Small Businesses

Carrie Langevin has always loved skin care. She studied cosmetology and worked in the spa at the Sawridge Hotel in Jasper, Alberta. After her first two children were born, she went back to school and became a teacher.

At Amiskwaciy Academy, in Edmonton, Alberta many of her students reminded her of when she was in high school and struggled with insecurities. She thought of the under-utilized garden of traditional plants at the back of the school.

She remembered gathering plants and berries with her Grandmother while she shared her stories and understanding of traditional plants and their uses. The students started caring for the garden, learning about the plants and doing hands-on activities like making teas and mineral baths.

Carrie and her husband, also a teacher, then began holding culture camps out at their acreage with the elders, and she would teach the students about the qualities of the plants and help the kids make teas that they could take home.

The business grew in baby steps, as they slowly tested the market to see if their idea was viable. In 2010, the couple got a shot at potential investment to expand by appearing on the CBC’s Dragons’ Den. They were offered an $80,000 loan. But, after reading the fine print, they didn’t take the deal.

Mother Earth Essentials has now been in business for eight years. The core of the business for Carrie is education and breaking down stereotypes. Aboriginal pride is now a prime motivator for her.

In 2014, Carrie Langevin has been recognized as one of Edmonton’s Women of Vision, a series from Global Edmonton and Avenue Magazine. Woman of Vision celebrates the accomplishments of outstanding Edmonton women. Carrie was recognized with the 2013 Aboriginal Woman Entrepreneur Award by the Alberta Chamber of Commerce.

The full story can be found in Issue 61 – Economic Development, now available through our SAY Magazine APP or our webstore.