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The Making Of The Bunnies By Bay

K

ris and Suzanne were born in Anacortes Washington, in a small fishing town in the Pacific Northwest. They came from a fishing family while their father and two uncles started fishing King Crab in the bearing sea. On February 3, 1983 the crew of the Altair and the Americus set sail from Anacortes to travel a 3000 mile journey across Alaska to begin the king crab season. Just eleven days later, a tanker ship reported a capsized fishing vessel just a few miles outside the Dutch Harbor. It was the boat by the name of “Americus” which was Kris and Suzanne’s uncle’s boat. The boat sank two days later where no bodies were ever found again. Over the next few days, they both huddled together by the shore radio waiting to hear a word from their dad, whose boat was the Altair, still out at sea. Their boat had been traveling for just a few hours ahead of the Americus. Tragically, the Altair was never found or heard from again and between these two boats, all fourteen men were lost at sea. This was declared the worst fishing history in American History. Kris and Suzanne were very close to their father and this loss was unbearable. They had no idea what to do or how to cope with this tremendous loss. Lost and heartbroken, they sat around their grandma’s kitchen table finding themselves sewing together, not realizing this was going to be their healing process and one day turn into a huge successful business. Their grandma was very

creative and taught them at an early age to encourage them to be creative. Both of them started stitching and stuffing bunnies made of colorful prints with long floppy ears. Each bunny they created and brought to life was the only thing keeping their heads above water. Soon they realized just making these bunnies for friends and their families was not enough.

T

he Tulip Festival is a street fair that goes on in April in Mount Vernon Washington. It is a tourist destination and every spring where hundreds of thousands of people come to enjoy the celebration as millions of tulips bloom. They started to participate in that to spread the word about their bunnies and found that many people could not get enough, so they kept sewing and did more fairs around Washington making one bunny at a time. With their business growing, they found they needed more help so they hired local seamstresses and set-up shop outside their homes. They then got asked by small store owners around Seattle to buy their bunnies for their stores. Their business is very unique and when it took them many years before they even paid themselves because everything they made went back into the business. On their tenth Anniversary, it was the height of the collectible market and was their best selling year so far in 1996. Kris and Suzanne had come up with the idea to get a women’s owned business loan and built their www.communit yseeds.com 21

Eco Community Seeds, Spring 2013  

Community Seeds Eco Magazine encourages people to make small changes that they are able to make; changes that would not have been made witho...

Eco Community Seeds, Spring 2013  

Community Seeds Eco Magazine encourages people to make small changes that they are able to make; changes that would not have been made witho...

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