Join the Osage News for a conversation with three successful Osage business owners for the third episode of “This Osage Life,” a video podcast about all things Osage.
We spoke with Dante Biss-Grayson of Sky Eagle-Collection, Josh Smith of Ekowah Coffee, and Jackie Wilcox and Faren Revard Anderson of Spurs and Arrows. The three business owners are thriving.
Listen as they share their insights into what makes a successful business, the challenges faced and persevered, and expanding their brands to an ever-adapting clientele.
Watch the video on the Osage News YouTube channel at: https://youtu.be/Oco0PHtP_BU
Follow the businesses on social media as well as visit their websites at:
Sky Eagle-Collection: https://www.skyeaglecollection.com/
Ekowah Coffee: https://ekowahcoffee.com/
Spurs and Arrows: https://spursandarrows.com/
Dante Biss-Grayson is an Osage artist, fashion designer, poet, writer, and activist. Based on his strong roots in the Osage Nation, Dante uses the archetype as an image to guide his artistic process, getting into a trance-like state and letting the work find itself. He adheres to the Zen tradition of simple strokes converging with one idea, leaving on the canvas one decisive expression.
Dante’s art is an expression of his experiences as a combat veteran combined with the PTSD those experiences begot him. Having studied art before enlisting, he became reacquainted with painting as a means of confronting and expressing the loss, the absurdity, and the beauty of war. He writes that he “grew up as the apprentice/protégé and son of [artists] Earl Biss and Gina Gray,” surrounded by the radical art of 1960s/70s-era Institute of American Indian Arts.
Dante started his journey into art when he was very young in Santa Fe, NM where he has taken many awards at the SWAIA Indian Market. His artwork is featured in many private and museum collections. His work at the Big Rain Gallery includes his paintings and his fashion designs. He is owner and executive designer of the Sky-Eagle Collection featured at the gallery. He has studios in the USA and Bali, where he, his wife and family assist to make his designs a reality.
Joshua Smith is the Owner of Ekowah Coffee LLC, a Native owned, socially conscious coffee roaster focused on giving back with each bag of coffee sold. Joshua has a great passion for entrepreneurship and the ways entrepreneurship can be used to make a positive impact in one’s community. To that end, Joshua worked with Running Strong for American Indian Youth to launch the Microenterprise Development Program, which provides financing and business skills courses to Native entrepreneurs.
Joshua is an avid learner with a strong belief in the power of education to change one’s life. This love of learning led him to completing three degrees, including a Master of Divinity and a Master of Business Administration. Joshua, his wife Anna, and their two daughters currently reside in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.
Jackie Wilcox is from the ZonZoLi district, where she lives with her mother, Larraine Wilcox, on the family’s original allotment homestead. Her Osage name is Mi Sah Wee, Sun Sacred, given to her by her great-uncle Jess Townsend. She gets her strength and inspiration from her late grandmother, Ida Mae Core Penn. Jackie is proud to be an Osage entrepreneur, alongside her cousin, Faren Revard Anderson. She has been a co-owner of Spurs and Arrows since 2004 and became a building owner/landlord in 2014 when she purchased the historic Worten building that houses Spurs and Arrows.
Faren Revard Anderson, is a co-owner of Spurs and Arrows and grew up in Pawhuska. She graduated from Oklahoma State University, has wrangled wild horses, served as Miss Indian Oklahoma, been a cook for the Zon-Zo-Li district, served on the first Osage Nation Congress, chaired the first Osage Nation Ranch board and raises and shows champion show horses. Faren is the daughter of Maynard and Carole Revard and is a descendant of Chief Baconrind. She happily lives on a small horse ranch with her husband and their dogs.