Janelle Alladina: Embracing Tradition with Indiginize Creation
From the rich heritage of the Williams Lake Indian Band Shuswap, Indiginize Creation embodies tradition through custom, free-hand design hats inspired by Mother Earth. Owner and 2023 Aritzia Fashion Grant Recipient, Janelle Alladina, shares her journey with Indiginize Creation and how she is empowered by tradition and carving out her niche in the fashion industry.
Janelle’s business, Indiginize Creation, crafts custom designed hats inspired by Mother Earth and Indigenous teachings. Merging traditional designs with a modern perspective, the brand aims to share Indigenous culture in a contemporary fashion light. Janelle forged this new path of her entrepreneurial journey after a period of reflection. She shares, “I sat and prayed, meditated on what my next chapter was and I came up with the hats. I saw Western stores stamping and branding hats and I thought I could do this freehanded and make each hat unique to each buyer.”
There’s an emotional depth to Janelle’s venture. “This is the first time I feel empowered, and driven and can feel the support of my ancestors behind me,” she shares. To her, Indiginize Creation isn’t just a brand; it’s a movement to reclaim a rightful space in the fashion domain and to light a path for future generations to share their passions.
When asked about her brand’s ethos, she doesn’t hesitate, “My brand represents resilience, empowerment, taking back our space, and being able to represent not only myself but my culture and our Indigenous women in business.”
The significance of Indigenous designs and fashion isn’t lost on Janelle. Having personally adversity for wearing her cultural attire, she envisions a different world for the younger generation where they can wear their heritage with pride. “Indigenous fashion is everything to me and my business,” she shares, expressing her hope to inspire the youth to never feel ashamed of their roots.
For those who come across her fashion pieces, Janelle hopes to evoke feelings of “joy and happiness,” emphasizing the importance of supporting Indigenous communities as a step towards reconciliation.
Looking ahead, Janelle shares her aspirations for Indiginize Creation, “My vision is to inspire our Indigenous youth and see more Indigenous apparel in retail stores,” she says, aiming for Indigenous designs to have their rightful place in mainstream fashion and runways.
With the support from the Aritzia Indigenous Fashion Grant, Janelle is eager to expand into new artistic mediums. Her plan is to leverage these resources to elevate the uniqueness of her hat designs, to bring a new kind of innovation and style into the fashion world.
Janelle leaves with a message for the aspiring Indigenous youth poised to make their mark in the fashion industry: “Follow your dreams, stand tall, and know your ancestors would be proud of you for becoming a trailblazer for the future generations to come.” She stresses the importance of connecting with one’s roots, taking inspiration from nature and the wisdom of the elders. To them, she says, “lead with your heart and the designs will flow.”