Several small businesses have garnered the public's attention because of the services and products provided. Several people in India are also venturing into businesses of their own, providing the best and showcasing the talent we hone as people.
Most such businesses are LGBTQIA+led and struggling to gain recognition in a marketplace where people are yet to open up to the community. So, why not give them a helping hand by supporting them. Not only would we be supporting small homegrown businesses, but at the same time, we'll also be supporting those led by the people of the pride community.
Let's take a look at some LGBTQIA+owned small businesses to start supporting:
BeUnic is your one-stop-shop for the hottest attires and items from clothing to footwear, home decor, accessories and more. It is a community-driven e-commerce platform open for LGBTQIA+ artists and designers to showcase their products and services. Working with India's best NGOs, support groups and queer folks, they also offer to help the community in India in the form of entrepreneurship, mental health support, community events, legal advice, queer literature, mentorship, and more— providing something for everyone. BeUnic is also dabbling with NFTs, getting ahead of the game by staying up-to-date with all the trends.
CTRL+P is a lifestyle LGBTQIA+-owned and led brand looking to be a one-of-a-kind space by creating stylish, fun and playful products, aiming to make their customer's day by spreading kindness. They team up with local artists and vendors, making all their products India-based. Their vision is to inspire people to make things they care about happen, having a strong passion for design, sustainability, and purpose, creating a safe space for all. They create products with purpose and meaning, ranging from badges to stationery, apparel, socks, cards, sustainable goods, and more. Their products have the cutest designs and are also great for gifting.
Handpoked Tattoos by Ishana
If you love getting yourself tatted, why not support a queer-led small business while getting one? Handpoked tattoos are a new trend involving using hands instead of machines to put the ink through one's skin. It might sound painful, like any other tattoo, but handpoked ones give it a more authentic feel, as the design is hand-drawn into the skin. Mumbai-based Ishana does the swankiest tattoos, all handpoked, with never-seen-before designs. She also showcases her artsy side through commissioned illustrations and art, showing how talented and versatile she is as an artist.
bouclé by Tania George
Bouclé by Tania George is a slow-fashion queer-led brand that believes in zero waste and upcycling. It is a Bangalore-based western and contemporary store providing luxury prêt and occasion wear. One can find all kinds of attires here, from shirts, dresses, tops, shrugs and more! Her collection is available on BeUnic, at Como Collective in Goa, and Rainbow Bazaar. The brand, known for its limited edition and capsule collections, use mounds of fabrics from factories that have been kept aside due to minute variations. The designs speak elegance and signify a craze for raw and crisp work.
Bouclé by Tania George's Instagram
With veganism becoming a popular way of life, there had to be a way to enjoy food like cheese without using dairy. In comes Aditya Angelo Fernandes with his brand Angelo Vegan Cheese, creating India's first vegan Mozzarella cheese. Starting off as a lockdown project where Aditya revisited an old recipe he tried years back, it was a success and loved by friends and family. Currently delivering the delicious goods only in Bangalore, where it's based, he produces a fresh batch every once a week.
The Nature Masons
The Nature Masons houses all kinds of products— for body, hair, and oral care, in addition to aroma therapy and bath products like soaps. The queer-led brand owned by Mrinalini Deshprabhu and Jennifer Parras, both animal lovers and eco-conscious, offers products that bring together effective personal care involving natural, modern and sustainable methods. The brand houses gender-neutral, organic, cruelty-free, zero-waste products, all in recyclable packaging. Supporting this brand will mean promoting the environment, small businesses and the LGBTQIA+ community in some way.