Yvonne Jobin, Moonstone Creation's founder, is originally from High Prairie, Alberta but moved to Calgary in 1994. Always a creative, Yvonne left behind a career in corporate finance to focus on creating and selling her art and teaching in-person workshops. Among other things, she taught traditional drum making, hide tanning classes and offered beading retreats on weekends. Yvonne's reputation as an artist grew as she began designing custom parkas for clients in Northern Alberta and custom beaded moccasins made with authentic moose hide. She soon elevated what was once seen as a 'craft' to where it belonged—an art form.
"I believe that by sharing the stories, history and unique methods our people used to create beautiful artefacts, we would build bridges and raise awareness and appreciation of Native American culture and the arts."
–Yvonne Jobin, Cree
Meanwhile, her young daughter Amy tagged along wherever Yvonne went, whether to a tradeshow or weekend classes, always learning and growing as an artist. In 2009, after Amy had her son Colton, she decided she didn't want to return to her day job and chose to join Yvonne in the business. It seemed like a natural next step for Yvonne and Amy to open their own gallery and Moonstone Creation was launched as a family business in the vibrant community of Inglewood in Calgary, Alberta. Yvonne’s niece Kim Brothers, also joined in the business, and began creating art for the shop, helping to manage the day-to-day operations and the social media channels.
As Yvonne trained more and more students, the Moonstone family grew, and Yvonne and Amy brought in work from other Indigenous artists to sell in the gallery. Moonstone Creation soon became a vibrant hub for Indigenous art in Calgary and beyond. Amy, a talented artist in her own right, became a passionate champion for Moonstone Creation and was a joyful, welcoming presence in the shop and online as she shared the latest Moonstone products with an ever-growing community.
With Amy's sudden passing in January 2021, Moonstone Creation was challenged to find its way forward. But the close family ties and strong community have helped the business continue to create and celebrate Indigenous art and artists. Yvonne's niece Tina Brothers, supports the business as a sales associate and helps sister Kim to deliver Moonstone Creation’s classes.
"I've always been adamant about helping to promote and preserve the culture through the arts, through all of the classes, and the beautiful things we create."
–Yvonne Jobin, Cree