Sales got you down? Put your big girl panties on and deal with it.

Captains Lady, Creek Street
Photo courtesy of The Captain's Lady / Creek Street

People and businesses have been reeling from the impact of the novel Coronavirus and the pandemic effect on the global economy. If you live in a cruise ship town, the empty streets are a quiet reminder of the economic devastation. Ketchikan businesses are not going down without a fight.

In March, many willingly closed their doors to stop community spread while owners watched everything they worked for slowly disappear. Tourists and impulse shoppers seemed a thing of the past. Businesses had to think outside the box to survive.

“While local shops normally look forward to greeting people who walk in off the street, we quickly realized this could be a think of the past,” said local shop owner Jaimie Palmer. “We developed an eCommerce website for The Captain’s Lady and offered free delivery.”

Photo courtesy of The Captain’s Lady / Jason Palmer delivers online purchases to locals doorstep, or via USPS to out of towners.

Jaimie and her husband would deliver goods anywhere in Ketchikan — from the Hole in the Wall at on south Tongass highway to Pier 25 Boathouse in Knudson Cove, no purchase was too small and no drive too long.

Photo courtesy of The Captain’s Lady

Jaimie’s store has a beautiful display of Alaskan art and apparel for kids and women. Social media marketing became not just a free form of advertising, but essential to daily sales. Still, everyone’s pocketbooks were tightening.

Come try on “weely soft” clothes today! Open 10-5pm. 💖

Posted by The Captain's Lady on Saturday, 27 June 2020

Fortunately, The Captain’s Lady was selected to receive a $5,000 COVID-19 relief and recovery grant from The Red Backpack Fund, an opportunity for small businesses and nonprofits made possible by Spanx — the American underwear maker focused on shaping briefs and leggings.

“My hope is that this gift will help alleviate some of the pressures caused by this horrible pandemic,” said Spanx Founder Sara Blakely. “I know what it’s like to be a small business owner, and I want to provide some relief to these entrepreneurs during this time.”

Blakely started Spanx with $5,000 in savings, and looks at this time as a way to pay it forward by supporting small business which are the backbone of our culture. Her foundation donated $5 million to support female entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19 and teamed up with GlobalGiving to establish The Red Backpack Fund and help business owners Like Palmer.

Due to economic hardship caused by COVID-19, Palmer was one of thousands of business owners in the United States who applied for GlobalGiving’s Red Backpack Fund grant. The Captain’s Lady was selected based on its outstanding application, its urgent need for COVID-19 relief and its demonstrated capacity to overcome COVID-19 setbacks.

“We’re proud to announce the grantees of The Red Backpack Fund. They have successfully undergone GlobalGiving’s rigorous vetting process, and we believe this grant will help them continue to thrive, despite the shifting economic circumstances brought on by this crisis,” said GlobalGiving CEO Alix Guerrier. “The world needs more women-led organizations who are a key force in overcoming COVID-19 and establishing a better normal.”

Learn more about The Red Backpack Fund at

About The Captain’s Lady
The Captain’s Lady is the littlest boutique on the creek featuring over 30 Alaskan Artists in our teeny 300 square foot space. Located at 28 Creek Street in downtown Ketchikan the store attracts — local shoppers and cruise ship passengers. Visit the store in person or shop online:

About The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation
Since its inception in 2006, the Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation has donated millions to charities around the world, focusing on charities that empower underserved women and girls. The Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation is on a mission to support women and help them SOAR through education, entrepreneurship and the arts. Learn more at

About GlobalGiving
GlobalGiving is a 501(c)(3) registered nonprofit that makes it safe and easy to support important causes around the world. When a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic strikes, GlobalGiving quickly delivers funds to vetted organizations that are best-suited to lead immediate and long-term relief and recovery. Learn more at

About the Author

Hi I’m Nadra Angerman — born in Ketchikan and raised Wrangell. I studied, worked and lived in the Lower 48 for twenty-five years before returning to Alaska. I write about natural resources, economic development and the entrepreneurial spirit. My husband, daughter and I are co-owners of Chinook Shores Lodge, The Inn at Knudson Cove and Pier 25 Boathouse.

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