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Inspiring Leaders: Tajah Charles

Taj Charles silk robe and Taj Charles The Islands products

In celebration of black-owned businesses and women leaders, we reached out to the founder of Taj Charles, a Canadian-made line of loungewear and lingerie. Tajah Charles, is an Ontario-native, who honours both her Carribean roots through vibrant island designs and her Canadian roots by building her brand close to home.

Tajah, your mission to keep production not only Canadian, but woman-based is commendable, not to mention your eco-conscious choice to minimize the use of plastic, what made you decide to pursue this route?

We have so much talent here in Canada, especially Toronto so I figure why not give these people the opportunity. As for woman-based, my core customers are women so to me it was natural to work with women to create things, especially the clothing. The choice to use minimal plastic in our packaging stems from the fact that the fashion industry is already very wasteful. In many ways a lot of that waste is unavoidable when it comes to fabric. Something is going to get thrown out. For packing there is a lot of opportunity to make up for that by being careful how you package. Our gift boxes, body care packaging and candle jars can be repurposed or recycled.

What Taj Charles achievement are you most proud of? 

I think just starting in general. The fashion business is tough and costs a lot to get into even if you start really small like I did. I am happy to have something started, with products that actually sell that I can grow into something bigger. 

With everything you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?

Start even smaller. And go slow. It takes a lot of patience but will save you a lot of money. And leave the boys alone haha, the bad ones anyways. Focus on your career. 

You've stated that summer is your season, if you had to choose one item to bring with you to an island resort, what Taj Charles piece would it be? Why does this one stand out for you?

It would be the 3 piece set we have planned for spring. We teased it on our Instagram and people were asking for it right away. You can make so many outfits out of it and it’s so easy to mix and match with your existing basics.

What advice do you have for aspiring women leaders?

Collaboration is key when starting. I’ve worked with so many other great brands for things like giveaways and for things I’ve needed to style shoots like jewelry. Reach out and don’t be afraid to ask people who may seem “Unreachable”. You’d be surprised who answers and is willing to help you out.