FAQs + CARE

Niyaawe | ᏩᏙ | thank you for your interest! Below you'll find answers to the most common questions I receive.

1. How can I care for my waawena jewelry?

It is important to take good care of your pieces once they arrive. Earrings might be stiff from the journey to you, but they will loosen up with a few tricks:

- Either hang them up or lay them flat. Avoid throwing them in a purse or drawer; this causes the thread to kink and possibly break.

- Take your forefinger and thumb and twist the beads back and forth. You can do this as many times as it takes, though after a few minutes, your earrings should be loose enough to hang properly.

- Avoid getting them wet or using products on them. Hairspray could cause them to permanently kink and water could damage the beads and thread.

2. What should I do if my piece arrives broken?

After crying, you can email waawena@gmail.com or direct message @waawena on Instagram for help. If a piece arrives broken, that is my fault for not packaging it well enough, so I will take care of it!

3. What if my piece breaks while in my possession?

After the piece makes it to you and you open the package, the piece is your responsibility. Of course, if there is a defect in how the piece was made (e.g., a thread opens and drops beads), please message me to see if I can fix it for you. 

4. How do you calculate your prices?

Calculating prices is never easy but there is a method to it. Pieces are generally priced based on:

- how long they take to create and package

- how complex the design is

- the cost of the materials (beads, thread, shipping supplies, findings, etc.)

- what similar pieces are going for in other shops

I try to make my prices competitive, but please note that most beaders charge infinitely less than they should. Beaded pieces are works of art that take lots of behind the scenes time to design and create. Be generous with your beader whenever you can!

5. Are your pieces authentic Native American jewelry?

Yes, in the sense that I am an enrolled citizen of two federally-recognized tribal Nations in the so-called United States. However, it is important to recognize that due to colonization and other factors, identifying as "Native American" is not a straightforward process. I am fortunate that my family line is well documented and on my tribal Nations' approved Rolls for enrollment, but others who identify as and have a valid claim to being Native American might not have this luxury. It is the decision of each tribal Nation and community to define inclusion criteria on their own, and that may or may not include adoption, blood quantum requirements, etc. 

6. Can I wear your jewelry if I am not Native?

My pieces are made to be enjoyed by everyone. By wearing Native jewelry that you have bought from a Native person, you are directly supporting Native artists. However, buying "Native-inspired" pieces from non-Natives is appropriative since the designs are stolen from Native artists and profit non-Natives. If you like Native-style pieces, please only buy from Native sources!

7. Where do you get your supplies?

I use a few places to get supplies, but my most common are as follows.

For beads:

- cedarlilie (www.cedarlilie.com / @cedarliliebeads on IG)

- Prairie Edge (www.praireedge.com)

- Barrel of Beads (www.barrelofbeads.com)

- Powwow Fabrics and Designs (www.powwowfabrics.com)

For backing:

- General Bead (@generalbead on Etsy)

For thread, findings, needles:

- cedarlilie (www.cedarlilie.com / @cedarliliebeads on IG)

- Barrel of Beads (www.barrelofbeads.com)

8. Where can I find more information?

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to email waawena@gmail.com or direct message @waawena on Instagram. Please allow 2-3 business days for a response as I am the sole person behind waawena!