While on a family vacation in Acapulco in 1966 to take a break from harsh Chicago winters where they worked hard to the bone, Hiram and Blanca spotted a car with Alaskan Totems painted on the vehicle and the license plates were Alaska. This piqued their interest, so Hiram decided to go north and check out the quality of the fur in Alaska. Alaska’s land was teaming with lush, indigenous animals, which were a rich source for furs.
Hiram was astounded at the quality and quantity of the fur in Alaska and realized the connection to find work. He brought a sample of his work to the manager of Totum Furs in Anchorage, Alaska, with which he secured a three-month work contract. He sent a telegram to his family, relaying his success in Alaska. His brothers journeyed north to Anchorage at his recommendation. When the owner of Totum Furs saw the fine craftsmanship of his brothers, they said, “I never saw anyone sew this fast and this straight.” Hiram replied, “You learn how to sew fast and straight when you are paid by the piece!”