By Michael Abeyta

Denver (CBS)- The day after Black Friday has traditionally been small business Saturday. People are encouraged to spend money at smaller and local businesses.  If you were at the National Western Center in Denver Saturday, you could also buy American.

Nick Ohitika Najin was selling soap and bath salts at Saturday’s Pow-Wow.  He and his 9-year-old daughter Haleakala run their business Lakota Body Care from their home in Aurora. It all started as a way to raise money to pay for gymnastics lessons.

“So, she made soaps. I helped he make it and it took off from there,” said Nick.

They started in July 2021 and since then, the business has grown quickly.

“I literally just put in my 2 weeks to my actual job, my nine to five job,” said Nick.

(credit: CBS)

That means now he is counting on the community more than ever to support his small business. He says when you shop small, you are not only helping him support his family but also building a community by keeping the money local.

“As a small business owner, we want to help each other as a small community,” said Nick.

Abraham Robles brought his Warm Springs tribal fashion all the way from Oregon to sell in Denver. He says when you support businesses like his, Wasco Trade, you are helping the indigenous community thrive because they can take that money and spend it at home or with other native small businesses.

“To support like the community within each other and bring it up,” says Abraham.

Both Abraham and Nick say there are a lot of people who appropriate native culture to make a quick buck. They say if you want to buy Native American products make sure you are buying the real deal.

“As an indigenous person, you are getting it from the source,” said Nick. “These companies that use our image and use Native Americans to sell their products, they don’t put the same energy into this as we do as a small business.”

Michael Abeyta