Bringing Traditional Patterns into Modern Homes



Sometimes a direct message on Instagram can lead to a business partnership.

Last year, Marissa Freed, president of the former Winnipeg clothing company Freed & Freed International, heard from many people in the company about Indigo Arrows, a booming homewares brand that uses Minimalist traditional designs drawn from Anishinaabe pottery and bone tools. . Freed, the fourth generation to run the family business, was a huge fan.

“I was interested in hearing about them,” says Destiny Seymour, an interior decorator by trade who founded the growing company in 2016. “Even though they had been around for 100 years, I had never heard of them. , so I wanted to see what we could do.”

Destiny Seymour, founder of Indigo Arrows, can’t wait to scale with Freed & Freed.

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Ella Greyeyes photo

Destiny Seymour, founder of Indigo Arrows, is looking forward to scaling up with Freed & Freed.

Their first project was a collaboration on masks, which quickly became a key part of Freed & Freed’s production when the pandemic began. Using one of Seymour’s designs, the face coverings were made at the Freed factory, with all proceeds – over $35,000 – going to the Butterfly Club, an after-school club for Indigenous girls and youth. two-spirited.

But once this project started, the big question arose: what next?


Photo d'Alan Greyeyes</p>
<p>Indigo Arrows uses traditional minimalist designs drawn from Anishinaabe pottery and bone tools in their homeware designs.</p>
<p>“width=”1512″ height=”2048” srcset=”https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/400*400/NEP10529766.jpg 400w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/600*600 /NEP10529766.jpg 600w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/700*700/NEP10529766.jpg 700w”/>				</a>																
<figcaption>
<p>Photo by Alan Greyeyes</p>
<p>Indigo Arrows uses traditional minimalist designs drawn from Anishinaabe pottery and bone tools in their homeware designs.</p>
</figcaption></figure>
<p>This week, Indigo Arrows X Freed launched the first batch of products from a 50-50 partnership, a collection of cushions using the former company’s vegan leathers and furs and production capacity, as well as old but moderns of the new society.  The partnership’s products sold on Canadian fashion site Simons as well as its own e-commerce portal, and in the fall, a <a class=full range
of homewares – including table linens, towels, bedding and more again – will be launched.

For Freed, the partnership represents the latest step in diversifying the company’s production, which has traditionally been in the outerwear and apparel industries since brothers David and Morris Freed began manufacturing trousers in knees for Eaton in 1920.

The world of clothing is still the company’s main focus, but in recent years it has taken a modern approach, with the launch of an in-house brand in 2014 in vegan and cruelty-free outerwear, PPE in response to the pandemic – the company is making more than 30 face masks, as well as medical gowns – and soon, home decor.


Photo d'Alan Greyeyes</p>
<p>Seymour’s designs inspired her first collaboration with Freed & Freed — face masks.</p>
<p>“width=”2048″ height=”1365” srcset=”https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/400*400/NEP10529767.jpg 400w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/600*600 /NEP10529767.jpg 600w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/700*700/NEP10529767.jpg 700w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/800*800/NEP10529767.jpg 800w,https: //media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/900*900/NEP10529767.jpg 900w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/1000*1000/NEP10529767.jpg 1000w”/>				</a>																
<figcaption>
<p>Photo by Alan Greyeyes</p>
<p>Seymour’s designs inspired her first collaboration with Freed & Freed — face masks.</p>
</figcaption></figure>
<p>“Faux fur naturally progressed and we thought it could do more than just clothing,” Freed says.  Going forward, she says, she hopes non-apparel products will continue to take a bigger slice of the pie, with not just direct-to-consumer purchases, but also hotel partnerships and more.			</p>
<p>“The sky’s the limit for (this partnership),” Freed says.			</p>
<figure class=

Photo d'Alan Greyeyes</p>
<p>The Indigo Arrow X Freed cushion collection uses vegan leathers and furs from Freed & Freed, and designs from Indigo Arrows.</p>
<p>“width=”1512″ height=”2048” srcset=”https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/400*400/NEP10529768.jpg 400w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/600*600 /NEP10529768.jpg 600w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/700*700/NEP10529768.jpg 700w”/>				</a>																
<br />
				
<figcaption>
<p>Photo by Alan Greyeyes</p>
<p>The Indigo Arrow X Freed cushion collection uses vegan leathers and furs from Freed & Freed, and designs from Indigo Arrows.</p>
</figcaption></figure>
<p>For Seymour, the joint venture is a boon to his already expanding business, which typically sells out its product lines quickly, due to small-batch production.  “It’s a big relief as a manufacturer,” says Seymour, who hired local sewers and worked with local companies Garmitech and Anne Mulaire Boutique on his other products.			</p>
<p>The designer runs most of the business from home, with her husband and 11-year-old daughter to keep up with growing demand.  The new partnership will allow the company to “step into another type of production” at the scale needed to manufacture the partnership’s next line of products.			</p>
<p>Seymour, a master’s in interior design and a member of Peguis First Nation, started her business in 2016. She was inspired by the designs of pottery pieces stored at the Manitoba Museum, some of which have more than 3,000 years old and have been found in Peguis or Manigotagan.  Her father helped her name the models and also held ceremonies to thank them.			</p>
<div class=

One of the main goals was to bring these specific, local Manitoba designs back into public view, along with product names and colorways in Anishinaabemowin. “Now people send me pictures of the designs in their living rooms and bedrooms,” Seymour says. “Some people don’t want to use the tea towels so they frame them.”


Photo d'Alan Greyeyes</p>
<p>Destiny Seymour, Founder of Indigo Arrows</p>
<p>“width=”2048″ height=”1365” srcset=”https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/400*400/NEP10529770.jpg 400w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/600*600 /NEP10529770.jpg 600w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/700*700/NEP10529770.jpg 700w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/800*800/NEP10529770.jpg 800w,https: //media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/900*900/NEP10529770.jpg 900w,https://media.winnipegfreepress.com/images/1000*1000/NEP10529770.jpg 1000w”/>				</a>																
<figcaption>
<p>Photo by Alan Greyeyes</p>
<p>Destiny Seymour, Founder of Indigo Arrows</p>
</figcaption></figure>
<p>Representation, which some may consider a buzzword, is hugely important, says Seymour, whose work has been featured in major publications and attracted large audiences online.  “It goes a long way when you see your culture in a house, or even in a magazine,” she says.			</p>
<p>Working with Freed & Freed, Seymour says two new model sets are in the works, and she and Freed are counting the days until the fall release.			</p>
<p>“When we originally contacted Destiny, we never planned to release an indoor apparel line,” Freed says.  “But there’s more to come from us, I think. There’s a lot more we want to do together.”			</p>
<p>ben.waldman@freepress.mb.ca			</p>
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Ben Waldman

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