Originally published in The Northern Light

Hulin Alaskan Designs, located in Spenard, finds inspiration in Alaska’s less exciting landscape.

Bret Connor always had an eye for design. Starting at Service high school, Connor and his friend Garrett started their own clothing business. Selling mostly to classmates, the two friends created clothes and self taught themselves to sew.

“I just always had a desire to make things and figure things out, and design to some degree,” Connor said.

Connor is born and raised Alaskan and currently resides in the “Spenardigan” neighborhood. The area between the Spenard and Turnagin neighborhoods. He gleans inspiration from the less-than-noteworthy parts of Anchorage, especially the in the Spenard neighborhood. Connor used to work at Bears Tooth and many of his designs revolve around landmarks near the theatre-pub.

“For me, it’s just home. Living here so long you start to pick up on these minute details that wouldn’t jump out at you right away. When you put that out there people notice it too. I like the subtleness of it,” Conner said.

The store which functions as his workshop opened a less than a year ago. Previously, Connor was working out of a shack next to his house.

Many of Connor’s products are one of a kind. With simple changes and mistakes created in the design process, these marks give Hulin Design a unique look. To accomplish this Connor makes his own screens for his screen printer by buying 1X2’s at Lowes and getting mesh fabric from JoAnn fabrics.

“I do that on purpose, I really like the aesthetic of having a lot of variables in place. It gives it a more handmade feel,” Connor said.

Hulin Alaskan Designs has been contracted to do multiple collaborative projects in town. From business like Black Cup, Forty-Ninth State Brewing Company, Resolution Brewing Company and many more; Connor’s designs can be seen throughout the state. Connor hopes to do collaborative work with other artists in town who use other mediums of design.

Hulin Alaskan Designs is located on the corner of Fireweed Lane and Spenard Road.

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