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About Us

Beginnings

Almost seven years ago, I was making a new set of beadwork. I couldn’t find the beads and supplies online, in a single, convenient website. That was the afternoon that I decided to start Bead & Powwow Supply. 2012 was a busy year - our vendor booth debuted in March, our website launched in May. In July, Bead & Powwow Supply acquired the entire Czech bead inventory of Flying Feathers Trading Post,
owned by Rick Hewitt. Rick also gave a lot of much-needed (and much appreciated) advice from his several decades of experience powwow-vending. It took five years, but as of November 2017, the entire Czech bead selection acquired from Flying Feathers is now available at powwowsupply.com

Technology

In 2014, Bead & Powwow Supply shocked the powwow trail with barcoded beads and a new point-of-sale system, complete with barcode scanner and receipt printer. This system requires electricity, a dependable internet connection, and lots of space; that has restricted where I can set up the vendor booth. As a business owner, I prize efficiency; technology allows me to manage the huge selection of beads, findings, notions, tools, sew-on crystals, rhinestone banding, jingles, that can be found at Bead & Powwow Supply. Anishinaabeg of years ago embraced kettles, guns, broadcloth and glass beads from Europe and incorporated these trade-goods into their daily lives.  I honor those ancestors by using today’s technology to better serve my customers and promote indigenous art.

"Save your tags!"

The new (and much improved) website – powwowsupply.com – launched in May 2014. Have you bought beads from us at powwow, only to realize that you need more when you get home? Save your tags – they contain the bead name, and the all-important SKU number. If you need more of a certain bead, just type the 8-digit SKU into the search bar on our website and it will come up.  Have you ever been stuck at home while your BFF or cousin is out having a good time at powwow? Well, browse our selection online, and let them know what you need to finish your beading project. We’ll be happy to help them purchase your supplies. Our goal is a streamlined shopping experience that allows customers to find products in-person and online, with ease.

Community

It is my greatest pride to be able to offer jobs in my community. Bead & Powwow Supply employs a few seasonal and part-time workers in Mt Pleasant, Michigan. Every powwow requires prep work and packing; every web order needs to be picked and packed; every hank of beads needs to be tied and labeled. None of that would be possible without the dedicated team here. E-nokiijig nda-miigwechinendam - I’m thankful for the ones who work.

As many regular powwow customers know, I had some health issues and personal struggles throughout the years. I would like to offer my deepest thanks to all of you for your support, patience, and understanding, while I took care of myself. Happily, the toxic elements of my life have been removed and my physical health is much improved. Once again, I am dancing, as well as furthering my education. I am so blessed to be part of a wonderful, caring community. Miigwech.

Moving Forward

In 2018, we (me and the whole team) will be focusing on updating our website. Product pages will include more details, better descriptions of bead color and finish, project ideas, and tips from fellow bead artists. We’ve also decided to incorporate Anishinaabe language into the website. Look for short sentences and little stories on the new product pages. We’ll also include resources to help you translate and understand. Before starting this company, I studied linguistics and Anishinaabemowin at Michigan State University. It's past time that I share my knowledge and promote language revitalization by the means I have - this website.

Gchi-miigwech (thank you very much) to all of our customers! We look forward to providing you with the best quality beads and beading supplies for your creative endeavors.

Mii’wi

Autumn “Ellie” Mitchell (Saginaw Ojibwe; Eagle Clan)
Owner of Bead & Powwow Supply
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