Updated: Oct 2, 2018
“Matriarch’s lift each other up.”
Times are crazy as hell. But despite all the blatant political and movement misogyny, Brown Boss Babes are making moves, honey.
Let’s be honest, unfortunately we are used to this system of corruption and patriarchal bullshit. Now that they’re boldly showing their true colors, it’s time, now more than ever, to come at 'em straight and strong.
And what better way to cultivate the matriarchy than to plant seeds of entrepreneurship? Enabling disabled, single mother, LGBTQIA, womxn of color to flourish in the power of their own creativity without the anxiety of:
· the boss and/or coworker perpetrator of work place sexual harassment
· being pressured to work late or alone in a creepy office building
· lack of accountability to biased, racist, and sexist company culture
· judgmental attitudes (i.e. taboos) and insensitivity pertaining to women’s health
· lackadaisical enforcement of policies which protect maternity leave, maternal + parental rights / family emergencies (i.e. giving you shit for going to pick up your sick child at school) and, of course, the complete lack of moon leave (more on that to come)
· and I’m sure y’all have many more, so please feel free to share in the comments section below
So, it’s time to let our sista’s shine. That’s right, I’m listing my top 13 BBBB’s: Beautiful Brown Boss Babes for the fall season:
Jen Harper: Cheekbone Beauty
CEO of Cheekbone Beauty, Jen Harper, is a boss babe on a mission. Her beauty products are stunning (um, “Earth” Contouring Kit and Sweetgrass lipstick anyone?). But Jen’s shine doesn’t end there. CB donates 10% of its proceeds to support First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada. CB’s new US distributer is fellow boss babe B. Yellowtail: 10% of these profits will support InArts.org of New Mexico: Promoting Indigenous Peoples, in film & television, visual arts, performing arts and media through education about Indigenous People's stories & culture.
CB also pays homage to other BBBB’s through their long-lasting liquid lipstick line. Buffy Sainte Marie, Ashley Callingbull, Roseanne Supernault, and Bethany Yellowtail, among the names in the collection. Major shout outs Jen for keeping our kids in school while keeping us looking glammed up on 100.
Armida Cervantez is another education advocate and fashionista, with an Indigená abuelita twist. A Waldorf school teacher by day, Armida harvests the inspiration from her Xicana/O’odham heritage with her experiences as mother, grandmother and teacher to bring the viewer whimsical heartfelt pieces that warm your soul like a hot cacoa on a crisp desert fall night. From adorable picks like “Nn is for Nopal,” deep earth pieces such as “Madre de la Tierra” depicted here, collab pieces with husband and fellow educator which combine Armida’s Mestizo flair + his Norse Germanic heritage, “Tres Ravens” and bold stamen pieces like Flamenca, prepare to be enchanted.
Follow: Armida’s adventures @armidas_art
Deonoveigh Mitchell: Kaalogii Kisses
This asdzáá coined the term "Beautiful Brown Boss Babes. If you have had the pleasure of encountering Kaalogii Kisses’ heart-works, you already know the fry-bread straight from mom’s loving arms, soft, warm feeling they convey. And that’s exactly what Kaalogii Kisses is all about: sharing a heart-felt energy of home-grown, made with love creations. The best part is Miss Deonoveigh is one of the kindest people you’ll meet and continuously gives back to the community. She has kindly donated some of her heart works to our IWISER “Mother’s Experiencing Homeslessness on Mother’s Day” event, and is also, you guessed it!, an art teacher of young minds in the Phoenix valley. From wall art to pillows, find your fav’s to cuddle up to via her Instagram handle.
Cher Thomas Designs
Y’all probably already know. Cher is thee definition of a Boss Babe, and she’s not here to play! Akimel O'odham & Cocopah, her blend of couture and traditional fashion has been showcased in a solo exhibit at the Huhukam Heritage Center, Melbourne Fashion Week's Indigenous fashion show, and featured in Native Peoples Magazine. Cher creates masterpieces of Indigenous engineering. Ready to wear Cher? Then be sure to order in advanced because you will be among the many to be stunned by her dresses, skirts, men’s clothing and more. And the coolest part? She recently designed Diné traditional wear for Navajo Nation Presidential candidate and trans icon, Trudie Jackson! So yeah, home girl is versatile and not afraid of any challenge. We told you she don’t play. In her spare time, she advocates for the Indigenous community by picketing against the Redskins and working with the faith community to dismantle the doctrine of discovery. How's that for a hobby?
Ellie Rose: Fourth Path
Insert deep, sigh of relief here. If you have been looking for earthy North East Coast Indigenous organic skincare flare: look no further. From Mohawk territory, Fourth Path’s Ellie Rose (Native/Scott/Norse Celtic descent) is here to serve up herbs that are bound to become your essentials. Inspired by culture and wellness, Fourth Path includes not only organic skincare, but artisanal jewelry and other herbal medicine such as the tasty and effective Elderberry Tincture for immune and womb health (which I live by). Hit the wellness trail strong with Fourth Path.
Ahsaki Chachere: Ah Shí Beauty
When it comes to revolutionizing Luxury Skin Care, Ah Shí Beauty is changing the game. Ahsaki Chachere is proudly Diné and African American. However, her up and coming luxury beauty brand is about staying true to her roots while reaching for the stars. She imagines Ah Shí as a beauty line that will be embraced across backgrounds and platforms, and bring representation for Indigenous people of all tribes. There is a skin care product collection for each skin type. Whichever works best for you, these systems will leave you feeling as smooth and stunning outside as you are on the inside-and don’t forget the packaging! I mean come on it’s gorgeous, right?? Also, there’s buzz that an organic collection is in the works… jiní. Be on the look-out for Ah Shí Beauty!
There ain't a look Boss Babe Kahara can't rock. This Diné, Xicana, Afro, English queen serves up the photo magic honey. Modeling for KLA Management, NEXT LA, + MIA, as well as designer B. Yellowtail and, most recently, runway modeling for Boot Barn, Kahara is keeping it live representing multicultural Indigenous Boss Babes everywhere. She has also been featured in Brother Ali's official music video for "Own Light." And she is an up and coming vocalist with a voice that resounds through seven generations.
Lady Yazzie: Slay in Beauty
Lady Yazzie aka Asia Soleil Yazzie is from Chichiltah, New Mexico and born of Diné (Navajo) with relations to Chippewa, Zuni, and German backgrounds. She is a freelance dance performer, model, vlogger, blogger, speaker, and advocate. Yazzie provides entertainment and modeling services (including being a fierce model for Indigenous designers such as OXDX, and others) and workshops for special events, fashion shows, and schools. She also creates an awareness dialogue to issues of domestic/sexual violence, suicide prevention, body image, sexual health, healthy relationships, health wellness and female empowerment. Lady Yazzie is a founding member of IWISER and has recently launched her all-new, and soon to be one of your favs, lifestyle platform: Slay in Beauty.
Follow: @ladyyazzie @slay_in_beauty_official
Tenille K. Campbell: Sweet Moon Photography
Sweet, and savory with a sprinkle of magic. I’m not talking about moose meat and bannock: I’m talking about Sweet Moon Photo and Tea & Bannock’s Tenille K Campbell. (Soon to be Dr.) Campbell is Boss Babe 101. Author of “Indian Love Poems”, Indigenous photographer, and blogger for @teaandbannock, Tenille’s indigenous erotica poetry and spellbound photography will make a logophile + photophile out of you. Powerful imagery and positive Indigenous sexuality, with no shame. Follow her. You’ll be hooked.
G.M. Davis: NDNInspired
“Who else is blooming into a beautiful Indigenous woman with no chill?"
G.M. Davis, that’s who. One of the original Indigenous large scale inspo IG accounts, @ndninspired be servin up them stunning images and boss babes quotes all day every day. GTrain is funny, personable, and never stingy with the shout outs. And those “good morning” posts on Facebook will make your whole day. *Sips tea in “I’m Native, I read, I know shit” mug* That’s right, girl!
Helen Edwards: Sexy Freedom LLC
Wild, free, and slaying Every. Damn. Day. Enter: Helen Edwards of Sexy Freedom Media. After the goddess’ namesake, Helen has been to hell and back, but she returns each time with a flair and grace that is becoming of such a matriarch. Self-Published author, yoga instructor, empowering retreat facilitator, and biker babe, Apache/Xicana entrepreneur has detailed her existential journey in her first and recent book “Nothing Sexier Than Freedom.” She also has a video podcast, Sexy Freedom Media on Youtube. Check her out!
Kim Smith: Indigenous Goddess Gang
The Goddess herself stays supporting her fellow goddesses. Creating one of the first, and most bad ass, online Indigenous femme magazines, Kim and her local Goddess Gang infuse culture, fashion, imagery, wellness, and womxn empowerment into a beautiful blend that is as glamourous as it is down to earth. If you aren’t already, be sure to read their latest and follow them (don’t be all late like ya girl!).
ShaHannagins: Hannah Manuelito + Shaina Yazzie
Boss Babe duo Hannah Manuelito + Shaina Yazzie sure know how to bring you those rays of sunshine, flash, + highlight boo boo! The two hold it down within Jared Yazzie’s OXDX Clothing as Operational Manager (Shaina), and Market Communications Manager (Hannah). Bad ass photographer, and self-taught make up artist, Hannah has a photography exhibit "Asdzáán" currently at ART 123 in Gallup, NM. It's been extended until October 9th, so if you're in the 505, be sure to check it out! Hannah + Shaina recently started their own platform “Shaihannahgans: just a couple of Diné gals creating vids and spreading laughter.” These sister friends will make your daye, all daye, every daye.
Bonus: Your local burrito lady
Up at 3AM and doesn’t stop til the work is done. This one goes out to burrito ladies, and other boss babes, everywhere. Don’t forget to give her a tip, + a thank you! She does feed your grumpy ass every morning c(;
When y'all buy from small businesses I hope you know the impact you make. Especially from womxn of color, who deal with layers of oppression from intergenerational trauma and environmental racism, to chronic and other illnesses we are known to have high rates of.
For y'all who support the poetry + art of me, D.Daye: you are supporting a Black + Indigenous mixed womxn of color dealing with + overcoming chronic pain/illnesses. This dream is more than about profit. It's about the pure joy of creation. It's about making a viable income for myself now while I finish my undergraduate studies, to pay medical bills, to keep the lights on + a roof over my head. It's about wellness, security, independence, and giving back.
But even more so, it's about being a light. Art makes life beautiful + meaningful to me. And I create with that purpose, hoping it shines a little hope and beauty into your life.
So let’s support more small POC womxn owned businesses ! It may cost more than the dollar store or Walmart but it’s worth it: WE’RE worth it!
To my supporters, I see you. Bilahe'k 💛And to my fellow Beautiful Brown Boss Babes: we got this ❤️
Dominique (Afro Sappony/Norse-Irish/Polish descent) is a poet/spoken word/hiphop artist, short story writer, clothing line boss babe, + aspiring recreational therapist. She is also the co-founder of Indigenous Womxn In Solidarity Empowered + Rising. She is currently working on her B.S. in Nonprofit Leadership Management with an emphasis in American Indian Studies, and lives between the southeast + southwestern U.S.