My Enriching Path to Native Trails

Naomi Neilson Howard, Founder, and CEO


Naomi Neilson Howard, in Vietnam

When I think back to how Native Trails and my own passion for what I do started, I recall traveling to central Mexico with my family as a child and visiting my favorite places. We’d visit the village markets; a treasure trove of incredible traditional crafts. I loved all of the unique and handmade pieces. I began to dream about how the lives of those talented artisans might change if there was a way to bring their beautiful work to my country and to a larger market where it would touch many more lives and be more valued.

Throughout my childhood, I also helped transform several old homes restored to their former glory by my parents. I realized how often in our society things with a glorious past are neglected. Furthermore, I imagined myself reclaiming some of those materials and structures and finding ways to give them a new life. As I grew older, my appreciation of our amazing planet increased. I dreamed of how I and my peers could impact the health of our earth by understanding and appreciating the interconnectedness of how we live, and by making better day-to-day choices.
The day came when I decided to turn these dreams into reality. I scraped together whatever funds I could come up with and started Native Trails – first out of a spare closet, then it took over my home and my back shed, next to a tiny office and small warehouse, and finally, it became a legitimate company with offices and warehouses where today Native Trails is international, partnering with over 1300 showrooms around the world. The lesson I learned? Never stop dreaming!
Through Native Trails, I am lucky to collaborate with an incredible group of like-minded individuals and highly skilled artisans as we produce functional and unique art that brings artistry and grace to people’s living and working spaces. We carefully consider the impact of every decision we make. Having a positive, real impact on people and the planet inspires us. Creating items of surprising beauty and warmth drives us. And the talents and creativity possessed by the artisans with whom we partner continually awes us. Together, we’ve found a common purpose:

At Native Trails, we enrich people’s lives and enhance their living spaces by creating inspiring products that combine artisan craftsmanship with natural, sustainable materials.

Of course, there are continual challenges we face, which is why we felt it so important that we put in writing the purpose and values that are essential to who we are – so that we can refer to them whenever we’re in doubt. As we grow as a company, we are determined that the positive impact we have on people and the planet will only grow. For us, that is what life and business are all about.

Thank you for allowing me to share the Native Trails story with you.

Naomi Neilson Howard, Founder & CEO