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.”
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?
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.”