NASSAU, BAHAMAS — A Bahamian native has found entrepreneurial success with the successful launch of the largest black-owned hair and beauty supply store in Toronto, Canada.
Zhorrah Grant, the daughter of national sports icon, the late Tom “The Bird” Grant, told Eyewitness News that she had been “shocked” by the turnout at the opening of her business Hair Granted Beauty Supply Inc in late August.
“In Canada the beauty supply industry is primarily dominated by Asians and for me to open the largest black-owned beauty supply store in Toronto is something amazing,” said Grant.
“I didn’t expect to have a grand opening with people literally lined up around the plaza. My landlord called me and said you really have a lot of people out here. It was truly a shock.”
The business woman who holds a degree in criminology explained that she spent time researching the industry and even worked part-time with a beauty supply store starting as a customer service representative and then a supervisor to learn the “tricks of the trade”.
“I always had a passion for hair and beauty. I always told my mom I wanted to own a beauty supply store. It was a dream but something that really was in the background for me,” said Grant.
For Grant, who moved to Canada at age 14, the journey was not easy and compounded by the loss of both of her parents within the past decade.
Her father passed away in 2012 and her mother, retired Sr. Nursing Officer Hannah Grant, passed away in 2018.
Grant’s mother was the country’s first trained and certified dialysis nurse.
“I have been living in Canada for the past 16 years, completed high school in Canada as well as university,” Grant said. In 2012, just two weeks prior to the end of final exams in university, my dad passed away. I found out about his passing on Facebook.”
She continued: “His death really came as a shock. That was devastating. I returned home planned my father’s funeral, completed my Bachelor’s degree, graduated Summa Cum Laude from St. Mary’s University in Halifax,” said Grant.
Grant recalled that after completing her studies she returned home where she spent some 10 months searching for a job with no success.
“I wanted to be a youth probation officer,” she said.
“I never found a job. I returned to Canada and took up a teaching job in New Brunswick at a boarding school for a year before moving to Toronto.”
It was while pursuing an advanced diploma in 2018 that her mother died.
After her mother’s passing, she subsequently got a job with the Ontario government as a youth probation officer.
She also took on a part-time job as a with a hair and beauty supply store, beginning as a customer service representative, before eventually becoming a supervisor and ultimately deciding to launch her own hair and beauty supply store.
“I just was expecting to have a grand opening, some people would come and it would be just another day,” she said.
“I didn’t expect expect the turnout that I did. I just have kept my head down, put in the work and it has manifested into this.”