We are often asked, "What inspires you?" in regards to our brand and products. The answer is almost always the same combination of 1) family traditions 2) our natural surroundings 3) premium textiles. Usually in that order. This month we set aside time to visit Central Oregon (Bend & Painted Hills Unit). As always, we had the pleasure of meeting up with some amazing folks along the way.
After leaving Portland late, we found a place to park our van along the Deschutes River. Early in the morning we woke to the first rays of golden light upon the canyon cliffs above and the stillness of the river below. Our day began early with the river serving as our guide down to Bend, OR where we met up with Cate of Havstad Hat Company and Brent of Spoken Moto. Both doing amazing things deep in the heart of Oregon.
Earlier this year I ordered my first custom hat from none other than Cate. It was time for my final fitting! Cate is a woman we both admire. We are inspired by the care, the mindfulness she exercises while making each hat, and, more importantly, how she lives her high desert life. The hat pictured above was finished with a natural dye - lungwort leaf - gathered from the forest in Oregon. We enjoyed the pace of our visit with Cate - basking in the Central Oregon sun, while chatting all things dog to farming...and lots in between.
Later in the afternoon we took a short by-way down a rural road to The Painted Hills. The hills are a dramatic meeting of earth and sky. The melding of blue, brown, gold, orange, and red is remarkable...a paradox. The experience is intense as colors compete for your eyes' attention, yet calming as the solitude and patterns draw you into the moment. You may find yourself stepping a bit softer, making your moves just that more intentional...as you stare upon distant hills which tell a million stories of time long since passed. We certainly did.
So, what do you think inspired us to create our wool lined WAX CANVAS VEST? The answer is the same: family traditions - our natural surroundings - premium textiles. The detailing of our wool lined waxed canvas vest is no exception.
The exterior snap bares a crest which combines iconic symbols from our tribes - Ojibwe and Oneida. On the inside is a welt pocket made of deerskin leather - all from a deer hunted, fleshed and tanned by our family. The vest lining is Pendleton® wool blanket fabric featuring the condensed turquoise pattern. The exterior shell is a durable, brush brown waxed canvas. Compare the color patterns from the pictures above and the details below. The color palette represents places we have been, places of our inspiration: The Painted Hills - Big Bend National Park - Badlands of North Dakota - the high desert of North America. The meeting of blue, brown, gold, oranges and reds...the melding of a garment inspired by the things we hold dear.