Thomas Deel Jr (Navajo), owner of Deel Jewelry, works with his sons to create silver jewelry and is launching a business to produce Native-inspired class rings. Cheyenne Gordon (Hualapai) is returning home from a successful modeling career in Los Angeles to Peach Springs to start a farming business. (Change Labs)
- Summer Brown (Navajo), owner of Lotus and Layne, is an artist and designer who produces quality handcrafted leather goods.
- Cheyenne Gordon (Hualapai) is an actress turned model returning home from a successful modeling career in Los Angeles to Peach Springs to start a farming business.
- Claudia Brandow (Navajo) is launching an event equipment rental service to bring tents, tables, sound equipment, and other necessities to everything from community fairs to large family celebrations.
- Kristen J. Kaye (Navajo) is a beautician aiming to launch a full-service mobile hair salon that will bring salon-quality beauty services to customers in rural communities across the reservation.
- Bennedict Keevama (Hopi), owner of Treeben’s Jerky Shop, produces beef, elk, and deer jerky that he delivers to villages across the Hopi Mesas.
- Tyrone Thompson (Navajo), owner of Chishie Farms, is launching a consulting business to market his expertise building “hoop houses” (similar to greenhouses) and to advise schools on farming projects to grow fresh, local, sustainable produce and provide healthy food in rural reservation communities.
- Thomas Deel Jr (Navajo), owner of Deel Jewelry, works with his sons to create silver jewelry and is launching a business to produce Native-inspired class rings.
- Suzanne Singer (Navajo), co-founder of Native Renewables, is a Stanford-educated mechanical engineer working to open a retail outlet for small, off-the-shelf solar power systems to light reservation homes without electricity.
- Candice Mendez (Navajo), owner of Salt.V.Mo Events, provides a full suite of event management services, from conferences to cultural gatherings
- Tom Greyeyes (Navajo) is an artist using site-specific installations, print, and video to convey intertribal indigenous perspectives.
- Glenda Bennett (Navajo), owner of Glenda Bags, creates custom handbags using prints and patterns inspired by Native Culture.
“It’s been exciting to see the selection process get more competitive each year,” said Change Labs Executive Director Heather Fleming. “It’s a result of more Native entrepreneurs feeling they are ready to take significant steps to implement their ideas and a signal that change is coming to our communities. This year’s cohort of entrepreneurs is among our most diverse, from solar tech solutions to 3D-printed jewelry. It’s a nod to Indigenous innovation and the growing community of entrepreneurs across the reservation.”