Business Profile: Valerie DeLaune

Posted: Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Title and Firm: Valerie DeLaune is the sole proprietor of Alaskan Acupuncture & Massage.

Like many Juneau residents who vary their occupations by season and population, DeLaune has a summer business and a winter business. Her summer business is centered in Alaskan Acupuncture & Massage. She recently launched her winter business - the custom fitting of ski boots. She's operating that enterprise under her acupuncture and massage title, too, to avoid reprinting business cards.

"Because there is no ski shop and nobody doing custom ski boot fitting in Juneau, there was a market," she said.

When the idea was suggested that she combine her knowledge of anatomy and skiing, she spent several months researching before making a commitment.

Services: In addition to being the Alpine Hut ski gear representative for Juneau, DeLaune offers skiers two products. Both provide edge control and stabilization. One is the Superfit Custom Foot Bed, which uses a molded heat process to shape the innersole to the foot. The inserts cost $100 to $150 and last at least a decade.

The second product is the Zipfit Custom Liner, which uses a proprietary material called Termixx. It is a mixture of cork and a silicone compound. "They walk out of the shop with the material, microwave it, wear the liner four times, and it molds to the foot." That liner costs $220 and is used to replace what came with the boot. It suits customers who have a difficult time with fit.

Quotable: "When I got my cork foot beds, it made the single biggest difference in my skiing. All of a sudden, the slightest movement toward my edges worked. It was easier to balance, and I was more stable on my skis."

Background: DeLaune holds a bachelor's degree in forestry. She learned massage in 1989 and became an acupuncture technician in 1999. She has been a fulltime resident of Juneau since 1984. Her past includes managing the local BaskinRobbins ice cream franchise and working as a ski instructor in Washington state.

Family: Her extended family lives in Washington state and Oregon.

Contact information: Call 4633026. DeLaune is available by appointment only.

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