Indigenous entrepreneurs are forces to be reckoned with. In celebration of Indigenous Heritage Month, this The Ones to Know will highlight 12 Indigenous-owned small businesses and the creators behind them. We encourage you to support these Indigenous brands and learn about these entrepreneurs' creative skills, history and culture.
1. Ginew Denim
Ginew (Gih-noo), founded by husband and wife duo Erik Brodt and Amanda Bruegl, is the only Indigenous-owned denim line in the world. Inspired by their Ojibwe, Oneida and Mohican heritage, Ginew crafts and sources their items in a way that blends contemporary indigenous voices and their family's traditional teachings.
CHECK OUT: Heritage Coat
TPMOCS is a baby moccasins brand founded by Maria Running Fisher Jones on the principle that everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed. Indigenous artisans beautifully handcraft each pair by blending cultural traditions with modern design and ethically-sourced leather.
TPMOCS provides employment opportunities to Indigenous communities and resources to underprivileged children living in the Blackfeet Reservation in Northwestern Montana, where Maria was raised by her single mother.
CHECK OUT: Salmon Runner
3. Trickster Co.
Tlingit/Athabascan/Yupik siblings Rico and Crystal Worl founded Trickster Company to promote their innovative Indigenous design. With a full product line of athletic wear, jewelry, home goods and fine art prints, Trickster Company represents a prestigious artistic legacy coming from the Indigenous cultures of the Northwest Coast.
b.Yellowtail is an Indigenous-owned collective that offers women’s apparel and handmade accessories by First nations artisans like Etkie, Bison Star Naturals and QUW'UTSUN'MADE. Founder Bethany Yellowtail is committed to prioritizing economic opportunities for First nations and Indigenous entrepreneurs.
CHECK OUT: Arrow's Path Ring
5. Morning Light Kombucha
Founded by Melinda Williamson from the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation in 2016, Morning Light Kombucha is an Indigenous women-owned, handcrafted kombucha company. Melinda commits to sustainable and healthy practices by working with local organic farmers in NE Kansas, where she sources unique ingredients and flavorings.
CHECK OUT: Rainbow 12 Packs
6. Ataumbi Metals
Designer and artist Keri Ataumbi founded Ataumbi Metals in 2014. Her mission is to create wearable art pieces that embrace traditional jewelry-making processes and designs. Raised in Wyoming's Wind River Reservation, Keri infused her Kiowa heritage and contemporary fine art background into Ataumbi Metals.
CHECK OUT: Pheasant Feather Earrings
7. Bedré Chocolates
Bedré Chocolates is the only Indigenous-owned premium chocolate brand in the world. Purchased by the Chickasaw Nation in 2000, they are dedicated to preserving a rich legacy of bold and delicate chocolate flavors. Each purchase contributes to educational, health and wellness programs that support philanthropic organizations within the Chickasaw Nation.
CHECK OUT: Milk Chocolate Caramel Bar
4KINSHIP is a Diné-owned sustainable artwear brand founded by Amy Denet Deal in 2015. Fueled by her desire to honor her Navajo community in New Mexico, she is dedicated to producing handmade, one-of-a-kind, repurposed and upcycled pieces inspired by her Diné tribe.
CHECK OUT: Two Grey Hills Rug by Virginia Jumbo
9. Kotah Bear
Based in American Fork, Utah, Kotah Bear is an artisanal, handcrafted Navajo jewelry and home goods shop founded by Diné husband and wife duo Kotah and Missy. Kotah Bear strives to choose the most unique and perfect pieces that reflect the beauty and the skills from the Indigenous communities of the Southwest region.
CHECK OUT: Dreamcatcher Turquoise Ear Cuff
10. Satya Organic Skin Care
Satya is an Indigenous women-owned all-natural, non-toxic, organic skincare brand founded by Patrice Mousseau. She wanted a natural solution for her daughter’s eczema and created the Satya Organic Eczema Relief balm that's steroid-free made with simple ingredients.
CHECK OUT: Multi-use Easy Glide Stick
11. Thunder Island Coffee
Thunder Island Coffee Roasters, located on the Shinnecock Reservation in Southampton, NY, is an Indigenous-owned organic coffee roasting company founded by Shinnecock tribal member Benjamin K. Haile. Thunder Island is dedicated to developing cooperative efforts to support the Indigenous family-owned organic coffee farms of Central and South America through "Native to Native exchange,” a network of Indigenous commerce and employment.
12. Passamaquoddy Maple
Founded in 2014 by Passamaquoddy Nation in Prentis Township and Moose River, Maine, Passamaquoddy Maple is a 100% pure, organic certified maple syrup sustainably harvested deep in the woods of Maine. Their mission is to produce high-end, small-batch production that sustain their tribal land and create employment opportunities for their people.
CHECK OUT: Basquaise Maple Syrup