Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Native Trade

Native Trade: a logo trademarked by Sister Sky

“Markets and commerce were not invented in Europe. When Columbus made shore, Indians…had already developed a broad and complex commercial network.” - Dirk Kempthorne, Secretary of the Department of Interior, 2007.

Native American trade and commerce with Europeans has earliest recordings in the late 1400's to early 1500's.  Such business transactions created economic sustainability for both parties involved in the trading process.

Native American trade created personal and communal wealth within tribal communities.  In addition Native American trade created robust commerce and a healthy thriving business market.

Federally mandated forced-relocation of millions of Native Americans, to far removed lands of desolation, made extinct the robust business market of Native American trade.  Thus, sorrowfully creating a socioeconomic tragedy.   Native Americans where once skilled, experienced, dedicated entrepreneurs who contributed to a healthy trade commerce in North America.

For Native Americans in the 21st century ''Native Trade' equals:

  • Revival of healthy trade industries.
  • Individual and community wealth building.
  • Entrepreneurship.
  • Employment.
  • Home Ownership.
  • Healthy Families.
  • Economic Sustainability.
  • Tribal self-governance.

Global nations require healthy trade environments in order to establish and maintain economic wealth, for their citizens and government.  Tribal nations are no different than global nations, a healthy trade environment is required to establish and maintain economic wealth for tribal citizens and tribal governments.

Be a Native American game-changer!  Consciously practice fair Native Trade today !

Marina TurningRobe
Sister Sky  

Monday, July 20, 2015

About Sister Sky Brand

About Our Brand

Native American products are moving into mainstream retail due to consumer demand. Sister Sky is a 100% Native American owned company; we develop, design and commercially produce Native inspired products.

Sister Sky is not an artisan brand; our products are not hand made.  Native American artisans, making one-of-a-kind pieces, occupy that industry.  Sister Sky highly respects traditional artists; although we do not compete in that industry.  

Sister Sky is a Native American company moving past the "cottage industry" model to the "commercial industry" model in an effort to:

  • Respectfully represent Native American culture, in the commercial industry.  
  • Fill a gap in the commercial marketplace by providing Native inspired products supplied by Native American business owners.  
  • Provide retailers an affordable and reliable supply of culturally-respectful Native         inspired products. 
  • Create employment and model small business ownership in our tribal communitues. 

Sister Sky started as a hobby based business in 1999.  We have grown since and our branded product categories include natural bath and body care products, hotel amenities and fashion accessories.  Visit us at www.sistersky.com 

We value and appreciate your friendship and support!

Marina & Monica
Sister Sky

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Encouragment is Critical for Entreprenuers

When we started Sister Sky 16 years ago, I worked out of my basement and I would go to Office Depot to make copies of  product flyers and brochures.  There was this sweet lady named Gerri who worked there. She would look at my marketing material and say with such confidence, "Oh, your company will be successful.  There isn't a doubt in my mind."  At a time when I really needed to hear those words of encouragement, Gerri provided them. It's tough and terrifying to start a business but those nudges along the way in the early years are priceless.   Today, Gerri is retired and I moved out of my basement into an actual office.  I would say we are both successful.  Thanks Gerri for taking the time to lift me up along the way.  Keep keeping on my fellow entreprenuers.  The world needs each and every one of us small business owners!   - Monica

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Heritage and Sisterhood

Monica Simeon & Marina TurningRobe

Who is Sister Sky
A Native American woman owned company committed to creating products which embrace the beauty of indigenous cultures for the purpose of sharing cultural wisdom.

What is Our Heritage
Our Beloved Mother:
Our mother is from the First Nations Pauquachin Band, Vancouver Island, British Columbia.  Our lineage on her side hails from a long line of highly respected Tribal Chiefs and Women of Medicine, who carried the wisdom of plants, flowers and roots, used to help the ill become well.

Our Beloved Father:
Our father is from the (Spa-Keen) Spokane Tribe, Washington.  Our lineage on his side hails from a long line of highly respected Men of Medicine and Spiritual Songs.  Also from his side of our family were resourceful entrepreneurs; individuals who thought of creative ways to make-ends-meet, individuals who were able to "move-in-both-worlds" by venturing off the reservation to find employment while simultaneously staying connected to family, tradition and heritage.   

As Sisters:
During our life journey we have experienced varied seasons.   Some seasons filled with bright warm comforting sunshine - complete with birds singing beautiful songs and rainbows glowing overhead.  Some seasons filled with blistering cold and uneasy darkness - with no sounds of comfort for the ears. 

Thru our life seasons, we continue to give thanks to The Creator for our sacred gift of sisterhood!  Definition of Sister: A girl or woman who shares a common ancestry, allegiance, character, or purpose with another or others.   Yup.  That's us.   

Marina & Monica

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sister Sky "Gives Back" with Abalone Woman Bracelets

Native American model/dancer Valarie Adrian, Spokane Tribe
This photo excites me beyond belief!  Simply because I  have come to a place in my entrepreneurial journey where I can give back to my community with a social cause product this holiday season.

Let me give you the backstory:  starting a company from scratch is no cake walk.  To say a start up company struggles financially is putting it lightly.  I've worked without pay, I've taken out a second mortgage and  I've borrowed money from my mom just to keep the lights on.  I've stayed in business long enough to know that you should care deeply about what you do because you sacrifice a lot when you're an entrepreneur. 

My sister and I have been running our company, Sister Sky for 15 years.  Whether you know our products or not, you should know "giving back" has been both a personal and professional goal of ours.

When we launched the Abalone Woman bracelets this fall, we knew the story of Abalone Woman would resonate with so many who are concerned with ending domestic violence.  The oral stories of our heritage touch our spirit, teach us values and remind us of what is important.  So powerful are these oral stories that they resonate deeply today with the community at large. 

The objective of the Abalone Woman bracelet is simple:  market a beautiful and affordable bracelet, tell the story of Abalone Woman and donate a portion of the proceeds to the non-profit National Indigenous Women's Resource Center.  The most rewarding part of this collaboration:  a Native American for-profit company is partnering with a Native American non-profit.  Small steps like this lead to great success in building healthier communities in Indian Country. 

As a small, Native American, woman owned business, we care deeply about the products we make and sell.  Our brand is deeply rooted in wellness and healing. The Abalone Woman bracelet was a natural concept born from our brand roots.  It's truly a blessing for us to be "giving back" as women and entrepreneurs.

Now back to the picture. This is gorgeous Native American dancer/model Valarie Adrian, from the Spokane Tribe wearing an Abalone Woman bracelet for the camera of Navajo photographer, Sonny Moeckel.  This picture is stunning because it reminds me that coming together for a good cause is powerful and important work. 

Please visit our website to read the story of  Abalone Woman:
To learn about the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center please go to:
To see more of Sonny's work, visit www.sonnymoeckel.com


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Violence Against Women - The Abalone Woman

Abalone Woman

A Native American Legend: Abalone Woman 

Abalone Woman lived on the ocean coast. She passed time sitting on the beach, shinning her most beautiful stunning colors in the sky. Several elders told Abalone Woman, "Your beautiful colors are a special gift, which must be handled with honor and loving care."  

A man from the North saw Abalone Woman's beautiful colors in the sky and said "I must find her, the woman who makes beautiful colors in the sky".  North Man set out on his journey, he traveled great distances to find the woman who made beautiful colors in the sky. 

North Man finally found her!  There she sat, on the beach, shining her beautiful colors in the sky!  North Man approached her, they met and fell in love. In the beginning, North Man was very kind to Abalone Woman, treating her with honor and loving care.  

North Man's kindness reminded her of the words spoken by her elders, "Your beautiful colors are a special gift, which must be handled with honor and loving care", so this encouraged Abalone Woman to continue shining her beautiful colors in the sky, for North Man to see and enjoy.  

As time passed, North Man began to treat Abalone Woman with disrespect.  He became very mad and cruel towards her.  Trying to make North Man happy, Abalone Woman would shine her colors brighter, brighter and brighter but her efforts did not change matters with North Man.  

Then one day on the same beach where their love began, North Man hurt Abalone Woman so very deeply.  North Man hurt Abalone Woman in a way which, no human hands, could ever heal.  North Man's hurt was forever.

In Abalone Woman's deep hurt, she looked up to the blue sky and began to cry-out in terrible pain. Like a stream leading into the ocean, Abalone Woman's tears fell down her face.  

As her tears of hurt and pain touched the water, the water began to shine the beautiful colors of Abalone Woman.  You see, her tears turned into beautiful abalone shells!  As Abalone Woman faded into hurt and pain she, too, transformed into the abalone shells. 

Abalone Woman became our beautiful shining abalone shell.  The shell is a reminder that women have a special shining gift.  
Women must care for and respect their shining gifts and men must also respect women's gift of shining.  Most importantly, for love to not be in vain, men and women must handle each other with honor and loving care.   

*This legend, or similar version, is told by various coastal indigenous peoples.  We share this legend in an effort to end violence against women and in homes across the world.  

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sunburn and Heritage

Ancestral Heritage & Sunburn

Kevin's Cure Collection contains the natural solution: Yarrow, for sunburn damage to skin. 

Factors that can affect sunburn include genetic heritage, location and drugs. Your ancestral heritage determines a lot about how quickly you may burn when exposed to the sun. Those who are especially fair skinned fare more poorly when exposed to the sun than those who are olive skinned or black. This has to do with the amount of the natural pigment melanin in skin. Melanin is photoprotectant, enabling the body to absorb sun rays as simple heat without DNA damage. The more melanin in the skin, the lesser chance a person has to burn. When we tan, that is due to increased melanin production as a result of sun exposure. In very fair skinned people, there is insufficient melanin for tanning.

Your geographic location is another significant factor with sunburns. Those who live in the tropical latitudes are exposed to more direct sunlight, and must therefore be more careful than those who live in the higher latitudes where the rays of the sun are less direct. 

Drugs also play a role in whether you will burn. Antibiotics, oral contraceptives and anti-anxiety drugs can increase the risk of burns. If you are taking any of these classes of drugs, carefully read the contraindications sections of the data sheets, so you will know whether you are at increased risk of burning.

If you overdo your exposure to the sun and wind up with a mild burn, the following natural remedy can provide soothing relief. However, if you wind up with a serious burn, you will be wise to contact your doctor.


Native Americans used an infusion of the common herb yarrow as a wash for sunburn and other skin disorders. Yarrow relieves the pain of burns and soothes inflamed skin. You can buy dried yarrow in many natural food stores. If you have a sunburn, make a big pot of yarrow tea and add it to a warm or cool bath. The infusion will provide relief.

Kevin's Cure Body Lotion 

Contains Yarrow and other beautiful natural skin care solutions for healthy summer skin.  The Kevin's Cure Collection:  body wash, body balm, body lotion and healing salve.  Visit us at www.sistersky.com to purchase your Natural Solutions from Native Roots.  

Enjoy Your Summer!  
The Sisters

Credit information:  Foxnews.com, July 2012