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Longtime friends in Toronto create side affirmation cards and they keep selling out

Two longtime friends in Toronto have come together to share the affirmation they’ve used throughout their relationship with the world.

It all revolves around a simple two-word phrase:

Listen B*tch.

It’s the name of a deck of affirmation cards created by best friends Michelle Osei-Bonsu and Daniela Angelucci.

The pair don’t just have a lifetime of love for each other: they also share a lifelong love for graphic design and business. They met in business and media arts classes at a Brampton high school over a decade ago.

“Great credit goes to Peter Fujiwara and Diana Prior, two high school teachers who ignited our entrepreneurial spirit and equipped us with lifelong skills in business, graphic design, advertising, etc.,” Osei-Bonsu told blogTO.

They both turned their passions into jobs, with Angelucci now an associate creative director at an advertising agency and Osei-Bonsu working as an account manager at a tech platform. They’ve become such good friends after all these years that Osei-Bonsu will actually be Angelucci’s bridesmaid next spring.

They launched Listen B*tch as a side business in November 2021, during what Osei-Bonsu calls “another dreary peak.”

They started exploring self-care tools like affirmation cards as a way to try to stay mentally healthy. Having always wanted to do a project together, it was something that brought together their collective values ​​of self-care, radical authenticity, and uplifting people.

“We struggled to find affirmation cards that sounded like us. Affirmations work best when spoken with conviction and we struggled when the tone and texture of the words we saw on the Popular affirmation cards didn’t reflect what we were talking about,” says Osei-Bonsu.

“It’s not a knock on the other affirmation cards. I’m sure a lot of people find them useful. But we needed more raw and real affirmations, so we decided to do it ourselves. .”

They started trying to write affirmations in their own specific voices, trying to capture a tone that might not only boost confidence, but also cut through the BS to help pull you together, if that’s what you search.

“The words on these cards may sound familiar because these are the types of words we actually say to our friends and family when raising them,” says Osei-Bonsu.

“They’re honest, they’re real, and sometimes they’re a little rude, but they work.

The next step in making the cards a reality was to team up with fellow Canadian friend and artist Chi Chi Ogbu for visuals for the cards “that might help instill a sense of calm and clarity.”

Phrases from the game include “Change is good. Embrace that shit”, “Your wildest dreams deserve a chance”, “No one else dwells on your mistakes. Get moving”, and “Choose yourself. Every times.” There are 50 cards in the deck in total, made from recycled paper.

The cards can be used as mantras during meditative practices, to give you a boost when you’re feeling weak, or as a morning ritual of shuffling them and drawing one as a message to take with you during the day.

People really got hooked on the cards, and so far they’ve sold out three times in the last six months.

“We get countless messages from people who have used these cards to start and end their days with a burst of self-love,” says Osei-Bonsu. “Nothing brings us more pride than knowing that these affirmation cards are doing a real job. For us, that’s the ultimate measure of success.”

They’ve been so successful that they hope to branch out to create other wellness products, intended “to equip people, especially women, with the tools they need to authentically nurture their wellness.”

The cards can be found at Black Owned Toronto, Good Intentions and Holt Renfrew, as well as their website and Amazon, and cost $24.99.

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