Giizhig Design Company Highlights Indigenous Experiences, Propels Diversity
“It’s just really important to bring those diverse viewpoints into everything,” the artist says.
Artist and designer Brittany Tainter often questioned the values of corporations she worked for. After navigating tricky transitions between employers throughout the Eau Claire area, Tainter felt the only place where she could truly believe in a company’s mission – was through one of her own.
This inspired her to create her business, Giizhig Design Company.
“I just wanted to create a business that really took into account everybody's individual story,” Tainter said. “[I wanted] to really get to the base of what it means for everyone to exist in what they're trying to create.”
The company first began as a graphic design business, where Tainter utilized her skills in design to partner with small businesses in the Eau Claire area. Now, she has expanded her artistic expression to include beaded jewelry, which also conveys her experience as an Indigenous woman, as Tainter is a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles band of Ojibwe.
“[Beading] is a medium that I'm pretty new to but I really wanted to dive into,” Tainter said. “It is a cultural activity. And it’s got a lot more meaning than a piece of jewelry. Everything I do has to do with exploration of my techniques and my creativity.”
Her business provides more representation of Indigenous people in the design community, she said. She also utilizes her business and personal art to shed a light on the realities of the Indigenous experience across Wisconsin and nationwide.
“It’s just really important to bring those diverse viewpoints into everything,” Tainter said, “and beyond graphic design as well. The more we see different representations, the better the world can understand that things exist outside of this white lens.”
This year, Tainter has continued to explore personal elements within her work. She recently partnered with Ambient Inks to produce a medicines shirt and the Give Local Love campaign.She encourages others to consider their own shopping rituals, and where people can make the switch to consuming products made by individuals from marginalized communities.
“It is important for community members to take bigger steps to really support and amplify the voices of people of color,” Tainter said. “Chances are, if you need a service done, or you're looking for a specific product, you could probably find it made by somebody from a community that is marginalized.”