Real. American. Design.
“Authentic American design is Native American design,” says Colleen Echohawk (Pawnee, Athabascan), CEO of one of America’s fastest growing Native-owned businesses, Eighth Generation. “There’s no reason why everyone in America can’t have a piece of authentic Native design in their home.” And with Native-owned businesses like Eighth Generation bringing real Native designs to the market, everyone can.
Eighth Generation, a Seattle-based home goods brand owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe, emphasizes the importance of supporting Native artists with their 100% Native-designed product line. In 2015, they became the first Native-owned business in the US or Canada to sell Native-designed wool blankets, reclaiming a market that Native artists had been pushed out of for over a century. With the launch of their 2020 Gold Label Collection, the small business reclaimed production of Native wool textiles, sharing beautiful Native designs on wool blankets and scarves that are created right in their Georgetown studio.
“Now we’re bringing Native languages into people’s homes,” shares Colleen. Eighth Generation’s line of candles and new Abundance Collection—which includes a Gold Label wool blanket, tote bag, and greeting card pack—include words in Native American languages. “I think the land remembers language,” continues Colleen. “One of the languages that this land around Seattle has heard for millennia is Lushootseed. When you use our Abundance Tote here in Seattle, send an Abundance Greeting Card, or light one of our candles, you're bringing traditional Native language back into a space that probably hasn't experienced that language in over a century. That's an incredibly powerful part of decolonizing your space and community."
The Snoqualmie Tribe—which have been stewards of the land in and around Seattle since time immemorial—purchased Eighth Generation from founder Louie Gong (Nooksack) in 2019. Lushootseed is the Native language spoken by Snoqualmie and many other Coast Salish tribes in the area.
Eighth Generation is best known for their wool blankets, of which they currently have 15 different designs by Native artists. However, their line also includes a variety of home goods, housewares, and accessories, each sharing the beauty of Native art and symbols. Over half of their products are made in the USA, with many items—including their fine art prints, Gold Label blankets and scarves, soaps, candles, and jewelry—being made right here in the US.
“It’s so inspiring to do this work,” says Colleen. “When people purchase from Eighth Generation, they’re really shopping their values. They’re affirming that supporting authentic Native art—not the fake “Native-insipred” stuff you see a lot of—is important to them. They’re saying ‘I care about artists and authenticity and building wealth in the Native community’ with their purchase. It’s a great way to be an ally to the Native community, and of course have beautiful art and meaningful home goods in your space.”
Learn more and shop at eighthgeneration.com.