Native Bear - paper, gifts & vibes was founded by Leela Hoehn in 2012 with the intuitive human in mind. The type of human that's creative, spiritually inquisitive, and requires beauty in order to thrive in our modern world. 

While paper and home goods have always been a soft spot for Leela there was never anything that really encompassed the aesthetic she was looking for. She wanted something edgier, yet approachable. Beautiful, but bold. After a few years of evolution she finally honed in the Native Bear vibe, pulling inspiration from 1970s nostalgia, the fluidity of psyche rock poster art, earthiness, and a touch of magic.

In your busy day to day life we want you to be able to enjoy some beauty along the way. Whether it’s through one of our gold printed notebooks, planners, tea towels, or greeting cards, we want to create familiar products that give you that magic feeling; the feeling of abounding energy and the reminder that there is more to us than meets the eye!

Like a true hippie’s daughter, Leela has made it a priority to be as eco-conscious as possible with all Native Bear products, packaging, and shipping methods. While the task of finding the best materials and methods is ongoing here are some ways that we are trying to condense our footprint:

  • All items are made in the USA
  • Cellophane sleeves for cards, prints and journals are made from a compostable, plant based material
  • We never use bubble wrap or plastic filler when we ship unless it is being reused 
  • Instead of plastic tape we use paper tape to ship all of our orders with
  • We reuse shipping boxes and fillers when possible

As we continue to grow and materials become more available (and affordable) we hope to someday eliminate all excessive plastics from our production. In addition, every year we donate to the Natural Resource Defense Fund who fights to protect our natural resources, animals, and marginalized people from destructive policies.

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Hi there! I'm Leela, but you can call me Bear. I grew up next to the Savannah River in Augusta, GA - home of the Godfather of Soul and many restless ghosts. I graduated with a BA in English Literature, but my background has always been in art. Growing up I spent a lot of time talking to animals and drawing picture books and trying to sell them to my family for $.25. My mother is an oil painter and my father is a piano player. I really had no choice but to end up this way.

I am deeply inspired by strong artists and thinkers and part of my drive is to help other creatives trust in their full potential. That is the true motivation behind everything I design; I want you to feel inspired. I want to make beautiful objects that remind you of your own magic!

Other things that inspire me include music, the vastness of nature, and the patterns and symbols that weave through our lives. I love the beauty and irony of it all. I love reading stories of people reaching their darkest moments and rising up victoriously with fresh eyes and heart.

When I'm not working on new designs you can usually find me eating cookies, planning an impulsive trip to the mountains, reading David Sedaris, drinking beer on a patio with my friends, staring at stars, petting animals, reading Carolyn Myss, listening to The Replacements, collecting rocks, going to a concert, or admiring people who express themselves and their art unapologetically (amongst other things).

All photos by Ashley White Photography

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Let's keep in touch <3