Kathleen is starting First Nations Designs. She plans to make First Nations designs and print them on clothing apparel, arts, and crafts. Kathleen is already receiving orders for clothing printed with First Nations designs from across the Island. She currently prints by hand and has thus far filled a number of clothing orders, but has had to turn away others because she does not have the capacity to fill them all. If she is able to increase capacity she says she will be able to take orders from sports teams and for larger ceremonies where large numbers of clothing items are needed. Kathleen is applying for a $5,000 loan to purchase equipment that will allow her to significantly increase her capacity as well as purchase materials and supplies.
A former employer of Kathleen’s who has known her for 20 years says she has always found Kathleen to be particularly passionate about her art. She adds: “having worked with Kathleen, I think she would definitely be success as an entrepreneur.”
Kathleen’s credit file indicates that she has significant amount of debt. Kathleen says she made some mistakes when she was younger and has, at some points, been unable to afford the monthly payments.
The loan will give Kathleen the opportunity to increase her capacity and meet the overwhelming demand for her products. She says she uses her community as an inspiration: "I want to show the members of my community you can do this too." She’s determined to succeed. “I always set the bar high and I love to go above it!”
Kathleen adds: “Niis'Mass'Uska is my name, my borrowed name is Kathleen E.Andrews. I am the Hereditary Chief of Hesquiaht First Nation my family ties come from Comox, Cape Mudge and many other nations, I have been married to my wonderful Husband Andrew Ben Thomas for 18 years and we have 4 beautiful daughters, and our a son who is destined to be the next Hereditary Chief of Hesquiaht, my children are direct descendants of Chief Andy & Maryanne Thomas of Esquimalt Nation. I come from a long line of Chiefs and artists, on my Father's side from Hesquiaht. Our home based business is family run and owned.”