GRAPHIC BY SARA SHEIKH / THE SPUTNIK PHOTOGRAPHY
It is Black History Month; a time to embrace and empower local Black entrepreneurs.
There are multiple ways students can support the Black community, such as by educating themselves on Black history and issues Black people deal with.
Knowledge is power and when it is applied, people are no longer ignorant to Black struggles and challenges that they have endured in history and continue to face.
This was evident during the past year through the death of George Floyd which resulted in public protests worldwide.
If one does not understand their history, then they are blinded by the perpetuating prejudices and stereotypes that exist today.
Slavery was abolished many years ago but racism is still present today, which is evident in the social issues that Black people continue to experience.From police brutality to institutionalized racism, it can be very overwhelming to be a person of colour.
However, in this community there are Black women with thriving businesses and big aspirations.
Esther Joseph, a fourth-year law and society student at Laurier Brantford, is a talented hairstylist who loves doing hair and is good at her craft.
Photo of Esther Joseph / Contributed Image
As with other small businesses, the pandemic has slowed her down a bit but she has extended her line and created more services with an emphasis on creativity.
Nsoromma Hair, continues to market and sell an exceptional line that embraces Black women and their well-being. Her products include all things satin such as hoodies, curl caps, bonnets and dugrags. She also offers ayurvedic hair growth oil and a whipped chebe hair buttle.
“The hoodie is my favourite because I have been obsessed with neutral tones lately and with it being winter, it’s the perfect item to keep my hair moisturized and it keeps me warm,” said Joseph.
Hoodies sold by Nsoromma Hair / Contributed Image
House of Glam, owned by Racheal Mulenga, Grace-Simone Bennett and Natalie McKenzie is another Black and Laurier Brantford student owned business.
The three girls are visionaries who are determined in building and empowering the confidence of Black women.
House of Glam’s sole purpose is “to uplift our sisters to feel rejuvenated, as we ignite their beauty and confidence.”
In order for the women to do this, they need to show other women that they also experience beauty challenges. As Black women they understand the pressure that society puts them to look a certain, whiter, way.
Racheal Mulenga, Grace-Simone Bennett and Natalie McKenzie / Contributed Image
The talented business owners reiterate that their pleasure is to make all women feel confident, excited, and dominant in all aspects of their lives.
Some of the House of Glam services include beauty, cosmetics, and personalized care sets. They offer wigs, colourful lash style products, wigs, and restoration services.
“We will always be visionaries and innovators in the pursuit of excellence, and the best way we know how to do that is to provide people with the best that will always make them feel uplifted,” said Mulenga.