My name is Alice Tununnanaq Bioff and I am Inupiaq from Koyuk, a small rural community located in Northwest Alaska. My parents are Harold Pilcher Sr. and Lily Mayland. I grew up using the traditional kuspuk/atikluk, which is the inspiration behind the Atmik.
We have many words for this traditional Alaskan garment, Ugalqaq, Qaspeq, Atikluk. Today there are many variations, from traditional patterns to modern cowl neck designs.
Before we had our modern fabrics and designs, local resources were used to craft garments that would provide protection from the harsh elements. Long before Dintex fabric, seal intestine was used to make water proof garments. These garments were handcrafted with great care.
Later as western culture made it's way to Northwest Alaska and barges brought in supplies, women started utilizing the materials that were imported. I heard stories of women using the cloth flour sacks that came off the barges. They would take those sacks and make what we know today as kuspuks/atikluks. As time passed, depending on where you were located, the kuspuks/atikluks were made so that you could identify where someone was from based on the style of kuspuk/atikluk or what gender they were from a distance. The kuspuk/atikluk has a rich history that continues today with new designs and materials used.
At Naataq Gear, we offer our own version, a hard shell water resistant jacket that still has that traditional pocket design and beautiful trim.
With an idea and a sketch, I entered the apparel industry. Three years later from sketch to production we have our final product, the Atmik Jacket. This could not have been possible without the support of family, friends and Clothier Design Source, apparel industry experts to help navigate the process.
At Naataq Gear we want to share our culture with respect and humility. Two Inupiaq values that are the corner stones of our business.
The name Atmik is my son's Inupiaq name. He is named after his great Uncle Atmik, who was a great hunter and provider and lived on St. Lawrence Island.
Quyanna (Thank you) for visiting Naataq Gear and hope you visit again.