When Kyla Prosser opened A Kind Heart — a gender-neutral gift boutique catering to adults and children — on Keewatin Avenue, just off Yonge Street, a year and a half ago, her main goal was giving back.
Prosser got the idea for the store from Kill It With Kindness, an anti-bullying organization she had started with her mom and sister in 2013. Its success inspired her to open an entire store with multiple lines all under one roof committed to “giving back around the world.”
She is proud to be “the first and only brick and mortar store in Canada with this concept,” she says.
Prosser named the store “A Kind Heart” to acknowledge the companies that help make a difference in this world. She even decorated it with fixtures, dressing room doors, shelving units and displays purchased from Habitat for Humanity, an organization which builds home for people in need.
The criteria a product must meet in order to be carried at A Kind Heart fall into three categories: locally made, environmentally friendly, and giving back to a community or charity.
For example, one of the lines they carry called Out of Print donates a book to a community in need from each purchase and helps fund literacy programs.
Feed Projects, started 10 years ago, makes environmentally friendly bags and pouches. Each bag has a tag attached to it that defines how many school meals (or in some cases, vitamin supplements) are provided with the purchase of that bag.
Customers love the Olive and Annie jewellery line made through fair trade, which enables workers to “establish a life of their own” and helps tremendously with their feelings of self-worth. Thirty percent of the profits from each sale of this line are donated to support “orphaned children, single mothers and programs to end sexual violence.”
One of lines Prosser is most proud of in the store is the I Am t-shirts, each adorned by the inspirational message of “I am me,” “I am kind,” “I am enough” or “I am brave.”
A Kind Heart also carries several other lines whose main objective is supporting children, such as Spiritual Gangster, yoga inspired casual every day wear that helps “multiple children’s charities” as well as those that support mental health initiatives like Downright Awesome, a children’s t-shirt line, which donates $4 from every t-shirt sold to the Sick Kids Down Syndrome clinic in Toronto.
The store also does its part for animals by selling Rescue Coffee and Pet Rescue t-shirts, each of which donates proceeds to feed shelter dogs.
For a shopping experience that you will no doubt feel is time — and hopefully money — well spent, visit a store that truly does business with heart.