i. I work as a:
Knowledge keeper of Traditional Plant Medicines local to the Coast Salish territory. I am a plant gatherer, apothecary maker, workshop facilitator, and small business owner.
ii. I do this creative work because:
It’s been a part of my culture since time immemorial. I create skincare as a way to share my Cowichan teachings & heritage. It is the simplest way to engage the non native community with the land they currently live on.
iii. Personal qualities that help me in my work are:
My love to make! I am passionate about creating recipes from scratch, designing labels by hand, and presenting my products with displays & signage I built myself.
iv. The greatest challenges around doing this work are:
Having enough time & energy after paperwork & emails! Balancing the admin work with the fun creative process.
v. Creative childhood hobbies:
My childhood hobbies included learning the Cowichan style of knitwear, weaving cedar bark & wool, picking traditional medicine plants on Vancouver Island, and organizing garage sales with my grandmother.
vi. Other creators who inspire you:
My biggest inspirations are my elders & Native “makers”, including master weaver Chief Janice George, Cease Wyse of Raven & Hummingbird Tea Co, Louie Gong of Eighth Generation, Alano Edzerza of Native American Apparel, and lastly Born In The North.
vii. Training that has helped me succeed in this career:
The traditional knowledge my grandmother & community raised me with helped me succeed as a small business owner. Traveling along the Pow Wow trail & market circuit also helped me gain important customer service skills.
viii. The biggest myth about this type of work is:
That the medicines are just plants. The herbs & botanicals I work with are sacred & carry strong healing no matter how they’re applied.
ix. Some proud career moments:
When Quw’utsun’ Made started making organic sales online to countries across the world. I’ve shipped Coast Salish plant medicines to New Zealand, Hong Kong, the UK, and more.
x. If you want to work in my field, I suggest that you:
Learn how to harvest the plant medicines with good intentions & from a local elder.
xi. A professional goal I have for the future:
To collaborate with more makers in apothecary, fashion, jewellery, & more.
xii. If you want to see my work, go to:
Go to quwutsunmade.com to shop my store or see my list of stockists. You can also visit quwutsunmade on Instagram to see my personal story & watch my business grow.
Header Photo: Charlene Johnny PYT Photography