There's no question collectively navigating Covid-19 has prompted many of us to spend a lot more time inside our homes, whether that's in the kitchen learning how to bake a new carbohydrate like many Canadians Embracing The Hipsteading Movement During The Pandemic, or firing off emails in the nook you've created after you proceeded to Upgrade Your 'Work From Home' Space With These Terrific Canadian Designs. And, if you're anything like me, all the extra time I previously spent commuting to and fro has been dedicated to the prospect of redecorating my home, which pairs nicely with my recent Netflix obsessions of watching Dream Home Makeover and Home Edit.
But beyond the necessary precautions we've had to adapt to flatten the curve of the coronavirus, there's been several critically-important shifts occurring both socially and culturally right now. This includes addressing the systemic racism that is at the root of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. So if there was ever a time to support Black Canadians and spend intentionally, it would be now.
Here are five Canadian black-owned design companies that offer some spectacular items for your consideration (or condo).
1-Black Rooster Maison, Toronto, Ontario
When you want your living room to look like it stepped out of the pages of Vogue, look no further than Toronto's independently owned Black Rooster Maison. Their carefully curated fashion-forward home furnishings are so dreamy that it literally feels like a one-stop-shop for those who know the difference between a chandelier and a pendant.
Image courtesy of Black Rooster Maison
2-GOODEE, office located Montreal, Quebec
You might recognize twin brothers Byron and Dexter Peart as co-founders of uber-chic brand Want Les Essentiels. Well, the duo is back at it with GOODEE, an online marketplace for ethically made and transparently sourced homewares and lifestyle products for better living. GOODEE’s ethos is a belief in good people, good design, and good impact...But good God, where did all my money go?
Image courtesy of GOODEE
3-Deaj Designs, Toronto, Ontario
How often in our modern vocabulary do we use the words "cheap" and "cheerful" when referring to an heirloom? For those that believe in creating something to be passed down through the generations, Daej Hamilton of Daej Designs creates handcrafted wood pieces that will stand the test of time. The imperfect bowls are a welcome addition to any table, and always a healthy reminder that a few knots in your wood build character.
Image courtesy of Daej Designs
4-Nomadic Citizen, Toronto, Ontario
If you’re looking for new pieces to cure your wanderlust, then you’re going to want to visit Nomadic Citizen's website ASAP. Inspired by travel and indigenous cultures, Kisha collaborates with artisans in rural areas to create fair wages and safe working environments. Of course, collaborating with artisans in hard to reach places is not without its challenges. Items are in limited quantity and sell out fast (at the time of writing almost every item is sold out!). So make sure you follow Nomadic Citizen online for new launch details.
Image courtesy of Nomadic Citizen
5-Batiqua, Vancouver, British Columbia
Batiqua was founded as a fair trade social enterprise with the mission to empower marginalized artisans into sustainable employment opportunities. With a premium aesthetic, Batiqua’s pillows and table runners are elevating the handmade craft. It’s also the perfect way to upgrade a couch that has been seeing more and more of you these days. Betcha can't buy just one!
Image courtesy of Batiqua
With everyone adapting to a "new normal," now is the time to also invite reflection on our consumer habits and the role we play (or don't) in our communities. Money is power, and by spending it intentionally, supporting not only local firms but Black-owned businesses, then we can contribute to a change that is well overdue.
Short on funds right now? There are other totally free ways to support Black-Owned businesses without adding anything to your shopping cart. Engage black-owned businesses on Instagram, sign up for their newsletters, or promote their products, services, and designs to your social world. Let people know you're extending your love for their work, and encourage others to do the same. After all, it all starts, with you.
Inspired to make a change and support others? Check out these Houseporn.ca posts about other Canadian communities:
Researched and written by Sarah Wright, freelance writer, design enthusiast, and work from home expert.