Kerry Chipsea

Kerry Chipsea
The Dreamers Art and Cafe
OTDC ACE-IT Graduate

Kerry Chipesia is an entrepreneur who graduated from the Okanagan's ACE-IT program in 2020. As a passionate artist, Kerry wishes to start a brick-and-mortar café and art gallery in Vernon, BC, where she will display her pieces and serve great coffee and cuisine. Kerry's paintings are mostly inspired by her visions and dreams; she plans on naming the café 'Dreamers Art and Café.'

Kerry explains that she is from the Beaver Tribe of the Prophet River First Nations, located by the northern Rockies who "have healing, traditional songs and natural resources" such as wild berries and other herbal medicine.  She explains that she is part of the 'Dreamers,' which are protectors who have visions of the future. The ‘Dreamers’ serve to heal others and make the Tribe stronger. Ever since she was young, Kerry would paint while the other kids played outside; she tried to capture her "thoughts and feelings" through her pieces. Coming from a large household with a single mother, Kerry grew up surrounded by 5 sisters and 3 brothers, and now she has 4 children of her own. She describes the community she comes from as well-connected since it is very small with only 208 residents.


In the move to transition her idea into a business, Kerry has begun to develop her company's logo during the I-ACE program. She explains that the logo is meant to represent the Indigenous style of the café and the good health that it will bring to people. Kerry plans to create a website where she will feature her own Indigenous art and introduce other Indigenous artists' work, which will be available for purchase. Moving forward, she wishes to broaden her reach to introduce her art to different individuals and companies.


During the I-ACE program, Kerry has mapped out a business plan for her café as a way to move her ideas forward strategically. To start, she wants to travel to Indigenous communities around BC and introduce them to her business concept and allow them to join her website and promote their talent. To increase traffic on her website, she wants to create ads on social media, primarily targeting Instagram and Facebook. Kerry hopes to participate as a vendor at local markets to introduce and sell her paintings. In addition to painting, Kerry is also skilled with woodwork, knitting, crochet and beadwork. Her end goal is to use the momentum from word of mouth and social media advertising to introduce her work and meet others in the community who want to be a part of the café.


Kerry has already thought-out Dreamers Art and Café's menu. She wants to sell healthy foods, including homemade soups, tacos, bannock with jam, and a weekly roots and deer stew special. For her café's beverages, she wants to sell homemade herbal teas from Indigenous gardens and partner with a local coffee business. Kerry describes her future café saying it will be a peaceful environment where people can be surrounded by "beautiful art while other people tell stories of Aboriginal history and art." She notes that the customers "will have their heart, bellies and souls filled." Kerry also wants to be able to provide a welcoming atmosphere where other nations can “come over and tell their story." Creating a café is a way for Kerry to combine her passion for food, coffee and painting.


Throughout the I-ACE program, Kerry has been able to undertake market research, devise a business plan, and begin developing her brand. She is still working to complete her website and upload her inventory online. While she's currently in the research phase, Kerry will soon be able to apply the valuable skills that she has learned over the course to help her future business grow. We at the I-ACE program are confident that Kerry has many great things coming in the future!

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