A boutique store in Ridgefield sells a multitude of goods crafted from recycled materials.
Native Nomad Home & Gifts offers items like blankets, candles and soaps.
Owner Sara Darden sells the items in the hopes of promoting local vendors and has the goal to use items that are environmentally friendly. Darden found the vendors featured at her store after selling her items at local events.
“I found some of (the vendors) at markets that I myself was selling at, as how we got started was selling at local shops and markets,” said Darden. “We met so many great people that we decided to put it all under one roof.”
The blankets she sells, made by Heartprint Threads in Alberta, Canada, are composed of recycled acrylic.
“They try to have the most minimal environmental impact and footprint, using ethical practices and giving back to people in need,” Darden said.
Darden said for every blanket sold, one gets donated to a person in need. The acrylic is often taken from clothes from Goodwill that didn’t sell and were scheduled to go to recycling plants. Heartprint Threads ships the clothes to Ecuador and has the acrylic material hand-loomed there, she said.
Darden said the blankets have been a popular item in her store. She noted the company Pendleton, located in Portland, is known for selling high-quality wool blankets, but she said many people are allergic to wool, so Heartprint’s blankets serve as an alternative.
The candles Darden sells are made out of the bottom halves of beer and wine bottles, as well as yogurt jars, which get sanded to eliminate any sharp edges. They’re made by Amanda Hilton, who runs Crow Cottage Candles & Balms in Centralia. Hilton collects the bottles from nearby pubs and her friends. She cleans, cuts and sands the bottles herself.
“It’s quite a process that she goes through in order to recycle these items,” Darden said.
The candles are another one of Darden’s best sellers, along with the blankets. She said the soy-based candles burn cleanly and mentioned they are not composed of sulfur or other similar chemicals.
Cecret Soap Co., a local vendor in Vancouver run by Breezee Wilson, makes self-care items like soaps, lotions, and body scrubs that are all placed in environmentally friendly packaging, and then sold at Nomad.
“So you’re able to recycle everything and it’s biodegradable,” she said. “Not only that, but the items themselves are vegan. It’s all-natural and made of limited ingredients that are not going to be harmful to people or animals.”
On occasion, Darden and her friend Sherri Bobzien, take antique furniture and repurpose the items after they sand, clean and paint the products. Bobzien is an artist from Portland who is part of the Sioux Tribe. The duo then resell the items.
“They’re usually better-made than IKEA or other places,” said Darden.
Darden also highlighted some of the decorations her store features, like pottery which is fair trade and made in India with non-toxic paint.
“Even if it’s not recycled material, it’s not harmful,” she said.
Darden has personal reasons for wanting to sell recycled items in her shop.
“I don’t like to be wasteful,” Darden said. “I hate throwing anything away, my kids will tell you. I’m not a hoarder, but I make sure everybody finishes everything before they throw stuff away. We have a recycling center by our house that we’re grateful to have and use.”
Darden said she doesn’t want to deplete resources or hurt the environment, which is another motivation behind the store.
Darden came up with the name for the store because she grew up as an “Army brat.” While she’s native to the Pacific Northwest, she lived in different locations across the country before setting back down in Ridgefield.
Native Nomad is located at 201 S. 47th Ave., Suite 117, Ridgefield. It’s website can be found online at nativenomadinc.com.