ABOUT ROSIE MATȞÓ
Cecily Engelhart, Rosie Matȟó Owner
Born and raised in southeast South Dakota, I come from two very mixed families that are mostly Ihanktonwan, Oglala, German, French, Irish, and British. My ancestry and heritage, the communities where I’ve lived, and the land that I grew up on all inform my creative work. I work in the nonprofit sector and am passionate about utilizing my time and energy to not only create art, but also to support movements of justice and equity. I typically describe myself as an Ihanktonwan/Oglala mother, foodie, media nerd, pop culture enthusiast, animal lover, book reader, love giver & living room dancing expert. I’m excited to add entrepreneur to that list. Thank you for visiting the Rosie Matȟó website. You can read more about the business below.
History of Rosie Matȟó
Rosie Matȟó was created out of a desire to stay curious and celebrate the creative.
Originally named “Less Bitter, More Glitter Table Co.” I started my business rather unofficially in 2018, selling refurbished thrift store side tables topped with eco-glitter infused resin. I still create and sell these tables, however after the birth of my daughter in August of 2019, I felt a deep resolve to do my best to model reaching for your dreams. I wanted to learn the traditional Lakota art form of parfleche. Having my daughter gave me the courage to ask the prolific artist, Mike Marshall, if I might be his apprentice. He generously said yes. He recommended that I get to know the materials involved first and instructed me to buy some hide, make some earrings, and see if my hands felt strong enough to work with the materials.
So I bought some rawhide, some tools, jewelry supplies, and paint. As it would turn out, I love making rawhide earrings! I began selling them to others and realized I wanted to do this as a business, as a way to help financially support my interest in learning parfleche. I was quite embarrassed because I'd only just started "Less Bitter, More Glitter Table Co." and now wanted to change my focus. I also had tons of other ideas coming into my head about things I could make as a result of all the energy I had from making the earrings. The scattered interests gave me the feeling that maybe I just wasn’t up to a business at all. The same thought kept returning to my brain: “Am I too easily distracted to do this?”
Luckily a close friend of mine shifted my mindset by saying, “What are you talking about?! You love learning new things, that’s all. People love new things just as much as they love old familiar things. Quit worrying and just create. If people buy something, great. If they don’t, you already know you’ll be making something new again eventually.”
So next I decided it was time to update my business name to something that was about more than glitter or tables. I wanted something reflective of me without using my name directly. Then I thought of the nickname my Antie always uses for me. My middle name is Rose, and matȟó means "bear" in Lakota, so my Antie always called me "Rosie Matȟó" or "Rosie Bear."
From there I worked with Open Space Creative to design a logo, which fueled my excitement. But I still felt hesitant about this whole business idea. Would I have time to do it all and keep things stocked on the site? How would I build time in around my full time work schedule and being a new mom? As I scrolled Instagram one night while cuddling my sleeping daughter, I saw an Indigenous designer I follow announce her upcoming fall line. And I realized, THAT’S IT! I can do seasonal product lines!
So on August, 30th 2020, in honor of my daughter’s first birthday, the very first Rosie Matȟó product line launched. A complete experiment in sharing my creative work with the world. If you’re reading this, thank you for being part of this experiment with me.
And thank you to my daughter for inspiring me to be more intentional about creating the next chapters of my life using passion more and fear less, to my Dad for taking care of my daughter (and her parents!) every day in a million different ways, to my partner for his constant and loving encouragement, to my Mama for the sense of curiosity I inherited from her (along with so much love and support), my Antie for unknowingly coining the business name, and last but certainly not least, the numerous artists who have encouraged me, offered guidance and advice, and made me feel like the future is full of possibility.