Small Business, Neighbourhood Gem: Toronto designer reopens shop sharing African-inspired fashion

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WATCH ABOVE: A Ghanaian-Canadian clothing designer has re-opened her brick-and-mortar shop offering African-inspired fashion. In our latest installment of “Small Business, Neighbourhood Gem,” Melanie Zettler visits Kaela Kay before its reopening.

On Saturday, small business owner Catherine Addai, the CEO and designer behind the authentic, African-inspired fashion brand Kaela Kay, reopened the doors of her Wilson Village shop in Toronto.

“When COVID hit, we were just launching a new collection … we decided to flip it and just do direct-to-consumer online,” said Addai.

The online customer base came through at a time when the future of most small businesses wasn’t secure.

With the store reopened, it’s offering consumers the ability to touch and feel the spring-summer 2020 collection featuring the authentic African-inspired fashion the award-winning designer has become known for.

“I really just wanted to just pay homage to my African roots through the prints,” said Addai.

“But I wanted to do it in a modern way for our generation who like fun, funky, beautiful clothing … showing the Ghanaian roots with my North American upbringing.”

Founding Executive Director Kelly Drennan of Fashion Takes Action, a not-for-profit established to advance sustainability in the fashion industry, nominated Kaela Kay for the Global News series, Small Business, Neighbourhood Gem.

“I love the colours and the style and the femininity of the cut but it was also made here in Canada,” said Drennan.

“From an environmental perspective, when you make things locally there’s a lot less transportation, so there’s a lower carbon footprint involved.”

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Melanie Zettler Global News
Posted July 9, 2020 2:34 pm Updated July 13, 2020 1:28 pm

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