Indigenous and woman-owned business offering high quality, local products
West Coast Wildflowers is an Indigenous woman-owned and operated e-commerce shop. You can find us along the West Coast of Vancouver Island, BC. Our mission is to support small shops, women in business, and Indigenous small business owners. We offer local and high-quality products for women and children including apparel, jewelry, home decor, artwork, and more!
Navigating a global pandemic, we used this time to reflect on this 'new normal' and the impact COVID-19 is having on our friends, family, and community. I became inspired to open a small shop because of the many progressive women in business that surround me and the vision for West Coast Wildflowers came to life. Thank you for joining me on this new journey.
About Alissa Asssu
Founder & Owner
My name is Alissa Assu and I belong to the Laksamshu (Fireweed and Owl) Clan from the Wet'suwet'en First Nation People located in Witset, British Columbia. With humble roots, West Coast Wildflowers (WCW), formerly Wildflowers & Co launched during the global pandemic on Quinsam Reserve. Our business acknowledges that it is located on the unceded traditional territory of the Ligwiłda’xw people; the We Wai Kai, Wei Wai Kum, and Kwiakah First Nations, whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.
As a child, I spent summer harvesting niwis (soapberries) on our yintah (land) during cultural clan camps with Elders. During the school year, I attended and participated in our feasting system with Skokumhylate (my grandmother) who raised 5 skak (babies) on her own. The most powerful reconnection to culture has been becoming a mother and launching West Coast Wildflowers. We are teaching a new generation of Indigenous youth that culture and roots to our communities can be embraced in anything you pursue in this life. Culture — it holds deep roots and connection with our staff, Indigenous Collective, and across communities that support us. WCW has allowed the owner and Indigenous staff to connect to culture and community through learning from and working alongside our Authentic Indigenous Collective.
Jack of All Trades Intern
My name is Cody Assu, I have lineage to Haida Nation and We Wai Kai First Nation. My role at West Coast Wildflowers includes modelling, coffee run for the hard working ladies, shipping, packing and building retail displays. Outside of WCW, I am a third-generation Indigenous commercial fisherman and skipper of our family-owned seine boat called the Haida Girl. When I am not working at WCW or commercial fishing, I am spending time with my family, nephews and nieces. I am incredibly proud of my wife for launching this business and the joy it brings to her life. She has dedicated early mornings, late nights and holidays to build this business during the global pandemic. Gilakas'la and Haaw'a for supporting our Indigenous family owned and operated business.
Goodest Store Greeter
My name is Bow Assu, I earned Downtown Campbell River Top Dog store greeter. If I must tell the truth - I voted for myself and no other contestants entered the contest. I am looking at the paw-sitive side of life and remain delighted to receive this award. I am ruff around the edges but my role at West Coast Wildflowers includes store greeter, shaking paws and serving customers with a paw-sitive. If you have a paw-sitive experience with me or our team, please leave us a Facebook or Google review. Moving along, I am the hardest working employee at WCW and have a second part-time job at Java Shack (the perfect coffee shop around the corner) and that role includes store greeter, snack retriever and being bestfriends with all my colleagues.
We're all about our community
WCW is more than a lifestyle boutique, we embrace Indigenous kinship, culture, and community. We believe businesses can maximize profit and maximize financial contributions to better our communities. We ground our business practices on supporting local, buying local and growing our local community. Our team wants consumers to re-imagine the shopping experience in your local communities - it's certainly not Walmart, Canadian Tire or Winners that builds community. WCW is among the small independent owned family businesses that contribute to building community, with each business contributing a distinct piece to the larger community.
Misiyh (thank you) for learning and supporting West Coast Wildflowers!
The West Coast Wildflower Team
At West Coast Wildflowers, we believe in empowering the people around us and will always strive to support local. Unfortunately, we cannot be 100% local however we strive for the 75% local and 25% North America. If you are a small business owner and you're interested in having your products in-store, get in touch!
Sustainability in Motion
West Coast Wildflowers was founded in 2020 and even during uncertain and delicate times we marched forward to find a way to support local makers. Delivering handmade and local products to our customers will always be at the heart of what we do. Quality product that endures beyond one or two seasons is central to our business model and the right choice for our planet.
From leaders in the fashion industry to small shops, we can all make a difference. We have a responsibility to do right by our customers and the planet and West Coast Wildflowers strives for sustainability first. Do you have have questions or suggestions about our practice? Our team is all ears!
What's the challenge with sustainability? These issues are complicated. It’s not always clear what's right and far too often we find large fashion companies greenwashing without making any real progress, or making matters worse. We feel that our community deserves better from us. West Coast Wildflowers will always use our best judgement to understand the issues and continue to learn facts.
Our commitment is that we won’t do anything we don’t believe in.
West Coast Wildflowers has researched approaches for retails (trust us there are many!). This approach speaks to the heart of this Indigenous owned and operated small shop.
1. UNDERSTAND our Social and Environmental impact
2. IDENTIFY opportunities for improvement both short and long term
3. ACTION that is positive and creates meaningful change
4. BUILD a roadmap for the future that aligns with our values
West Coast Wildflowers takes steps towards sustainability: LOCAL our Social and Environmental impact is reduced by CHOOSING local artists and makers first.
PACKAGING ain't gotta be fancy. You might receive your hand made treasures in a cereal box, shoe box or even our product shipment box. But hey - no judgement here! If you want a fancy West Coast Wildflowers box we are happy to send it - we all do our parts (in different ways) to make our planet a better place to live.
As we launch in 2020 we work to make packaging more sustainable. Our first step is ensuring all e-commerce packaging is minimized and fully recyclable. We are choosing protective paper bags over lame-old cellophone. But hey, we can always do better. If you have a better option for us - we are ALL EARS!
West Coast Wildflowers aims to offer a space that highlights Indigenous business owners across British Columbia. The Indigenous Collective supports that mission by purchasing directly from Indigenous artists. The collection includes traditional medicines, jewellery, artwork, home decor, and more. If you are an Indigenous artisan wanting to join the Indigenous Collective with West Coast Wildflowers please email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Misyih (Thank you) for supporting this journey.Shop Indigenous