Native Life Designs
"Native Life Designs" is a jewelry and souvenir manufacturing company owned by a non-profit organization: Life Initiatives, Inc. Our Mission is to hire and equip Native Americans to move ahead and out of poverty. We are in Rapid City, South Dakota, near the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (Wounded Knee) and about 20 miles from Mount Rushmore. Our staff creates jewelry which is sold in souvenir shops, boutiques in metro areas, and around the world via online sales. We must have a logo that blends the finest of marketing presentations with the earthy origins of the Lakota Sioux. Our staff are historically gifted artists. But they are also among the poorest culture in North America. Three of the poorest counties in the US are right here. This is much more than making and selling jewelry. This is about changing lives. Our customers buy our products not only because they are well-made and attractive, but because buying them helps people rise above very harsh conditions. Join us in our crusade!
Market #1: Our jewelry is sold in Gift & Souvenir shops (typically at National Monuments and Parks). This is a wide demographic - tourists of all kinds from all over the world.
Market #2: A higher-end jewelry line is sold in Boutiques in metro areas (esp Southern California). Native American culture is viewed with keen interest and is considered "exotic" in many US metro areas, and in Europe. These customers tend to be upscale, educated, and trendy.
Market #3: We also sell a Native-Themed bookmark to be sold in bookstores. Broad demographic.
We are targeting an existing market (jewelry/souvenir shops, boutiques), but we are "re-segmenting" the market to reach people who have an interest in Native jewelry, but also want their purchase to have a philanthropic impact (it helps people gain skills and rise above poverty).
We want our logo to communicate competence and quality to an often-upscale demographic, but it must also communicate the earthy, natural origin of the Lakota Sioux and of our products. Our product materials are mostly organic: shell, bone, leather, beads.
I am envisioning a clean, simple design, possibly even one-color. But I'm not locked into that totally. If you have other ideas, present them; I'll give regular feedback.
IMPORTANT: The perfect design would center on a simple graphic with other design elements in the background or periphery. The simple graphic would be used as a "coin" or "tab" that could become a metal "tag" on our products. The full logo design would be used in print and packaging; the core graphic would be incorporated into our products.
The company name, "Native Life Designs" or initials (NLD) could be part of the design, but not necessarily.
Earth tones are important. Significant symbols which might be a part of the design include the Feather, the Eagle, the Buffalo, and "sweet grass" or a simple, straight prairie grass.
The winning designer could also be hired later for designing displays for our products.
Get a sense of our culture by browsing our website: http://www.LakotaLife.org.
If you're really motivated to understand our culture, rent the movies, "Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee" (historical) and "Smoke Signals" (current culture).