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A shopping guide to discover new black-owned or black-led brands

Published Feb 06, 2024  •  6 minute read

Celebrating Black-own and Black-led businesses. Photo by Getty Images

Supporting Black businesses is easier than you might think. According to Statistics Canada, there are nearly 145,000 Black-owned businesses in Canada alone, with many more being founded across the country each day. When we support Black businesses, we’re supporting Canadians who are building better futures for communities as diverse as the make up of our country. The best part is that we can support these businesses all year round. By doing so, we’re celebrating the legacy of Black Canadians and creating new legacies to come, hence the theme of Canada’s 2024 Black History Month ” Black Excellence: A Heritage to Celebrate, a Future to Build.”

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Here’s a list of Black-founded or Black-led brands and highlighted products for your every need — from hair care to home decor and everything in between. We’ve also featured brands founded or based in Canada.

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Topicals — Hydrating and Soothing Mist

Topicals Like Butter Body Hydrating and Soothing Mist for Dry, Sensitive and Eczema-Prone Skin. Photo by TOPICALS

Why we love it: When Olamide Olowe co-founded Topicals in 2015, all she wanted to do was create a brand for skin with chronic conditions. Today, at just 27 years old, she’s the youngest black woman to raise $10M in venture capital funding. This hydrating mist is a game changer for anyone struggling with dry, eczema-prone skin.

Price: $30
Where to buy: Sephora | Topicals

‘Black Cake’ — a novel by Charmaine Wilkerson

‘Black Cake.’ Photo by Indigo

Why we love it: If you’re a fan of black cake — the popular Caribbean cake made of fruits, rum, and brandy — you might also be a fan of this compelling novel by Charmaine Wilkerson, following the story of a family of Caribbean immigrants in America uncovering family secrets after the death of their matriarch. If the name sounds familiar, yes, this is the book that was recently made into a television show of the same name.

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Price: $24.95
Where to buy: Amazon | Indigo

SmithErickson — SmithErickson Jacinta Stoneware Vase

SmithErickson Jacinta Stoneware Vase. Photo by SMITHERICKSON

Why we love it: Dynamic duo Stephanie Smith and Jenelle Erickson have used their shared love of travel, fashion, and architecture to build an interior design studio renowned across Canada. Through this speckled ceramic vase, you can bring a taste of the SmithErikson aesthetic into your home. As a bonus, SmithErickson has a curated home decor collection available at The Bay.

Price: $70
Where to buy: SmithErickson

Melissa x Telfar — Medium Jelly Shopper

Melissa x Telfar Medium Jelly Shopper. Photo by Browns

Why we love it: If you don’t know Telfar by name, you’ve surely seen their signature bags (ultra mini to extra large) in the hands of anyone who loves fashion, in part due to the brand’s commitment to accessible pricing. This bag, in collaboration with sustainable jelly brand Melissa, brings the best of both design worlds in one and joins the list of Telfar collaborations that includes Moose Knuckles, UGG, Converse and more.

Price: $250
Where to buy: Browns | Telfar

Blair + Jack — Anti-Bump Treatment

Blair + Jack Anti-Bump Treatment. Photo by Blair + Jack

Why we love it: This one’s for the boys. After watching her husband struggle with painful razor bumps, Canadian board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Bimpe Ayeni created a brand formulated for men’s most common skin concerns. For those suffering from irritation and razor bumps, Blair + Jack’s Anti-Bump Treatment uses Azelaic acid to smoothen the skin and prevent future irritation.

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Price: $45
Where to buy: Blair + Jack

Briogeo — Farewell Frizz Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioner

Briogeo Farewell Frizz Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioner. Photo by Sephora

Why we love it: This clean beauty brand was inspired by the childhood memories of founder Nancy Twine and her mother (a doctor and chemist) concocting hair treatments in their kitchen. Briogeo works for all hair types and textures, but for those with curly hair in particular, this leave-in treatment will help control the dryness and humidity that often causes frizz.

Price: $34
Where to buy: Sephora

KINApparel — Black Pepper Long Utility Puffer

KINApparel Black Pepper Long Utility Puffer. Photo by KINAPPAREL

Why we love it: Inspired by her Ghanaian, content creator Philomina Kane, built KINApparel, where KIN stands for Keep it Naturally. KINApparel specializes in satin-lined apparel from hoodies to onesies, like this long lightweight puffer coat that transforms into a tote.

Price: $405
Where to buy: KINApparel

FORVR Mood — Champagne Showers Candle

FORVR Mood Champagne Showers Candle. Photo by Sephora

Why we love it: For those who learned how to do makeup through YouTube, you’ll recognize Jackie Aina as an OG makeup guru who began influencing before it even had a name. Aina’s cruelty and paraben-brand FORVR Mood candles burn for 65 hours, so you can smell the fresh, citrusy scent of this Champagne Showers candle for nights on end.

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Price: $51.50
Where to buy: Sephora

Isrealla Kobla — Azad Cap Sleeve Midi Dress

Isrealla Kobla Azad Cap Sleeve Midi Dress. Photo by ISRAELLA KOBLA

Why we love it: Engineer turned fashion designer Emefa Kuadey created the Toronto-based brand using sewing techniques she learned from her aunt during an extended visit in 2012. Today, the brand creates all pieces in small batches with local Canadian sewers, all made to order to reduce production waste.

Price: $549
Where to buy: The Bay | Israella Kobla

Studio Anansi — Arc Bronze Brown Velvet Bench

Studio Anansi Arc Bronze Brown Velvet Bench. Photo by CB2

Why we love it: Studio Anansi, whose name is inspired by a spiderlike figure in West African and Caribbean folklore, was established in 2018 by Canadian-born designer Evan Jerry. Jerry uses a love of storytelling and exploration to create unexpected sculptural objects, many of which can be seen in his collaboration with CB2.

Price: $2,599
Where to buy: CB2

My Sticky Little Secret The Complete My Sticky Little Secret Set

My Sticky Little Secret ‘The Complete My Sticky Little Secret Set.’ Photo by MY STICKY LITTLE SECRET

Why we love it: As the long-awaited first product launch from Canadian content creator Raschelle Smith Clare (popularly known as Ms Rosh Posh), My Sticky Little Secret is a line of wig-related hair care and styling tools  (with a cheeky name) that help you achieve the flawless styling finish Clare’s most viral videos are most known for. This set includes everything you need to get started, including skin protector, glue, edge brushes and lace glue remover.

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Price: $99.99
Where to buy: My Sticky Little Secret

Fear of God Essentials Green Drawstring Sweatpants

Fear of God ‘Green Drawstring Sweatpants.’ Photo by HOLT RENFREW

Why we love it: Jerry Lorenzo Manuel Jr. (yes, son of famed MLB star Jerry Manuel) started Fear of God after pivoting to fashion after a career in corporate sports, party promotion and marketing. What started as a menswear fashion brand focused on minimalist t-shirts and athleisure has now become a luxury streetwear staple, mostly recently adding gender-neutral and womenswear items to their collection.

Price: $130
Where to buy: Holt Renfrew | SSENSE

It’s Souper Moroccan Chickpea & Chicken Stew

It’s Souper ‘Moroccan Chickpea and Chicken Stew.’ Photo by IT’S SOUPER

Why we love it: Nothing like a good Dragon’s Den success story. Lola Adeyemi danced her way onto Dragon’s Den (watch the pitch to see more) and left with $180,000 for 20 per cent of her brand of Nigerian-inspired soups, sauces, and stews. Now, the Richmond Hill, Ontario-based brand’s products are available in food retailers across Canada, including Whole Foods, Sobey’s and McEwan.

Price: $44.99
Where to buy: It’s Souper

Shea Moisture — Intensive Hydration Conditioner

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Shea Moisture Manuka Honey and Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Conditioner Photo by SHOPPERS DRUG MART

Why we love it: Shea Moisture’s rich history reaches as far back as 1912, when the founder’s grandmother began selling shea butter soaps in a village market in Sierra Leone. With Manuka honey as the main ingredient in this product line, this Shea Moisture conditioner has become a holy grail product for hair stylists (and at-home hair care enthusiasts) who want to give a moisture boost to extremely dry hair.

Price: $16.99
Where to buy: Shoppers Drug Mart | Well.ca

Daily Paper — Rajub Quilted Jacket

Daily Paper ‘Rajub Quilted Jacket.’ Photo by FARFETCH

Why we love it: Based in Amsterdam, this streetwear brand has been an industry favourite for artists around the world, most recently seen on Beyonce, who (along with her dancers and production crew, wore custom Daily Paper tracksuits throughout her most recent Renaissance tour.

Price: $329
Where to buy: Farfetch | Due West

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