Bearclaw Jewelry: Indigenous-Owned Business Carving a Niche for Authentic and Symbolic Designs

Small Business Canada

Over the past three decades, Marlene and Frank, a couple living in Port Hardy, British Columbia, started making jewelry out of necessity, curiosity, and a desire for self-expression. Marlene, a Chipewyan from Fond-du-Lac, Saskatchewan, drew inspiration from the traditional Medicine Wheel and the natural surroundings of their remote West Coast home to create unique designs. Frank, who had taken jewelry training in the 1970s, helped bring Marlene’s ideas to life with his technical expertise. 

Bearclaw Jewelry has flourished since its founding in 1987, now providing customers with over 1600 original designs in gold, silver, platinum, gemstones, and bespoke, one-of-a-kind art. The couple’s designs have seen a surge in demand worldwide, from Europe and China to Australia and across North America. They have been featured in many national magazines and pride themselves on providing authentic and symbolic representations of nature and Indigenous values.

Designs Steeped in Reverence for the Divine

Marlene’s artwork is heavily influenced by her Native American upbringing and beliefs. She creates artworks that pay tribute to the natural world and the interdependence of all living things by drawing inspiration from the ancient Medicine Wheel, a symbol of balance and harmony. Eagles, bears, and deer, as well as Thunderbirds and Salmon, are just some of the many creatures that appear in the duo’s works.

Growing a Business Hardwired in Integrity

From modest beginnings, Bearclaw Jewelry has grown into a successful business that has carved a niche in the jewelry industry. The couple’s dedication to quality craftsmanship and authentic Indigenous designs has earned them a loyal following and international recognition.

In fact, the duo has adapted to changing times and technology, offering their designs online and using social media to reach a wider audience. They are also committed to giving back to their community, donating a portion of their profits to Indigenous organizations and initiatives. 

Perfect Communion of Authenticity and Craftsmanship

Each piece of jewelry created by Bearclaw tells a unique tale thanks to the designers’ limitless imagination and Indigenous cultural influences. The company has a promising future, demonstrating the power of combining established practices with new ideas. The Bearclaw Jewelry is a remarkable embodiment of the communion of authenticity and craftsmanship that serves as a source of inspiration to many. With its rich history and stunning designs, it is a reminder that we can all learn from the beauty and reverence that Indigenous artistry offers.

If you, too, love precious or semi-precious jewelry with meaningful Indigenous designs embedded in symbolic cultural wisdom, then explore the hand-crafted designs of Bearclaw Jewelry at The designs are bespoke and ravishing, plus we guarantee that you won’t be disappointed.

Furthermore, to learn about more such Indigenous businesses that make and sell authentic Indigenous designer jewelry pieces or trinkets for personal collection or gift giving. You can subscribe to our Indigenous SME Business Magazine or follow our Twitter handle @IndigenousSme to remain updated about the latest news.

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