Support Black-Owned Small Businesses this Holiday Season!

Posted on November 23, 2021

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Ever since last spring, there has been an uprise in support for Black-owned businesses, especially those that are local to the community. Whether that is buying their products or helping them grow their social media presence, people have been actively seeking out these businesses. But sometimes it isn’t always the easiest to find these businesses on the Internet. 

That’s why Kerin John created an Instagram page to showcase local Black-owned businesses called “Black Owned Toronto.” The success of the page has even allowed them to open two retail stores, a pop-store at the Toronto Eaton Centre and another long-term store at Scarborough Town Centre. 

From a CTV news article, John created a New Year’s resolution goal to support more Black-owned small businesses in 2020. She used her skills in photography and graphic design to create her Instagram page to display Black entrepreneurs in Toronto. John highlighted different products and services from a variety of local Black creators that people could shop at.  Her website created a space for shoppers to easily find Black-owned products and purchase them. The fun and colourful graphics drew the attention of many in the city and quickly grew her follower count to 70,000. 

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With her large following, she has expanded her online directory to feature Black entrepreneurs from across Canada. The website features 130 vendors and over 500 products that have also been put on the shelves of Black Owned Toronto’s physical stores. Shoppers can get their products delivered to them or pick them up at their Scarborough Town Centre location.  John’s success was a side effect of the rise in support for the Black community after the Black Lives Matter protests last spring. It allows for the continuation of supporting the Black community right here in Toronto. 

John hopes to expand her online directory to 1,000 businesses and open more physical locations across Canada. She wants to provide more opportunities and spaces for these Black-owned small businesses to showcase their amazing products and allow their voices to be heard. With the continued success of Black Owned Toronto and its supporters, it doesn’t seem hard to achieve John’s goals. 

In-store and online, Black Owned Toronto has everything from home decor, skincare, apparel, and even food! It features children’s books, hair products, and artwork all from Black creators. When I visited the Toronto Eaton Centre’s location, I was in awe. The space was beautifully decorated and there was a wide variety of products. People from all ethnicities were browsing the store and admiring everything that it had to offer. The artwork on the walls was inspiring and eye-catching, while the shelves featured high-quality products that appealed to all ages. It is inspiring to see so many people interested in supporting Black-owned businesses and doing their part to support this community of people. 

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These locally made products make the perfect gifts for this upcoming holiday season! Especially with the Eaton Centre being located right beside X University’s campus, students can visit the store and support local Black-owned small businesses! Don’t forget to follow their Instagram page and check out their website!

Posted in Blog.

Sophia (she/her) is a first-year Media Production student who is very excited to join SpiritLive this year. She loves to capture life’s little moments through videos and film photography, all the while attending concerts and grabbing bubble tea. With a passion for connecting with others, she hopes to learn more about the community here and listen to their stories.