Welcome to our new series, Women Making Waves! We are excited to celebrate and showcase remarkable women who are making a difference in their industries. From CEOs to artists, we will feature a diverse range of professions and their incredible achievements. Our first spotlight is on Chelsee-Marie Pettit, an anishinaabe member of Aamjiwnaang first nations and founder of aaniin Retail Inc.
Chelsee-Marie’s entrepreneurial journey began when she saw someone wearing a shirt with syllabics, which are symbols used by Indigenous languages. Although she later realized it was just triangles, this moment inspired her to create aaniin, an Indigenous retail space. Today, aaniin has grown from featuring 0 to 20 to over 40 Indigenous artists and brands in their store and online platform, creating an economy for Indigenous artists and designers.
Aaniin's commitment to their values (Community, Collaboration, Connection) is one of the key factors contributing to their success. As a business, they prioritize creating an economy for Indigenous artists. This is reflected in their diverse range of products, all of which are created by Indigenous artists.
For Chelsee-Marie, one of the most meaningful parts of her career has been outgrowing their initial store and expanding to a bigger space. This led them to signing a lease with Stackt Market in Toronto for the next 2 years. Their growth has allowed them to reach a wider audience and diversify their product line.
Chelsee-Marie's advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to be consistent. Starting a business is not easy, and it can take time to see results. She encourages entrepreneurs to keep pushing and not give up on their business within the first few months. With consistency and perseverance, businesses can grow and thrive.
We hope you enjoyed learning about Chelsee-Marie Pettit and her journey as an entrepreneur, as well as the success of aaniin Retail Inc. As we continue our Women Making Waves series, we look forward to featuring more inspiring women and their achievements. Stay tuned for our next spotlight, and chi-miigwech (big thanks) you for reading!