Homegrown Business: Catherine Addai of KAELA KAY

Catherine Addai is the founder behind KAELA KAY, a women’s clothing brand using mostly bold patterned fabrics from her native country of Ghana. We spoke with her recently to find out more about the business.

Homegrown Business: Catherine Addai of Kaela Kay

What is your business called and what does it do?

KAELA KAY. A contemporary women’s clothing brand focused on using bold prints to design transitional pieces for the modern woman. Most of the fabrics are from my native country Ghana, West Africa.

What made you want to do this work?

I didn’t! I fell into it 😊. A mini sewing project turned into a blooming business.

What problem did you want to solve with the business?

There wasn’t an easy way for women to get access to modern and stylish African print clothing, especially in the GTA. I opened my Toronto boutique to serve this purpose.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Women aged early 30’s to early 50’s. Women who are more conscious shoppers and like to own timeless pieces instead of fast fashion pieces. Women who appreciate brand identity, brand stories, and who support brand loyalty. Working women with more income. Women who like to look different and have their fashion stand out.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

The basic is selling clothes online and in-store. But deeper than that, by sharing the brand, myself, and my story and showing people how my clothes can fit into their wardrobe.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.

Where do you draw inspiration?

Answer: from listening to my customers. I listen to what events they are attending, what outfits they are asking about and how the KAELA KAY WOMAN is growing and evolving and I design for her.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part is helping women feel confident in their style – no matter their size. A big part of my brand is encouraging women to wear bold prints/patterns and to feel confident. I also love designing and watching my pieces come to life.

The worst part for me is organizing the logistics of people, packaging, and shipping.

Where can we follow you?

On @kaelakayonline & @thecatherineaddai.

You can also find me on Amex’s new podcast Business Class: Build it Braver, where I got the chance to speak with Joe Mimran, Founder of Joe Fresh, about scaling up business production.

What is another local business that you love?

Moissy Fine Jewellery! Another great Toronto-based business.



About Joel Levy 2518 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography