Yoohyun Park/Production Coordinator
Discover local BIPOC wellness brands to curate your own self-care kit
With reading week around the corner, there is an audible sound of relief echoing through campus and understandably so. It has been an exhausting few months for everyone, constantly adapting to new changes and challenges.
Some of us may have lost our jobs; others may be worried about the health and safety of our loved ones. Although it has only been a month into the new school year, you may be feeling tired and overwhelmed, and that’s totally okay. It’s normal to feel anxious, stressed, burnout or whatever else you may be experiencing right now. That’s why it’s all the more important we engage in self-care in our daily routines.
Practicing self-care can help redirect your attention away from the stresses of daily life, to your mind and body and it looks different for everyone. It might involve watching a movie, doing a long skincare routine, meditating, running or perhaps it’s spending time with family at home. Whatever it may look like for you, if you are looking to add to your current routine or start one this reading week, here is a list of seven Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) brands that may help you in your self-care journey.
If you are interested in healing through aromatherapy, Glowing Gardens offers hand-poured, vegan-friendly and cruelty-free scented candles in unique shapes and colours. One of their best sellers is the Baby Buddha candle, however, you can find others in angel, peach and abstract shapes as well.
It also offers Moody Jars, which are candles layered in various scents and colours in a single cup, and healing crystals. The candles are soy or beeswax based, both of which are sourced from Canada.
The face behind the brand is Deanna Clarke, a candle maker and makeup artist. Her love for candles grew into Glowing Gardens last year, and since the launch of her brand, she has taken part in many virtual markets and pop-ups in Hamilton and surrounding areas.
Established in August 2020, Xubriance is a self-care and healing-focused business, selling handmade bath scrubs, bath teas, body butters and crystals.
The brand name was inspired by the word exuberance and the founder’s first name, Bri. Taken together, the name represents strength, energy, positivity, excitement and self-love. The company’s mission is to share self-care and healing tools and aid people through their healing journeys.
Perfectly Imperfect is a local skincare brand, offering organic and inexpensive skincare products. You can find everything from handmade body butter and bath bombs to face steamers and soaps. Even if you’re not interested in looking after your skin for aesthetic reasons, the very act of taking care of yourself through a skincare regime can be soothing and comforting.
Steel Town Athletic Club
Self-care can also look like physical exercise. Steel Town Athletic Club is a local community group focusing on BIPOC and 2SLGBTQIA+ folks to run in a safe, comfortable and fun environment. Currently, the club offers community group runs in a socially distanced formation. Interested members can join the trail running program, where you explore trails and waterfalls in Hamilton; Wednesday BIPOC exclusive run night, a program that provides a safe space for BIPOC folks to run together; and club race team, a group competing in local and virtual road, trails and team events.
Practicing mindfulness encompasses self-acceptance, self-awareness and self-care. Goodbodyfeel helps their clients to achieve just this. As a pilates, yoga and mindfulness studio, Goodbodyfeel offers live-stream classes, one-on-one sessions and workshops to inspire empowerment and a sense of community.
They are currently running a workshop called Sharing Privilege which focuses on facilitating conversations on anti-oppressive work. Attendees can explore how to decolonize their current behaviours and ways to sustainably share their privileges. The goal of the program is to foster a safer space for discussions for marginalized folks. Having an opportunity to express your voice and reflect on pressing issues can help you process and collect your thoughts and feelings, which is important for mitigating emotional exhaustion.
My Sweet Tooth
Run by a couple from China who met at McMaster University, this delicious Asian fusion bakery may be just what you need after a long stressful day. My Sweet Tooth specializes in everything from cakes to cream puffs, mochis and boba drinks.
Give yourself a reward for all your hard work and achievement with one of their exclusive treats. Self-care includes acknowledging your accomplishments, and taking time to do something for yourself as a reward. Even if it may not be buying yourself a treat, rewards can help you appreciate your progress.
Ark & Anchor
Nestled in the intersection between King Street West and Queen Street South is the Ark & Anchor café. The café's many different clubs and events help it stand out among others on the block. If you are looking for a fun activity to unwind and a community to share your interests with, these clubs may be of interest to you. Finding hobbies and making time for self-indulging activities can help you to find balance in your life. Programs include roleplay game Mondays, board game Thursdays and a monthly book club called Ship’s Log.
Self-care is an endless journey. Whether you find joy in aromatherapy, skincare, physical exercise, eating or pursuing a hobby, we all need a self-care routine. These BIPOC businesses can help you explore your interests and build better self-care habits.