Fat Cats and Secret Symbolism - 10 Fun Facts About Us

By now, you probably know that Eighth Generation is the first Native-owned company to offer wool blankets. But do you know what the coyote on our blanket boxes symbolizes? Check out this list of 10 fun facts we bet you never knew about Eighth Generation!

1. Avery, our Communications Specialist, is an emerging tattoo superstar. 

A post shared by avery osajima (@averykiyo) on

When she isn't working behind the scenes of Eighth Generation tending to your email inquiries, Avery is creating intricate, hand-poked tattoos. Check out her rapidly growing Instagram!

2. Our CEO's salary is smaller than other team members.

Our Project Management Wall at the Eighth Generation studio in Seattle.

Louie Gong (Nooksack) has a unique approach to building a business.  "We ALL need to make money," he says "but none of us need to make ALL the money."

3. The cute Rez Cat you see in some of our products is modeled after Eighth Generation owner, Louie Gong's, pet cat "Maosie."

A young Maosie causes trouble on site during an early Eighth Generation photo shoot
The Follow Your Dreams Throw Blanket features Rez Cat and his orca pal, KW

During his time working at Muckleshoot Tribal College, Eighth Generation owner Louie Gong stumbled upon a feral kitten meowing loudly outside of the school on the Muckleshoot Reservation. Louie was originally planning on taking the kitten to the vet and then a shelter for eventual adoption, but couldn't bear to part with him after he fell asleep in his passenger seat on the way home. Maosie has had a happy home with Louie for 8 years now, making features in Louie's artwork, and sometimes acting as a metaphor for Louie's own personal story.

4. The coyote on Eighth Generation's blanket boxes has a hidden meaning

Coyote's have to use their wits to survive in places where they are being squeezed out of their environment. The leaping coyote on our blanket boxes acts as an analogy for Native-owned companies like ours, who have to be wily like coyotes as we work to make space for ourselves in the marketplace.

5. When Louie does a big public speaking engagement, he crushes sage or cedar in his pocket and smells it to ground himself before speaking

Eighth Generation has never had a business loan or backer, and was instead built on the money Louie saved from countless community workshops and speaking engagements! Once, before a big speaking event, Louie's cousin Hodie snuck backstage and brought him cedar oil to rub on his hands, clearing his mind and calming him immediately. Louie has done this for big speaking engagements ever since.

6. Before Eighth Generation, there was 'Affirmative Action Figures'

Before he ever started doing art, Louie's first business project was was called Affirmative Action Figures, and featured stereotype-defying characters like a Brown Jesus, Native lawyer and an Asian male porn star!

7. Many believe that our studio is in a haunted building!

Before the Inscape Arts building was a space for artists, it was the United States Immigration Station and Assay Office, acting as a prison for immigrants awaiting deportation. There are rumors that the building is haunted - and whether you believe in ghosts or not, the building's heavy history is undeniable. As for us, we like to believe that the positivity of the 70+ artists creating work in this building is helping to transform the energy of the space!

8. Louie has been taking on big opponents from an early age

Louie grew up participating in martial arts competitions, coached by his own father who was a professional fighter! Now he channels his energy and fighting spirit into creating opportunities for cultural artists.

9. We have a tiny studio cactus nicknamed Green Bean!

"Green Bean" with the Navajo Steps Earrings by Michele Reyes (Navajo)

You may have seen our little friend appear in the back of some of our product shots...this tiny cactus was brought in by a plant-loving staff member and is now our (unofficial) team mascot!

10. The 'Good Medicine' saying you see on some of our products started as a daily text from one of Louie's family members

The Good Medicine Tote Bag - $24

One of Louie's cousins used to send him a daily text message greeting of, "Good medicine."  This message is now carried on in a number of Eighth Generation products!