More than a storefront to house and promote the products and services of local BIPOC artists, artisans, and entrepreneurs, OnePeopleTO is dedicated to fostering a space for healing, personal development & wellbeing for Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC).
Sheena Dennise is an Astrologer and the founder of OnePeopleTO and has been reading professionally for many years under her spiritual lifestyle business since 2014. She has built an exclusive community to host events in a shared space for spiritual, emotional, and mental enrichment.
“In trying to find my own space, I went through interesting experiences. The majority of people that do own physical buildings, especially in Toronto are not people of color. And that was something I came across when I wanted to be able to house a space for black indigenous people of color specifically.”
From selling her own products, Sheena opened OnePeopleTO as a rental space primarily for BIPOC practitioners, creatives, and business owners.
“In the first few months, I quickly realized that retail is something that is not easy to maintain especially if people don't know you or again—if you're a person of color. That's why the popup shop is a huge advantage. And instead of having an ongoing retail space, I pivoted to an event slash wellness space. So, people can come and rent the space ad hoc if they want to host clients or intimate events, and I would be able to host my own clients and events as well.”
Throughout the pandemic, Sheena remained grateful that most of her transactions could be migrated online such as her Reiki sessions, Astrology brunch, Tarot reading, and Talk Therapy.
While she diverted digitally, she shared that she struggled at first on how to make it all work. However, she was able to find ways to strategize and pivot her business.
Sheena hosted sessions that served as an avenue for people to talk through and share how they’ve pivoted their business in these tough times.
Tennile of She is Epic posted a poll asking people if they were surviving or thriving (during the start of the quarantine) and 90% said that they were surviving. What was understood from the poll was that there may be people who feel guilty because they were thriving instead.
“I do very much feel like I'm part of the thriving and like I've said to a couple of sister-friends, there is this odd dynamic feeling like you’ve been grinding for so long and now it feels like there's this way through. If this is an odd time for that to be happening, maybe it's even more important that it is happening. And as leaders, we can provide space for what people need.”
Entrepreneurs would normally bring up concerns on how to conceptualize their next steps for their business. And, as an Astrologer, Sheena helps them plan and pinpoint a possible trajectory - of the opportunities, potential landmines, where they could get a supported effort and where they would face resistance. They would be able to determine then where to redirect their energy and to have the biggest impact.
J.P. Morgan once famously said, “millionaires don't need astrologers, but billionaires do.” He thought there was more to the stock market than timing, and he used astrologers to help guide him in his businesses and investments. So Tennile of She is Epic asked Sheena if there was any truth to astrology being an under-rated business advisor.
“Absolutely. We’ve kind of known that the way corporate society is working is unsustainable. For example, for the past year and a half, I had this foresight, and knowing that Uranus has moved into Taurus, I told a few people I knew who had investments, like my mother, to consider moving them. And in the past month, she noticed a significant loss in value for some of her investments.”
Sheena has been blessed with the skill to foresee events like this and she has been using it to guide or give advice on what their next steps would be. Especially if it impacts them financially, and how they can make the most of the time while it is happening.
Her business has been an asset to entrepreneurs who are at a crossroads. They seek her services for insights to get them through and past that moment of crucial decision making.
At OnePeopleTO, Sheena and her team prioritize healing above everything else and are dedicated to promoting a supportive and embracing environment for BIPOC communities.
In the month of September, OnePeopleTO has scheduled Virtual Reiki and Relax Group Sessions for Black Folks every Sunday at 11:00 am via a group Zoom call.