A new Oklahoma design company hopes to define what Native American furniture looks like

Great State

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (KFOR) – Most people who think of Native American furnishings draw a blank.

“It goes beyond Navajo rugs and turquoise jewelry from Arizona,” says architect and interior designer Cray Bauxmont- Flynn.

He started with the basics, right down to the stories his Cherokee great-grandmother used to tell him to form the building blocks of culture.

“I wanted to tell the story of my culture in a different aspect,” says Flynn.

A dream to bring those designs to real furniture brought Cray to Muskogee and the Thayer family – in business since 1955, building and upholstering just about anything that needs it.

Greg Thayer showed him around and introduced him to his family, many of them who still work here.

‘Can you build my designs?’ he asked them.

‘Yes we can’, they replied.

“I was so impressed when I saw Cray’s designs and was so glad we were able to connect, and that we’re going to be able to bring those ideas to life,” Greg says.

Flynn’s new company is called Amatoya, a Cherokee work meaning ‘Rainmaker.’

His idea: starting fresh, and using Native American, Oklahoma artisans to help him define something new.

A factory visitor notes, “I had never seen those ideas transferred to furnishings. It seems new to me.”

“It is new,” smiles Flynn. “I don’t think anyone else, at least nationally, is doing what we’re doing here.”

Cray is still combing the state looking for ideas and builders too.

Far beyond the beginning stages now, his designs are taking shape, not just in his head but across Oklahoma, and he hopes, every tribe that calls it home.

“Oklahoma is the best place to do this,” he states.

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