By Adrian Jawort
What made you decide there was a need for a Native magazine primarily about fashion?
I was 16 years old when I got into modeling after I was discovered at a pow wow in Denver in 2007. But a lot of Native designers and photographers didn’t want to work with me because of my lack of experience, so I just modeled around Denver. That’s when I got the idea for the magazine. I decided, “Hey, I’m going to do something that gives other Native people a chance if no one wants me.” I tried to be in Native publications as a writer, but none of them liked my style of writing, and because I was 16 no one took me seriously. So in 2007 the idea for this magazine was there. I was going to give myself until next year to save up money and build networking relationships with people, but I heard other people wanted to come out with their own Native fashion magazines so I decided I better hurry and go forth with it.
I actually wanted her to be on the cover, but I didn’t know how to get ahold of her or any of that. Luckily, Crystal knows a lot of people. She said she could possibly get Mariah to be in the magazine. Then she came back and was like, “Hey, she wants to do it.” I was excited because I watched Mariah become more involved with modeling, and then she was on America’s Next Top Model, and I was like, “Hey, wait a minute, that’s her! Oh, my god!” I was so happy she went on that show representing her race. A lot of other Native celebrities are like, “I’m part Native American, but I’m not really going to talk about that part of my life. Only my famous side.” But she was totally representing her people and even wore a beaded medallion on the show. She was inspiring and I couldn’t wait to get the interview with her. She was excited about our magazine too and is 100% behind our mission and purpose.