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Supply chain issues hit Anchorage artist’s holiday sales

Published: Dec. 22, 2021 at 5:18 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Issues with the nation’s supply chains are impacting more than just traditional businesses. Anchorage artist Duke Russell said they are also cutting into sales he would normally do during the holidays.

Russell designs original art plates he’s been selling in the entranceway to Middle Way Café in Spenard. Normally, he said, he’d have about 100 designs to chose from. But just days before Christmas, that is not the case.

“I have about 50 plates, maybe less,” he said. “A lot of which are ones that, you know, I might appreciate, but others may not.”

Russell is waiting on a big order of some of his most popular designs that is now weeks late. The plates are printed by a company in Texas. Russell said production was postponed because of a nationwide shortage of melamine, the substance the plates are made of.

“I think the COVID thing has really reminded us of how delicate all the balances are,” he said.

For the most part, his customers have been patient, even those who have ordered and paid in advance on his website.

“Nobody’s saying ‘where’s my plate?’ Everybody’s being very cool about it,” he said.

Russell is hopeful the plates might arrive by Christmas day. He said if that happens, he’ll hand-deliver them himself.

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