Black-owned South Loop kids' boutique highlighted in ESPN initiative during NBA finals

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Black-owned kids' boutique has been in the South Loop since 2018. The owner of Kido is a fourth-generation entrepreneur.

From the books, to the toys, to the clothing, inclusivity is the common thread at Kido. And owner Keewa Nurullah said that's by design.

"With Kido, I really want to reflect children of color, children with disabilities, children who live in non-traditional home situations, foster kids, incarcerated parents, you know, kids who feel otherwise out in the world," Nurullah said.

In a time when some books about race and sexual orientation are being kept out of reach of children, Kido is a place where those stories are out in the open.

"We have books on everything, and we try to encourage those hard conversations," Nurullah said.

History isn't something Nurullah shies away from.

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Her great grandfather survived the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. But his tailor shop in the area of Tulsa known as Black Wall Street burned down, so was his home.

"They escaped to Chicago. So I'm just grateful because, thankfully, he was able to start fresh," Nurullah said. "He opened another tailor shop, which was his specialty. And then my grandfather learned the trade, and was able to open his own shop."

That entrepreneur spirit still lives inside of Nurullah.

"I think, as a Black business owner, it's really powerful to be in the middle of Chicago with the storefront and for a kid to know that I built this," she said.

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Kido is one of four Black businesses being highlighted through ESPN's ChampionBlackBusinesses initiative during the NBA Finals.

The selected business owners were also given the opportunity to meet with Shark Tank's Daymond John and Mark Cuban for a mentorship session. Nurullah spoke with John.

"It was awesome because it wasn't like Shark Tank. We didn't have that kind of the nerves of asking him for money, or him judging our business. Like it was really open and honest. And I really valued the insight that he gave me," Nurullah said.

That wisdom can help her expand Kido.

"I would love to start a book imprint to publish our own books because we have so many problems with gatekeepers in the publishing industry," Nurullah said. "I would love to start manufacturing our own toys. I would love to open more locations."

Throughout the NBA Finals, ESPN is asking fans to shout out their favorite Black-owned businesses on social media using #ChampionBlackBusinesses.
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