Squamish, Mainland/Southwest

5 Employees

In Business Since 2018

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Skwalwen Botanicals

Squamish, Mainland/Southwest

Sḵwálwen Botanicals is an Indigenous skincare brand that honours cultural knowledge, Indigenous plant science and self care. Founded by ethnobotanist Leigh Joseph of Squamish First Nation, Sḵwálwen (skwall - win) provides gentle and effective skincare products that draw from the ceremonial aspects of plants. Incorporating sustainably harvested and sourced botanicals, Sḵwálwen unites ancestral traditions with modern beauty rituals, empowering people to connect to themselves and the natural world. As an Indigenous woman Leigh has lived with the experiences of racism and intergenerational trauma in her family and has also witnessed the resilience, love and beauty within her family, community and culture. It is important for her to put her voice into the world in a way that inherently challenges stereotypes and anti-indigenous racism in ways that are true to her heart and voice. Creating Sḵwálwen products begins with time spent on the land — forests, estuaries, or subalpine meadows — to harvest plant foods and medicines. Using Squamish cultural teachings, Leigh approaches the natural world gently and respectfully, harvesting with techniques that are ethical and sustainable. Representation matters. Leigh recognized the lack of Indigenous voices in her discipline and in the plant-based beauty space and through Sḵwálwen’s storytelling, imagery, and connection to the land, Skwalwen Botanicals is increasing Indigenous representation, helping to shift the cultural narrative from trauma to resilience. We elevate Indigenous voices, perspectives and lives through the interconnectedness of plant science and beauty. We partner with other Indigenous businesses wherever possible and we have future plans to Indigenize our supply chain to grow botanicals for our products. Skwalwen currently work with small organic farms to grow some of the botanicals for our business. Leigh aims to continue to grow Skwálwen into a premier Indigenous skincare brand that is top of mind and is a leader in the clean beauty space. She is passionate about growing the brand in ways that are grounded in cultural ethics and sustainability. This award would be such a vote of confidence and recognition and it would help us to continue to grow and scale. We are at a critical juncture with the business as we prepare for the next stage of growth and this award would be an incredible opportunity at this time.

Skwalwen Botanicals has been nominated in the following categories:

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People's Choice

Why do you think you should win the Premier’s People’s Choice Award?

Skwalwen Botanicals offers a 'living wage' to its employees. Our team consists of five local indigenous women and we spend time on the land much like our ancestors did harvesting the botanicals that we use in our products. It is our goal to share these harvesting experiences with our customers on our social media platforms to educate and inform them of the cultural knowledge renewal we are engaging with and sharing with our community of customers and followers. Giving back to the land and Indigenous communities is at the heart of who we are. Sḵwálwen gives back through two key initiatives: our Ceremony Series and the hiýáḿ Project. The Ceremony Series is a seasonal offering of small batch, handmade skincare and wellness experiences. 10% of proceeds of each Ceremony release are donated to organizations that support Indigenous causes. To date, we have donated $3,500 between The Downtown Eastside Women's Centre (Vancouver), Tr'ondek Hwech'in Youth Centre (Dawson City), Indigenous Women Outdoors (Squamish), and Lytton First Nation. The hiýáḿ Project is a collaboration with Satinflower Nurseries that facilitates thousands of seeds planted on Indigenous lands. Launched in spring 2021, the first stage of the project incorporated a 1:1 model, with coastal mugwort seed packets distributed to Sḵwálwen customers in tandem with the Pauquachin, Scia'new, and Tsartlip communities on southern Vancouver Island. In support of the hiýáḿ Project, we have partnered with Supported Soul on the Resurgence Collection ~ eco-friendly yoga mats featuring designs from Coast Salish artist Ocean Hyland with consultation on the botanicals and Squamish language elements from our founder Leigh. 12.5% of mat sales are donated to the hiýáḿ Project. The Resurgence Collection is available at www.supportedsoul.com.

Nominations and voting has now closed.

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