Descendants of Native nations in North America have long been at the receiving end of historic disadvantages and setbacks their communities were forced to live with centuries ago. They had no other choice but to adapt to new circumstances. Today Native Americans and the people of First Nations in Canada create businesses that put their heritage front and center. The team at Richie believes in supporting entrepreneurs who use their authentic stories as fuel for progress and economic growth. Here are a few examples of such movers and shakers.
Tom Love of Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores
Forbes estimates that Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores brings in $20 billion in revenue every year. This retail empire is the lovechild of Tom Love and Judy Love. Tom, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, installed values and qualities he learned from his community in the company's ethos: unity and perseverance. His journey as an entrepreneur started in the 60s when the couple leased a gas station with an investment of $5,000. Over the course of the next 50 years the business transformed into 550 stores across 41 states.
Roxie Schescke of Indian Eyes
Roxie Scheschke comes from Lakota tribes. When she decided to start what later became Indian Eyes LLC out of her garage, she didn't have any useful connections that would help her speed up the process. That was 2005. Today Roxie runs a successful firm that offers clients security, project management and other professional services. The organization grew from a small team to a staff of 60.
Jenn Harper of Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics INC
When Jenn Harper first thought about the path of entrepreneurship it was important to her that she gave back to First Nations. It was 2014 when she fought back alcohol abuse and decided to change things around. Jenn wanted a new and a solid foundation. She knew what principles had to go into the base of her business venture: contribution to the development of First Nations youth as well as integrity, compassion, empathy, and love. And that was the beginning of Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics INC. The Canadian beauty brand sells clean and vegan makeup including lip glosses and and eyeshadow pencils. Right from the jump the brand donates 10% of all sales to First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.
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