Business Profile

Posted: Tuesday, September 19, 2000

Title and firm: Co-owner, Caribou Crossing

Services: Caribou Crossing offers all Alaska-made products including crafts, jewelry, wall art, ceramics, photography, holiday gifts and more. "They're all authentic, hand-made crafts, made by very creative, imaginative people," Tanja Cadigan said.

Cadigan said she is "extremely selective" in the artists she showcases. "Their work can't be competing with someone else I have in the store," she said.

Despite their high quality, items in Caribou Crossing are affordable, she said. "There are people making hand-made goods in a comfortable price range," she said, noting items range in price from $10 to $2,000.

Biographical information: Tanja Cadigan, 28, and her husband Chris Dickrell have owned Caribou Crossing and the coffee cart in front of the store, Torrefazione Italia, for three years. By the time she was in eighth grade she was already heavily involved in the family's other business the Irish Shop. She said she's always had a passion for retail business. In the summer, she said, it wasn't unusual for her to work 14 hours per day, seven days a week.

"By the time I was 16 or 17 I was doing all of the buying. I had wonderful parents who put a lot of faith in me," she said.

Cadigan graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1990. She went to the University of Alaska Southeast for two years and then transferred to Ray College in downtown Chicago, earning her bachelor's degree in marketing in 1994. After a two-year stint running the Irish Shop in Skagway a business she still owns Cadigan returned home to open the Juneau store.

Family: Cadigan's mother and father, Liv and Jack Cadigan, own the Irish Shop in Juneau and the House of Russia.

Notable: Tanja invites, and flies in if necessary, a different featured artist each week during the summer so her customers can meet the artists behind the crafts on display.

Quotable: "There are more locals starting to come in. It's a huge compliment when locals come in the store and tell us what a beautiful shop we have."

Employees: Eight.

Contact information: Call 586-5008 or stop by the store at 497 S. Franklin. The store is open during tourism season from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.

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