THE ARTISTS JOURNEY TO MIAKODA

I will never forget the feeling of hearing my old beat up RV breaking down and trying to keep trucking until I got out of Portland, Oregon's city limits. Unfortunately (or fortunately for many other reasons), it broke down, smack dab in the middle of town. People were laughing, staring and concerned with the strange noises coming from the tin can.

My friend Renee and I decided to take our dogs for a little offseason adventure and hit the road for a few months. We were on a National Park road trip and the only itinerary was a map with big circles around our beautiful country's natural treasures.

I was living in Vail, Colorado, where I lived since moving away from my hometown Wheaton, Illinois, after high school. I loved living in Colorado, but I always felt a pull toward underpopulated and rugged Montana.

The last sounds of Tatanka (the ol' tin can) were very symbolic. They weren't just the sounds of the end of a road trip, they were also the sounds of the beginning of my new journey.

Family in Oregon invited me to live with them while I worked to pay for a new vehicle. To pass the time, I bought a hide of leather and made my first Grand Prismatic fringe bag.  I was amazed how naturally leatherwork came to me and how much I loved it.  At that moment, I knew that this was how I wanted to make a living.

I now live in a small cabin with my Alaskan malamute in the rural outskirts of Whitefish, Montana. I spend my time enjoying God's Country with the people I love and am constantly inspired by our beautiful mountains and endless landscapes. I now have a store in Whitefish, where I also attend farmers' markets as well as local music festivals. I am in constant pursuit of making my ideas a reality and supporting my lifestyle by doing what I love to do.

-Alexandra Hall

Owner and Artist of MIAKODA