To local entrepreneur and business owner, Kat Pasquach, authenticity is important.
In 2006, Kat started her business, Culture Shock Jewelry, an Indigenous owned and family operated handcrafted business that strives to create amazing jewelry and crafts that the community will love.
Before starting her business, owner and creator Kat lost one side to her favourite pair of earrings and besides looking to get a replace from a local jewelry store, she took it into her own hands.
“I was eager to replace it,” she shares. “I walked into a bead shop I went to a lot as a child with my family and there was no turning back.”
With Culture Shock Jewelry being a family operated business, Kat explained that her grandmother used to be the primary moccasin maker for them, but she is no longer able to sew.
“My mother and sister do beadwork and we would normally spend summers together attending pow wows and festivals to sell our work,” she shares. “My 7-year-old niece has also been a fun part of the journey as she has been making beaded necklaces – and she is probably the cutest salesperson you have ever seen.”
Offering authentic Indigenous crafts like moccasins in addition to jewelry, Kat also does a lot of work for the Indigenous community in Windsor.
“In addition to my business, I also work for the University of Windsor at the Aboriginal Education Centre,” she explains. “My role is doing outreach and retention with Indigenous students; it has been a really fulfilling part of my life – being able to work with my community and support Indigenous learners.” Kat shared that her piece of advice to any entrepreneur trying to make their way in the world is to not compare their success to anyone else’s.
“We all have our journey and timelines – keep your eye on your own goals and you will get there,” she says. “Often, we focus too much on what others are doing or how they are doing things and that will only detract you from your own path.”