10 Native-Owned Brands That You Should Know About
Native-owned businesses represent the smallest fraction of POC-owned small businesses in the US. Still, Native and First Nations entrepreneurs are beating the odds everyday to uplift their communities and preserve the integrity of their art and culture. As Indigenous People’s Day is fast approaching, we wanted to share 10 North American Native-owned brands that we love.
B.Yellowtail is a Native-owned fashion & accessories brand that specializes in storytelling through wearable art. Founded by Northern Cheyenne/Crow fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail, the brand offers women’s clothing and an extensive collection of accessories handmade by Native and First Nations artisans like Etkie, Bison Star Naturals, and QUW'UTSUN'MADE.
Founded in 2009 by Jessica R. Metcalfe from the Turtle Mountain band of the Chippewa Nation, Beyond Buckskin evolved from a blog to a popular online boutique showcasing work by North American Native jewelry artists and fashion designers. Their 40+ partners come from a range of backgrounds but share a common goal – to “advance traditional Indigenous artistic practices by bringing ancient designs, natural materials, and cultural stories to modern fashion.”
Founded by Devon Fiddler, a Cree entrepreneur from the Waterhen Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan, SheNative is a leather handbag and apparel brand based in Saskatoon. Their bags feature modern silhouettes with small cultural motifs like fringe tassels and feather attachments. According to their website, SheNative is committed to instilling “inner strength and unwavering confidence in all women” and employs Indigenous women in the design and manufacturing of their goods.
Founded by Tlingit/Athabascan/Yupik siblings Crystal and Rico Worl, Trickster Company is an apparel and home goods brand that intersects Northwest Coast art with modern lifestyle goods. The siblings started out by designing skateboards for their friends and family in Juneau, Alaska, but due to high demand, they rapidly grew their product range to include thoughtfully designed athletic wear, jewelry, apparel, home goods, and fine art prints.
Founded by Keri Ataumbi, Ataumbi Metals is a fine art jewelry brand that treats jewelry not as adornment but as wearable art. Raised on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming, Keri fuses her mother’s Kiowa heritage and father’s mastery with bronze sculptures to create unique and resonant jewelry, each of which carry a distinct historical narrative.
Founded in 2013 by Nanibaa Beck, a Diné jewelry designer based in North Carolina, NotAbove offers handcrafted jewelry and minimal original language necklaces with a focus on Native languages.
Fun fact: The name NotAbove was inspired by a mispronunciation of the founder’s name in 2007, which she has since carried into her work ethic and how she collaborates with others – not above, but beside each other.
Founded by Maria Running Fisher Jones, TPMOCS is a baby moccasin brand that offers traditional, theme-specific and custom moccasin designs. Raised by a single mother on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Northwestern Montana, Maria dedicates the TPMOCS supply chain to foster employment, preserve traditional craftsmanship and address generational poverty within the Blackfeet community.
Once a small chocolatier operating out of the former Homer Elementary School near Ada, Oklahoma, Bedré Fine Chocolate expanded its operations when it was purchased by the Chicksaw Nation and became the local staple that it is today. Their products range from handcrafted chocolate bark to chocolate sauces to premium dark chocolate coffee blends.
Based in Salt Lake City, Michelle Brown is a Diné designer who offers an eclectic line of jewelry, bags and apparel. Michelle’s unique designs reflect the stark dichotomy between her childhood being raised on the Two Gray Hills Navajo reservation in New Mexico and working for high-profile designers like Ralph Lauren and Lane Bryant in New York City.
Founded in 2008 by Louie Gong, a Nooksack artist, activist and educator, Eighth Generation is a home goods and lifestyle brand that offers an extensive line of blankets, apparel, accessories, fine art, and small gifts featuring Native art. As the first Native-owned company to produce wool blankets, Eighth Generation offers a “strong, ethical alternative to ‘Native-inspired’ art and products through its artist-centric approach and 100% Native designed products.”