Interest in "native chic" fashion is on the rise, and Canadian brand Manitobah Mukluks is taking a long-time Metis tradition and turning it into a serious winter style statement. While maintaining a sense of traditionalism with their sheepskin, fur and leather fabrics as well as their beaded patterns, Manitobah Mukluks is updating mukluks for the modern fashionista.
Sean McCormick is the Metis entrepreneur that founded the shoe and accessory company. The social business enthusiast is a proud to honor his Canadian Aboriginal Heritage by crafting his products in Winnipeg, Canada and creating a sustainable industry for the Metis people.
We had a chance to sit down with McCormick and talk social business.
Where do you find the motivation to continue Manitobah Mukluks?
Simply put I am proud of my history, my community and proud that we are a part of the Aboriginal community moving forward and sharing our culture and art on a global scale. I also LOVE mukluks, so that doesn’t hurt either.
How do you reset to be creative?
As the brand continues to grow so quickly my days become busier and busier. It is a real challenge to take time needed to step back and put myself in the head space needed to be creative. I try to get up to my home in the Duck Mountains (500 km north of Winnipeg) as much as possible. It is REALLY secluded and peaceful. I spend most of my time there in the forest, hunting and fishing. I get recharged there and come back feeling rejuvenated.
Where do you find the endless inspiration?
The inspiration is easy. The rich culture, art and design of Aboriginal people of North America. There is no end to the ideas we mine from our rich heritage.
What is your favorite look on any woman?
Two part answer.
A) Blue jeans and tall mukluks.
B) The look on her face when she finds out how comfy mukluks are for the first time.
How would you define cool?
Knowing yourself and being comfortable with who you are regardless of what others may think.
Is social business something you always knew you wanted to do?
To me, all businesses need to have a social component. Whether an individual, a non-profit organization or a for profit business, we are all part of a community and we need to take care of each other. Sustainable businesses must support and be part of sustainable communities. You can’t have one without the other for very long.