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The Story of Aaniin - A Brand With A Deeper Message

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

We sat down with Chelsee-Marie Pettit (Business owner) and talked authenticity through her clothing brand


A conversation about educating others while growing a brand that has a deeper message


What 4 tips would you give to your young self?


My first tip would be there are multiple different ways to learn. Just because you aren't really figuring it out in day-to-day schooling and in the regular system doesn't mean that you're stupid. You can definitely go on to accomplish really amazing things. The second would be to trust your instincts. I don't know why I just think things and they end up coming true. So I just would tell myself to trust my instincts earlier. Third, don't look for approval. Do what you think is right. I always thought growing up every adult that I listened to is always right. When you become an adult you realize like wow, you know nothing. So take everybody's opinion with a grain of salt, and then again, just trust your instincts. Lastly don't get defensive over other people's perspectives of you. Just because people are criticizing you doesn't mean you have to listen to what they're saying. Basically just taking yourself less seriously.


What are 3 things you to do help develop who you are?

First self-confidence, everyone who knows me always knows I'm very confident and I'm very assured with what I decide to do. I just try to learn from my mistakes, and I think that's why it makes me so confident because I know that I've experienced many things through trial and error. So when I do come up with something that I do feel passionate about, it's always from a positive place. It's not because I want to be right. It's just because I'm so sure that it's going to work. If I didn't have the self-confidence that I did. Basically working in retail, I was very young. I was like 18 and by the time I was 21, I had my own retail store. So it's just being very persistent asking questions that would lead you to good possibilities and really not taking no for an answer. And if it is a no, you're always asking why is it, and you're learning from those experiences.

Second, always ask questions. This kind of goes with the first one, but don't be afraid to ask questions. The worst that you're ever going to hear is no. People can allow themselves to feel that intensely, but go in accepting that the worst-case scenario is no, then you're never going to be caught off guard and you're always going to accept whatever outcome comes with it. Third, take risks that you believe in. So don't just put your word into anything. Always kind of keep in mind that you want to keep credibility. You just want to have that self-confidence you want to ask questions, and I think in turn that just allows you to take smart risks and always be calculated.


What are 3 things you do that help improve yourself?

So these three things are the things that I've done recently. I started to learn Anishinaabemowin which is the language of Ojibwe. Since my ancestors had spoken it I feel that there's less of a learning curve in terms of just being able to actually enunciate and not feel embarrassed when I'm trying to speak it. That's like a thing that I recently started doing that I feel has brought me a lot of healing in general. And I feel like it's making me a better person.

My second one would be to educate others in my community. I grew up surrounded by a lot of non-indigenous people. So, I'm kind of making it my goal, not to speak for all indigenous people, but just to make that bridge. As an indigenous person being around non-indigenous people all the time. You obviously, think like them, and then you start to kind of second guess things that might be coming naturally to you. So making it more accessible for people to ask questions and be able to learn without having to kind of overstep boundaries.

So, that's why I had QR codes on my clothing. I think it's more meaningful and proficient for non-indigenous to be able to spread the message on like what they're wearing. A lot of the people that buy my clothing, don't know what syllabics are. You always want that self-teaching and hold yourself to learning about other people's cultures. So I think having the QR codes on the garments kind of allows that to happen opening an entry-level gateway to come together.

Last is to partner with other indigenous people. I'm really excited to be partnering with other indigenous designers and bead workers, jewellery designers on my website, this upcoming new year. The whole point of that is I want to create a platform where you don't have to buy from just one indigenous person but from several or a few. So somebody likes one of my hats and they like a set of beaded earrings it basically cuts down the shipping costs for both of us. It also creates better word of mouth for both people. So that's kind of my next goal is to create a platform where we can all come together and share our own experiences, our own ideas and kind of bridge a stronger community. While educating the rest of North America.

In summary, educating others about your culture can really help the next generation behind you that may face the same issues you did. By finding a bridge that connects education and a product that everyone enjoys can open doors to cultural appreciation. You can buy Chelsee's products on and view her product on her Instagram.


Visual Smugglers is a boutique agency that is focused on helping brands connect with new customers on social media. This blog is about the minds that inspire us and teach us to banish the fears that stop us from being more authentic and growing to our fullest potential. This is the code we live by...








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