BC Achievement salutes Nicole McLaren Owner of Raven Reads Books: “Amplifying Indigenous stories to a broader audience”

Elevate Excellence: The Business 

Raven Reads is an Indigenous owned and operated subscription box service featuring Indigenous books and wholesale gift line. A recipient of a 2020 Indigenous Business Award, Raven Reads more recently was nominated for a Greater Vancouver Board of Trade Business Reinvention Award 2021 and a Small Business BC Award. 

Owner and founder, Nicole McLaren, provides both an informative and enjoyable experience for her customers. “We feature adult and children’s subscription boxes where we curate books and giftware from other Indigenous authors and entrepreneurs. Every three months we send over 800 boxes to subscribers around the world.”  

Share Success: The Story 

Nicole started Raven Reads after a desire to make an impact on reconciliation in her own way. “I was working for a company where I was helping them come up with their Reconciliation Action Plan. And I wanted to do something myself for reconciliation, so I started a book club where we focused exclusively on books by Indigenous authors. And when I saw how well the books helped people understand the impact of intergenerational trauma, I thought what a great opportunity to share these books.” From there Nicole started Raven Reads designed as a safe space to learn about Indigenous cultures, history and enjoy Indigenous-made products from around the world. 

During the pandemic, Raven Reads struggled getting their goods on time and therefore getting their product to customers on time. However, they’ve turned these challenges into opportunities for growth. “As people switch to more online shopping, and they’re looking for alternatives to get their books, we’ve also taken advantage of that to add new products.” 

Inspire change: The Impact 

“The most rewarding thing with Raven Reads is knowing we are amplifying Indigenous stories to a broader audience of Canadians and North Americans. And the amazing feedback we get from people is how they did not know about our collective histories in Canada.” 

“I think Indigenous people are inherently amazing entrepreneurs and business owners. We come from generations of trade and entrepreneurism and our involvement in the establishment of Canada. We are well versed in taking adversity and taking moments of difficulty and flipping those into opportunity.” 

To learn more about Nicole’s business check out her film at bcachievement.com and have a look at the Raven Reads website

BC Achievement: Elevate Excellence. Share Success. Inspire Change. 

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