The Many Nations American Indian Workshop feels welcoming, with its vibrant red and yellow walls and ceremonial and decorative artwork. You'll find the owner, Tim Hagen, working in the back, and chances are he'll take a break to chat with you while still working away, putting together something new.
The workshop offers a good variety of authentic Indian merchandise, mostly made on-site by Hagen, who is Menominee and Bad River. Other items are bought from Indian-owned companies and Indian artists, Hagen says.
And it's his focused, "traditional way" of creating things that appeals to Indian and non-Indian clientele looking for meaningful gifts, Hagen believes.
"People like dealing with me because I really put myself into it," he says.
All items in his shop are made with natural dyes and materials. Hagen gathers his supplies from regional mines and forests, ensuring that the shop features a unique, seasonal collection.
Hagen's shop has an array of traditional, handmade American Indian goods, including dreamcatchers, moccasins, peace pipes and drums. Sage bundles ($3) for smudging, a purification ritual, and herbs ($1-$2) are also sold. There's also fun stuff for kids, like miniature tom-toms ($12.50) and model canoes ($12) made of birch bark.
Many Nations has a distinctive jewelry collection, including sterling silver and semiprecious stone necklaces ($20-$30) and earrings crafted from beads ($10) and stones ($20-$30). Hagen's attention to detail is apparent in his polished feather-shaped wood earrings ($30-$40) and a sterling silver multi-strand necklace strung with green-speckled American turquoise ($42).
The shop specializes in gifts that fulfill something for the giver and receiver, says Hagen. "This is what keeps me grounded - my work."
Many Nations American Indian Workshop
4053 Monona Dr., 608-467-8060
Mon. noon-9 pm, Tues.-Sat. 11:30 am-9 pm