PHOTO: Mélanie Bernard (right) and Trisha Pitura (left), co-founders of MINI TIPI.

Weaving Culture and Community Together

Celebrating Indigenous art and culture through women-owned entrepreneurship

Trisha and Mélanie, the founders of MINI TIPI, are business partners but they are also close friends. They met each other in an aqua fitness class when they were both young moms, and their friendship flourished as they bonded over their passion for textiles and sewing.

Trisha, a member of the Nipissing First Nation, had always been fascinated by fabrics and started to create small baby projects at home. Mélanie, on the other hand, had a knack for branding and knew what people wanted. She encouraged Trisha to start selling her creations on Facebook and Etsy.

After a while, their hobby turned into a business, and MINI TIPI was born. Trisha and Mélanie’s vision was to celebrate Indigenous art and culture by collaborating with artists to create beautiful, authentic designs. They wanted to build bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and share their culture with the world. Their shared vision and passion for promoting their culture and artistry have driven MINI TPI’s success, and they continue to inspire others to follow their passions and make a positive impact on their communities.

Their journey has not been easy, but they have persevered through the challenges. Trisha and Mélanie have worked hard to balance their business with their family responsibilities, but they knew that they were building something that would last. For them, “entrepreneurship is not just about creating a business. It’s about creating a legacy,” said on the Pow Wow Pitch Podcast.

Today, MINI TIPI has been operating for six years, and their products can be found in stores across Canada, such as Simons and various local retailers. Trisha and Mélanie continue to inspire others with their passion for textiles and their commitment to celebrating Indigenous art and culture. 

Trisha and Mélanie’s ultimate hope is to inspire and empower other Indigenous entrepreneurs to follow their dreams and pursue their passions. They want to be role models for other Indigenous women and show them that anything is possible if they have the determination and resilience to overcome challenges and obstacles.

Listen to their episode on the Pow Wow Pitch Podcast now!