In one day, 24-year-old Kerin John’s Instagram page for her business grew by 20,000 followers. But it gained traction in response to troubling world events. In May 2020, John founded Black Owned Toronto, a directory for people to easily find Black owned businesses in the city.
“I found I wasn’t putting enough money in my own community. Many Black owned businesses don’t have storefronts—they’re home-based chefs, bakers, clothing designers, in e-commerce—so when you google search or Google maps it, not a lot comes up,” John told Daily Hive.
“I decided to make it a passion project, by contacting people and asking if they knew anyone I could put on the page.”
Then, a month later George Floyd was murdered by police in the US and the Black Lives Matter movement erupted around the world.