The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Líl̓wat Stl’atl ímc Business Start-up Program (SLSBSP) has eleven participants elbows deep in the hard work of developing their businesses. The program, being spearheaded by the Whistler Centre for Sustainability in partnership with the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, helps members from regional Indigenous communities get their business up and off the ground. Applications were submitted from a cross section of Indigenous communities with some participants coming from as far as Tipella, a trek that takes over 3 hours down a rough gravel road. The businesses under development are unique, diverse and address community needs.

Ashley Paul wants to help women feel better about themselves by providing them with comfortable, affordable, stylish clothing and accessories, all from the comfort of their reserve or pow wow celebration.Snagging Leggings

Ashley has grown up on the Capilano Reserve, located on the outskirts of downtown Vancouver, B.C. She has been involved in the retail business for over 15 years, having started helping her brother when he opened his own apparel company at the young age of 18. Since then, Ashley’s desire to start her business has continued to grow.

Ashley’s business, called Snagging Leggings really started to gain traction when she herself became a mother. Fluctuating weight made dressing difficult. She saw so many other moms dressed in leggings and tights, and went on to explore the opportunity. What makes her business unique is that she offers flexibility in all of her business practices. From how you purchase your items (you can find her on Facebook) to her fantastic return policies, she really wants to make it work for her costumers: new moms, plus size women, those following (as she does) the powwow circuit. She wants to be able to support people to feel good and confident in what they wear. Happy, comfortable, satisfied women, with something nice to put on at the start of their busy days.

Part of Ashley’s motivation to start her own business also comes from a place of wanting to put her family first. Ashley wants to create a working lifestyle for herself that will enable her to care for her young daughter and provide for her mother.

Find Ashley on Facebook at Snagging Leggings!

We’d like to thank our supporters for their funding and program contributions. For a full list of supporters, visit our Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Líl̓wat Stl’atl ímc Business Start-up Program (SLSBSP) program page.

For more information about the featured business ideas or the program, contact Cheeying or Dawn