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#BHM2023: Adoniaa Collective making its presence felt in Calgary

Seeing the underrepresentation of Black women entrepreneurs in the western Canadian province, Adedoyin Omotara is leasing a storefront in Westbrook Mall.

#BHM2023: Adoniaa Collective making its presence felt in Calgary

An all-women-owned Black collective is pooling its resources to grow its businesses in Calgary, according to the CBC.

Adedoyin Omotara said the collective’s goal is to uplift and validate women through business. She is the founder of the Adoniaa Collective, a store that sells products made and sold by Black female entrepreneurs ranging from skincare and spices to clothing and makeup.

“We are making Black history in Calgary as the first all-women-owned Black collective,” she told the CBC. "My mission for the Adoniaa brand is to lift women up, uplift women, and validate women. When they come here, and they start to sell, I see the joy, the confidence, and the pride in them. It makes me so happy like I'm fulfilling a purpose in life.”

Operated in Westbrook Mall, the vendors have a place to call home after struggling to bring their products to market. Many of its Black vendors launched in their basements, selling to close family and friends.

Ronkeh Shonubi, the owner of IHOF Seasonings, said the new storefront gives “us strength, it gives us a voice, it gives us presence,” she told CBC. The company sells seasonings from Nigeria; she started selling her products online after bouts of nostalgia.

Fashion designer Omodara Ojosipe, who makes African clothing for women, said that the new storefront is a chance to make their presence in the community felt — especially during Black History Month.

“This is the month we get to talk about Black history,” she said in an interview with CBC. “This is the month we get to talk about what our potentials are. This is our time; this is our moment.”