According to a new survey by American Express, 55% of small business owners anticipate Small Business Saturday will make a significant contribution to their overall holiday sales this year. One group of small business owners gathered in the Rochester area as a way to also contribute to educating their community about their culture.
For small businesses and creators at the Native Made Market, Small Business Saturday has a bigger meaning.
“Saturday being small business Saturday and us being a small business, we decided to shift people’s perspective and focus on indigenous visibility where we brought in Native creatives and entrepreneurs from all different nations,” said Angelina Hilton, founder of the organization Native Made.
That includes Native creatives like Clifford Redeye III, a Seneca artist who grew up on the Allegheny territory.
“You’re telling a story and passing it on, so a lot of my art pieces are that,” said Redeye, the owner of Redeye Leather Co.
He specializes in handmade leather pieces that mix pop culture with a little bit of the Seneca culture.
“People put so much work into it," he said. "So, a day to highlight that is, I think, so important.”
The day allows him and other indigenous creators to educate the community through their small businesses.
“Leather is a huge part of our culture, and the tooling is something that I kind of was drawn to,” he said.
“The fact that we’re on Haudenosaunee land, which is home of six different nations, what’s more local and small than the original inhabitants of this land?" Hilton said. "So helping to again, bring visibility to the cultures from around this specific area is truly important."
The day celebrated not only small businesses, but where they come from.
“Every booth you go to you’re going to learn something about each person’s nation and a little bit about them,” Redeye said. “Even if you don’t get anything I think you come away with something.”