Today we’d like to introduce you to Shailah Ramos.
Shailah, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I began completely by accident. I painted things for friends and shared my projects on social media. It took off from there. I then used my Comanche tribe’s yearly percapita and produced a shirt to represent my fellow mothers. They too, took off. From there, I produced more designs, painted more commissions, and even revamped furniture. All things are creative. When I graduated from college, I decided to pursue my entrepreneurship instead of my master’s degree. I opened a store and, shortly after, an art gallery. In August of 2019, I began my transition to go completely online and step away from the physical location in efforts to be there for my family, go back to school, and still run my store via e-commerce. Now, I work full-time as a prevention specialist with my tribes youth. I paint murals, do shows as well as push out freshly designed gear. I have been specializing in custom jean jackets. THEY’RE LIT!
I worked my tail off to get myself in a position to say yes to things I want to do and NO to things that don’t do me justice or bring me peace. This is a great feeling. I continue to give to my community and make it a colorful place with positive affirmations.
Has it been a smooth road?
Hell no, it hasn’t been smooth, but it has been so worth it. You name it. Being a mother and owning your own business presents setbacks in itself. My personal life had its own turbulence, Smalltown regulations, going from one festival to the next, people who want to see you fail, someone crashed through my store, my store fell underwater on three occasions, the pandemic, and I an acute onset of anxiety in my late 20’s. With all of this said, there would always be good that came out of all of the bad. God had/has my back through it all. I have no complaints about the struggle. It has made me into the strong ass woman I am today. I give thanks to the struggle.
We’d love to hear more about The Native Hippy.
The name of my business, “The Native Hippy,” came from a Facebook post I made in regards to my daughter, who was one at the time. I captioned it, “my little native hippy,” and it stuck with us forever. The small Indian you see in my logo was a cartoon that I had painted on my hippy trailer and he ended up being my mascot.
I specialize in custom art. I have painted dumpsters, campers, bridges, toy goats, garage doors, I have put a mural on the house, and more. I love to paint for people. I really get amazing satisfaction when I get to paint and give it back to the world in a positive way. It really makes me happy to get my art on shirts, hoodies, and hats. The fact that people wear my logo is still beyond me. When I receive messages from complete strangers stating how I have inspired them in some way, I give so much thanks, it makes the rough days worth it.
I feel like what I am most proud of is the fact that I am successful at being an artist. It is a rarity. Not only am I successful, but I am a successful native woman. It doesn’t pan out for my people like this. I am blessed to have made an initial $600 per cap check turn into a wonderful business that has been through fire and back!
What sets me apart from the others is that what I have built happened organically. I never did this intentionally. I didn’t aspire to be a business owner or an artist. In fact, I despise the business side of it. If I could just create all day, I would. I never had proper training as far as art. My degree is in psychology, and I will have my M.S.B.S. in counseling in a few years. The majority of people are in it for money, recognition, and whatever else they may be needing, I just wanted to make art and make people feel good. It just so happened that it all ended up with me making a living off of it.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I love most is finding nooks and whole in the wall places. We enjoy Deep Ellum. What I like least is the poverty and homeless community.
- Website: thenativehiipy.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @the_native_hippy
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/thenativehippy
1) Kayla Simpson Photography
2) Hailey Faria Photography