Friday, September 19, 2014
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Manitoba women head to Hollywood with beadwork for the stars

3 First Nation women getting the chance to promote their business at Golden Globes

By Jillian Taylor, CBC News

Three women from the Long Plain First Nation in Manitoba are heading to Hollywood this week, as they have been invited to show off a part of their culture at the Golden Globe Awards.

Valerie Houle has been beading for most of her life. It started as a hobby, but turned into a necessity.

“When I got older, my son wanted to dance, and I couldn’t afford to buy [that] stuff, so I forced myself to learn," she said.

Houle made his traditional regalia for powwow dancing, and she hasn't stopped beading since.

Now she has joined forces — in business — with Jessica Meeches and Brooke Mousseau. They've been invited to display their jewellery at the Golden Globes.

Mousseau said she was surprised to get the invitation.

“It was kind of surreal, we were really shocked. We’re not famous,” she laughed. “We are just from this little southern reserve.”

Their designs are called "Bead-A-Bling" and they'll be showing them off at the Oh Canada event in Beverly Hills. That event showcases Canadian businesses.

Also, 75 pieces will be handed out to celebrities like Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon and Gene Simmons.

“I will probably get tongue-tied. I'm already nervous about it!” Mousseau said.

For Houle, the excitement is in sharing a piece of her culture.

"Making anything for anyone — it's just an honour for them to wear it," she said. "It makes me feel really good inside that someone could be wearing something I made."

The trip's not just about rubbing shoulders with celebrities. The trio will be launching their website and starting to take orders.

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