by Stacey A.
Truckee local and owner of Nayture's Empire, Naomi Medlin, started making leather utility belts after being inspired at Burning Man in 2010. Nicknamed "Nay-Nay" by her close friends, the name Nayture soon followed. By 2011, Nayture's Empire was well-received at eight festivals around the country. Medlin specializes in utility belts but also makes leather products such as hair clips, headbands, drink holders, bracelets, rings, and earrings ranging from $15-$35.
Medlin and crew at Truckee Thursdays
Her utility belts have been tested against the harsh elements of Burning Man for the past three years. "I have customers tell me how being able to carry all the essentials in their Nayture's Empire belt changed their experience at Burning Man."
Medlin stands behind the quality of her leather, saying it only gets softer and molds more to the body over time. With basic belts starting at $80 and going up to $225 for custom designs, it's comforting to know the belt is not only fashionable but also durable.
These types of leather belts are popping up all over the festival scene, but Nayture's Empire sets itself apart with dichroic glass. The glass is made in Ashland, Oregon with special technology that uses laser imaging to insert images into the glass, anything from sacred geometry to band logos to animals.
Nayture's Empire encourages custom orders. "Our generation wants to stand out and express themselves, and we give them the outlet to do so." Customers can select various design, which are then handblown on rainbow sheets of glass that give off different layers of color depending on the angle of the light.
A Nayture's Empire belt showcasing the iridescent dichroic glass technology
Nayture's Empire also incorporates a wide variery of gems and stones into the leather work. The stones are sourced primarily from Tucson, Arizona, but Medlin also collects stones on her travels, selecting unique, beautiful, and perfectly round pieces that they can be set and sewn in the leather.
Leather holster with turqoise, $150
Leather hair clips at Truckee Thursdays
Best-selling rose belt, $155
Most of Medlin's travels involve vending booths for various festivals, sixteen in total this upcoming year, including big festivals such as Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, Symbiosis, Stagecoach, Outside Lands, and The Bounce. In the past year, Medlin's team expanded to both the Bay Area and the East Coast to accomodate the compnay's increasing popularity.
"It's no easy task setting up booths all over the country and making quality handmade goods, and there's an amazing collective of people behind the name." This past weekend they participated in Outside Lands, mostly prepping customers for the playa.
Nayture's Empire won't be at Truckee Thusdays for the rest of the summer because of the Peach Festival and Burning Man, but you can still order online at NayturesEmpire.com or on Etsy at Etsy.com/NayturesEmpire. Medlin is spending the winter designing new leather products for Spring and Summer 2015. For more information, photos, and updates on new items and Medlin's extensive travels, find Nayture's Empire on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumbler.
Our intern, Stacey Alonzo, is an outdoor enthusiast, yoga instructor, aspiring journalist, Burner, and lover of food, drinks, live music, and travel.