Christine Marie is the founder of Saskatchewan based brand Awasis Boutique. Christine is a Mom of two little ones and a woman of Metis + Filipino roots.
While taking time off from teaching to be a stay at home Mom, Christine put her teaching areas of Home Economics + Native Studies to use. What started off as sewing a few bibs + aprons for another Mom, soon got some exposure on social media and Christine quickly started receiving multiple orders. This interest led her to do market research for Indigenous inspired baby and kids fashion lines. To her surprise, there was no such thing in Western Canada. Four months later, Awasis Boutique was born as an online shop. Awasis featured custom aprons, bibs, blankets, headbands, onesies, toddler tees + more. Awasis is “Indigenously designed for ALL”. Christine says, “When you support Awasis Boutique not only are you adding style, comfort + practicality to your wardrobes, but you are also helping to celebrate the Indigenous culture and revitalize Indigenous languages, along with being a part of giving proceeds back to the community one product at a time. ”
- Your company name, Awasis, means child. Could you share the significance behind your brand’s name and purpose? Because my business is 100% Indigenous owned and inspired, I wanted that reflected in the name. I did not grow up speaking Cree or Michif, but those were the languages my ancestors spoke. Having a Cree word in the title will always remind me and those who hear about my business the significance of revitalizing a language.
- Your brand is so much more than the beautiful items you sell. You also teach and educate about your culture and language. What inspired you to incorporate education into your brand? The education aspect is one of the core pillars of my business. Every product tells a story. Without the education piece, I’d have no business. Or I don’t think it would resonate with people as much.
- Of all the products you have created, which are you most proud of and why? Oh goshhhhh. This is a hard one! I fell like my Metis print (with sash, flower, fiddle, and infinity symbol) is one of my favs. The floral blankets, also a nod to Metis beadwork. And my orange tee designs. These have been the most popular designs to date. To know that people from coast to coast in our country wear them. My heart.