Native Nomad Tree
Original photo copyright Sara Darden

Native Nomad came about as a creative effort to find beauty and serenity with hand made items found both locally and from afar (Native Northwestern and other small, independent U.S. businesses).

The oak tree image for our logo is taken from a special tree that has a lot of significance to our family. Under its branches, we have enjoyed many a sunrise/sunset, campfire, story, song, game, bbq, water fight, jokes and laughter with family and friends. To us, it represents the enduring love we have for each other and all of the lives that have touched ours from around the world.

We met in ’92 during college, working at a soup kitchen in Portland, OR. We have been married for 29 years, raising our children in SW Washington for the last 27. Because most of our family is from Oregon, Washington and Idaho, we’ve always made time to visit them- traveling all over the amazing PNW. We have also been fortunate enough to travel to many U.S. States and World destinations and enjoyed various regions & cultures. Finding those quirky, unusual & nuanced spots: poring through museums, cultural centers, mom & pop shops and eateries is key to understanding a place and its people. We love history, art, culture, science, philosophy, theology and the interplay between all of them.

We have always enjoyed arts and crafts and in 2017, we began selling our art, furniture and jewelry creations at several local shops and markets and formally launched our company in 2018. We settled on the name because we are native to the Northwestern U.S. but nomads at heart. The name also refers to the makers and artists native to the NW, U.S. & abroad whom we support and promote. We want to bring people together in local and global communities, supporting & uplifting one another.

During the pandemic in 2020, we opened a brick and mortar boutique and rode the stressful rollercoaster of in person sales for 3 years (think shoplifting on a near daily basis, constant soliciting, and people just coming in to get “ideas” to make for themselves. We endured visits from shop owners openly taking pictures and gleaning our creative ideas and later asking our vendors to sell at their own shop locations, taking away our profits and ability to receive restocks from makers who were now spread too thin to honor their contracts with us). After being robbed in person by two masked individuals in 2023, we decided that we’d had enough of brick and mortar sales, and that online sales are better suited for what we were selling the most of- our jewelry line. Now, we are able to work from home with our children, dogs, cats & chickens and take better care of our family, business and dear customers. This also allows us more time to create, enjoy the process, and be a part of local community markets and pop-up events again.

We have all become used to buying cheap items made by slave labor overseas and it is going to take time to turn the supertanker around and build a more ethical and locally-based economy but we are committed to trying. We personally buy many products made or grown by fellow makers and small businesses and promote them at every opportunity.

Our goal is to be ourselves, to not judge or divide people and to keep it lighthearted & fun! We believe that our customers’ needs are important and that kind and friendly service are essential. We are here to make your experience as positive and uplifting as possible. Thank you so much for taking the time to understand and read our story, we hope that you agree and will help support our vision.

Blessings! – Sara & Jim