Melrene Saloy EagleSpeaker

Melrene Saloy EagleSpeaker

Owner of Native Diva Creations finds success designing culturally appropriate jewelry and accessories

Melrene Saloy EagleSpeaker designs and creates all of the jewelry and accessories for her award-winning business Native Diva Creations. Each piece is created with a modern flair, bringing together the traditions of pow-wow beadwork and urban fashion.

“I’ve been beading for as long as I can remember” she says. “I have many aunties and my grandma and mother and sister and adopted family that are amazing creators. They do it mostly just for home and for themselves and for gifting and stuff, and that’s kind of how I learned about doing it as well….

“Long story short, I was trying to decide what I wanted to do with myself because I was working retail for a very long time and I needed to get out of it because I was missing time with family, and I just really didn’t feel fulfilled at that point. I was like, I know I have a talent somewhere and I know I can do something that I love, but it was just trying to find out what that was.”

EagleSpeaker knew she wasn’t interested in selling the kind of trinkets she saw in some of the shops in Banff, but after she attended a symposium on First Nations businesses, she started selling her culturally appropriate jewelry and accessories at craft shows and markets.

“I’ve been in business eight years now, and halfway through, I was like, Ok, I know I’ve always loved fashion, I’m just going to leap for it,” she says. “… Whether I fell on my face or not, it was going to be so worth it, it was going to be an amazing learning experience.”

EagleSpeaker did not fall on her face. In fact, Native Diva Creations has grown to reach an international audience, including on the runway at Fashion Week in Paris.

Tune in to this week’s Indigenous Stories podcast to learn more about Melrene Saloy EagleSpeaker and her journey to create a successful business selling authentic handmade jewelry and accessories that everyone can wear respectfully.

About The Storytelling Project: Indigenous Stories

Part of The Storytelling Project, this series raises awareness about local Indigenous artists who, by living creative lives, are making Calgary a better city, affecting positive change and enriching others’ lives.

Sharing diverse stories of creativity in our city, The Storytelling Podcast shines a spotlight on artists and projects that connect Calgarians to the arts.

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