30 Jun Michelle Cameron – Dreamcatcher Promotions
With strong pride, I am a treaty status woman, a band member of Peguis First Nation, Manitoba and a mother of five beautiful children.
As a child, I recognized how hard my Mom was working and I really wanted to help bring more money in the household. Because I am an entrepreneur by nature, I decided to bake cookies, cakes and had my Mom sell the baking to her colleagues at work.
In 2011, I started my business Dreamcatcher Embroidery as a home-based business.
In 2013, Dreamcatcher Embroidery was changed to Dreamcatcher Promotions to better establish and describe Dreamcatcher Promotions as a business which offered much more services beyond embroidery. We wanted to brand and identify Dreamcatcher Promotions as a promotional company, essentially broadening our services to include a variety of printed promotional products and apparel for businesses, agencies and organizations. To be honest, the first five years of business were difficult, and we were met with many struggles, and often filled with many days of self-doubt if the business would be successful. There were times of financial strain, long hours, self and family sacrifices and feelings of wanting to give up. I am very thankful to this day that my amazing team/family and I preserved through the hardships and put in the hard work, commitment to keep progressing, growing.
In 2018, Dreamcatcher Promotions was gaining strong brand awareness, significantly increasing it’s client base and became well recognized within the Indigenous and non Indigenous business community. We launched our Dreamcatcher Promotions website for online ordering and were focused on advertising and promoting our products and services through social media. We frequently attended various conferences and events across all of Canada to promote Dreamcatcher Promotions and to meet prospective clients, selling our products along the way. Dreamcatcher Promotions classic “Indigenous” hoodie is a popular item, worn and requested by many.
To date, Dreamcatcher Promotions continues to be successful. I continue to be the sole proprietor and manage the day-to-day operations, 56 staff members. With strong pride, Dreamcatcher Promotions has evolved into becoming the largest Indigenous owned promotional company in Canada and is one of the largest promotional companies in Winnipeg. Dreamcatcher Promotions has been registered with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) since 2019 and this affiliation has provided us with many opportunities to access resources and procurements with multiple Indigenous businesses and Governments. We are also a registered Indigenous Business with the Government of Canada and this affiliation has provided us with licenses to print and distribute garments and promotional material for Government agencies such as Parks Canada, Natural Resources, Corrections Canada and the RCMP detachments throughout Canada, to name a few.
As an individual business owner, I am a board member of the Tipi of Hope Foundation, Kiskentamowin Advisory Council, the Indigenous Chamber of Commerce, plus I am a coach of the Side Hustle 101 program with Red River College as well as a member to the RRC Social Innovation and Community Development & Indigenous Social Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee. The purpose of the Side Hustle 101 program is to assist, coach and mentor new start up entrepreneurs to become successful in their business endeavours.
In June 2021, because of my strong entrepreneurial spirit, I have decided to also open up a sister company Indigenous Nations Apparel Company (INAC) in the largest mall in Manitoba. INAC is recognized for being the first ever Indigenous owned store in CF Polo Park. INAC generated immediate success selling Indigenous apparel and gifts and what was meant to be a short-term pop-up store is now a permanent store, with goals to open stores Canada wide. INAC will also continue to support other indigenous artists and businesses by selling their artwork , apparel and giftwear.