About East Ruin

Our Mission

East Ruin is an archaeology-inspired art & design business for eco- and socially-conscious consumers who value alternatives to extractive production methods.


We are constantly improving our processes to be more of an ethically driven, limited-waste, limited/zero-plastic, transparent business that prioritizes people and planet over profits. From the sourcing of our materials down the selection and reuse of our packaging materials, our goal is to make the most with the least, without sacrificing quality.

What's In a Name?

The name "East Ruin" is a loving and honorary nod to Shawna's Nona, born in Croatia (formerly Yugoslavia) in Eastern Europe. The word "ruin" refers to the ancient ruins in Croatia, as well other architectural and artistic ruins across geography and time.

Behind the Tagline

The tagline for East Ruin, Relics of a Desolate Kingdom, came from this Thoreau quote from Walking (with slight modification):

"We should go forth on the shortest walk, perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure, never to return; prepared to send back our embalmed hearts only, as relics to our desolate kingdoms." 

Behind the Logo

The logo is designed with an ancient (620 - 260 BCE) gold coin from Lucania (ancient Italy). It has been suggested that the etymology of "Lucania" stems from the ancient latin idiom "luc" meaning light and lending to the "luc" in "Lucifer" which means "Morning Star" or "Bringer of Light" and it directly correlates to the lands where the ancient Osco-Sabellian peoples settled in the east.

East Ruin is an Independent Seller

We are working on building relationships with independent artist groups like The Indie Sellers Guild, The Artisan's Cooperative, and other alternatives to Amazon, Etsy, and giant platforms that have steamrolled small, handmade shops and independent artists.

Take me to The Indie Sellers Guild

It's All in the Details

Find out more information about how we choose our suppliers, what systemic factors drive our decision to not buy or sell anything on Amazon or its affiliates, how that previous statement contains a partial lie (did you know it's nearly impossible to completely avoid financially supporting Amazon?), and more uncomfortable but necessary information that drives our mission, values, and ethical compass.

  • The Artist

    East Ruin is the product of a tumultuous journey of a thinker & artist who never quite adapted to, constantly questioned, and is now on a mission to entirely rebel from the gate-keeping practices so entrenched in the modern art and education worlds.

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  • The Art

    We are highly selective in which vendors we work with, which ones we explictly do not work with, how we price our art, and more. Learn about the many factors that go into the Field Standards behind East Ruin.

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  • Our Mission

    We believe all humans deserve to live a high-quality, meaningful life. We also believe there are enough resources and suffcient technology for this to happen. In order for the benefits of collective humanity to be experienced among all people, we need to start thinking systemically.

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People & Planet

Pula arena in pula, croatia, built between 27 BCE and 68 CE, is the last roman amphitheater with all four side towers still intact.

What inspires us? Many things. But we would say that history, archaeology, anthropology, sociology, and the natural environment grant us particular appreciation for ancient ruins, enchanted forests, the richness of earthly materials, and the way humans interact with and utilize the above. We love learning about old trades and techniques, archaeological discoveries, geology, botany, and better understanding how humans have lived their lives utilizing what they have available to them here on Earth.

A Small Way to Help the Planet