06 Jul
A Purse with a Story

One of my favourite accessories is a practical little purse made by SheNative, a company headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. This purse has been all over the world with me and has many destinations in its future.

I love my fold-over clutch because it is versatile. It can be carried like a tote or folded over into an evening bag. The company name is tastefully pressed into the leather. The printed lining colourfully champions their logo. The organization inside the purse is simple. It has one pocket where I keep my phone. The rest of the bag allows room for two or three organizers. I carry a wallet, a pouch for receipts and gift cards, and a makeup bag. This purse can be stored flat in the bottom of a suitcase or folded and tossed into a large tote.

The leather appears to be drum dyed. If scuffed or scratched, the imperfections don’t show because the colour goes right through the hide. I was concerned that the built-in handles might weaken over time. Despite being carried in several countries, in all types of weather, the handles are as strong as ever. The stiffener they use appears to be indestructible. SheNative leather products appeal to women of all ages because of their attention to classic fashion, as well as function. I imagine future generations will inherit my first SheNative bag. I have a little purse that my great uncle made for my mother back in 1945. I celebrate well-made accessories.        

As a bonus, SheNative is a company with a heart-warming story. Devon Fiddler, Founder and Chief Changemaker of SheNative, is an Indigenous woman of the Waterhen Lake First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada. She founded SheNative with a mission to inspire Native women and girls to see themselves differently. Their T-shirt collection bears a variety of inspirational statements, is made of soft fabrics like bamboo, and features artwork by Saskatoon artists like Johnny Marceland. Visit their website to see the selection.

I am proud to tell you that I took part in the first SheNative crowdfunding venture with Indiegogo, back in 2014. I gave them my money, and, soon after, I got a receipt and a handwritten note explaining when I could expect my bag. I mentioned I would be in Europe for a time, so there was no hurry. The day before I was to leave, I received my bag. I didn’t remember sharing my departure date, but I was delighted!! When I arrived home from Europe, a few weeks later, I found a package containing leather feathers and a beaded medallion in my pile of mail. This accessory, for my purse, was hand-beaded by Indigenous women here in Saskatchewan. I was impressed.

Only when I ordered a two-toned fold-over clutch to give as a gift did I witness the beauty of their packaging. The box was beautiful; the leather bag inside came wrapped in tissue with a lovely logo sticker and a note from Devon, Chief Changemaker. I love her title.   

Devon Fiddler started this company with the intention of empowering Indigenous women and girls, but this business model will appeal to all women. The company keeps in touch with its customers, contributing to their self-esteem, be they Indigenous or otherwise. Women can celebrate womanhood in the simplest ways. Fashion is a perfect common ground. Well done, SheNative.

I don’t see the fold-over clutch on the SheNative website at the moment. Panic! I want to buy another one for a friend who lives overseas. I am, however, encouraged by the news that they are evolving and pivoting through difficult times. Shopping local and helping fledgling companies is indeed shopping with a purpose. You get more than a product for your money. You get the satisfaction of helping a business grow. If you keep in touch, you also get a sneak peek into their future products and plans. Who doesn’t love being in the know?


Comments (8)

  • Patricia Coulter
    September 5, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    I love learning about this! I have started making some handbags using painted canvas, recycled leathers, etc. This is so timely! Thank you for this!

  • Beverley Gardner
    July 12, 2016 at 07:26 am

    Wonderful encouragement and promotion for a lovely product! Will check it out. Great story!

  • Monica Kreuger
    July 7, 2016 at 11:45 am

    She was a great inspiration to her entrepreneur colleagues in our Praxis startSMART entrepreneurship management program - very proud of her accomplishments and ongoing inspiration to others who want to start their business.

  • Tenille Campbell
    July 7, 2016 at 12:06 am

    So great - I have the bucket bag from her first launch and I love it.

  • Lorine Benson
    July 6, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    When I was in Italy this march I purchased a bag like this and gave it as a gift to my sister, I loved that bag and was sad I had given it to my sister . Now I see I can get one similar for my self !! I'm so excited to support this company . How can I order one??

  • Carol Senger
    July 6, 2016 at 06:26 pm

    As usual, Maureen, a great article! I will have to check out SheNative. I enjoy reading your plug for Saskatchewan artists, and making us aware of their businesses.

  • Patty Watt
    July 6, 2016 at 02:56 pm

    Hi Maureen - what a great story! Devon was a client of mine when I worked in Saskatoon and I continue to follow her on Facebook and in the media. She is an inspiration for sure!! ... and I love her purses too :)

  • Mandy Ross
    July 6, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    This is both inspiring and exciting! I love connecting with creative people with heart! I look forward to checking out SheNative!

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