Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

About Eighth Generation

Is Eighth Generation Native Owned?

Yes! Eighth Generation was founded by a Native artist, Louie Gong (Nooksack), to build business capacity for Native artists across the country and continent. When Louie sold Eighth Generation to the Snoqualmie Tribe in 2019, we became the first lifestyle brand to be owned by a tribe. As owners of Eighth Generation, the Snoqualmie Tribe is proud to continue protecting culture, elevate Native artists, and uplift tribal voices. Read more about the Snoqualmie Tribe on their website and our blog.

Who is the Snoqualmie Tribe and How Are They Connected to Eighth Generation?

Since time immemorial, the Snoqualmie People have lived, worked, played, and hunted in the lands around Seattle, Snoqualmie Falls, and the Pacific Northwest. In 2019, just weeks after making a historic acquisition of their sacred lands alongside Snoqualmie Falls, the Snoqualmie Tribe purchased Eighth Generation, becoming the first tribe to own and operate a home goods business.

Through these acquisitions, the Snoqualmie Tribe illustrated their values by protecting culture, promoting Native artists, and elevating tribal voices. Through its ownership of Eighth Generation, the Tribe is strengthening the company’s messaging and mission, supporting and elevating Native artists, and continuing to educate about the harmful effects of cultural appropriation. As founder Louie Gong (Nooksack) said of the Tribe’s purchase of our company, “they put the muscle behind the hustle.” Eighth Generation is proud to be part of the Snoqualmie Tribe’s story.

What Kind of Products Does Eighth Generation Sell?

Eighth Generation is known for our authentic Native-designed wool blankets. We were the first Native-owned company to commercially sell wool blankets in the national and global marketplace with our Thunderbird Arrives Wool Blanket designed by our founder Louie Gong (Nooksack). Today, we sell all kinds of 100% Native-designed home goods and gifts, from wool and cotton blankets to pillows, drinkware, jewelry, scarves, socks, and more. Many of our items, including our Gold Label collection of wool textiles, our mixed-media and Sterling silver jewelry, soap, greeting cards, and tote bags are made right here in Seattle, where we are based. We are the place for authentic, Native-designed gifts for your loved ones and special treasures for yourself.

What Does the Eighth Generation Name and Logo Mean?

“Eighth Generation” is a play on the intertribal value of Seven Generations. By calling our business Eighth Generation, we are embedding respect for those who came before us and doing our best for the generations who come after us. Also, the pronunciation of “eight” in Cantonese—Founder Louie Gong’s grandpa’s language—sounds like the word for prosperity. Therefore, having “eight” is considered a very lucky number to have in a business name.

Can Non-Native People Purchase Eighth Generation Products?

Yes, absolutely! Eighth Generation products are for everyone. When you purchase from Eighth Generation, you’re directly supporting the Native artist who designed that product; the Native employees who helped create, prep and get that product to you; and our tribal owners—the Snoqualmie Tribe.

What Makes Eighth Generation Products Unique?

In a global market flooded with fake “Native-inspired” products designed and sold by non-Native people, Eighth Generation’s products stand out as the authentic, 100% Native-designed antidote to cultural appropriation. Every single one of our products is Native designed, and comes with an artist card to share more about the artist behind your design.

We work with a network of suppliers to ensure your new Eighth Generation product is high quality, beautifully made, and a reflection of our values and high standards.

Does Eighth Generation Have Physical Stores?

Yes! In 2016, Eighth Generation proudly opened our flagship store in Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market, regularly included on lists as one of the top tourist destinations in the world. You can find more information, including our hours, on our Store page.

What is the Pike Place Market?

Pike Place Market is Seattle’s iconic public market in downtown seattle, sharing the food, handmade goods, art, and products of over 500 vendors. Founded in 1907 and stretching over 9 acres of historic waterfront, Pike Place Market is one of America’s oldest continuiously operating markets, and is regularly found on national and international lists of top tourist destinations.

The region’s Native peoples have lived, worked, hunted, fished, and played in and around what is now downtown Seattle for time immemorial, and it is incredibly important that Native people and Native culture through Eighth Generation once again have a prominent presence at the Market.

Do Eighth Generation Products Make Good Gifts?

Eighth Generation’s products are the perfect gifts for anyone who loves art and design, who wants to adorn themselves and their home with high-quality products, who values supporting small businesses and cultural artists, or who wants their everyday items like blankets and towels to be beautiful and special. Our Gold Label blankets make heirloom-quality gifts, while our socks, mugs, and wool blankets.

Does Eighth Generation Sell Wholesale?

Due to growing demand for our product, we take on wholesale partnerships as we are able. Please visit our Wholesale page for more information.

Why is Eighth Generation Unique?

Eighth Generation is one of the fastest-growing Native-owned businesses in the US and Canada. We are proud of our many firsts—first Native-owned company to commercially sell wool blankets, first Native-owned company to produce our own wool blankets, first tribally owned lifestyle brand—and the ways in which we reclaim the market and production for Native artists. We put our artists first (we were founded by an artist for artists, afterall!) and reject the colonial model of capitalism that puts people over profit. Our values guide every decision we make, and we are committed to educating the public about how they can respectfully purchase cultural art (i.e.: appreciation, not appropriation), building wealth across Indian Country, and supporting Native artists by producing high-quality products and goods with their authentic Native art.

About Eighth Generation Blankets

Why Did Eighth Generation Start Making Blankets?

Our founder Louie Gong (Nooksack) began planning for wool blankets in 2010 after earning his first wool blanket by keynoting an education conference. From that point forward, he saved every penny from speaking and workshops to use as the seed money for the 2015 launch. In 2019, Eighth Generation launched our Gold Label collection of wool baby blankets made in our Seattle studio, adding throw blankets to the collection in 2021.

What size are Eighth Generation Blankets?

“Signature Series” Wool Blankets: 80" x 60" (fits the top of a queen size bed)

Gold Label Wool Blankets: approximately 64” x 62” (varies slightly by design)

Cotton Blend Blankets: 108” x 92” (fits a king size bed)

Cotton Throw Blankets: 50" x 60"

Gold Label Wool Baby Blankets: 39" x 28"

What Are Eighth Generation Blankets Made From?

Our "Signature Series" wool blankets have a 100% wool pile (the part you see and feel) and 100% polyester warp (the internal structure that gives the blanket stability and longevity). Our cotton blend blankets are made with a cotton/acrylic blend. Our throw blankets are made with 100% cotton. Our Gold Label collection of Native-made textiles—throw blankets, baby blankets, and scarves—are made with 100% Merino wool.

What is the Quality of Eighth Generation Blankets?

Our wool "Signature Series" blankets are perfect for cooler temperatures and as statement pieces on the back of a couch or hanging on a wall. Customers have told us our wool is soft, not scratchy, and the suede edge band of each blanket make them extra cozy.

Our cotton/acrylic blend blankets feel similar to fleece, but are much more plush. They're a great wool alternative to anyone with wool allergies, and are machine washable. Excellent for houses with kids and pets! Our 100% cotton throw blankets are a medium weave and weight. They make excellent light throws for warmer months or to be used as picnic blankets.

Our 100% Merino wool Gold Label collection of throw blankets, baby blankets, and scarves are our softest, most luxurious textiles. Made right here in our Seattle studio, our Gold Label Throw Blankets are double-knit for a luxurious, heavy weight.

Where are Eighth Generation Blankets Produced?

We are proud to work with local, domestic, and international partners worldwide as true participants in the global economy. Our Gold Label collection of wool throw blankets, baby blankets, and scarves are produced right here in our Seattle studios. Our cotton throw blankets are produced in the USA. Our "Signature Series" wool blankets are imported from China.

Why Doesn’t Eighth Generation Produce All Blankets in the United States with American or Native-Produced Wool?

As a growing business, we are proud to partner with both domestic and worldwide partners in producing our blankets! Eighth Generation is confident that we entered into this high-barrier-to-entry market in the best way possible and reject any stereotype-based assumption that a Native-owned company is somehow "less Native" because we work with overseas manufacturers. We must contend with the same reality and constraints as all other American small businesses. Yet, while only 3% of apparel sold in the USA is made domestically, over 50% of Eighth Generation's product categories are manufactured in the USA—much of it made in our own Seattle studio.

In October 2019, Eighth Generation became the first ever Native-owned company to produce a Native-made textile line in our Seattle headquarters!

Eighth Generation Donations and Discounts

Does Eighth Generation Donate Products or Money to Other Organizations?

Yes. Eighth Generation proudly believes that engaging in commerce that is so closely connected to Native peoples comes with an ethical obligation to nurture the environments that this cultural art is coming from. Therefore, we take seriously the responsibility of giving back to the community. Due to the high volume of requests we receive, however, we have to predesignate how many organizations we donate to each year—usually making selections at the beginning of the year.

What Organizations Has Eighth Generation Supported?

In the last few years, Eighth Generation and Louie Gong have made cash, product, and service donations to a wide variety of organizations. Some examples include the National Indian Education Association, Evergreen State College Longhouse (becoming the largest individual donor in 2016), Seattle's Navigation Center, Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women of Washington, the Wing Luke Museum, and numerous special events such as memorials, weddings and other fundraisers.

In 2016, Eighth Generation donated $10,000 worth of blankets to the water protectors at Standing Rock and then partnered with the Google American Indian Network and First Peoples Fund to contribute an additional $24,000 in resources

In 2017, Eighth Generation brought together numerous businesses and nonprofits to support the new Navigation Center.

In 2018, Eighth Generation donated $15,000 worth of wool blankets to people transitioning out of homelessness.

In 2019, as part of our annual First Frost Gifting, Eighth Generation donated wool blankets to Chief Seattle Club’s Eagle Village. This facility provides modular homes as a route out of homelessness and into permanent homes.

In 2020, during the early stages of the pandemic, Eighth Generation donated 10,000 pieces of personal protective equipment to the Seattle Indian Health Board. Also, with support from the Snoqualmie Tribe, Eighth Generation provided nearly $10,000 worth of wool blankets to elders, families and children who lost their homes to wildfires in Washington and Oregon. Additionally, the women of Eighth Generation called attention to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women with the production of our “Sacred Sisters” Scarf. All $8,929 of the scarf’s profits were donated to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, (NIWRC), who help end gender-based violence in tribal communities.

How Can I Request a Donation From Eighth Generation?

You can email with more information on your organization and request.

Are There Deadlines For Donation Requests From Eighth Generation?

No. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.

Eighth Generation’s Inspired Native Artists

How Does Eighth Generation Choose Their Artists?

Eighth Generation only works with authentic Native (Native American, First Nations, or Indigenous) artists. Proof of tribal enrollment, as well as other factors, may be used in our assessment of whether an artist is a good match for the Eighth Generation brand. Our assessment includes:

-Proof of tribal enrollment (required)

-Demonstrated engagement with tribal communities over time

-Vetting by tribal communities as demonstrated by prior art projects

-Continuity between the artist's creative practice and traditions/themes of their own tribal community

We reach out to artists we are interested in working with directly. We are unable to accept portfolios, examples, or artist collaboration requests at this time.

How Do Eighth Generation Artists Get Paid?

Eighth Generation was founded by an artist in order to help other Native artists build their own business capacity. Because of that, it is critical to us that we pay our artists very high licensing/usage fees for their designs and products sold.

What is the Inspired Natives Project by Eighth Generation?

The Inspired Natives® Project, launched by Louie Gong in May 2014, is both a business initiative and an educational initiative. By collaborating with select arts entrepreneurs to manufacture products under the Eighth Generation brand, the project expands the regional appeal of the Eighth Generation brand while simultaneously increasing the capacity of the arts entrepreneurs and educating the public about the tangible costs of cultural appropriation. You can read more about the project and meet the artists here.

About Eighth Generation's Founder and CEO Louie Gong (Nooksack)

Where are you from?

I was born in Ruskin, B.C., where I lived with my Chinese Grandpa and Native Grandma in a house with no running water. When I was 11, we moved to the Nooksack tribal community near Everson, Washington. I stayed there until I finished graduate school at the age of 22.  

I'm Chinese, Native, French and Scottish. My family has Squamish and Nooksack heritage, and I'm an enrolled citizen of the Nooksack nation.

What is your educational background?

A first-generation college student, I have a Master’s Degree in Education from Western Washington University’s School Counseling Program. Over my 20 years in education, I’ve worked as a Native American Education Specialist, School Counselor, Child and Family Therapist, and Higher Education Administrator.

Since the age of 18, I’ve been a non-profit volunteer – primarily at the board level – for numerous organizations. I’m the past President of the MAVIN Foundation, a non-profit that addresses the experiences of mixed race children and families, and my commentary related to racial and cultural identity has been included in MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, The New York Times and been the subject of two documentary films.

Are you a full-time artist?

Yes. In 2013, I quit my seven year position as an administrator at Muckleshoot Tribal College to pursue art and entrepreneurship full time.

How long have you been doing art?

I started practicing art seriously in 2007 when the Muckleshoot Tribe hosted the Intertribal Canoe Journey, and I had the opportunity to help the Muckleshoot Language Program paint drums for giveaway items. After that, I started seeing the world in ovals, crescents and form lines. I created my first custom shoe in March of 2009.

Did you study art?

I had one art class. It was in 8th grade, and I think I got a C.

Louie Gong's Speaking Events

Does Louie do speaking events?

A popular Keynote speaker, Louie is proud to have represented his family and community through presentations around the world, such as the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) and the Critical Mixed Race Studies conference. He has also appeared in media such as NBC Nightly News, NPR's All Things Considered, The New York Times,, and BBC.

What kind of topics does Louie talk about?

When speaking, Louie enjoys tailoring his content to the interests and needs of his audience. He often shows images of his art work to engage his audience, then weaves together humorous personal stories, empirical information and his own analysis to inspire them. Common speaking topics include identity, entrepreneurship, cultural appropriation, contemporary Native social issues and – of course – art.

Can I book a speaking engagement by Louie?

In order to focus on escalating business activities, Louie has placed a moratorium on all workshops and most speaking engagements. Inquiries about major keynotes opportunities are still welcome, and can be sent via email to Please be sure to note your name/title, organizational affiliation, type of speaking engagement(s) and some general information about your target audience.

Louie Gong's Custom Shoes

Louie, do you still customize shoes?

Unfortunately, my work on shoes has been permanently placed on the back-burner while I cultivate art related business opportunities for both myself and other cultural artists through Eighth Generation. I'm leaving the following information published – even though it is outdated – because it has been such an important part of the Eighth Generation story.

Where can I buy these shoes?

The only authorized place to purchase my hand painted/drawn shoes is here at Eighth Generation’s website.

When will you open the next round of orders for custom shoes?

I have less and less time to create custom shoes as other ventures at the intersection of art and business take off.  Although I'm honored that the demand for custom shoes is great, I ask for your patience and understanding as I develop projects that – unlike drawing on shoes – will lead to long term sustainability for my family.  I'm also helping other grassroots artists make the same moves though the Inspired Natives Project.

What do your shoes cost?

My hand painted/drawn custom shoes usually sell for $175.00 - $300.00 depending on the cost of the base shoe and the popularity of the design. This represents a self-imposed cap on pricing.

What kinds of shoes can you customize?

Although canvas shoes like Vans and Converse make great base shoes for customizing, I can customize any kind of shoe – from leather Nike Air Jordans to suede boots – to heels and pumps.

What is an "Exclusive Custom?"

We work together to design a unique shoe that represents you, your heritage, a story from your life – anything you can imagine. You may email me with your proposal, but please be advised that orders for Exclusive Customs are temporarily closed due to overwhelming demand. However, I’m inclined to make time for meaningful projects or projects that might increase exposure for Eighth Generation.

What materials do you like to use?

My custom shoes are meant to be worn, so I use materials that will be durable even with regular exposure to the elements. For canvas shoes, this means using fabric dye pens rather than acrylic or Sharpie. Although there are many brands of fabric dye pens that will work well, I prefer the regular and opaque fabric dye pens and markers from Marvy-Uchida.

In the award winning film UNRESERVED: The work of Louie Gong it is stated that I used Sharpie on my first pair of shoes. This is often taken out of context or generalized to mean that I always use Sharpie. In actuality, it only took me a few pairs to learn that fabric dye was the right medium for custom shoes.

When working on leather shoes, I like to use Angelus leather paint. You can find many informative online tutorials for working on leather shoes.

How will my custom shoes hold up?

I’ve spent a lot of time refining the methods and materials I use to put art on shoes. The artwork on your shoe should hold up nearly as well as a factory printed design.

Are there any designs you won’t do?

I won’t copy someone else’s design because it’s both bad form and no fun. Additionally, I enjoy designing with the contours, colors and lines of each shoe, so designs created as prints won’t look as good when they’re on the shoe. If you like a particular design, I’m happy to incorporate elements of the design but I won’t try to duplicate it. Copyrighted material and trademarks are also off-limits unless you are the owner or have written permission to use the material.

How will I know exactly what my shoe will look like?

You won’t. Each shoe is unique. The organic nature of designing a custom shoe is what makes the process fun and challenging. It’s also what gives each shoe its unique character.

Variations in design often depend on your shoe size and the way the design color stands out against the color of the base shoe. As I go, I also make adjustments to cover up imperfections in the base shoe and cover up my own occasional slip-up. This is typically how innovation happens.

There are also tangible factors that influence the look of your shoe. First, base-shoes of different colors tend to have slightly different textures.  This variation in texture is an important factor in determining the quality of the lines I can achieve.  It’s for this reason that I like to inspect each shoe before purchasing it. Second, although all design colors look very good, darker colors tend to look more consistent throughout the design.

Are you affiliated with Vans?

Vans has supported my work in many ways. In preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics, they helped out my fledgling operation by providing me with display fixtures and promotional materials.  Later that year, they licensed an image of my art for display in Vans retail stores across the USA.  I’m especially appreciative of their support of my "Art and Identity: Custom Shoe Workshops" with low-income youth. 

Are you affiliated with Converse?

Converse’s regional reps have been supportive of my work, and I look forward to getting more connected with Converse in the future.

What is your return policy for shoes?

All sales on custom shoes are final.