If you're looking for some Black owned businesses to support now and forevermore, here are 10 businesses that I would recommend. Financially supporting Black-owned businesses in Canada is one of the many things that we can do to help redistribute wealth within the Black community in the fight against financial inequality and systemic oppression. The 10 that I've listed are all within an affordable range and offer unique products and services. With that being said, I've also included a link at the bottom of this article that includes a comprehensive list of thousands of other Black owned businesses all across Canada that you can support.
This is another Canadian nail company based in Ottawa that I am so glad that I discovered. BabyDollKlaws just launched their business back in May 2020 and they offer luxury nails and salon quality WITHOUT the salon time.
I really adored their work because they offer such unique designs for such a reasonable price. The best part is that their press on nails come with an application kit that includes alcohol wipe, buffer, cuticle pusher, AND nail glue. All of those are so useful and I know they'll ensure that the press on nails last for as long as possible without damaging the actual nail.
The press on nail prices range from $30 CAD to $45 CAD depending on what you're ordering, but that's incredibly reasonable considering that I've paid $100 for nails before that ended up looking a hot mess anyways. Hand painted art costs $65, but it's totally worth the price. I also absolutely love the packaging. It's the type of packaging you receive when you buy cupcakes, so it just makes the overall presentation that much cuter and aesthetically pleasing.
Deliscious is a home-based Gourmet cookie company. When I discovered this company, I literally started to SHAKE. If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I've got an incredibly aggressive sweet tooth so discovering them was like discovering God's greatest gift. And, the fact that they're Canadian just makes this even more rewarding. They are based in Quebec, and require about 2 days notice before sending out an order, but you can guarantee that they WILL use high-quality ingredients.
They specialize in injected cookies and prep flavoured cookies, but they can also create basic cookies just as well.
When asked what inspired them to start on this journey, they replied: "I love baking cookies but what really prompted me to begin this journey was being on maternity leave. I took the full 78 weeks off and wanted to make sure I had extra money on the side to save for my daughter. However, I did not expect for my business to be growing at such a rapid pace. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to expanding my menu in terms of flavors and adding vegan cookies."
The range of prices vary depending on your order, but you can always email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. They only offer pick up and delivery at the moment, but they're hoping to offer nationwide delivery by the end of 2020.
3. Atelier Sirah
This brand (ateliersirah.com) offers minimalist skincare and cosmetics products. They offer products both for the body and the lips. Some of their body products include a glow face serum, coconut body butter, and a brown sugar body scrub which range from $17 CAD to $25CAD, unless you purchase the $48 CAD bundle.
You can guarantee that after using these products not only will your skin feel more nourished and catered to, but you'll smell delicious too. You really cannot go wrong with brown sugar or coconut. They also offer various kinds of lip glosses. The lip glosses they offer, which are all $10 CAD, are perfect when you're going for a more neutral, soft glam or natural look. God knows how many nude lipsticks and lip glosses I've run through over the past years and have yet to find one that actually suits my face and makes my lips feel comfortable.
Judging by the reviews I've seen of this brand, I can tell that the natural, vegan products they use really make your lips look popping and healthy without the unnecessary addition of dangerous chemicals that can lead to negative effects afterwards.
4. Black Sun Comics
This is for all of my Black needs out there. I can sympathize with those who look like me and grew up wanting to see more Black superheroes at the forefront of these Fantasy universes. And, don't get me wrong, I know that there are a lot, but I also know that there can be more. So, imagine my surprise when I discovered this Black Sun Comics, which is an Afrofuturist comic series about a group of unlikely heroes who must band together to defend their home from a mysterious, invading alien armada. Black Sun is set in the fantasy realm of Alkebulan.
Their comics are only $8, so if you're interested in delving into this fantastical world of action, suspense, and Afrofuturism, you should give Black Sun Comics a chance. Representation is important after all and I'm very proud of them for channeling their passion for Black representation in Fantasy worlds into something so unique like this.
Okay, first of all, period. Strawberriesbynyota is a dessert shop based in Quebec and I can already tell these strawberries SLAP. They offer boxes of that range between 4 to 30 that are priced between $8 CAD to $60 CAD.
They also offer strawberry bouquets that range from $28 CAD to $62 CAD. On top of that, they also offer variety boxes that include strawberries, pretzels, etc.
To make things even better, they also offer so many different types of chocolate, toppings, colours, and stuffings. They also regularly offer giveaways, so make sure you follow them on social media to stay up to date for when that does happen so you can participate in the next one.
ARTWITHANAK offers colourful yarn art on a canvas and it's just absolutely beautiful. I really don't know what else to say except that you need to look at these creations yourself.
I've actually never seen yarn art before, so to see how amazing these pieces are and how much time, effort, and passion must go into crafting them made my jaw drop. You can follow him on social media to keep up to date as to when his commissions open/close to receive customs pieces and how much they'll be. Additionally, some of the items on the page are actually for sale, so you can check the description of the item to see if it's been SOLD or not.
If you'd like to know more about the artist, check out this introduction video:
7. Dr. Sarah Raughley (Author of 'The Effigies' Trilogy)
Sarah Raughley is a well-renowned author and academic who grew up in Southern Ontario writing stories about freakish little girls with powers because she secretly wanted to be one. She is a huge fangirl of anything from manga to sci-fi/fantasy TV to Japanese role-playing games, but she will swear up and down at book signings that she was inspired by Jane Austen. On top of being a Young Adult writer, Sarah has a PhD in English, which makes her doctor, so it turns out she didn’t have to go to medical school after all.
Her academic research dissects race in popular culture, youth culture, studies across the African diaspora, and many more. She wrote a series titles, "The Effigies." The Effigies series basically asks, what if the Sailor Scouts from Sailor Moon were celebrities – like influencers – and they had to fight monsters under the public eye? For the Effigies, when one dies, another takes their place, so it didn’t make sense to me that they would all be of one race, or from the same country, since any girl in the world could suddenly be “called to action.”
Fantasy has, for a long time, focused on white characters in Eurocentric settings, but I think nowadays people are starting to see the value of telling different kind of stories starring different kind of heroes and heroines. All kinds of kids of all kinds of races read, so they need to be able to see themselves represented in media to know that they matter.
When I asked, "What are some of the barriers you have faced being a black academic and a black, female author in Canada? Are there things that you have to do to overcome them?" She said, "I actually think Canada has given me the most support when it comes to promoting my work. I do see American publishers picking up books from more and more black authors, but I’m not sure they’re getting quite the same marketing support as their white peers. There are exceptions, of course. However, since the industry is very Eurocentric, they may have somewhat narrow ideas as to the certain kinds of “black books” they want to sell and push, which means it becomes a race to try to conform or else you may not get the support you’re looking for. "
So, make sure you support Black creators, including Black authors because their creations matter!
8. Dahnai Beauty
It's the way that Canadians are just packed to the brim with so much TALENT. This cosmetics brand, Dahnai Beauty, is a beauty company that specializes in handmade lip glosses, lip oils and lip scrubs, using only the best ingredients in their homemade products.
They pride themselves in offering products that are vegan AND cruelty free. Whether you're looking for a vibrant, pink lip gloss, highlighter most, or a hydrating lip mask, they've got it ALL. What I appreciate the most is how affordable these products are. There's nothing more painful than discovering a brand that offers organic products then checking the price to find out it would literally cost a limb just to buy a sample. Just about everything on their product list is between $6.99 to $18.99, however, they offer a Dahnai Beauty Mystery Box with 5 different lip glosses in it for just $34.99. You're saving a whole $20 right there, but it's currently sold out, so make sure you stay up to date with their social media to find out when it will be back in stock.
YDSBEAUTY is a nail-technician and nail artist based in Quebec. As we've been in quarantine for months now, a lot of us have been going through it a little bit with our nail care and have been in desperate need for a change. However, since we can't and shouldn't be going out right now for non-essential reasons (unless it's to protest or work), we haven't had the opportunity to get our nails dolled up. But, look no further!! YDSBEAUTY offers custom press on nails for such an affordable price.
All you have to do is show her a picture of the kind of style and colour you're looking for and she will recreate it for you. And, because she's so dedicated to her craft, she gets to work on it IMMEDIATELY so that you can receive your package at least within a week. Amazon is literally shaking. The best part is that Canada wide shipping is ONLY $6. That sounds like such a good deal to me.
When I reached out to YDSBEAUTY as to why they do what they do, they said "I have wanted to work for myself since I was little. I've tried different things in life, like law, health, and so on. But, I was never satisfied. I have always been in love with the beauty industry mainly because of my grandmother who had a ton of makeup, nails, and things like that. The first time, I did nails was on a friend waaay back in high school so I was scared when I first started but then again nothing is easy. I'm still learning. I'm still a beginner, but I love pretty nails. It makes a HUGE difference on someone’s attitude."
So, if you're looking to recreate your dream nail style, but don't know where to turn to or how to do it yourself, make sure to check out YDSBEAUTY.
10. Words & Wonders
Words & Wonders strives to develop bold & colorful stationery, incorporating heartfelt messages with an afro-inspired aesthetic, perfect to be used for all occasions.
They sell everything from bookmarks, gift certificates, puzzles, and gift wrapping all with an Afrocentric touch which I absolutely adore. The prices are all between $5 - $16 CAD and can be purchased through ETSY. Their goods are located in stores all the way from France to Toronto and Montreal. Inspired by the simple joy of giving and receiving handwritten notes, Words & Wonders’ mission is to deliver beautiful stationery to enhance life’s noteworthy moments. They are on a mission of filling the gap of diversity in stationery design and educational toys (ex. puzzles).
They strive to develop bold and colorful stationery that expresses heartfelt messages with an afro-inspired aesthetic, perfect to be used for all occasions. Their first line of products specializes in one-of-a-kind greeting cards and wrapping paper featuring vibrant traditional and contemporary patterns from the Motherland that will help you leave a beautiful imprint. Deliver meaningful messages in a creative and delightful way! Each card holds a special gift on the back where you will find inspirational and powerful quotes from black writers. More than a greeting card, what you get is a piece of art in every envelope. Words & Wonders looks forward to brightening your days with unique designs for those special events worth celebrating.
Thank you for reading this article! Please remember that if you are going to support Black-owned businesses, that you shouldn't just do it one time and be done with it. Continue to support those within and outside of your community, uplift marginalized voices, and financially support them every chance you can. For more Black-Owned Canadians you can support, check out https://www.afrobiz.ca. They are Canada's MOST comprehensive directory of black owned businesses & black entrepreneurs.