Wildflowers & Co. is an Indigenous business owned by Alissa Assu, who belongs to the Wet’suwet’en First Nation. The business focuses on promoting and educating communities across British Columbia (BC) about talented Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) makers and other talented local makers. Assu is committed to increasing safe spaces that honour and showcase BIPOC artists, believing that Indigenous artists deserve fair wages, equal representation, and the same respect often reserved for non-Indigenous makers.
Wildflowers & Co. began from humble roots last fall, and has quickly become firmly planted with our “support local, shop local, and grow local” mission. Supporting the communities that have helped blossom Wildflowers & Co. has been really important to me as a business owner. We have proudly donated to Indigenous patients receiving dialysis treatment at St. Paul’s Hospital, the BC Women’s Health Foundation Changemaker’s Market, the Campbell River Hospital Pediatric Unit, and many other local Campbell River businesses that require donations for special events.
The majority of stories in mainstream media in relation to Indigenous Peoples in Canada still focus on trauma-related narratives withoutoffering equal space to share inspiring and uplifting moments from Indigenous communities. Through the Wildflowers & Co. business platform, I’m working to educate and promote the health, wellness, and success of Indigenous Peoples by showcasing them in our authentic Indigenous Collective, a curated collection of items purchased directly from Indigenous makers. Now with over 40 makers, the Collective is increasing Indigenous representation in beauty and skincare, food and beverage, home décor, and jewelry.
I would like to celebrate the success of my business with the honour and acknowledgement of the Indigenous Matriarchs in business before me. Together, with each generation, we collectively contribute to a path for all our nieces and nephews to become entrepreneurs. Female-led Indigenous businesses like Skwálwen and Totem Design House often speak to building a path of economic reconciliation and strengthening Indigenous economies in culturally grounded ways. Wildflowers & Co. has joined those businesses in becoming one more torch offering that space.
As Wildflowers & Co. continues to grow, I imagine using my business as a platform to raise awareness of colonization and its ongoing effects among Indigenous Peoples. I believe that by coming together, we can build new narratives and relationships across communities. As a former youth in care, I did not see myself reflected in these spaces. My vision is for my nieces and nephews to see themselves reflected across all aspects of society, to feel they are safe, that they belong, that their voices matter, and—with the collective support within our communities— they, too, can achieve their aspirations.