Okay, y’all. It’s time. Holiday shopping is literally standing at our front door, hand poised to knock. Have you started yet? Have you thought about starting yet? Are you actively pretending the holidays don’t exist while internally panicking about the month to come? (Same.)
Wherever you are in the planning process, we encourage you to think about not only what you’re buying, but where and whom you’re buying from as well.
This is especially true of garments and items that incorporate Native and Indigenous elements and designs. Educate yourself on the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation (this article by Eighth Generation is a great place to start), and make a point to support Native- and Indigenous-owned brands in your shopping endeavors—during the holidays and also just generally throughout life.
Below are a few we’re absolutely stoked on, both for the products and services they offer and the dedication they show to their communities. For coffee and tea, tinctures, skincare, clothing, and all things in between, you should definitely, definitely check out these businesses.
Located in Portland:
Photo Courtesy of Bison Coffee House.
Bison Coffeehouse–3941 NE Cully Blvd
Look—it’s Portland. We KNOW you know at least one person who loves coffee. Bison Coffeehouse is Portland’s only Native-owned coffee shop, exclusively selling products from Native and local vendors, and always keeping an eye on sustainability and community engagement. Pick up a bag (or two) for your favorite java-lover, and then grab a cup for yourself to enjoy in their perfectly cozy atmosphere. Plus, all their baked goods are made in-house!
Photo Courtesy of Rose Alchemista.
Rose Alchemista–736 SE 60th Ave
Know someone who would appreciate the gift of a facial? (Trick question—the answer is obviously yes.) Rose Alchemista, a woman-owned, organic, and botanically-focused skincare apothecary was not only voted the best facial in Portland but also offers a whole host of “farm to face” products that can be purchased online, allowing you to bring the spa-experience straight to them.
Photo Courtesy of Tattoo 34.
Tattoo 34–4035 SE Hawthorne Blvd
For the friend who can’t wait for their next tattoo. Tattoo 34 is the only Native/Indigenous- and Black-owned tattoo shop in Portland, and the first and only Oregon tattoo shop holding a Minority/Women Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE) Certification. Woman-owned and a family business, Tattoo 34 is comprised of talented artists seeking to create an inclusive space where everyone feels seen and welcome and continually working to support and give back to the community through donations; their referral page offering information about POC/BIPOC piercers, cosmetic tattoo artists, multilingual tattoo artists, and tattoo schools; and their Associate Tattoo Artist/gift card program.
Photo Courtesy of Wapato Island Farm.
Wapato Island Farm–15115 NW Gillihan Rd
When we say this is an amazing farm, we mean this is an AMAZING farm. Organic, ethical, and regenerative, this woman-owned business also has an apothecary filled with medicines made practicing folk herbalism and using plants grown either on the 32-acre farm or wild in Oregon (check out their online shop and don’t miss Medicina Ritual, their Community Supported Herbalism (CSH) share). They hold skill-sharing workshops and herbalism consultations and are dedicated to supporting and uplifting BIPOC communities, reimagining food systems to promote food sovereignty, and tending to, honoring, and protecting the land.
Photo Courtesy of Aesthete Tea.
For the tea drinker in your life. Aesthete Tea is a Portland-based, QBIPOC- and woman-owned, mother/daughter collaboration focused on community connection and conscious living. They specialize in some of the most lovely tea, though we have to be honest, looking through their online shop is a bit like taking a walk down a virtual path of magical goodness and we just cannot get enough. You can shop through their online store, and for in person purchases, their products are available at many shops around town.
Courtesy of Eighth Generation, photo by Ken Yu.
Eighth Generation is a Seattle-based brand owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe. Guided by their tagline, “Inspired Natives™, not Native-inspired,” and through their Inspired Natives® Project and Decolonizing Partnership Model, Eighth Generation works to ethically support Native entrepreneurs by increasing their business capacity while also educating the public on the impacts and costs of cultural appropriation. Every item they carry was designed by a Native artist, and they are the first Native-owned business in the US or Canada to sell Native-designed wool blankets and operate their own, made-in-house wool textile line. But that is definitely not all they offer—to be sure, from pins to socks to mugs, they’ll likely have something for most everyone on your list.
Shop from anywhere online, and if you find yourself in Seattle, stop by their flagship store in Pike’s Place Market!
Photo Courtesy of Ginew.
CALLING ALL DENIM ENTHUSIASTS. Portland-based and the first Native-owned denim collection, Ginew creates “contemporary Native Americana: heirloom-quality goods and garments” influenced by their cultures and family, including elements of both in each piece. Using durable and sustainable materials, they are committed to responsible manufacturing, ardently refusing to make use of exploitative practices during the course of production and continually working to support the Earth, land, and people involved. In addition to online, you can shop some of their collection at MadeHere on NW 10th Ave.
Photo Courtesy of Trickster Company.
Trickster Company is run by a brother and sister team of artists. They started out designing skateboards and sporting equipment and have now expanded to offering clothing, jewelry, fine art, and home and paper goods. They work with the intention of promoting diversity within the community, seeking to make items with “which modern indigenous people can represent their heritage, create products that non-native people can wear and appreciate without appropriating via cultural exchange, and to represent modern indigenous lifestyle to a broader audience.”
(Hot tip: Wondering what you’ll wrap all these beautiful gifts in? Check out their wrapping paper! And if you have friends in far-away places, the Raven Story stamp, equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce price, was designed by Rico and is offered exclusively through them.)
This list is filled with so. much. goodness. It is also in no way exhaustive—there are a ton of other top-notch Native- and Indigenous-owned brands to seek out and know about! Happy shopping. (Oh, and don’t wait too long to get started for the holidays. Nobody needs that trying-to-fit-everything-in-the-day-before-a-gathering type of stress.)