Métis beadwork inspires entrepreneur to open shop
- NC Raine | February 11, 2021
Saskatoon's newest storeowner might also be its youngest.
This Friday, 18 year-old Dakota McLeod will open the doors to His Bead Store, a brick-and-mortar location that will carry everything artisans need to create beadwork.
McLeod, a born and raised Saskatonian, has Indigenous roots that trace back to Buffalo Narrows on his mother's side, and Métis roots from his father that link to the Batoche and Fish Creek areas of Saskatchewan. His new store, above all else, is a celebration of that inherent culture that is so important to him, he says.
“It's a place where anyone can come and learn about who we are as Métis,” said McLeod.
In addition to being a go-to shop for beading supplies, McLeod's store will also carry a variety of products made by Indigenous vendors, most of which are Saskatchewan-made. His Bead Store will offer bead kits, furs, and hides to make moccasins or gloves, a teacher's corner with educational books, gifts and natural body products and food items such as northern caught fish, teas from the boreal forest, wild rice from the northeast, and honey.
The new storefront stems from McLeod discovering a love of beading, just four years ago at a Métis cultural camp where he taught himself to bead. He immediately fell in love with it, he said. In 2017, he launched a business, also called His Bead Store, in which he sold beading supplies and kits to schools and community groups. An online beading store followed in 2019.
McLeod estimates, since beginning his business, that he has sold around 400 beading kits – which includes all the beads, thread, and needles you need to learn beading, as well as a set of instructions and three floral patterns.
“It's about expressing and sharing my Métis culture, and educating others about the beauty in beading,” he said. “The five flower petal is important (to me), it's the Métis flower. They used to call us 'the beaded flower people', because we were famous for this five-petal flower.”
In wanting to share his beading and culture in as many ways as possible, McLeod said he plans for His Bead Store to not just be a shop, but a cultural centre. Once the pandemic is over, he will use the space in the back of his store as a classroom for beading and other cultural workshops.
The grand opening of His Bead Store takes place this Friday, February 12, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 2210 Avenue C North.