Overview

Devon Fiddler created SheNative, an Indigenous and women-founded leather goods and apparel social enterprise, with a mission to empower and elevate Indigenous women. This case study details how SheNative achieves its mission, such as by using a community-based design process and considering people and the planet in all of its decision making.   

Course Topics:
  • Business design 
  • Indigenous entrepreneurship 
  • Innovation 
  • Social enterprise/entrepreneurship 
  • Supply chain management 

Introduction:

Before she knew what product she wanted to produce and sell, Devon Fiddler—founder and Chief Executive Officer of SheNative—knew she wanted to start a business built around the vision of women supporting women. Everything from the company’s mission to its products and employment practices would be created with this vision in mind. For the past 6 years, Fiddler and her team at SheNative, an Indigenous and female-founded company, have successfully achieved this goal and more through a strategy centred around social impact.  

Based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, SheNative is a women’s leather goods and apparel social enterprise launched in 2015. Fiddler started the company after beginning her professional career in 2011 as a business development coordinator advising First Nations entrepreneurs. In this role, Fiddler worked in Northern Saskatchewan with Meadow Lake Tribal Council “to promote entrepreneurship, and guide First Nations entrepreneurs to resources to help them build small businesses.” Through this work, helping others begin their entrepreneurial journey, Fiddler became inspired to become an entrepreneur herself. Having only the vision of her company in mind—women supporting women—Fiddler worked with a product-development consultant to assess what product would be the best match. She ultimately chose to create a “fashion lifestyle brand” selling leather accessories and clothing for women because of her life-long love of fashion and past dreams of becoming a designer.  

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This case was written by:

This case was written by Victoria Sahagian and Ana Baseio. The authors prepared this case under the supervision of Professor Sarah Kaplan, with guidance from Alyson Colón, Bonnie Lam and Vanessa Serra Iarocci and research assistance from Carmina Ravanera and Riley Yesno. The authors are grateful for the participation Devon Fiddler in this project.

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