June is a greatly special month for embracing diversity as it is both Pride Month and Canada’s National Indigenous History Month. It is thus a time of celebration, admiration, and commemoration. A time to acknowledge the resistance these groups have historically faced and the progress they have made, even as odds weren’t in their favour. Shopify’s ‘Shop app‘, in an effort to highlight and amplify the platforms and businesses of LGBTQ+ and Indigenous entrepreneurs, has added two new permanent collections this month.
These two collections, each for LGBTQ+ and Indigenous-owned businesses, can help Canadians connect to stores to reach their products more easily and support members from both communities. Much of the products and content they create, come with sustainable and political purposes to help make the world better for everyone.
You can access the Shop app here.
LGBTQ+ owned stores
This list was co-curated together with The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative and supports over 50 LGBT+ owned brands.
“Ash + Chess is a cute stationery company run by queer and trans power couple Ashley Molesso (she/her) and Chess Needham (he/him), based out of Richmond, VA. They create greeting cards and art prints that are bold, retro colour palettes and they often use their artwork to make a political statement.”
You can find colourful and meaningful stickers, prints, cards, t-shirts, collages, and even books on queer history!
Item Featured: No One Is Free T-Shirt
“Toni Marlow is a statement undergarment brand founded by Jaymin (Jalisa) Luces-Mendes in Toronto, Canada in 2015. Produced locally, we put universal comfort at the forefront. High-quality fabrics that meet detailed construction mean we create products with your body and needs in mind.
Toni Marlow is everyone who desires the confidence and comfort to be their truest self. Representation matters and, for far too long, many of us have not seen ourselves in fashion or media. This includes diverse and inclusive representations of all genders, sizes, shapes, races, complexions and abilities. In response, our products are specifically made to help you feel more comfortable in the skin you are in. As we evolve, Toni Marlow promises to keep your needs at the forefront so that we can truly represent, fit for all- designed for you.”
“Sensuous, accessible and bright, Boy Smells products elevate your intimate world. Packaged in pink and conceived beyond the gender binary, Boy Smells candles and intimate apparel make loving your identity a daily ritual.”
PRIDE Collection — Radical self-liberation starts within. United by our shared radiance, we harness our light to create a more inclusive world. Crafted in a matte ecru vessel with a glossy tinted interior that glows when lit, these candles symbolize the solidarity of our community and a celebration of our values. We will be donating 10% of Boy Smells’ proceeds from The Pride Collection sales to The Trevor Project, now through the end of July, with a minimum donation of $100,000.
Item featured: PRIDE DYNASTY: rhubarb, woods, cyclamen, pink peppercorn and tulip
We Are FLUIDE
“We Are Fluide is a mission-driven beauty brand that creates vegan, cruelty-free and paraben-free cosmetics designed for all skin shades and gender expressions. We believe that makeup is joyful and fun — as well as powerful and transformative — and nobody should be left out.
Through providing a platform and amplifying the voices of queer and gender-expansive identities and through showcasing queer beauty, we hope to inspire others to create their identities on their own terms, opening up possibilities for everyone’s self-expression.”
Queeriosity is a social game for LGBTQ+ identifying folks to play with friends, partners, chosen family or even (soon to be not) strangers. It’s a game created by us, for us, about us. A lot of heart went into making this, and we hope you laugh a little, cry a little and feel feels.
CoolHaus: Ice Cream For All
“At Coolhaus, we know ice cream, smiles, joy & laughs are the great unifiers & big bringer together-ers. Ice cream is edible creativity, full of infinite possibilities and endless pints of potential. Plus, when you do it right, ice cream is for everyone – all ages, all backgrounds, all flavors, all smiles.”
The women-owned and LGBT+ led ‘awesome ice-cream’ company wants a “future full of adventurous flavors with limitless horizons and more women and LGBT+ leaders (and less big corps with big boardrooms).”
Item Featured: DAIRY FREE ENJOYMINT FOR ALL
This list features over 50 Indigenous-owned brands from North America, including Canadian brands such as Uasau Soaps, pictured at the end of the article.
“Cheekbone Beauty is an Indigenous-owned and founded, digitally-native, Canadian cosmetics company established in 2016 by Jennifer Harper. Based out of St. Catharines, Ontario, Cheekbone Beauty is known for creating high quality, cruelty-free beauty products such as liquid lipsticks and complexion products including contour and highlight palettes.”
Item featured: SUSTAIN Lip Kit – Red: Cheekbone Beauty
“MINI TIPI is a Canadian women-owned company that creates small-batch quality goods for your home and family. MINI TIPI was founded in 2016 by Trisha Pitura and Mélanie Bernard.
Our designs are inspired not only by our lifestyles but also by our proud Canadian and Indigenous heritage to develop a truly unique line of goods that are as practical and useful as they are stylish and beautifully made. All our products are designed, cut and sewn in Quebec, Canada.”
Item featured: Sky Love Everyday Blanket
“Sequoia is a Proudly Indigenous brand that is 100% owned and operated by Indigenous women. Founded in 2002 by Michaelee Lazore who is Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) from Akwesáhsne and Northern Paiute from Nevada. The design, production, and packaging of all the products is done in the working studio locally. None of the manufacturing is outsourced. In order to keep the next seven generations in mind, the production is sustainable and ingredients are ethically sourced.”
Item featured: Red Clover Mist, can be used as after shower refresher or a fragrant room spray.
Beam Paints is the result of a multi-generational love of pigment, paint, colour, and innovation. I was raised by my artist parents, Carl Beam and Ann Beam, and was taught from a young age how to harvest hematite pigment in the LaCloche mountain range near our home in M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island. Beam Paints draws on my early educations in Indigenous pigment and expands it to encompass all paint traditions. A focus on high-quality pigment content creates sublime artist materials, with plastic-free packaging.
Located on the coast of the Arctic Ocean in Nunavut, Uasau Soap (pronounced ooh-ah-sow) draws its inspiration from prehistoric Inuit tradition and the Nuna. In Inuktitut, Nuna means everything found on the land and in the sea: water, ice, animals, plants, rocks – even the spirits and memories of our ancestors. By capturing the magic and wisdom of the Nuna, each of our hand-made small-batch products replenishes and nourishes your skin.
Item featured: “I Lichen You” Soap. Moisturizing Goats Milk an Olivea soap base. Filled with hand-picked Lichen from Kuujjuak, Nunavik for a natural exfoliant.