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Kenyan retailer targets UK festive shoppers

United Kingdom

A Christmas pop-up store exclusively selling brands by women of colour has opened its doors on London’s busy Shoreditch high-street, just in time for the festive season.

Janet’s List aims to connect consumers with products by women of colour whilst also giving independent brands the opportunity to grow.

Janet’s List was founded in 2017 by Kenyan-born entrepreneur, Janet Oganah.

The former decided to create her own business, which which aims chiefly to promotes women of colour.

“I knew that one of the challenges for small independent businesses is getting into retail space. Now for women of colour, when you add the intersectionality element, the unconscious bias that becomes even harder, there are additional hurdles. So I had this idea that it would be really fantastic to have a mainstream central London space where people could come in, buy from brands that they’ve only seen online and discover lots of other brands as well by women of colour. I think people are becoming a lot more intentional about where they spend their money, who they spend their money with, and they want to have a little bit of a story as well with the brands that they invest their money in,“Oganah said.

From African fabrics, handmade jewelry, cosmetics, cards, and food products, the store is a feast for the eyes.

Mansata Kurang is one of Oganah’s customers.

“It makes sense because we want products we can relate to and by someone whose selling them that we can relate to. There’s just that trust there, they have the hair, they have the problems we do, so I trust the brand.”

According to Janet Oganah, the store is not only about championing diversity, but also about representing the rich and varied African diaspora living in the UK.

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