Island youth founds self-care business with mom

Mother-daughter duo, Sophie Pheasant and Kallan Pheasant-Jones, of GNAAJWI self-care products.

MNIIDOO MNISING—A new home-based business has been started by a 14-year-old Anishinaabe-kwe entrepreneur and her mother, focussing on an introductory line of “self care” and “self love” products.

The Little Current residents, Sophie Pheasant and Kallan Pheasant-Jones are members of Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territories and are offering curbside pickup, local delivery, mailout and retail at Dreamer’s Cove in Little Current.

The products are handcrafted by Kallan (mom Sophie is in charge of labels and marketing) and include skincare and beauty blends.

“The overall vision is to offer a safe, affordable and all-natural ingredient product that is mindful of the environment,” explained Ms. Pheasant. “We also make every effort to reduce packaging and the jars and bottles are refillable at a reduced cost.”

Ms. Pheasant explains that the business was the brainchild of her daughter Kallan, and with its burgeoning success, her daughter brought mom on board to help with the mundane chores. “It was her idea,” said Ms. Pheasant, who noted the business had a soft launch on Kallan’s 13th birthday, but has grown considerably thanks to features in two publications, including ‘Owlkids.’ “She told me ‘I don’t do labels’,” laughed Ms. Pheasant.

The company name, GNAAJWI, translates to “be/being beautiful,” explained Ms. Pheasant. “That includes mind, heart and spirit, to live with kindness, confidence and to walk harmoniously with the earth.”

Products include essential oil roll-ons and body bars/balms created with “unique essential oil blends of Niimi (to dance), an energizing blend, Nwebi (to rest) our calming blend and G’Chi Nokoomis (great grandmother), our nurturing blend.” The company also offers up lip balms and makeup remover (made with plant oils, vitamin E and lavender essential oil) and “confidently crafted GNAAJWI Divinity Gems for activating inner wisdom.”

GNAAJWI sustainably harvests seasonal blends, but stays clear of commercializing any of the sacred medicines. “We do trade with other Indigenous harvesters for some of the medicines we need, but we don’t incorporate them into our business model,” explained Ms. Pheasant.

The company website can be found at gnaajwi.com and products can now also be sourced at Dreamer’s Cove.