The 'My Calling is Culture' Collection is inspired by Tessa's love for family, vintage fashion, and blending of cultures. Although being Ojibwe/Cree/Metis, Tessa grew up on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington state. Her grandparents relocated from the Fort Peck Reservation in Montana during WWII. Although Tessa’s main artistic identity and style is Woodland, she wanted to represent her NW roots. In the 1970’s, both her grandmother and father studied with local Northwest Coastal artists as they developed their artistic style while honoring traditional coastal design esthetics. Because Tessa has not studied with coastal artists, she did not feel it was appropriate to create her own coastal designs. She preserved coastal drawings done by her father and blended her own Woodland style elements.
The women’s stole was refurbished from a button blanket originally made by her grandmother. Since the original blanket was not finished and in poor condition, Tessa decided to utilize healthy wool panels from the original blanket. Taking a salmon drawing her father created in the 1980’s, she replaced the belly and tail of the salmon with Woodland features. She used buttons from the original blanket adding in modern buttons, finishing the stole with black faux fur to mimic real bear fur. She accessorized the stole with a beaded Woodland salmon tail brooch. The women’s vintage inspired dress is an original graphic print execution of the Woodland salmon tail combined with her signature Woodland style aesthetic. This graphic is featured on the leggings, blankets and fabric. The women's satchel features Woodland leaves with black velvet backing, a common material for beadwork and appliqué. Two black onyx stones are also incorporated as their metaphysical properties evoke a state of protection. The men’s tie features Woodland floral designs in traditional coastal colors of black, red and white with pops of turquoise that are seen in some coastal tribes.
Tessa is proud of her Ojibwe/Cree/Metis culture and roots in the Pacific Northwest. She hopes to encourage others to embrace and love their heritage, background, and individual story. With over half of Natives living off the reservation today, the influence of multiple cultures is prominent. Her calling to honor identity and acceptance of self, inspires this collection. Let it ignite the cultural calling in you.
My Calling is Culture Collection
Men's Beaded Tie (available for purchase)
Women's Beaded Satchel (not for sale)
Fabric: Satin/Cotton (black, cream, taupe, red)
Blankets: Sherpa Fleece (cream, vintage blue, taupe)
Leggings: (black, taupe, blue)
Stole: Refurbished Button Blanket originally made by grandmother (not for sale)