The Why Behind Indigenous Busy-ness

Oki! Tansi! Welcome back to our blog – we hope in 2021 to post more frequently (oh I know, I say that every year)….but honestly, we mean it!!! You may have noticed though that I have closed my shop for the time being – don’t worry, we will be back in about a month, but this is a much needed break I am taking so that I can create new art and product lines!

The past couple years have seen a lot of changes, and if you’ve been following us since we began in 2016, you were privy to many of those changes and challenges that came along with my entrepreneurial journey. I am happy to tell you that I am finally feeling more settled and feeling like my passion project (i.e. this blog) is giving me passion again lol. For awhile there, it was tough figuring everything out, but we see a light at the end of the tunnel and our aspirations are slowly coming along. Thank you for all of your support on this journey!

I think when people first see my business though, they don’t quite understand it. What am I trying to accomplish here? Well, that’s a loaded question. Indigenous Busy-ness is what I call my “passion project”. Well what is a passion project? By definition – “A passion project is an activity or endeavor you pursue because it inspires you and gives you deep satisfaction, fulfillment, and engagement. It’s something you pursue for the sheer joy of it. The love of what you are doing outweighs any other considerations.”

In addition to often working full-time, I run this small arts business that’s come to be known as Indigenous Busy-ness. Well, how did I start this project and what is this project all about? It started with self-care…..ForSelf was my initial self-care and wellness business that I started back in 2016 as a way to connect to my culture/community and to share Blackfoot plant knowledge that was handed down to me. It started off with me creating self-care packages for those in recovery from addictions, and it grew from there. I have always been interested in Wellness and Self-care from a young age, as I know this is what has helped me to overcome trauma and addictions in my own life and this is what I tried preaching to others.

Doing this work for my community filled me with pride and I continued offering this service until 2017 when I moved to BC. From then, I was working full-time in banking but had started my blog Indigenous Busy-ness, a place to show case Indigenous Businesses and it was a project that was meant to help me understand more about doing business as an Indigenous person in Canada, as I had just graduated from University and knew nothing, despite having a background in business. I shut down my self-care business for the time being to focus on my new career in BC, and the blog also suffered as I didn’t post regularly during the time I was in transition from province to province.

As I got more involved in the Banking world and the First Nations financial world, I started to notice gaps – particularly when it came to financial literacy and entrepreneurism. I also noticed that many Indigenous entrepreneurs were often Artists, and that particularly they often struggled with the aspects of running and operating a small business. Many of us are just trying to create better lives for our families, to contribute to the monthly household income, or to promote and share our cultures with others. Many of us have turned to Art for healing, and the pure joy that comes from creating often outweigh the negatives for us. That is when I decided to revise the blog into what it is today and decided to start sharing my own artwork, which included me bringing back those bathbombs everyone loves!

Indigenous Busy-ness has now become a place for Wellness and Indigenous Entrepreneurship. Wellness today is such a buzz word – but what does it actually mean for an Indigenous person living in today’s world? Well, it is different for each of us. But what we have found is that we can focus on what gives us passion – hence why we continue to practice our passion project and seek out ways to grow our project. For us, as an Indigenous woman, Wellness looks like continuing to practice our traditions and our culture, it looks like helping others; within these colonial constructs, Wellness also looks like financial security to me. Therefore, given these guides as to what I’d like my life to be, our passion project came to be what it is today.

We focus on Wellness through Art, Entrepreneurship, and Financial Literacy, because this is what has allowed us as an Indigenous Woman to begin healing from past traumas and to see a light in the future. Our 4 pillars guide the direction of our business and are Collaboration, Empowerment, Sustainability, and Tradition. Through these 4 pillars, we are reminded of our purpose for being. Wellness will never look the same for everyone, but through sharing and opening our minds to what is out there, we can begin to find a way to heal from within.

Our current society focuses so much on Busy-ness; to be busy is the end all be all, but here at Indigenous Busy-ness, we take a different approach. We focus on slowing down, returning to nature, and building community. In the corporate world, I lost myself to greed, burn-out, and expectations of others, but with Art I have begun to heal again.

Art has always been my healer, but I haven’t always shared it with others. My Shop on this site is a way to share my creations with others, while also providing a pathway to financial independence and gives me a place from which I can help others. I attempt to give back 10% of my profits to worthwhile causes; this year we were able to support a few families with emergency funds and also gave a donation to the Calgary Bear Clan. For all of your support, I am so thankful as it allows me to also give back.

So in 2021, my goal is to continue sharing wellness tips, new art, and new blogs with you all! If you’re a business who wants to collaborate on a blog, please contact us! If you’re an artist who wants to work on a piece together, or needs a place to post items, get in touch with us! If you’re a supporter of Indigenous Business in Canada, we thank you!

We are excited for the future – but with growth comes change. When our shop re-opens you may notice a few changes, but please keep in mind that this is what is required for me to continue offering these services to the community. To help ease the pain of the changes, if you’re reading this blog, you can use discount code BUSY for up to 10% off your total purchase (no limits!). We thank you all for reading this blog and supporting our little passion project <3.