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Afro Unicorn founder bringing character brand to Canada, expanding distribution in U.S.

23-year-old April Showers is kicking off her 'Jordan Year' with a bang.

Afro Unicorn founder bringing character brand to Canada, expanding distribution in U.S.
April Showers, the founder of Afro Unicorn, a character brand that licenses its name, image and likeness to more than 45 partners. The company is launching in select Canadian Walmart stores this February. AFRO UNICORN PHOTO

Following a strong 2022, Afro Unicorn, a fully licensed character brand founded by Black entrepreneur April Showers, is building on its success. The L.A.-based brand has announced it is crossing the border north, launching at Walmart Canada in February.

“Afro Unicorn signifies two ideas: Firstly, empowering and elevating emerging entrepreneurs. Secondly, it's an homage to Africa and a promise to amplify representation. We deliver a product that feels "true and right" and normalizes Black beauty. By doing so, Afro Unicorn uplifts women and children of colour with the confidence they need to embrace who they are — unique, divine, and magical,” Showers said in a statement.

Afro Unicorn has products in more than 25 retail categories, from apparel and accessories to toys, puzzles, books, bedding, bandages, backpacks, collectibles, and more. Additionally, it invested heavily in its licensing strategy; the brand has over 45 licensee partners globally.

In 2022, the character brand flooded the shelves of 3,800 Walmart stores with party supplies and apparel across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. It has a presence at Target, HomeGoods, Kohls, JCPenney, Amazon, and NovaKids.

Afro Unicorn also debuted an original EP featuring Grammy Award-winning artist Anthony Hamilton, Lara D, and Brooklyn Marie. It was executive produced by Askia Fountain, Afro Unicorn's general manager.

Founded by the 23-year-old entrepreneur in 2019, Showers built her business through e-commerce, adding her logo to T-shirts and bags for customers to whom it appealed.

Then, a video of a little girl wearing an Afro Unicorn shirt went viral in 2021. Walmart reached out, and the rest is history. Positioned next to Marvel and Disney characters, the CEO became the first Black woman to gain SKUs in the retailer's party supplies/celebration category, according to a statement.

Showers said a new line of Afro Unicorn books will be published by Penguin Random House soon. The books will have the Young Readers' imprint on their covers.

They will be released this fall and feature three Afro Unicorn characters, a statement reads. A live animation series is also in the works.