Huckleberry Woman’s owner, Tiffany Vanderhoop, descends from a long line of Haida weavers on her mother’s side. Not only is her mother a master weaver of both the Naxiin and Raven’s Tail textile arts of the Indigenous northwest, but her grandmother is a renowned master weaver too who has received lifetime achievement awards for her work.
Tiffany started weaving when she was 22-years-old and weaves Raven’s Tail and Naxiin style Haida regalia. Her mother taught her Naxiin, which depicts the formline art of the northwest cost.
“I had been living in Masset Haida Gwaii where my weavings were in demand and sought after by members of my community who used them as regalia during cultural events,” she said. “When I moved back to the northeast coast to where my Father’s People are from, the Aquinnah Wampanoag, I wanted to do something that connected me to those roots, so I started beading.”
She sold her work at her husband’s store on the Aquinnah Cliffs. When she started incorporating weaving patterns into her beadwork it felt like the perfect balance between her two tribes.
Her work was eventually selected to be part of the B. Yellowtail collective, which gave her the platform to succeed and start to be able to sustain her family with her business.
Tiffany is still very much learning how to run her own business, and is very thankful to be able to support her family through her beadwork. She’s also grateful that her children can see her succeed by engaging in her her cultural practices everyday.
“It feels like more than just a business, it’s a way I can share the brilliance of our ancestors, because these designs don’t belong to me, they were developed by my ancestors and are a testimony of the longevity of their teachings,” she said.
She said her earrings are not just pretty and fashionable, but they also have a deeper meaning and history that is also beautiful to learn about.
Tiffany is always learning and all about reciprocating the love and support back to artists and communities who support her.
Sustainability and awareness about people’s impact on Mother Earth is important to her, and says social justice reparations, truth and reconciliation, protection and inclusion of trans and two spirit kin are vital. Also, she says that language reclamation and revitalization of culture are intertwined in creating safe and healthy spaces for Indigenous Peoples.
She does her best to consider these as she moves forward in creating a business that has a positive impact.
“It’s so important that we support the authentic creations of the Indigenous communities of Turtle Island, for far too long we have been undervalued and appropriated,” Tiffany said. “There’s such a wealth of creativity that is infinitely diverse. I’m really humbled by it, and just thankful to be a part of it. I really appreciate the opportunity to share a little bit about myself.”
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