“I needed to buy him a $40 rain jacket, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but when you’re unemployed and in debt, it sure is,” Davis says. “I realized I could make that much from just one pair of earrings, and that was the spark that started everything.”
Davis grew up in the small community of Gitlaxt’aamiks before moving to Laxyuubm Ts’msyen, or Terrace, where she began revitalizing, reclaiming and sharing her culture through Northwest Coast wearable art.
“I create jewellery for everyone, Indigenous and non – each piece tells a story and a part of our history through design, leaving you feeling empowered and inspired to learn more about the indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast,” Davis says.
A work day for Davis sees her waking at 7 a.m., getting her morning coffee, then sitting at her desk to plan her day – she works while her son is at school.
“Each day is different because I am a solopreneur,” Davis says. “I wear all the hats and do every job it takes to run a business.”
Of Jada Creations’ offerings, Davis recommends anything from her Salmon is Life series.
“The salmon egg and head have become an unofficial logo for my business,” Davis says. “I chose these two designs because salmon is life– it’s one of our most precious resources in the Skeena and Nass rivers – and we must do what we can to protect these resources.”
Who is her ideal client? “That’s easy – ME!” Davis says. “I design art that I would wear – my stories go into each piece, and people resonate with that in their own way.”
Davis has many milestones in her business, including winning the title of “Best Solopreneur” from Small Business B.C. in 2021.
“What I’m most proud of though, is overcoming the trials of being a single mother while running my business, and overcoming colonization in a society that was built to destroy us,” Davis says. “I’ve reclaimed my identity as an Indigenous woman and succeeded in the colonial business world.
“I celebrate my identity with each piece of jewellery that I design and create.”
What does the future look like for Jada Creations? “It’s about building my team,” Davis says. “Once I’ve done that, in theory I’d have more time to focus on larger-scale projects.
“When my son was younger he took an interest in jewellery design. I won’t push for that though – he’s his own person – but if he wants to take over one day, of course I’d be more than thrilled.”
Her tips for budding entrepreneurs? “Believe in yourself wholeheartedly, and surround yourself with like-minded people.”
Davis says her work has allowed her to live her truth as a person, an Indigenous woman and an artist, and that her business is a reflection of that.
“I also love seeing my friends follow their heart and succeed in what they do,” she says. “That lets me know that I’m on the right path in following my own heart.
“My son is my main motivation, though – I do everything to provide for him, and to build a legacy for him. I create so that he can grow up without ever having to question his identity like I did!”
This Small Business Feature is one of a series of local business profiles from the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine.