Bridget Milligan, who has sewed and sold Kodiak Coats for decades, had been looking for someone to take over her successful company for quite some time. She recently decided to donate her business to a co-op of local women in Angoon through the new Angoon Business Center. She will donate her equipment and patterns and teach the women to sew coats the way she started: Making kid's coats with a sewing machine on a kitchen table.
"Kodiak Coats started at home on a kitchen table," Milligan said. "People think they can't be made that way, but that's how they started.
So far, 10 women in Angoon have signed up to participate. Milligan will teach the first sewing workshop on Sept. 25 at the Angoon Business Center and is asking for donations of old sewing machines in Juneau. Donations can be dropped off at the KTOO office at 360 Egan Drive in Juneau.
The new Kodiak Coat sewers will have the advantage of the company's loyal clientele. In addition to sewing, they will learn skills like marketing and quality control, Milligan said.
"I'm going to be so structured with this because I really want this to work," Milligan said.
In the future, she'd like to expand the co-op to other villages.
Milligan is asking people to look for old sewing machines this week, so she can take them to Angoon in time for the first workshop on Sept. 25.
For more information on this and other projects at the Angoon Business Center visit myangoon.org.