White Otter Design Co: Traditional Indigenous Artistry & Contemporary Fashion

Jaymie Campbell of White Otter Design Co. incorporates traditional Indigenous artistry and contemporary fashion to craft gorgeous crafts gorgeous jewellery, wallets, and other pieces. On her art, Jaymie says, “I strive to use authentic materials in all of my work, and you will often see the use of hand-tanned hides, horse hair, and porcupine quills. Much of the material is sourced from local communities and elders, though I put a strong focus on learning the traditional skills in order to use them in her work and pass them down to future generations.” Catch her at the Bison from December 7-9, follow her on Instagram (@WhiteOtterDesignCo) to see more of her work and read on to discover what inspires her!

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Royal Bison: What draws you to making or designing things?
White Otter Design:
Creating for me is an important connection to my culture, ancestors, and identity. I love being part of the wonderful artist community and it is important for me to learn traditional skills in order to pass them down to future generations.

RB: What’s new for your line or business this season?
This is the first year I have participated in some large Indigenous fashion events and my line has become a lot more diverse. I have started turning some of my large beadwork patterns into jewellery and incorporating some new materials such as horse hair and different furs.

RB: What do you think sets your work apart from similar makers or designers?
Most Indigenous artists have unique styles that are influenced by our cultural backgrounds, communities and teachers, and mine is no different. I have unique patterns and colours and use a lot of traditional materials that I make or harvest.


RB: How do you feel about being a part of the Edmonton creative community, or whichever community you call home?
I don’t live in Edmonton, but have been very much embraced by the community. I love being able to reach out to other artists and share advice, learnings, and experiences with each other. Artists and designers are cut from a different cloth and I just love spending time with “my people.”

RB: Please gush about a few of your designer, maker, or creative crushes!
Oh man. There are so many! Jadial GreyEagle does incredible beadwork and is a massive activist for Indigenous women. She produced her first documentary alongside Tantoo Cardinal this year! SectionThirtyFive is a clothing line designed out of Vancouver but the owner is from Samson Cree Nation outside of Edmonton. He is totally crushing it and moving onto an international stage with Indigenous Fashion. Catherine Blackburn is this artist from Saskatchewan and she is so crazy talented in so many mediums it is mind blowing!

RB: Do you have a favourite holiday tradition you can share with us?
Watching Bing Crosby’s White Christmas with my family.

Learn more about White Otter Design Co. and what she’ll be bringing to the Royal Bison on her Instagram!

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Take a Moment with White Otter Design Co

We are absolutely thrilled to have newcomer Jaymie Campbell, of White Otter Design Co, to the December weekend of the fair! An avid outdoorswoman, paddler, traveler, and photographer, Jaymie is an Anishnaabe hailing from Curve Lake First Nation. She is the Associate Director for the Cree nation in Northern Alberta who has been creating art since she was a small child, learning from her mother who was taught by her grandmothers. Read on to find out more about her process below: 


Q: What does it mean to be an Edmonton maker/designer/artist?
WODC: I have been creating art since I was a small child. Art runs in my family, and I feel the most connected to my ancestry and the most grounded when I am sewing.

My work is inspired by my Anishnaabe heritage, but is also influenced heavily by the time I have spent with the Cree people of the Rocky Mountains and the Dene people in the North. I am inspired by my grandmothers, who were quillwork artists, my mother, my father, who is a painter. I also owe a massive thank you to the Cree elders who have taught and continue to teach me the old ways, which inspire much of the work I do. I am inspired by the way art connects you to the land and to your culture.

Q: What are your top 3 influences (artists, things, etc)?

  • The land
  • The elders and my ancestors, especially my grandmothers 
  • The youth

Q: Favourite Bison item you’ve picked up at a previous fair?
MODC: I have not yet been to one, I cannot wait!! 

Jaymie is also a collective artist for Byellowtail Collective in the US and a Storyboot artist for Manitobah Mukluks!