All throughout the year, but especially when the fall season approaches, there’s an increase of people falling for the temptation of purchasing things with a Native aesthetic but not actually supporting Native peoples. Recently, smudging or saging has become a wellness trend with no regards for its Indigenous origins as a traditional ceremonial practice.
From dreamcatchers to white sage, headdresses, and beaded jewelry, all of these hold great cultural significance to Indigenous peoples; but many take, appropriate, and manufacture cheaply-made versions, holding no regard or respect to their origins.
Feed someone’s dream and support a Native-owned small business today.
There are countless but we’ve selected a few that offer a variety of handmade and high-quality items that provide opportunity to appreciate rather than appropriate Indigenous culture. Many of these sellers offer both traditional and modern products, as well as cultural context and history.
Trickster Company is one of the coolest brands around as they promote “innovative Native art, fashion, and design.” Their work has even been featured in museums! Founded by siblings Rico and Crystal Worl, they design art and fashion that is both modern and relevant while still representing their own Native culture.
The products act as objects for contemporary Indigenous peoples to “represent their heritage”; and are also for non-Native people to wear and appreciate without fear of appropriating culture. They sell everything from designer apparel and accessories to stationary and stickers to home goods and even sports; such as basketballs and skateboards.
Top Knot, created by Alaskan Native Tlingit Amber Willliams-Baldwin, specializes in salves and Devil’s Club soaps, which “are always cold processed and handmade strictly from scratch”. She also offers moccasins and earrings, both of which are handcrafted. The contemporary Tlingit handmade copper jewelry is made by her son, Dametre; and all of those sales go to his college fund, which will ultimately help him become a lawyer.
Earth Maidens was established in 1999 with the goal to create both traditional and unique designs. Owners and founders Lea and William Lattie make chokers, bracelets, drums, medicine bags, and feather fans. They say that their designs are inspired by their cultural experiences working at Native American Powwows. Every item crafted by William comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.
Founded in 2019, Billiee Beauty is an Indigenous-owned, high-quality, cruelty-free, non-toxic, vegan, and mineral-infused cosmetic line. Vanessa Billiee began Billiee Beauty after being a makeup artist for five years and an esthetician for three. She believes that her makeup is “perfect for all skin types!”
Currently, the website offers creamy and highly-pigmented eyeshadow palettes; and lipstick that ensures both long-lasting color and moisture for your lips.
Sage & Oats Trading Post
Based in Helena, Montana, family-operated Sage & Oats Trading Post is a Native-owned business that offers a variety of products; ranging from apparel to food to bath and body. On Etsy, they represent more than 100 artisans in their physical store.
Self-described as “an intercultural shopping experience,” they sell jewelry, toys, candles, shirts, lotions, hats, stickers, healing ointments, tea and coffee, soap, frybread mix, bug spray, and more. The majority of their products are authentically Native-made.
Spirit Wolf Botanica
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Thank you so much for the kind words! ★★★★★ “A definite 5stars! I absolutely am beyond pleased with this order let alone the extra gifts!the rose is Devine and the palo Santo is a must have! this was my favorite bday gift this year! It came so quickly and great customer service as well! Also the packaging was beautiful it even had red hearts bubble wrap lol it was so cute!they went above and beyond! I already got the dream catcher and abalone shell and smudge bundle in my cart and already anticipating its arrival lol” Ashley B. #medicinewomansilvia #nativehandmadegiftideas #sacredsmudgecleansing #smokelesssacredsmudge #infusedblessedaromatherapy #sagepalosantoblessingsbundle #palosantobundle #whitesagebundle #organicnaturalskincare #etsynativeamericanownedshop #spiritwolfbotanica https://etsy.me/2HhgF1e
Spirit Wolf Botanica is an Etsy shop that specializes in aromatherapy and natural remedies. Owner Silvia Carreon is an “Indigenous medicine woman and seer with a sincere passion for helping people find peace and harmony in mind, body and spirit.”
In her shop, you’ll find canvas art, cleansing sprays, and bracelets. She sells a white sage spray meant to “clear the mind and create positive energy without smoke as it also purifies the air”. Her items also have detailed descriptions briefly explaining its use and cultural significance. Remember to be mindful of saging origins if you choose to participate.
Rain Girl Art
Rain Girl Art is an Etsy shop selling authentic artisan pieces inspired by nature; including necklaces, ornaments, and dreamcatchers. Creator Leigha Jane is a member of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa who designs traditional dreamcatchers, conscientiously honoring her ancestry. Most include her own harvested tree branches, beads, and feathers. Some even include seashells. After being crafted, the dreamcatcher is “hung outside in a wooded area teeming with birds and abundant with sunlight and the smells of the earth to bring it back to the earth’s vibration.”
In each description, she explains that the Ojibwe (also known as Chippewa) people were the first Nation to use dreamcatchers as they were hand-woven by women and given to family as a “maternal keepsake” to ultimately “provide protection while far away”. Although origin stories vary, “the power and belief in the sentiment is universal.”
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✨ showcasing my trade ✨ . I can finally share with you all what I made @lizbot5000 for our trade!! . After your votes, I went with the top two hide choices: dusty rose and blue! The rose is weaved with iridescent fire polished stones that have blue, green, purples and pink hidden within. They also have duck feathers to finish off the hidden colour theme 🌈 I figured this would be a perfect 3 inch size for her car The dusty blue is on a 4 inch hoop, perfect for on a window sill, and is weaved with matte rose quartz and jade white stones. This was finished with white goose feathers 🤍 I then made earrings using metallic old rose and soft rose champagne delicas! I thought they would match the catchers and also go so beautifully with Elizabeth’s dark hair 😍 . So happy they made their way to you safe & sound ✨ #indigenousart #dreamcatcher #dreamcatchers #nativemade #handmadedreamcatcher #handmadecraft #custommade #supportlocalartists #supportindigenous #indigenousartist #indigenousmade #artisttrade #beadwork #beadedearrings #fringeearrings
Keewatin Dreams started from Ojibwe/Cree Veronica making traditional dreamcatchers for her friends and family until she decided one day to share them with the rest of the world. The Etsy shop has already grown into her selling handmade beaded earrings as well. Each pair of earrings and dreamcatchers are made with love. Veronica is also happy to do custom orders for either so she can “make your vision come to life!”
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Oogama Soup Mug Bowl- Red and Brown Tsalagi Cherokee Designed Cherokee is a soft, melodic language spoken by about 20,000 people in Oklahoma and North Carolina. Sequoyah, in 1821, created a writing system for Cherokees using symbols to represent each of the 85 sounds of the language, called a syllabary instead of an alphabet. Three symbols from the syllabary are printed in white. Each symbol represents a sound. Put the sounds together and you have Oo-ga-ma, the Cherokee word for soup! Just imagine this mug filled to the rim with corn chowder, beef stew or gazpacho. Yum! This mug features a rich red exterior and a chocolate brown interior. The mug has a large comfortable handle that’s been dipped in chocolate brown glaze. It is generously portioned. It holds 16 ounces. That’s two cups! Its just over 3 inches tall and 4 1/2 inches wide at the rim. Hand wash recommended. Go to www.CherokeeImages.com to sign up for our newsletter. Get information on events, sales and happenings. While you’re there look around and learn more about the Cherokee language, foods and life ways. #cherokeeimages #supportcherokeeartisans #cherokeeimagesdesign #soupbowl #soup #coldweather #oklahomawinter #oklahoma #tsalagi #okie #sevenclans #food #bowl #ceramicbowl #ceramic #visitcherokeenation #cherokeenation #keepitalive #passitdown #cherokeefood #cherokeerecipes
“Bringing Cherokee culture to the world,” Cherokee Images began many years ago simply as a website for one Cherokee family to document their culture and daily life. Today, its mission is the same, but they’ve expanded to include many families as they hope to celebrate the Cherokee.
With the addition of their Etsy shop, they provide direct support to Cherokee artisans by paying them for their creativity and work in creating their products. Items include mugs, home decor, stationary, and jewelry. Cherokee Images says, “We also wanted to preserve and promote Cherokee culture by finding a way to reward those who remembered the old ways; and yet encourage exploration and incorporation of today’s Cherokee Nation as part of a global community.”
Sacred Way Sanctuary & Trading Post
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An amazing 5 minute read from @yes_magazine on the horses at Sacred Way Sanctuary. Click on the link in our BIO learn more about their stories! 💙 • • • “There were certain relatives that Creator sent that specifically are designed to help us in our journey spiritually, to help strengthen us. One is the horse,” explains Dr. Yvette Running Horse Collin, co-founder of the Sacred Way Sanctuary. “They literally share our experience.” Now, with only a few thousand Native horses believed to be left in the Americas, Native people are beginning to share the knowledge they have quietly protected for centuries. For many Indigenous people, these Native horses aren’t beasts of burden but relatives and sacred “medicine.” #sacredwaysanctuary #indigenoushorsesoftheamericas #florencealabama #florenceal #indigenoushorses #indigenoushistory
Sacred Way Sanctuary is a “research, education, and preservation facility that is home to a foundation herd of between 80-90 Native American horses.” Their Etsy shop, the Sacred Way Trading Post, includes Native handcrafted items as well as their cultural purpose and stories. They sell a wide variety of products, including balms and soaps, accessories, dreamcatchers, and decor. All proceeds go towards care for the rare and endangered horses at the sanctuary.
As the holiday season approaches and you’re looking for that perfect gift, consider purchasing from any of these Native-owned small businesses. You’ll not only be giving a gift to a loved one but giving to someone’s dream as you support their independently owned business. You’re helping to keep a culture alive, thus making it literally the gift that keeps on giving.
Are there any Native-owned businesses you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments!
Header: Trickster Company