By Jake Cardinal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
(ANNews) – Three female-led, Indigenous small business have announced a partnership with the Canadian drugstore giant, Rexall.
The partnership will see the launch Indigenous wellness products at Rexall stores across Canada in select stores in Toronto, Sault Ste. Marie, Caledonia, Ottawa, Sudbury Winnipeg, Edmonton, Kamloops and Nanaimo.
The franchise will feature new wellness products such as: Lofttan’s Earth, Water and Woods convertible jewelry collection, LODGE Soy Candle’s Ceremony Collection and Mother Earth Essentials body care products.
Mother Earth Essentials is the parent company Loftan and LODGE Soy Candles.
“I am so excited to be a part of this pilot at Rexall! When I started my brand in 2006, I dreamed that one day products using our Indigenous plants would be on the shelves of a chain of high end stores, and it is happening!” said Mother Earth Essentials founder Carrie Armstrong.
“As a descendent of a residential school survivor, I am appreciative that Rexall is honouring the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action. kinanâskomitin (thank you, I am grateful to you).”
The uniquely curated Wellness Collection features a high quality line of bath and body products from Mother Earth Essentials such as: aromatherapy mists, essential oils, handmade soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion using unique scents such as sweetgrass, cedar, sage.
Additionally, Loftan’s Earth, Water and Woods collection includes freshwater Pearl earrings, semi-precious clippable pendants, and sustainably sourced wood stretch bracelets while LODGE Soy Candle’s Ceremony Collection features candles are infused with essential oils derived from traditional plant medicines that bring peace, calm, clarity, cleansing, positive energy and healing.
“Rexall has invested time and resources to bring this pilot project to life. Rexall is proud to bring more exposure to the handmade, small business, female-led Indigenous community. Rexall has created a display area in select stores fearing these three Indigenious brands together,” said a statement from Rexall.
The products were said to be released in stores on March 21, “the Vernal Equinox, the day when the Sun crosses the celestial equator going north and a representation of spring in Indigenous culture.”
Lofttan’s owner and designer, April Mitchell-Boudreau, said of the partnership, “This opportunity is Reconciliation in action. When you lift up female-led, Indigenous brands, you lift the entire Indigenous community. Rexall has been incredibly generous with time, support, and resources and I am so thrilled to have Lofttan involved in this pilot launch.”
“The inspiration behind the Earth, Water and Woods collection is a continuation of our brand philosophy-honouring our Mother, the earth. Wearing natural materials on your body is such good Medicine. We strive to bring sustainably sourced, healing materials to our line. They just feel better on your body,” she said.
The stores that will be selling the new collections are listed below:
– Trunk Road | Sault Ste. Marie
– Church and Wellesley | Toronto
– Queen and Dovercourt | Toronto
– Corydon and Stafford | Winnipeg
– Pleasantview SC | Edmonton
– Second Avenue | Sudbury
– Elmvale Acres SC | Ottawa
– Argyle Street | Caledonia
-Princeton-Kamloops Hwy | Kamloops
– Bowen and Dufferin | Nanaimo