Business owner says seek guidance when needed
By Shari Narine
“I am an extremely driven Indigenous woman who loves knowledge, innovation, and helping others reach their potential and their goals,” said Mallory Graham.
Graham, who was born and raised in Curve Lake First Nation, currently works with small businesses to develop and execute their digital marketing strategies, as she continues to foster the growth of her company Tribal Trade Co. An online retail store with a brick and mortar location in Curve Lake, Tribal Trade offers Indigenous products including lifestyle clothing, footwear, accessories, and giftware.
Graham, who holds an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and competed in a New Venture Creation business pitch competition, winning the KPMG Award in Entrepreneurship, will be discussing her efforts in the business world at this year’s Cando Conference, scheduled for Oct. 27-30 in Gatineau, QC.
She believes such events with women-led panels on business are crucial.
“The world of business is still considered a man’s world and it’s important to share the female perspective of business and economic development,” said Graham.
“Women are still highly considered as inferior in the business community and face unique challenges such as overcoming traditional gender stereotypes that prevent them from being treated as equals among all business people.”
Graham’s skill set, honed over 20 years, is impressive: a successful entrepreneur; well-versed in social media and content marketing; and a past manager of 25 employees.
As a business owner, she encourages other women not to be afraid to admit when they don’t know something and to understand that everything is “figure-outable.”
“The more you fail the quicker you will learn so try to embrace the journey,” said Graham.
She also reminds entrepreneurs that with the amount of time needed to make a business successful it is important that they enjoy what they are doing.
“Design your business around your ideal customer and design your business around the life that will make you happy,” she said.
Graham is one of four individuals to be selected for the Women in Business panel, one of the signature events for the Cando Annual National Conference which promotes Indigenous economic development.
This marks the sixth year for the Women in Business panel, which highlights and recognizes the significant impact Indigenous women entrepreneurs have on the Canadian economy.