We have always been a company dedicated to the empowerment and celebration of women through both our products and how we conduct our business. Yet, over the last week, we have been confronted with the reality that our efforts have fallen short of our aims, and for that we are sorry.
In the past, we have used language that describes some of our products as “Navajo-inspired” or makes other references to the arts of Indigenous People. We saw these products as celebrations and reflections of this culture. However, we now know that these phrases and designs harm and challenge the businesses of Native American artists. It was never our intention to infringe on the cultural history of these designers, and we understand the impact of these actions. This product line and design was discontinued in 2018 and the remaining items that were found in our clearance section have been removed from our site. While we will continue to leverage seed beads in our products, as they are used in jewelry around the world, we will be sure that these items do not borrow from Native American designs. Moving forward, we will no longer use any such phrasing to describe any of our products.
We know that an apology is only one step and we must continue to create space and opportunities for all voices. Just as we support jewelry makers in India through employment opportunities and philanthropic giving, we want to create an impact and opportunity at home. This Fall we will launch a minority mentorship program, aimed at giving diverse students learning opportunities in business and marketing. We have also made a donation to the Hopi COVID-19 Relief Aid, which we learned of through a conversation with a commenter on this issue and will be donating to the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (NACF) to further support the work and opportunities of Native American artists.
The road to progress starts with learning and we are grateful for the voices and perspectives shared and remain committed to being a brand of empowerment for all women. Our company not only serves customers around the world, but is home to six wonderful employees, and we are dedicated to being a place anyone can be proud to work or shop.