Shop Native Featured Shop: Mahota Textiles

Shop Native Featured Shop: Mahota Textiles

As part of an ongoing initiative, we're celebrating Native American-owned businesses, whose work you can find on our Shop Native directory, which features both Native American products and products made for Natives. These products include clothing, beauty, beadwork, herbal, art, blankets, and more. With over 200 companies and products already listed, the directory is attracting visitors from around the world.

This week, we're celebrating Mahota Textiles, LLC! We caught up with their Business Manager, Bethany McCord to learn more about Mahota’s Southeastern heritage and its influence on their designs of Native American blankets.

Why did you start Mahota Textiles?

Margaret Roach Wheeler, a world-renowned Chickasaw artist, is our Founder and President (pictured in the featured image). Margaret is most known for her handwoven designs and business, Mahota Handwovens. Mahota Textiles was started because she wanted to weave designs used in her Southeastern Tribal culture that included circles and curvilinear lines that can be limited when weaving on a handloom. Her strong desire to spread awareness of her culture’s traditional designs led her to propose a commercially woven textile business to Governor Anotaubby and his support helped launch the business venture, Mahota Textiles, LLC.

Where does the name “Mahota” come from?

Mahota was Margaret’s great-great-great-grandmother who came from Mississippi during the Chickasaw Removal to Indian Territory in 1844. Having an ancestor who came at Removal is a significant part of Margaret’s family history, and when she opened her hand-weaving business, she decided to use Mahota’s name. Margaret’s family lineage also inspired the design of the Mahota Textiles logo, which depicts rings of a tree in honor of five generations of Chickasaw women in her family. The logo’s center ring is Mahota. The next ring is for Mahota’s daughter Nancy Mahota, followed by Margaret’s grandmother Juel, Margaret’s mother, Rubey, and finally Margaret as the final outermost ring.

How does Mahota capture the “Chickasaw spirit?”

At Mahota, we have a strong cultural identity and we incorporate our culture and history in the designs and products we make. By collaborating with Chickasaw artists, storytellers, poets, linguists, and our elders, our meaningful textiles provide an opportunity to share and educate others about our Southeastern heritage.

What do you most want your customers to know about your company and your products?

Mahota Textiles is the first tribally owned textile company in the United States. We create meaningful textiles inspired by our Southeastern heritage and designed by Native American artisans. All of our products are high-quality, sustainable and made in the USA. With each blanket purchase, you receive a special card that includes care instructions, a description of the design written by the artist, and a poem written by a Chickasaw author, all perfectly packaged in a birch box.

What do your customers love most about your products?

Our customers love the story of our brand, designs and products. We have a rich history and culture that people, Native and non-Native, appreciate and are interested to learn more about. Customers also appreciate the artistic aspect of each design and the fact that they appeal to most décor styles.

What is your most popular product?

Our most popular products would be our blankets and cross-body purses. We have sold out of two of three designs from our Heritage Collection purses. We will be bringing the purse back in our Traveler’s Collection released later this month. The blankets also do very well as they are versatile and appeal to more customers. The packaging is also a great selling feature for the blankets.

Anything new and exciting coming down the pipeline?

Yes!! We have a lot of exciting projects going on at Mahota. Last year, we completed our first upholstery project for First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City. This year, we ventured more into upholstery and have three jobs currently going on for renovation and new construction projects within the Chickasaw Nation. We will also be releasing our Traveler’s Collection later this month, which will include a design from this year’s featured artist Faithlyn Seawright. The collection will also include our Chickasaw Map II design, which is similar to the sold-out design from our Heritage Collection, but is redesigned with a new color pallet and thicker weave.

Why do you think it’s important for people to support Native-owned businesses?

It is important for people to support Native-owned businesses because it empowers Native individuals and boosts the development of their communities. The contribution to the local and national economy by Native-owned businesses grows each year. [We continue to share the] rich culture, traditions and history of Native and Indigenous people through our products.

Last Updated on January 11, 2024 by Paul G

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find a Pow Wow
Near you

Search the US & Canada

What to expect
at your first Pow Wow

Sign Up for our Free E-newsletter