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It’s In the Bag: Indigenous Business Scales New Heights – The Link

by ahnationtalk on November 22, 202291 Views

November 22, 2022

Upon walking into Kel Tech Gear’s studio, rays of light shine through windows on all three walls of the room.

Shelves packed with stacks of textiles are propped up against one wall and towering rolls of fabric lean against them. In one corner sit two sewing machines.

Owner and founder Kelsey Deer started her bag-making business amidst the pandemic from her home in Kahnawá:ke. At the time, she was working in a local clothing shop as a seamstress and was eventually let go as she was not deemed an essential worker.

“I made my first real bag in Aug. 2022,” said Deer. It was the Dog Training Treat Bag. After posting it on her Instagram account, it gained enough visibility to reach Toronto—where a determined individual was insistent on purchasing it for his girlfriend.

“My business was not really planned at that point,” Deer recounted. “It was for fun; I had the summer off—I was just making stuff.” This customer nonetheless encouraged her and ended up being her first sale. Three months later, she had officially launched her business on Instagram.

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