Sarah’s Haida Arts & Jewellery
Sarah’s Haida Arts and Jewellery is a celebration of the richness and diversity of the traditional Haida culture that distinguishes the Haida Gwaii archipelago. The gallery began as a small family venture and has expanded in its nearly 40 years of operation to include a variety of works that includes paintings, wood and argillite carvings, Haida wear, cedar bark and spruce root weaving, gold, silver, copper and ivory jewellery, authentic Haida drums, art cards, totems, masks, paddles, limited-edition prints, mugs, souvenirs and giftware. The gallery is housed in a traditional-style Haida longhouse that is a work of art in its own right.
Meet Sarah Hillis
Meet Sarah Hillis
Sarah Hillis didn't start out to become an entrepreneur. Instead, she grew into it as the result of her husband's artistry. A member of the Haida nation, he was a prolific artist, and his work, which he created from his small in-home studio, was in demand. Friends and acquaintances who knew of his talent would stop by to look at his work, but he only worked on one project at a time and had no inventory. Usually, the pieces that he was working on were already spoken for, and he couldn't create new pieces fast enough to satisfy demand. So his wife, Sarah, began taking in pieces from other Haida artists, mainly extended family members, and selling them to the public. And soon Sarah's Haida Arts and Jewellery was born.
The small studio was quickly overflowing, so Sarah began expanding, eventually designing and building a gallery fashioned after a traditional Haida longhouse. The house was designed around a carved door that had been given to the couple as a gift from a relative. The building is decorated with Haida paintings and a carved totem stands out front to welcome guests.
So while Sarah's venture into business was somewhat accidental, she takes a great deal of pride and satisfaction in the gallery and the artwork inside. Sarah knows each artist personally and notes that they each have distinctive talents and skills. She is also proud of being able to share Haida culture and tradition through the artwork that she sells in the gallery, especially when pieces get picked up by visitors who take them to the far corners of the world.