Indigenous based online art sale gets international attention

The Facebook group, ‘Shop Indigenous Women’s holiday Market’ online shop is so successful, it’s here to stay.

Lynn-Marie Angus’s business, Sisters Sage in New Westminster, B.C. near Vancouver is booming; thanks to online shops like ‘Shop Indigenous Women’s Holiday Market’ on Facebook.

“It was pretty hectic,” Angus said.

“At some points we had four of us in here working on shipping, packing, inventory and just trying to get everyone’s order out in time for the Holidays.”

Sisters Sage sells handcrafted wellness and self-care products inspired by Angus’s Gitxaala, Nisga’a and Métis heritage.

Due to the pandemic, Sisters Sage has been relying on the online community to replace lost business that often comes from trade shows and door sales.

“There was a void that needed to be filled,” Angus said.

“Now, everybody wants to do economic reconciliation, and this is the easiest way to do it, put your money where your mouth is.”

Sisters Sage is one of many businesses on ‘Shop Indigenous Women’s Market’

Shop Indigenous Women’s Holiday Market helps Indigenous women and non-binary artists who have seen their sales decline since COVID-19 hit in the spring.

The Facebook group was launched on Nov. 7 and has already gone viral; it nearly has 40 thousand members sharing their skills and stories like Restigouche, Qc. artist Tracey Metallic.

“This market has been amazing with the opportunity that has come forward,” Metallic said.

“I’m shipping all over the place. My day is jam pack and right now it’s just art. I’m packing, I’m shipping I’m packing I’m shipping, I’m running out of prints.”

Founder of the online market, Michele Young-Crook said the group is making international waves.

“I was on there and I saw a couple of Indigenous people from Australia, Chile, New Zealand, the U.S. It’s great! The only thing I ask is that they’re able to ship to Canada. That’s the only requirement,” she said.

Young-Crook said, while ‘Shop Indigenous Women’s Holiday Market’ was meant for only the holidays, there’s no need to ever shut it down.

“I’ve decided I’m just gonna keep it going forever,” Young-Crook told APTN.

“There always a good reason to shop… there’s birthdays, there’s holidays, there’s because you only want to go shopping because it’s COVID and you’re bored. So, there’s always a reason to spend money and it’s not like anybody is gonna stop making product.”

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