Colouring It Forward is a Calgary business that makes and sells colouring books, journals, wellness boxes and other products. They also donate part of the sales to Indigenous organizations working on issues such as health, education, women’s shelters, literacy and more. We spoke with Diana Frost, Project Engineer and Founder, to find out more about them.
What is your business called and what does it do?
My Indigenous social enterprise is called Colouring It Forward. We make colouring books, journals, wellness boxes and other products with elders’ wisdom and Indigenous artwork from different nations. We also sell orange shirts, hoodies, masks and buttons. We donate part of the sales to Indigenous organizations working on issues such as health, education, women’s shelters, literacy and more.
What made you want to do this work?
I wanted to share elders’ teachings and Indigenous artwork to help people to reconnect with the beauty and wisdom of Indigenous culture and spirituality. My purpose is to foster reconciliation through the arts.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
Lack of access to elders teachings, to Indigenous artwork.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Everyone who is interested in Indigenous culture, history and artwork – in particular teachers, parents and social workers.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
We sell books, notebooks, jigsaw puzzles, sketchbooks, wellness gift boxes, orange shirts, orange hoodies, orange face masks, orange buttons, red shirts to stores as well as online.
Where in Calgary can we find your profession?
Our products are sold in Grey Eagle Casino gift shop as well as most Staples in town.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
Where do your donations go? From all our orange products, we donate 15% to Orange Shirt Society and 15% to our annual Pokaiks the Children-Orange Shirt day event. From our other products, the donations go to a variety of Indigenous organizations including Stardale Women’s Group, Indspire, BRICK Learning Centre, Awo Taan Healing Lodge, Kani Kanichihk and more.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
The best part is that people enjoy learning about Indigenous culture and looking at the beautiful artwork that we provide with our products. That we are supporting Indigenous artists and elders with royalties from sales and Indigenous projects with donations. The worst part is not being able to do more to bring about positive change.
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?
Native Diva Creations – Melrene is always helping other artisans and giving back to her community. And she makes absolutely beautiful beadwork.