Toni Anderson came to live in Alaska 13 years ago, and she and her boyfriend, a firefighter, moved from Kodiak to the North Pole 3 years ago. The area is not all that remote as one might imagine with the typical images conjured up most associated with the Alaskan wilderness of dog-powered mushing sleds and unpaved and rugged terrain, primitive housing, and trading posts cut off from the rest of the world, but nevertheless, shopping is very difficult, the town having only a few stores and no mall. For this reason many local people buy online. There are only 2 stores that carry baby/maternity items in the Fairbanks area, the biggest neighboring town about 10 miles away with a population of about 30,000 people.
The inspiration for her business KuddleBugs Threads came from the seamstress’s two 15 month old twin daughters, Tori and Trista and a need among the local mothers for quality and selection in warm clothes for their children. At sub-zero temperatures the winters can get pretty brutal in Alaska and making her fleece baby accessories gets her through the long, dark days.
“Where I live the temperatures are very crazy” she exclaims. “The summers can get up to 80 or 90 degrees F and the winters plunge to -50 degrees Fahrenheit. We already have 5 inches of snow on the ground and the temperatures have been in the single digits! One of the things that are so interesting to me is the change in daylight hours. The summers get up to 21 hours of daylight on the longest day, where in the winter, the shortest day of the year has 2 hours 40 minutes of daylight!”
She buys most of her supplies nearby because she wants to support the local economy, and because the cost of shipping these materials to Alaska is too expensive.
Among the unique items she offers are infant car seat covers (a must-have in that bitter cold weather), booties, hats, and mittens made for Toddlers. These ice blue and white mittens will keep even the worst chill out of tiny hands.
Toni recently just finished a local show at the Ft. Wainwright Army Base, her first one and it was a lot of fun and a great success! Her boyfriend had to work that day so she just packed her two girls into the car and set out on the new adventure on her own. The experience went smoothly and she says the twins were a big help.
She has only been in business 1 month, so she is not sure whether or not there is a big tourist market for her items, but so far she has sold mostly to the locals out of her home.
These Disco Party Booties are one of the few items Toni carries made of lighter weight cotton. They sure aren’t that typical muted pastel you see in all the commercial stores.
One thing you'll really notice is all the unique and different fabric prints. The maker has chosen quite a selection of cloth that is anything but run-of-the-mill; some of it even comical. Check out this Monkeying Around car seat cover.
All items available through her Etsy online store are shipped Priority Mail and can take approximately 3-5 days for delivery. She ships on Thursdays, but if you need your piece sooner that may be prearranged. Toni ships her work worldwide by First Class mail.
If you’re looking for something specific she will accept custom orders. Please contact her through Etsy to let her know what colors and specifics you are looking for.
In addition to her finished babywear Toni also offers Gift Certificates!
Keep on the lookout for more of these creative items coming soon!
See her Etsy shop at:
And to stay updated on the artist check out her blog at:
Article written by Pippit.