One of my favourite accessories is a practical little purse made by SheNative, a company headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. This purse has been all over the world with me and has many destinations in its future.
I love my fold-over clutch, because it is versatile. It can be carried like a tote or folded over into an evening bag. The company name is tastefully pressed into the leather. The printed lining colourfully champions their logo. The inner organization is simple. It has one pocket, where I keep my phone. The rest of the bag allows room for two or three organizers. I carry a wallet, a pouch for receipts and gift cards, and a makeup bag. This purse can be stored absolutely flat in the bottom of a suitcase or folded and tossed into a large tote.
The leather appears to be drum dyed. If scuffed or scratched, the imperfections don’t show, because the colour goes right through the hide. I was concerned that the built-in handles might weaken over time. In spite of being carried in several countries, in all types of weather, the handles are as strong as ever. The stiffener they use appears to be indestructible. SheNative leather products appeal to women of all ages because of their attention to classic fashion, as well as function. I imagine my first SheNative bag will be handed down for generations. I actually have a little purse that my great uncle made for my mother back in 1946. I celebrate well-made accessories.
As a bonus, SheNative is a company with a heart-warming story. Devon Fiddler, Founder and Chief Changemaker of SheNative, is an Indigenous woman of the Waterhen Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada. She founded SheNative with a mission to inspire Native women, and girls, to see themselves differently. Their T-shirt collection bears a variety of inspirational statements, is made of soft fabrics like bamboo, and features artwork by Saskatoon artist Johnny Marceland. Visit their website to see the selection.
I am proud to tell you that I took part in the first SheNative crowd funding venture with Indiegogo, back in 2014. I gave them my money, and, soon after, I got a receipt and a handwritten note explaining when I could expect my bag. I mentioned I would be in Europe for a time, so there was no hurry. The day before I was to leave, I received my bag. I didn’t remember telling them my departure date, but I was delighted!! When I arrived home from Europe, a few weeks later, I found a package containing leather feathers and a beaded medallion in my pile of mail. This accessory, for my purse, was hand-beaded by Indigenous women here in Saskatchewan. I was impressed.
Only when I ordered a two toned fold-over clutch, to give as a gift, did I witness the beauty of their packaging. The box was beautiful; the leather bag, inside, came wrapped in tissue with a lovely logo sticker and a note from Devon, Chief Changemaker. I love her title.
Devon Fiddler started this company with the intention of empowering Indigenous women, and girls, but this business model will appeal to all women. The company keeps in touch with its customers, contributing to their self-esteem, be they Indigenous or otherwise. Women can celebrate womanhood in the simplest ways. Fashion is a perfect common ground. Well done, SheNative.
I don’t see the fold-over clutch on the SheNative website at the moment. Panic! I want to buy another one for a friend, who lives overseas. I am, however, encouraged by the news I received this week. In order to expand their leather line, SheNative is planning another crowd funding event. This time, they are working with Kickstarter, and the project will launch in September of 2016. I love helping businesses this way. I call it shopping with a purpose. You get more than product for your money. You get the satisfaction of helping a business grow. You also get a sneak peek into their future products and plans, and who doesn’t love being in the know?
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