Four is an important number for Mallory Yawnghwe. It represents the seasons, the Cree people’s four directions and it’s how many days it took for her first Indigenous Box subscriptions to sell out (and the first restock sold out in 24 hours).
“We came out of the gate really showing that collaboration is key and that it’s integral to success for any business,” says Yawnghwe, founder and CEO of Indigenous Box. “During the pandemic, it’s a lesson that I was hoping that everybody would see, working together for the greater cause for the next generations. It was really good medicine for me.”
A self-care box from her mother sparked Yawnghwe’s mind. She wanted to create something similar that highlighted Indigenous businesses. She founded Indigenous Box, a seasonal subscription box that features products from Canadian (and, now, American) Indigenous businesses, in 2021, in her basement. And has since shipped nearly 30,000 boxes across Canada and to clients such as the United Nations and the Prime Minister’s office.
“It made us realize that Canada is hungry to support Indigenous artists, to support the growing economy, and it was powerful to see that people wanted to participate in that. And then the Truth and Reconciliation Commission came out and their calls to action made people mobilize. People were really ready to make a difference however they could and one of the things that they did every single day was purchasing. And so they directed it at us. And I know that there’s so many people who want to, and will continue to find that connection.”