Kindred Artist of the Week: Arianna Johnny-Wadsworth
“By helping the elders relieve their pain, they are able to share teachings & wisdom with the youth.”
Presenting our Kindred Artist of the Week series! We are big fans of all the artists we work with and we are so excited to share their stories!
This week’s featured artist is Arianna Johnny-Wadsworth, owner and creator behind Quw’utsun’ Made. Her goal is to preserve the traditional knowledge of the Coast Salish Nation, in order to pass it on to the next generations.
Who are you?
Quw'utsun' Made is a lifestyle & apothecary brand inspired by my Coast Salish heritage and my tribe. My brand offers handmade, small batch skin care made with wildcraft harvested plants traditional to BC & WA state.
What do you do?
I wild-craft harvest Devil’s Club once a year in order to make my popular Devil’s Club Salve as well as using it in workshops. This plant has been sacred to my tribe, the Cowichan, since time immemorial. Through teaching plant medicine, I have been able to share Native culture in an approachable and safe way for both my community & settler guests.
Who/what inspires you?
The inspiration for Quw'utsun' Made comes from the Coast Salish peoples & the elders of Turtle Island. I have been inspired to create healing salves & infusions to help elders with their arthritis & diabetes. By helping the elders relieve their pain, they are able to share teachings & wisdom with the youth, something that is very sacred and endangered by colonialism. I am also inspired by my peers- the Beaders, the Weavers, the Carvers, and knowledge keepers from Native communities all over Turtle Island. They have given me so many ideas & suggestions that have come to form what Quw'utsun' Made is now.
What’s your favorite moment in the process?
My favourite moment in the process is definitely watching my customers receive their products and allowing them to become apart of their everyday routine. I feel honored by how many of my customers are connected to the plants that I find so valuable.
What’s a trick of your trade, or a piece of advice for other artists in your medium?
Quw'utsun' Made has found success in the business world by remaining as authentic as possible. I feel it is important to share my wins & losses so that people can identify with my brand & me as a person (through social media). By sharing these experiences, my customers can see that I am human, make mistakes, go through trials, and also feel confident enough to share my come-ups with my community.
I am currently working on building my presence in the Southwestern territory in New Mexico and Arizona. I was recently awarded a residency with a grant & mentorship through New Mexico Community Capital’s NEIR program. I have been working with my mentor to reach a new market & to expand my product line. I am also working with Born In The North - a Migmaw streetwear brand, to create a merch line including various NW plant designs
Shop Quw’utsun’ Made goods here.