Michael started creating Native American apparel out of his garage as a passion project. He shared a few designs on Facebook, and the community responded overwhelmingly.
Under the brand name 49 Dzine, he began accepting orders for apparel. Soon the orders exceeded his garage, and he could only fulfill some of the requests.
Nathan Rainy Chief, the current owner of 49 Dzine, joined the operations to collaborate on business growth and expansion. To meet the community demand, Nathan developed the website 49dzine.com and started looking for production partners worldwide.
The Native Brand
Today, 49 Dzine is a custom Native apparel for the culturally-minded, North American Indigenous person customized and operated by Natives.
It is a Native-owned company based within the Blackfoot Confederacy. All products on this website belong to 49 Dzine or their respective brands, denoted within their product descriptions.
49 Dzine is a two-spirit Indigenous-owned business with a mission to provide culturally relevant goods to the underserved Indigenous community. The company is dedicated to changing the underrepresentation of Indigenous businesses by being proud and vocal about their identity, origin and future.
49 Dzine is passionate about their Indigenous roots. They provide employment to the Indigenous people and take pride that 85% of its employees are Indigenous, thereby striving to create a business that reflects the community it serves.
They collaborate with local groups, including Bear Clan Patrol and the Riel Institute, to support and uplift the Indigenous community and create a difference in the lives of Indigenous members and the community.
Responsibly Giving Back
As a part of giving back to the community, 49 Dzine provides financial support to the community through a Residential School Survivor and Descendants Scholarship Fund. In addition, all sales revenue from the orange campaign products is donated to recipients to assist their academic endeavors and entrepreneurial spirit.
Numerous churches and governmental organizations established dozens of schools in both nations, intending to impose assimilation on First Nations and Native American children. In an environment where the children were frequently denied the right to speak their native language, they faced abuse and conditions described as genocide.
To honor the victims of residential and boarding schools in Canada and the United States, 49 Design established the Residential School Survivors and Descendants Scholarship.
In 2020, 49 Dzine took on the expansion plan to start a brick-and-mortar retail store. As a result, in the summer of 2020, Calgary, Alberta, became home to the first physical 49 Dzine location. 49 Dzine established its second retail site in Edmonton, Alberta, in the fall of 2021 and plans to expand until 2023.
49 Dzine is a Native-owned and designed company that manufactures tribal clothing, shoes, home decor, and accessories. For more information, visit the website at https://49dzinestore.ca/.
Corporate responsibility and giving back to the community have always been characteristics of Indigenous businesses. To read more about these ethical businesses, subscribe to Indigenous SME Business Magazine and for the latest updates, check our Twitter page @IndigenousSme.