Meet Mary Big Bull-Lewis, owner of Wenatchi Wear in Wenatchee, WA. An enrolled member of the Colville Confederated Tribe, Mary grew up noticing a lack of Indigenous representation. In 2019, Mary and her husband Rob founded Wenatchi Wear, located on the P’Squosa (Wenatchi) homelands in the neighborhood she grew up in
Get to know more about Mary and Wenatchi Wear in this week’s business spotlight Q&A!
What’s your favorite part about the community your business is in and why?
The location of our business retail shop is the neighborhood I grew up in. We searched for a retail space that fit [would] two small businesses and landed on this brand-new building that was built in 2021. A lot of good memories with my grandma and friends in this area.
Why is it important to you and your business that people #SpendLikeItMatters at small businesses?
I believe consumers should be aware of where they spend their dollars. We believe in supporting authentic brands and have created space in our new retail location that allows consumers to do just that. This action of highlighting Indigenous artists is to bring awareness and focus on the importance of authentic art, as this strengthens our Indigenous community while steering consumers away from appropriated, unethical products.
As a business owner, what’s the strangest or craziest idea you’ve ever tried?
Launching two small businesses has definitely been a journey. We have tried many ideas and some successful and some not. We don’t know if we don’t try!
What’s something your customers may not know about you or your business?
We are truly a small business. Wife & husband team. I think the fact our location is so meaningful to me is such a unique story.
What are some of your favorite local businesses and why?
We love to support diverse, unique small businesses. A local produce shop, Rhubarb Market, the owner is a very kind and genuine person. We carry these amazing candles by Greenhaus Candle Co.- she launched this business during the pandemic, and she is a mom who created a unique small business. Her candles are amazing, burn clean and last a long time!
Anything else you’d like us to know about you and your business?
I am an Indigenous entrepreneur. Grateful to operate on the homelands of my ancestors, P’Squosa (Wenatchi) Tribe. I am the proud mom of an amazing son who is the first in our family to attend University. He is in his second year of the Aviation Program. I also have 3 pups who mean the world to me, Wilson, Wicket & Winnie.