Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Business Briefs


May 16, 2019

Body IQ moves up the hill

After almost five years in the firehall in Fort Seward, owner and therapist Marnie Harman has moved Body IQ out of the rented space and purchased a house-turned-studio.

Clientele seeking therapy, yoga and health coaching can now report to Hartman’s new space on the corner of 3rd Avenue and Tower Road.

“There are separate spaces for therapy and yoga,” she said. “It’s a good opportunity for growth because multiple entities can occur at the same time.”

Other changes include a licensed in-house massage therapist, Rachael Saitzyk, a private treatment room and meditation nights.

Body IQ maintains its offerings of physical therapy, massage therapy (though currently not billed through insurance) and speech therapy, all by appointment. Yoga continuities to be 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, with guys yoga at 5:15 p.m. on Wednesdays. The new meditation class, led by Saitzyk, begins at 6:45 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Hartman said the studio will also continue to hosts private training, various exercise groups and workshops.

Body IQ will hold a mindfulness mediation weekend May 10-12, led by professional, Kate Davies. For reservations, call 766 2600.

Hartman said the 2019 move has been intimidating, but makes sense for the future. “In some ways it’s a sign of taking a bigger step of investing in Haines,” she said.

Tour company offers paddle boarding

SEAK Expeditions has added new tours that will allow tourists to paddleboard at the base of Davidson Glacier, pack raft on the Klehini River and skiff rides out of the small boat harbor.

Last month, the Haines Borough Assembly approved SEAK owners and husband-and-wife team Joe Oesterling and Tracy Mikowski to increase their permitted tour capacity and add hiking and rafting locations to their offerings.

Oesterling said the business is built around hiking, river trips and saltwater trips and his company’s business model offers something for every client.

Hikers can sign up for a $150 day hike up Mount Ripinsky, a three to five-day backpacking trip across Takshanuk mountain trail for $900, or a multi-day trip on the Chilkoot Trail from Haines to Canada at $1,500.

Oesterling said the new pack rafting and paddleboard tours are unique in the surrounding market. “As a product, I see the development in the stand-up paddle boarding,” he said. “I think it’s in demand.”

Paddlers can pick either a one or three-day pack raft tour down the Tsirku River, beginning with a flight in a bush plane over coastal rain forest and glaciers.

Oesterling, a licensed captain with the U.S. Coast Guard, will lead tours along with another trained captain.

SEAK Expeditions is permitted for 30 people per day total, which Oesterling said is aligned with his desired company model of small-group tourism.

In their second year of business, the company will host no more than six tourists per guide on rafting trips, and no more than eight for hiking trips.

“The bigger the trips get, the quality of the trips goes down,” he said. “Then it loses that intimate feel that we’re trying to develop.”

Book Store Business Brief

The national book distributer that stocks Haines’ only bookstore announced May 1 that they will cease selling to retailers, leaving a monopoly in the industry and great concern for independent book store owners nationally.

Baker & Taylor has supplied Haines with books since 1993, when Margaret Sebens first opened The Babbling Book, now the Moosterious Emporium.

Tom Heywood, who owned the bookstore with his wife, Liz, from 1998 until 2017, said that the loss of Baker & Taylor will likely make things more complicated.

“Baker & Taylor for us was a matter of convenience and they had a really inexpensive shipping policy,” Heywood said. The company ships orders of 20 books for $2.50 per box.

Baker & Taylor’s exit leaves Ingram wholesale as the last remaining national distributor.

Moosterious Emporium owner Jo Goerner, who bought the book store last fall, said the change-over will require her customers to be patient.

Goerner said she contacted an Ingram representative about their shipping rate in December, but never heard back.

Instead of switching wholesale distributors, Goerner said the change might cause her to work with publishers directly, incorporate used books in her store, and focus on music products.

“The margin is better if I go directly to publishers by about 7-12 percent,” Goerner said. “The question will be: will my margin remain 7-13 percent larger if I go with Ingram or Penguin Random house… (etc.) when the price of shipping gets taken out of that margin?”

If shipping costs go up, Goerner said she’ll make up the cost in other products, like music, boardgames or cards she sets prices for in her store.

“The book prices are set by the publishers, so books aren’t going to increase,” she said.

While book costs won’t go up, it may take longer to get them here after July 15, when Baker & Taylor will officially cease operations.

“We are likely to get lost in the mix for a while and that’s why I’ll start looking at used books in Haines and music,” Goerner said.

American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher called the market shift “very bad news for indie booksellers.” Teicher said the competitive wholesale “has played an important role in the resurgence of indie bookstores over the past several years,” that will no longer exist past summer.

Independent book owners in Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Washington D.C. lambasted the news on Twitter, calling it a “tragedy for our industry”; “limiting wholesale distribution to one company is bad for the ecosystem of literacy, and bad economics.”

In December, Ingram offered to buy Baker & Taylor’s retail division, but the sale became the subject of an antitrust investigation.

In an email to booksellers Jan. 14, a Baker & Taylor representative specified that the sale “has no impact on our bookselling operations.”


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