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ABOUT US

The Russian American Company, located in Sitka Alaska, is not just another Russian store or Alaskan souvenir shop. Established in 1980, for over 40 years this special store has been offering the best of Russian imported hand-crafted Russian gifts and collectables, featuring Russian imported folk-art, in over 3,000 sq. ft. of retail floor space specializing in Russian product lines. Located on Lincoln Street, in the heart of downtown Sitka, this landmark Russian shop also features a large selection of Native Alaskan made products, and includes an Alaska Gallery within the store for those one-of-a-kind unique Alaskan gifts such as first-nations native art, hand-carved totemic art, fossil ivory scrimshaw, fossil whalebone sculpture, Alaska themed jewelry and hand-carved silver.

The history of Russia in Alaska has been prominent in Sitka, known as the former capital of Russian America. For over 150 years, from the late 17th century, the Russians had a presence in what is now Alaska. The original Russian American Company was established in 1799 to facilitate the fur-trade, primarily the luxurious pelts of the sea-otter, which were sold to China and Europe The early fur trade was dominated then in Alaska by Russian explorers and seamen. After exhausting the lucrative sea-otter populations in the Aleutian Islands and Kodiak areas, the Russians made Sitka their new capital, and the headquarters of the fur trade while Russia controlled the Alaskan territory. The Russian American Company was then the dominant trading company in Alaska. Finally, in 1867, with the fur trade dying and England as well as the US encroaching on the Russian controlled Alaska territory, William H Seward convinced the US congress to purchase Alaska from the Russians for $7,200,000; or a mere 2 cents an acre!

The Russian American Company then disappeared from Sitka, but only until 1980 when it was re-established as a Russian store and new trading post on the main street, a concept shop specializing in Russian gifts and collectables, along with the best of Alaskan art, becoming on of the finest Russian stores in all of America, as well as representing the special works of Alaskan artists.

Douglas and Olga Borland, family owners of the Russian American Company, were among the first to travel to Russia (then the Soviet Union) in the 1980’s, to develop their business as importers of Russian gifts. At one time, they directly imported and sold Russian products all over the US, including as suppliers to SAKS Fifth Avenue in New York, Gump’s in San Francisco, Fox in Seattle, OC Tanner in Salt Lake City, etc.; as well as many other small Russian stores and Russian shops throughout America. As sole proprietors they are residents of Sitka and travel extensively to Russia and throughout Alaska to source their unique products.

One of the few direct importers of Russian gifts and collectibles in America, the owners of the Russian American Company, have traveled to Russia since the 1980’s to source their unique offerings, when the Soviet Union was just starting to allow foreign visitors. Now they spend about a month there every year, and have an established family-run presence in Russia to source their unique Russian products year-around. This allows the continuous changing of the unique lines, and the very best pricing available anywhere in the America. By the same token, the direct relationship with dozens of Alaskan artists and craftsmen and women provides the store with an unsurpassed array of the finest of wares produced in Alaska.

Our Russian American store specializes in museum quality Russian art, Alaskan made and Alaska themed gifts, and especially Russian crafts and folk-art, including authentic papier-mache Russian Lacquered miniatures, Matryoshka dolls, exquisite carved figurines, Russian hand-crafted Christmas ornaments and all kinds of contemporary and antique Russian products. Antique Russian icons adorn the walls, and we feature a huge selection of other contemporary Russian orthodox liturgical items such as Russian passion eggs and Russian cross pendants in silver and gold.

A wide selection of Russian chess sets, authentic Faberge as well as Faberge style eggs and ornaments, and exclusive Russian jewelry with Baltic amber, Russian charoite, and other semi-precious stones set in sterling silver, are offered at

amazingly low prices. And for those who simply want a fair-priced Russian or Alaskan souvenir, there is a large area of Russian and Alaska themed souvenirs, from t-shirts to coffee mugs to key-chains and magnets.

If you are searching for Russian gifts, from a reputable and long-established Russian gift store, we source the finest from the centers of Russian folk-art, direct from the villages in Russia that have produced these art-forms for over 200 years. Or, if you are seeking unique and select pieces of Alaska-made or Alaska-themed gifts and collectables, then the Russian American Company is the premier store in Alaska to visit, either in person or through the on-line website russianamericancompany.com With our major online presence, we offer personalized service and insured shipping to anywhere in the world.

Anyone visiting Sitka, either on-line or in person, should not miss the Russian American Company, one of the oldest Russian specialty stores in America featuring also the finest gallery of Alaskan products anywhere. Our motto is museum quality, always offered at the best prices anywhere!