Style Bee - Black-Owned Brands from Canada

BLACK-OWNED BRANDS FROM CANADA

06.09.20

Updated July 7, 2020.

It’s been incredible to see so many lists of Black-owned businesses making their way around the internet right now. Over the past week I’ve spent some time exploring designers from around the world and felt it would be helpful to create a directory that highlights some of the incredible Black-owned brands from Canada.

This list is by no means exhaustive but includes all the designers that I’ve personally bookmarked and felt that Style Bee readers would love to know about. This directory also covers an array of categories such as: jewelry, skin care, home goods and apparel (kids, lounge, active + more). As I continue to seek out and discover new ones I’ll be sure to add more.

Supporting Black-owned businesses is one way to help redistribute wealth in the fight for racial and financial equality. Whether it’s shopping, following on IG, signing up for a newsletter, engaging via comments or telling a friend, no act of support is too small. I hope you enjoy discovering these designers, curators and artists as much as me!


For a comprehensive compilation of Black-owned Canadian businesses outside of these categories, check out:

By Blacks directory

@BlackOwnedTO

Explore this comprehensive directory of artists, designers & brands compiled by @cadettejewelry (another personal favourite).

I discovered many of these brands through those three sources. A lot of the ones on this list are Toronto-based, which is the largest city near me, but I encourage you to seek out Black-owned brands and businesses in your city for more local options too.

Shopping for books? Be sure to visit A Different Booklist!

I’ve put together some international sources at the end of the post too!


27 BLACK-OWNED BRANDS FROM CANADA


JEWELRY DESIGNERS


ENARMOURED

Jordan Clarke is a Toronto-based designer creating wearable artwork through the medium of brass and silver. If you love a minimal statement accessory (as I sure do!) there are so many elegant options to choose from within the collection. These are the kind of pieces that add the perfect touch of interest to a simple outfit.

Check out my Friday Feature on the Mini Goddess Shield Earrings.


NOT MAGIC

The ethos behind this Toronto-based jewelry and accessories shop is rooted in artful minimalism. Not Magic creates and curates a thoughtful medley of playful earrings, elegant necklaces and timeless hair accessories, along with a line of minimal bags and wallets. Oh and don’t miss the delightful selection of mood rings!


OMI WOODS

OMI WOODS has appeared on A LOT of roundups featuring Black-owned business and I definitely see why. If you’ve been on the lookout for layering necklaces or minimal chains & ring stacks, you’re in luck! OMI WOODS was founded by Ashley Alexis McFarlane and each piece has historical & cultural significance behind it. All jewelry is individually and ethically handmade with fair-trade African gold and globally sourced conflict-free fine metals.


SKIN CARE & APOTHECARY


APPRENTI ÔR’GANIK

“From the Earth to your skin”. Apprenti Ôr’ganik is a luxurious therapeutic body care line made in Montreal with Canadian Hempseed and natural organic ingredients. This line offers, beautifully handcrafted bar soaps, elegantly scented organic body washes and the West Indies Eu de Parfum is officially on my wish list!


ATELIER SIRAH

This Montréal based and produced line of vegan & cruelty-free skincare and lip gloss has been selling like hotcakes. They keep the offering lean with 3 essential body care products and a minimal range of lip glosses. I’ve got my eye on the lip gloss in Blossom when they’re back in stock!


BAILLY FRAGRANCE

Co-Founders Ariel Gough and Edwina Govindsamy created Bailly Fragrance on 4 key principles: authenticity, empowerment, inclusivity & impact. Bailly currently offers 3 perfume oils that are coconut oil-based, which helps to create a soft scent that is not irritating or overpowering. Bailly fragrance oils are also free of harmful chemicals, such as parabens and phthalates, as well as cruelty-free and vegan.

$5 from every purchase goes to the Girl Power Project. Learn more about the cause here.


ESSENTIALS by TEMI

From body scrubs to butter creams to magical mists and elixirs, this line of plant-based skin care sounds every bit as divine as it does nourishing. After spending many years within the beauty retail industry, founder Temi Shobowale, gathered all of her product knowledge and decided to take matters into her own hands. The cedar & vanilla body scrub and the radiance elixir are both on my list. 

PS. Temi is also a make-up artist! Find her on IG @temi.shobowale


jELN

Crystal Rowe is the founder and owner of jELN, a Toronto-based, self-care line focused on natural beauty and positive energy. This thoughtfully curated skin care collection offers a range of products, each one carefully handmade with raw ingredients and essential oils. jELN ingredients are thoughtfully and sustainably sourced and a recycling program is available for local customers.


LUXCEY

LUXCEY founder Rose Gwet, has been perfecting her notion of skin care & massage rituals, an important legacy of her time spent in Cameroon. Beyond products, the ritual bar offers a complete sensory experience, which, I for one, cannot wait to experience next time I’m travelling to Montréal. LUXCEY is a thoughtful brand at every touchpoint, right from sourcing ingredients to choosing labels. Read more about the LUXCEY philosophy here.

Thanks to Emma for this reader recommendation!


SADE BARON

This modern line of body care offers unisex, clean, cruelty-free & high performance products, founded by a Mother-Daughter duo, Sade & Rachel. Beautiful bar soaps, sumptuous soufflé moisturizers, sustainably sourced body tools and curated sets make this brand one of my favourite discoveries for sure. This line also offers several fragrance free formulations for those sensitive to scents. 

I’ve ordered a few bar soaps, exfoliation pouches (for the fella & me) and a body mist I can’t wait to try.


SKIN DRAMA

Skin Drama is fighting hyperpigmentation and acne scars one face at a time. As someone who suffers from both of those this mission really spoke to me. With just 5 core products in this line it’s easy to create a skincare routine that will be simple and effective. Not to mention organic and cruelty-free! Next time I need to tune up my skincare regime, I know where to look.


For more Canadian Black-owned skin care brands check out this article from The Kit.


HOME GOODS

BATIQUA

BATIQUA is an interior accessories collection of artisan-made pillows, table runners, wall hangings and smaller table top textiles. Founded as a fair trade social enterprise with the mission to empower marginalized artisans into sustainable employment opportunities. All products are designed by BATIQUA founder Linda and produced by Zimbabwean artisans (watch the Zimbabwean Batik process here). I love this collection of bright, cheerful palettes and minimal, humanistic prints.


GOODEE

Founded by twin brothers Byron and Dexter Peart, GOODEE is a globally-sourced and thoughtfully curated marketplace where good design and good purpose come together. At GOODEE every item on offer is ethically made and transparently sourced with sustainability measures carefully assessed. Meet some of the many talented makers and read their stories here. Oh and good luck adding just one or two items to your cart from this epic array of worldly treasures.


KASANDY

Kasandy is a Vancouver, B.C. based boutique and online shop specializing in handmade, fair trade products & gifts made by artisans primarily from East Africa. You can learn more about how the brand’s founder, Jackee, is empowering global artisans through: capital, market visibility, sustainability and environmental impact in this story highlight.

I particularly like Kasandy’s handbag and basket collections but there are so many gems to explore.

Thanks to Charmaine for this reader recommendation!


APPAREL | FOOTWEAR | ACCESSORIES


ANDREA IYAMAH

Toronto-based Andrea Iyamah has popped up on lots of brand recommendations and it doesn’t take more than a glance to understand why. Founded by Dumebi Iyamah, the Andrea Iyamah team works together to ensure that stories are told through every piece created. Known best for a show stopping array of bold and iconic swimwear (the Mutoka two-piece is my personal favourite) with a RTW collection serves up stunning silhouettes (the Takwa dress is such a beauty).


BATIK BOUTIK

This collection is filled with energy and joy with it’s vibrant prints and palettes. Founded by Maya Amoah, BATIK BOUTIK is a brand that aims to showcase the incredible talent of artisans from Africa through fashion, accessories and decor with wares for all genders. Through a partnership between contemporary shapes and designs that are made in Ghana, West Africa, this line is all about individual expression. I particularly like the wrap tops and floaty dresses.


BOUSWARI

Inspired by the Senegalese and by other diverse African traditions and cultures, each Bouswari collection introduces a brand new African style.

By partnering with local artisans in Senegal, Bouswari creates leather goods that celebrate traditional craftsmanship blended with contemporary and practical designs.

My personal favourite styles are the Sandaga Tote and the Nafa Belt Bag.


DR. LIZA

Beautiful, luxurious high heels and flats that feel and function like sneakers.” Dr. Liza is a footwear & accessories line, founded by Dr. Liza Egbogah, designed in Canada and meticulously crafted in Brazil. All Dr. Liza footwear is built with with a comprehensive orthotic insole, a shock-absorbing platform, a rocker sole to alleviate metatarsal pressure, a non-skid rubber outsole and a deep heel cup to remedy pronation. These shoes are really made for all-day wear.

There are tons of fun colours and prints but my summer favourite is the Dr. Liza Sandal in Nude. The proportions are well balanced, the colour is a perfect neutral tone and the design is a timeless summer style with minimalist detailing.


CHERRY GARDENS

CHERRY GARDENS gets it’s name from a neighbourhood in Kingston, Jamaica and creates matching sets and separates for living your best life. These easy going pieces are minimal and versatile, perfect for days at home when you want comfort but with something special to it. Designed and produced in Toronto. I’m crossing my fingers that the Romeo Top comes back in my size because it would be a dream with wide leg pants.


KAELA KAY

Founder and designer, Catherine Addai, brings her Ghanian roots to a vibrant collection of prints and colours that come from and represent Africa through the Ankara textiles. Paired with classic shapes like a-line dresses, high waist lines and tiered skirts these pieces make for a striking collection of dresses and separates for everything from events to daily wear.

Kaela Kay stocks up to size US22 and will custom design for any size. All pieces are made-to-order by local Toronto seamstresses.

Currently offering face masks.


LOVE & NUDES

Canada’s 1st Black-owned inclusive range of skin tone intimates for people of colour. Love & Nudes has created a minimal line of moisture-wicking wireless bras with seamless cups and adjustable straps that feature a built-in racerback hook for extra lift, gentle support and no slip straps. Manufactured in a fair wage, woman-owned facility in Colombia.


MIKE PAUL ATELIER

This one is primarily for the fellas but a really great suit is something I’ve always dreamt of investing in for myself. Mike Paul Atelier offers bespoke suiting (that looks outrageously well made) and finely crafted leather goods. If you need a gift for Father’s day, take a look at the MPA gift bundles.

Currently offering face masks.


PETITS GENOUX

Petits Genoux is created for the littlest ones in our lives. Minimal designs, handmade from the softest natural cotton fibres for oh-so sensitive skin. Sizes range from 0 – 24 months. All made in Canada. I just wish they were made for adults too!


PRETTY DENIM

Founded by stylist Tahnee Lloyd-Smith, Pretty Denim takes the durability of traditional denim and pairs it with timeless tailoring. All of Pretty Denim’s garments are Made in Canada in a non-factory setting and the cotton is sourced from North American mills which ensures fair and ethical employee practices. I fell for the unique simplicity of this brands cuts and the exciting flourishes that make each piece a wearable work of art. Definitely keeping an eye on this one!


SAINT LYON

If you feel the same about fitness as I do, you’ll. probably agree that a great set makes for a major motivator to get your sweat on. I was so excited to discover Saint Lyons, lean line of sports bras, leggings and tees for the gym and beyond, all made in Canada. I fell for the pared down design with strategically placed support and how the colour ways are all so fresh and fun!

I pre-ordered the flex seamless legging & crop in salmon and can’t wait to test them out!


SELFISH SWIMWEAR

Selfish swimwear is sustainably made of ECONYL® yarn, which is 100% regenerated nylon yarn derived from pre and post industrial waste product (learn more here). Female founded by Naomie Caron, produced in Montreal and made to last, Selfish Swimwear believes that beauty comes from your inner confidence.


SUNDAY AFTERNOON

{ VINTAGE }

I had my fingers crossed that a great vintage shop might be hiding amongst the many roundups I was searching and to my delight, Sunday Afternoon appeared. Tune in on, you guessed it, Sunday afternoons, for freshly added vintage finds for your closet and home. Expect lots of lovely scarves, silk blouses, blazers and elegant table top gems like candle holders, vases and bowls.

FOLLOW & SHOP ON DEPOP


TUNE INTO MY ‘SHOP’ STORY HIGHLIGHT FOR AN ONGOING LIST OF BRANDS TO EXPLORE & SUPPORT, INCLUDING INDIGENOUS OWNED BUSINESSES FROM CANADA



Looking for international Black-owned businesses to explore & support?


Check out these resources:


Of course, if you have any recommendations, please let me know in the comments.


Thanks for tuning in!

I recognize that I should have been doing this work already, that’s on me to rectify and I look forward to using Style Bee as a platform to amplify the amazing work of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour owned brands going forward.

Please refer to my Anti-Racism Resources highlight on IG for a range of different ways that we can all take steps to show up better and do the work to support marginalized folks in our community.

Leave me a comment here!

  1. Samantha says:

    Yard + Parish is a curated online boutique that caters to women of colour and is a one-stop source to shop black owned brands from Canada and the UK. It’s run by two Jamaican – Canadian cousins with a luxurious island – inspired aesthetic. Check it out!

  2. Emma says:

    LUXCEY is an amazing Montréal based skin care company. Wonderful products. Rose (LUXCEY’s owner) is a sweetheart AND an amazing beauty ritual creator.

  3. Sonisha says:

    Thank you for this post! I am looking to collaborate with some great brands in my city and I found them here. Thank you 😊

  4. Nanci-jean Franks says:

    Thank you for this post. This would be such a great idea to showcase my local black-owned businesses in my city! Always a fan!

  5. Charmaine says:

    Kasandy is a great home goods and bags shop that just opened up in Vancouver. Their products are fair trade & made in Kenya.
    https://kasandy.com/