Black history month is so important because it helps us to acknowledge and appreciate those who have paved the way for us as well as those who are currently carving out paths. Although learning about Black history during this month is great, it’s really about learning all year around which helps us to understand and honour the legacy of those who have come before us.
Black businesses and creators you need to know!
As Signed by Dahliah is in the Candian fashion and design space, so too are a lot of the brands that we will feature in this post. We also mention resources and shops where you can support Black businesses.
J.N Pattern - Designer specializing in high end coats
Previously known as My Coat is blue, J.N Patten is designed and manufactured in Toronto, Canada. J.N.PATTEN elevates winter wardrobes with their stylish luxury outerwear for men and women. Natasha is the amazing mind behind the brand and brings over 15 years of custom clothing experience, and a signature architectural style of clean lines and sleek fit to J.N.PATTEN.
Rhowan James - Men’s designer
Instagram: @Rhowan James
The eponymous brand Rhowan James was nominated for Toronto Men’s Fashion Week (*TOM) Emerging Menswear Designer Award. Showing his first black and gold collection with 10 looks, he won the award and was the last winner of this award in *TOM history. His beautifully put together collections are fresh and deserving of some serious attention.
Gdwn - Bucket Hats +
Pronounced “Godwin”, this brand produces reversible bucket hats that will match your entire sneaker collection! As Gwdn grows they are starting to create apparel as well.
Alexis Eke - Artist
Alexis Eke is an illustrator based in Toronto, Ontario. Inspired by renaissance portraits, her faith and earth tones — she aims to increase the representation of black women in design and offer a space for deep reflection. Her clients include Adidas, Bloomberg, CBC, Canada Goose, Google, Nike Jordan, Raptors, Shea Moisture.
The Creator House by Jaylah A'Drianna H. - Artist
Created by 16 year old Jaylah A'Drianna, she articulates in her about page that "In art there's everything, and in everything there's art." Her beautiful portraits evoke the best of emotions and although she's young, she's already partnered with companies like Walmart to create a shopping tote with her artwork on it.
Tuque Daddy and Housecoat Mommy
TikTok: @tuquedaddy & @housecoatmommy
With an impressive tiktok following of 600k at the time of this writing, his most popular tiktok is a video called soothing magic where he soothes his adorable baby boy in 18 seconds flat. His videos center around lots of topics however a lot of them are about his family.
Housecoat Mommy, who started the tiktok game a bit later than her husband, boasts a following of about 102k and also shares lots of family content including tidbits about her twin which is fascinating.
Resources & Where to buy Black owned in the GTA
CBCC- Canadian black chamber of commerce
I would say the CBCC encompasses a whole lot of resources all rolled into one organization and to really get the gist of what they do you need to check out their website and spend some time browsing through it, because they do a lot. If there's one resource as a Black business you need to look out for it's them.
From their about page:
Through the tireless work of the CBCC, we will inspire the next great minds and innovators who will emerge from the Black Canadian Community to foster greater economic prosperity for the Black Diaspora and for all Canadians. In 2022 The CBCC launched the Elevate Black Business program. Our Business Advisors serve to elevate entrepreneurs through programming, mentorship, advocacy, promotion, and investment in their training and development. The Black entrepreneurial community has long been disenfranchised by the effects of systemic racism. The Canadian Black Chamber of Commerce endeavours through this program and funded by the Government of Canada to “level the playing field” and provide Start-up and established Black entrepreneurs with the supports needed to help their businesses succeed.
NACAA - Newmarket African Caribbean Association
From their about page:
The Newmarket African Caribbean Canadian Association (NACCA) first began as an idea that Black and oppressed communities must have access to resources and opportunities for advancement. On May 5, 2018, a group of community members came together to discuss how we could build a more inclusive and connected Newmarket community. One pivotal point in the discussion was around a concern for youth, and how the organization can support a generational legacy of education, empowerment and unity that will foster pride in identity, culture and history for the people of African descent. We understood that there was also a need for rootedness and belonging, and a firm understanding of the past so that we can step boldly into the future. We concluded that growth and sustainability meant building strength, partnerships and intercultural understanding.
Black Designers of Canada
Multidisciplinary designer, entrepreneur and philanthropist George Sully, launches the first ever comprehensive index of Black designers in Canada.
“The purpose of Black Designers of Canada, a registered non-profit organization, is to both celebrate its designers as well as offer business owners, retailers, buyers, stylists and others an all-inclusive on-going resource of black talent supported and championed by our fellow Canadians hungry for change”. ~ George Sully
BAND (Black Artists’ Newtorks in Dialogue)
Dedicated to supporting, documenting and showcasing the artistic and cultural contributions of Black artists and cultural workers in Canada and internationally.
By Blacks - Black online magazine
Black Success GTA
To bring awareness to the existence of black excellence and black success in the GTA.
Black Owned Canada
Canada Black Owned Corp
Black Owned Toronto