Saskatchewan

SheNative: inspiring Indigenous women through design at Sask. Fashion Week

Devon Fiddler began SheNative with no design experience. Three years later, the clothing line is showing at Sask. Fashion Week on Friday, May 12. Her clothing line invests in improving the lives of Indigenous women.

Devon Fiddler quit her job to pursue a career in fashion in hopes of inspiring Indigenous women

Devon Fiddler is the head designer of SheNative. (CBC)

Two years ago, Devon Fiddler quit her job to pursue a career in fashion.

"It all stemmed from me wanting to empower Indigenous women and girls," Fiddler said. 

She had no design experience and knew little about the industry, but it was something she had always dreamed of. 

"It took me about two years to take the leap and quit my job. It was very scary because I didn't have that security anymore and I had to let that go if I was ever going to start," she said. 

From that leap of faith, SheNative was born, but it's about more than just fashion. 

The company focuses on community development and social growth, particularly with Indigenous women. 

SheNative wants to change the perception of Native women, and they are doing so by investing in and celebrating their goals. 

Inspiring Indigenous women 

"It's really important because of my own negative experiences. Growing up I experienced a lot of racism and a lot of [bullying]," Fiddler said. "I experienced a lot of family violence and a lot of Indigenous women go through that and a lot of people don't realize how common it is."

Fiddler wanted to send out a message to all Indigenous women that regardless of the negative experiences, they could live healthy lives and set out to accomplish their dreams. 

The company donates 10 per cent of their annual profits to a social program that aligns with their message as a brand of empowering Indigenous women. 

SheNative also focuses on supporting other Canadian brands and ensuring their product is ethically made. 

Showing at Sask. Fashion Week is an important step for Fiddler. She hopes to be able to market her brand to other businesses, and see SheNative in stores across Canada. 

You can catch SheNative on the runway on Friday, May 13. 

With files from CBC Radio's Afternoon Edition

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