Grant Blvd is a black women-owned, Philadelphia-based apparel brand. This Certified B Corporation was founded in 2017 and is on a mission to contract truly stylish, sustainably sourced fashion while supporting women who have faced cultural barriers in fashion design. The UnTours Foundation funded the launch of Grant Blvd’s manufacturing studio.
The Grant Blvd Origin Story:
Grant Boulevard was the street where Kimberly McGlonn, the founder of Grant Blvd, grew up. She witnessed her parents volunteer and serve their black community. They understood the obstacles other people faced from their own struggles. She watched her mom spend her weekends providing emotional support to female inmates in a correctional facility. Until Kimberly was 13, life on Grant Boulevard was a life of stability, security, and hope. As a teenager, her story changed. Her family faced adulthood depression, self-medication, and even weighed criminal options as a means of surviving. Grant Boulevard is a place where she learned the power of acting with love and speaking out against inequity. It best defines her.
Kimberly decided to completely reimagine a response to poverty and the criminalization of it. She wanted to create pathways to self-sufficient living for black and brown people who have been incarcerated. At Grant Blvd, their mission is to make clothes that are undeniably and reliably stylish, but to also center an approach to design within the fight for justice and reform. She partners with nonprofits and government agencies to create fair wage employment opportunities.
Grant Blvd has generated a lot of buzz in the fashion industry; in 2020 they received a Bey Good grant from pop icon Beyoncé.
How Grant Blvd is Changing the World:
The inspiration behind launching Grant Blvd was determination to be of service to not only marginalized people, but also to the planet. That is why their launch collection uses no new fabric and no new water. Grant Blvd is on a mission to construct stylish, sustainably sourced fashion, while not only reducing recidivism, but in supporting women who are formerly incarcerated or have experienced homelessness, in leading self-sufficient lives by partnering with local non-profits & government agencies to create fair wage employment opportunities.
Grant Blvd is also committed to giving 2% of their annual sales revenue to a Greater Philadelphia area non-profit also aspiring to dismantle mass incarceration. In 2021, they supported the work of Youth Reentry & Sentencing Project (YSRP). YSRP works to keep children out of adult jails and prisons and to bring home people who were sentenced as children to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Additionally, they give in-kind book donations to Books Through Bars, an organization which has sent books to incarcerated people for over 30 years.
How you can Support Entrepreneur Kimberly and Grant Blvd:
Shop online or stop in their storefront in Powelton, Philadelphia, or their new storefront, “Black Ivy” on Penn’s campus!