Grandfathers inspiration becomes the leading drive in young girls business.

The Chiefs Daughter was a name that was given to Karli Crow Shoe by her mom when she was a child, now she uses it to describe her business.

The Chiefs Daughter was the name given to Karli Crow Shoe from her mother, but now this young girl uses it to describe her small business.

Crow Shoe started beading when she was 13 years old after eagerly wanting to powwow dance.

Now in her mid-twenties, Crow Shoe has begun beading hats for people in the community.

“I really wanted to make an outfit and had no idea where to start, until my auntie showed me the basics and my beading took off from there,” Crow Show said.

Karli Crow Shoe is the owner of the Chiefs the Daughter. Photo Courtesy of Karli Crow Shoe.

Crow Shoe beaded her first hat for sister after she came home with a cowboy hat and asked for a floral design to be beaded on it.

“I wanted to keep the design traditional, so I did an interpretation of the design my great-great-grandmother gave my grandma Rose when she was a child,” she said.

Since then, countless other people wanted a similar design, and that was the begin of The Chief’s Daughter.

Although she admits she was reluctant to bead hats for people she didn’t know because she wanted to carry on with Blackfoot designs.

“It was when I made a hat for my dear friend Holly where I found the ability to continue to have a Blackfoot influence on my work for people who weren’t from my community,” she added.

Most of her designs are floral and usually come from the prairies or where ever her clients are from.

“I want to keep it true to who they are and what my business stands for. I want the design to be a story and not just a design.”

Crow Shoe has lived in Calgary since she was seven years old.

However, that has not stopped her from participating in her Blackfoot traditions.

When she was growing up in the city she would often make trips back and forth between Calgary and Piikani every weekend to spend time with her friends and family.

She grew up closely with her grandfather, Reggie Crow shoe, who over time became a major inspiration for her small business.

“The name of my business is because of him,” Crow Shoe said. “Most don’t know this about my grandpa but he is extremely creative, he paints, draws and helps me design and makes belts for my outfits, the list goes on,” She added.

She added that his ability to create designs from his traditional knowledge inspires her to challenge her own creativity all the time.

He also helps her stay with traditional designs when it comes to her hats.

Crow Shoe currently goes to the University of Calgary doing a double degree in Economics and Business.

She plans to use her education to help Indigenous communities prosper economically and help the people in her community while keeping in mind traditions and culture and remaining respectful to those protocols.

“Many non-Indigenous companies come on to the reserve and talk about growing economically but always fail to keep traditional knowledge and culture in mind,” Crow Shoe said.

As her business continues to grow Crow Shoe said she wants to continue to keep the preservation of her traditional practices and knowledge.

Some of Crow Shoe's inspiration for her designs come from her grandfather. Photo Courtesy of Karli Crow Shoe.

“My designs help bring awareness and help preserve family and traditional designs, whereas my education will bring preservation to our ways of life while being able to grow economically.”

Crow Shoe said everything that has happened to her business as happened organically, and that has created a stress-free environment.

“I am extremely busy with being a mom and student with a full-time job, so I want my business to be a place where there is no pressure,” she said.

If she sees a place for her business to expand to other clothing items she will consider growing her business until then she is enjoying the relaxing that beading hats bring her.

Crow Shoe is currently working on a line that will be showcased in the Otahpiaaki fashion show in Calgary this November.

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