Michaelee Lazore: Expanding the Indigenous Options

Small Business Canada

Pursuing Her Passion 

Sequoia is a proudly Indigenous beauty brand, 100% owned and operated by Indigenous women and inspired by native legends and ingredients.

Sequoia was founded by Michaelee Lazore, a member of the Kanien’kehá:ka tribe from Akwesáhsne and the Northern Paiute from Nevada. When Michaelee decided to start her own business, she was working as an engineer, designing roads, sewers, and ditches. However, her passion for creating beautiful soaps gave her the courage to quit her job and pursue the path meant for her. 

Sequoia had a humble beginning as Michaelee started producing her soaps in her kitchen. From there, it has had a long journey where their Indigenous-inspired products serve customers worldwide. 

She started her skincare firm because she was unable to locate locally and Indigenously created products. In addition, there was also a need for more availability of smells and fragrances that she needed. 

A Brand Here To Stay

Michaelee Lazore was looking for names to brand her products and came across Sequoia and fell in love with it. The name is derived from the Sequoia trees, which live up to 2000–3000 years and represent nature and strength. 

The native connection to the word also influenced her. Sequoia is the name of the Cherokee chief who developed their alphabet so the language could be written. In addition, as a technically minded person herself, Michaelee could find a connection with the chief. 

A great inspiration for starting her business was her grandmother, who made cradleboards, beadwork, and hide work all her life. She would find it unimaginable to run a business if not for her grandmother, who empowered her and showed her that she could create and make beautiful things. 

Hence, she started making products that had her favorite scents but were not common in the market, like sweetgrass, cedar, and sage. 

For The Next Seven Generations

Sequoia produces products that are proudly Indigenously made. They are inspired by the native legends and ingredients and made with the hope that you’ll discover their beauty.

Sequoia Soaps offers a variety of self-care products, including a collection of sweetgrass products. All products are created, produced, and packaged locally in the working studio. To preserve resources for the next seven generations, ingredients are ethically sourced, the production is sustainable, and no manufacturing is outsourced. 

In 2016, Michaelee Lazore became the first-place winner of the Pow Wow Pitch. Today, Lazore is a successful entrepreneur who has expanded her business significantly.

Still, trying to decide what to choose from the Sequoia collection? Visit their website, https://sequoiasoaps.com/, for a better look. 

Indigenous brands are always uplifting their traditions and culture in their business operations. To read more on these successful brands, subscribe to Indigenous SME Business Magazine and for the latest updates, check our Twitter page @IndigenousSme.

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