Design Duo Preserves Culture Through Fashion

Ay Lelum - The Good House of Design

Aunalee Boyd-Good, left, and Sophia Seward-Good are playing a role in cultural revitalization through fashion.

September 17, 2019 - 9:15pm

As owners of the second-generation Coast Salish fashion design house Ay Lelum – the Good House of Design, sisters Aunalee Boyd-Good (Bachelor of Arts, Major in English ’15) and Sophia Seward-Good, who studied at VIU between 2008 and 2013, are playing an important role in the preservation of their culture, one garment at a time.

Growing up around art – their parents are both artists who also owned a First Nations gallery and wholesale business – instilled in the two sisters a deep respect for traditional Coast Salish culture and the stories told in the artwork. Under the mentorship of their mother, Sandra Moorhouse-Good, who had a popular clothing line in the 1990s, Ay Lelum is a true family affair, featuring traditional Coast Salish art by their father, William Good, as well as their brother, Joel Good.

 “Words cannot express the absolutely thrilling feeling of seeing your collection on the runway accompanied by the music you recorded with your family,” says Aunalee.

Ay Lelum - The Good House of DesignNotable accomplishments in recent years include receiving a 2018 Business of the Year Award in the one- to two-person enterprise category at the BC Indigenous Business Awards Gala in Vancouver, and regular appearances at Vancouver Fashion Week. Ay Lelum designs can be found in about a dozen stores, including locally at the Nanaimo Art Gallery, with their most notable account being BC Ferries. 

 “Under the teachings of our father, we are able to connect art, history, music and language, which are inseparable, and work together holistically to define the culture,” says Aunalee. “It is truly an honour and a blessing that Ay Lelum plays a role in this cultural revitalization.”

The family of artists, who are always eager to share their culture with others, were at the VIU campus in February for a celebration event to mark the raising of the Te’tuxwtun Totem Pole, carved by William Good, in the new Dr. Ralph Nilson Centre for Health and Science.

Tags: Alumni | VIU Magazine

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