The “Native Business Top 50 Entrepreneurs” list serves to elevate awareness of the innovation, professionalism, competence and tenacity demonstrated by Native entrepreneurs across Indian Country. Native Business is rolling out profiles of these 50 Native entrepreneurs online, in no particular hierarchy, to document and memorialize their innovation and self-determination. The inaugural class of the Native Business Top 50 Entrepreneurs recognizes leaders across 13 business sectors, demonstrating the diversity of industries where Natives are making an impact. Among the entrepreneurs recognized in our Beauty & Wellness sector is Angelo McHorse.
Bison Star Naturals makes all-natural lotions, bath salts and more — infused with the beauty and intoxicating scent of the land of Taos, New Mexico. Not only is Bison Star Naturals in harmony with nature, it’s rooted on the Taos Pueblo, where Angelo McHorse, co-founder of Bison Star Naturals, was born and raised.
In March, the Native-owned startup broke ground on a storefront and workshop on the Pueblo, surrounded by herb and floral gardens vital to the company’s lotions, which anchor the Bison Star brand. Angelo and Jacquelene McHorse, the husband- and-wife team behind Bison Star, received an injection of support from the Native American Venture Acceleration Fund to fund production of their liquid jojoba and yucca root soaps, released this spring.
“It’s really great to be back home and starting a project for some economic development for our Tribe,” said McHorse, who earned his Agricultural Science and Business degrees from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. “It’s awesome, because I think entrepreneurship is a growing sector. Our only economic development was basically a casino. Years down the line, the Tribe is developing a convenience store and possibly a gas station on the Taos Pueblo. It’s really cool to be able to start a business, to grow it, and to break ground on a storefront and a warehouse on Tribal land. It has enormous potential and economic value for our Tribe, as far as employment and putting Taos Pueblo on the map.”
Bison Star Naturals has engaged primarily in direct-to-consumer sales through farmers’ markets, trade shows, and arts and crafts events. Their online store at BisonStarNaturals.com also leads to great returns, accounting for approximately 20-25 percent of Bison Star’s overall revenue. Bison Star Naturals products can also be found throughout New Mexico and at stores in four different states. The McHorses have their visions set on new horizons in 2019 — acquiring more wholesale accounts to expand their reach.