2021 Recap and 2022 News! Stats to be proud of; Tuesday Talks; New 1%; New Artist

2021 Reflections & Gratitude for YOU
Hello Blue Market AK customers, members, supporters,

It has taken a few weeks for us to recover from a record-breaking season (thank you thank you!), and to crunch and analyze all of the fabulous things our little social enterprise did in 2021.  We are so happy to report that we achieved great success not only in reducing waste in our landfill, but also in supporting our community and our wonderful Alaskan makers.

COMING IN 2022: More events! Our Talk & Tinker Tuesdays series will be launched starting in February, in addition to our Year-round POPUPs events. (Link takes you to our new webpage that shows upcoming events and a form for requesting to be a vendor or presenter.) Also look for quarterly (or more) special events - especially as the weather warms and we can use our parking lot. 

RECAP 2021 - So Many Things to Celebrate:

1)  We Hired More Staff!
Although we did have a few staff in 2020, we were able to round out our team in 2021. We are humbled by the exceptional dedication our staff have shown us, and their amazing ability to be flexible and to learn as we go, and we are so happy to be able to contribute to the pocketbook of some of our young Alaskans here in Anchorage.

2) >10,400 Pieces of Waste - Gone from Landfill (Refill. Not Landfill.)
In analyzing just a few of our top selling products, it is clear that refilling containers or purchasing those that are reusable or biodegradable has resulted in our customers saving many thousands of plastic containers from making it into the landfill or our oceans.  The chart below says it all: we analyzed just 20 of our items, and determined that we saved roughly 10,427 pieces of waste from entering the landfill just for those items!  Together, we are making an impact!

3)  $3,949 Donated to Local Groups Through Our 1% Giving Back Program
We are proud of our 1% Giving Back Program, it is one of the ways we remain a "social enterprise" and are able to connected and support many fabulous organizations in our community. Your sales allowed us to support these groups in 2021:
- Alaska Food Policy Council
- Anchorage Waterways Council
- Cook Inletkeeper
- Alaska Common Ground

4)  341 MEMBERS IN 2021 (THANK YOU!)
We are so grateful to have ~100 more members this year than last year. Your support gives us confidence that we are doing the right thing, and we are thrilled to be able to give back to you with your 10% discount and members-only sales. 

5)  Dozens of Local Makers popped up this year, plus four fabulous artists
Our Makers Corner was vibrant with different artists and makers, and our walls were adorned with so many creative Alaskan artists.

With full hearts, we thank you and look forward to a beautiful 2022.  Wishing you health and happiness.

With love,
Jen and Jess
Our 1st Quarter 
1% Giving Back Recipient
Our 1st Quarter Artist
Beautiful Repurposed Furniture 
by Darcy and Furnish Studio + Salvage
Our store is filled with Darcy's beautiful refurbished furniture and artwork, through March - and YES, it is for sale!  Here's a little bit from their website about Darcy and her awesome shop Furnish Studio + Salvage:

If you look up the word "furnish" in the dictionary, you'll find that it means "to provide" and "to equip". In our studio, we provide our community an alternative to the landfill. We equip people with the skills and inspiration to reuse and transform things on their own.

Furnish is dedicated to using creativity and brain power to extending the life span of things that would otherwise be thrown away. We collect items from the community and either use them in a class or just refinish them and make them beautiful. If not, we'll get them to someone who can use them!

My name is Darcy, owner of Furnish. I'm an Ohio-born-turned-mountain-lover. I quit my corporate job in 2015 in search of a career that I was passionate about. Well, I've discovered that I have a fierce passion for reducing landfill waste and educating members of the Anchorage community on their options to donate, reuse and/or repurpose usable goods. Who knew?! After growing my own small furniture painting business over the past 5 years at Anchorage re:MADE, I started Furnish in April 2021 as the next step.

I'm an aspiring minimalist and an avid locavore. I've recently started eating less meat and dairy, and love to cook for others. I have a habit of trying to convince entrepreneurs to quit their day jobs and follow their heart, and I constantly have paint on my hands.

You're into this stuff too?! Let's share stories and info. Email me at furnishstudioandsalvage@gmail.com.
NEW in 2022!  
"Talk & Tinker Tuesdays" Series
Interested in learning more about how to simplify and live a more sustainable lifestyle, or do you have something you want to educate the public about (like microplastics in the oceans, or what to do with all of those Oui jars, for example?)  We are happy to announce the start of our "Talk & Tinker Tuesdays."  These informal meetups will feature practical tips by local passion-driven individuals who want to share their knowledge. Our first talk will be presented by Mary-Ellen of Common Root who will show us how to make our own salves. Another possible topic on the table is winter composting, and another about the grim reality of microplastics and what we can do about it.  CLICK HERE TO SEE UPCOMING EVENTS AND A VENDOR?PRESENTER REQUEST FORM.

Do you have a talk you'd like to give?  Please go to our Events Page on our website, and click the links to select a requested date and propose your topic.  We will get in touch with you to talk more details and to confirm your day.

- Tuesday evenings at 7:30 - 9:00pm
- FREE for now (presenters might have items for sale or suggested donation)
- In-person (please follow our current mask policy)
- Presentation and demo (not hands-on workshops yet)
- Coffee/teas available for purchase, please bring your own mugs
Alaskan Vendors Pop-ups 
- One At A Time Inside Our Store -
We are looking for local makers and artists to Pop-up inside our store (or outside if you prefer!)  We provide a counter in the windows, plus shelving and a couple of stools, all you need to bring is your creations.  There is NO FEE (although if you have a good day, we do appreciate a small donation). You may sign up for a half-day slot, for a whole day and even for multiple days.  To learn more, please go to this Events Page on our website to see a calendar of openings and request a date and time.
- Still Available!
Not interested in shopping in person these days? No problem! Our online store is alive and well, and we are happy to bring your orders right out to your car if that's your preference. Please call us at the store 907-677-2583 if you have questions about any items you see (or don't see) on the online catalog.  
This is what one customer's purchases looked like at checkout recently.  No plastic waste!  :)