i + D - November/December 2020 - 30

Native Trails turned to Murano,
Italy, where glass artisanry has been
a tradition for 1,500 years, for a
new collection of vessel sinks.

Bringing handmade craft into
contemporary settings is a
driving force at Native Trails.
(Image: Alfred Yan Photography)

(Image: Native Trails)

Naomi Neilson
(Image: Chris Bersbach)

Bridging Cultures
Handmade products crafted from honest
materials can be comforting and grounding,
especially during stressful times. When sourcing
from overseas, there are more options than
ever before and careful importers are mindful
today of everything from the quality of the
craftsmanship to how the craftspeople themselves
are treated. " That is where we step in, " says
Naomi Neilson, founder and CEO of Native Trails,
which has been a Certified B Corporation since
2019. " I founded Native Trails in 1996 with a
dream of bridging cultures, of combining artisan
heritage with innovative design and sustainable
materials. Bringing the beauty of undiscovered
artisans to homes all over the world is a passion
I gratefully live out every day. "
Neilson believes business can be a force for
good in the world. With this in mind, she worked
to find a way to combine her interests in artisan
traditions, sustainability, and fair trade practices
into a business plan that would open doors for
undiscovered artisans. She began by bringing the
craft work of central Mexico to central California,
ushering in a market for handcrafted copper sinks
for the kitchen and bath that would take the
company's business-and the artisans' work-
across North America.

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378_025_i+D Nov.Dec 2020_V4.indd 30

" We work closely with artisan families to combine
their age-old artistic tradition with modern design
to create functional items with high appeal to
interior designers and homeowners, " says Neilson,
who adds that connecting their work with a larger
market and contemporary design can be critical in
preserving artisan heritage, which is increasingly
at risk worldwide.
To that end, Neilson and her team do not limit
themselves to the craft of just one region. In fact,
among the company's recent launches is a line of
spun-glass vessel sinks, made by hand in Murano,
Italy, where glass artisans have been working their
furnaces for 1,500 years.
" Globally sourced artisan products can enhance
the feeling of connection-with the artisans who
crafted them and also with the materials and
their stories. It's an overall sense of connecting
with humanity, more valued than ever today
in the highly digitized, increasingly virtual world
we live in, " explains Neilson. " When interior
designers bring these products into their clients'
homes, they are often the items that provide that
feel-good sense to the homeowner. They satisfy
the soul, where we maybe didn't even realize
something was missing. "

i+D - November/December 2020

2020-11-25 13:48



i + D - November/December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i + D - November/December 2020

Contents
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i + D - November/December 2020 - Contents
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https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/id/20210304
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