Edmonton entrepreneur Mallory Yawnghwe can trace her passion for running her own business to when she was a child.
“I’m pretty sure my entrepreneurial career started when I was six years old, baking and selling cupcakes at the Saddle Lake Pow Wow,” said Yawnghwe in an interview with Daily Hive. “My ancestors have always been entrepreneurs and great business people. Our supply chains spanned the continent. It’s in our DNA.”
Yawnghwe is the creator of Indigenous Box, a subscription, gift, and custom box service shipped from amiskwaciwâskahikan in Treaty 6 territory. The boxes are filled with unique and usable products created and sourced by Indigenous entrepreneurs and artists from across Canada and delivered right to your doorstep.
- See also:
“Indigenous Box is an opportunity for me to champion, promote, and support Indigenous entrepreneurs and all of their good work,” said Yawnghwe, a nehiyaw iskwew from the Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Northeastern Alberta. “I want to help clear the way for our people to reclaim our place at the economic table.
“It’s a way to build our communities’ capacity in commerce and to promote business as a career option for Indigenous people. I want our young people to see these collections of products that were made for us and by us, and see opportunities for themselves. I want Indigenous people to receive these boxes from us and feel that they are having a VIP experience. It’s time for Indigenous business to go mainstream.”
An Indigenous Box subscription will bring you a new box in the spring, summer, fall and winter. Each will include five to seven unique, full-size items from Indigenous small businesses. The boxes can also be ordered as seasonal standalones.
Indigenous Box’s custom orders are perfect for corporate clients or as a gift for that special someone. Create your special box by choosing from the extensive vendor and product list, then have it shipped directly to you or the recipient.
“I’ve been searching for Indigenous businesses to buy from and support for years,” said Yawnghwe. “The boxes are filled with fun, useful, beautiful, delicious, inspiring, soothing items. Basically, anything that I’ve discovered from Indigenous businesses that I would love to receive as a gift.
“I’m very fortunate to have met many incredibly inspiring people from across Turtle Island. What’s most exciting is that, since we’ve started, we’ve been contacted by so many people wanting to tell us about their business and their products. I always love to sit and have a virtual tea together with other Indigenous entrepreneurs chatting about business over a video call.”
Orders for the Summer Celebration Box 2021 are sold out, but Indigenous Box is accepting orders for the Fall Box Abundance, Winter Box Hibernation, and beyond.
“The response took us by surprise. It’s been almost emotionally overwhelming because it makes me so proud of our people. Our customers and the entrepreneurs that we work with are truly the best.
“We’ve received so many touching and heartfelt comments in support of our mission. But I think the moment that has stuck with me the most was during an unboxing video that a customer streamed online. As she opened her Indigenous Box, her young daughter saw our starwoman logo and said, ‘She looks like you, mommy!’ I cried.
“We’ve certainly grown much faster than we had forecasted and I feel like I’m basically working non-stop from sunrise to well after sunset every day. But I’m realizing that my vision can become a reality, and I can hold a lot of space for all of us. So I feel nothing but gratitude.”