she opened her store last February.

Family: Aspen, who is single, has two adult daughters, Kathryn Edwards and Cynthia Orey, and five grandchildren.

Notable: Aspen learned traditional sewing in 1989, when her daughter increased her involvement in the Native community and needed regalia. Aspen got a Dog Salmon pattern from her aunt, a Raven pattern from a friend, and with the help of a book called ``Robes of Power,'' she stitched her first blanket. ``We look at it now and it's kind of sad,'' she said with a laugh. She has since made new robes for all her children.

Quotable: ``We use modern techniques -- people say that's not traditional. It's kind of funny; it's mostly the men who say it's not traditional. You tell them when they start fishing with wooden halibut hooks, we'll go back to using the old ways.''

Employees: Just Aspen.

Contact information: Treasures and Traditions is located in the Town Center Mall on 211 Front Street, about Taco Time. Call 586-2602 for more information.

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