In solidarity with the Indigenous peoples in Canada, during July 2021, we will be highlighting Indigenous-owned beauty brands and founders on our Blog. Liv'Ez Co. acknowledges and pay respects to the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations for allowing us to operate on their unceded territory in Vancouver, Canada.
Let's Meet: RAVENSONG.
Valerie Lamirande is the owner, operator, and artist behind RavenSong in Campbell River, BC. As a Haida artist, she proudly combines her Indigenous heritage with soap and candle making, creating unique and luxurious beauty and wellness goods.
On the eastern side of Vancouver Island, we approach the beautiful coastal city of Wiwek'am (Campbell River). Historically the home of Ligwilda'xw (Laich-kwil-tach) peoples: the We Wai Kai, Wei Wai Kum and Kwiakah First Nations; it's also where we will find Valerie Lamirande working away in her shop, creating natural soaps and candles for her brand, RavenSong.
Back in 2003, Valerie was gifted a bar of artisanal soap, and thus began her interest and passion in formulating and making her own cosmetics. She began taking courses, attending conferences, and studying aromatherapy to perfect her craft. By 2013, she was able to quit her corporate job and pursue soap making on a full-time basis. From then on, Valerie has expanded RavenSong's products beyond handmade soaps.
These days, you can find soy candles, lotions, bath bombs, and more, all at her shop in Campbell River.
Valerie Lamirande. Copyright © 2021 RavenSong.
Belonging to the Raven Clan of Skedans, Valerie was given the Haida name of "Slin-ga_a_Jaad". "Slin-ga_a_Jaad" means "creative girl," which couldn't be more fitting for Valerie. Throughout her life, she's always sought ways to express herself through art, including through her artisanal soap designs. By combining traditional, Indigenous motifs, scents, and colours, Valerie honours and and shares her heritage with us.
Haida Potlatch Spa Bars. Copyright © 2021 RavenSong.
As a new generation of Indigenous crafters and businesses have developed in Campbell River, Valerie has also taken it upon herself to mentor and support these new businesses. She's supported the growth of "Wildflowers & Co." a Wet'suwet'en business, owned by Alissa Assu. In turn, Alissa continues to empower and amplify Indigenous artists and crafters in a meaningful way through her shop.
She's also taught soap making to the grade 6 and 7 students at Alert Bay Elementary school. By using a combination of plant oils and their own choice of essential oils for scent; these students created loaves of traditional, cold processed soaps that they could take home and use or gift for Christmas.
Despite Valerie's dedication to supporting up-and-coming Indigenous businesses and sharing the art of soap making; she's also never stopped reaching new heights with her own creations at RavenSong. Her Full Moon Spa Bar won at the National Soap Conference in 2015, and her Haida Potlatch Spa Bar won first place at the International Soap Making Conference in 2017.
Follow and Shop RavenSong:
Alert Bay Secretary. "Soap Making With Ms. Turner". Alert Bay Elementary School Blog. December 18, 2020.
"Meet Valerie". RavenSong Soap.
"RavenSong Soap & Candle". Island Crafted.
Tiel, Melissa. "The Campbell River store owner spotlighting other Indigenous businesses". Capital Daily. April 28, 2021.
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