Local Love

Local Love: Shannae Ingleton Smith of Toronto Shay

Happy Friday, Cowes!


Today, we shine light on Shannae (@torontoshay), co-founder of Kensington Grey and The Glow Up Inc. because one organization wasn’t enough…


Give us your “quick n dirty” — tell us a bit about yourself. We want to know what you’re all about.

I’m a metropolitan wife, mom, content creator and business owner who is trying to balance living my best life while trying to keep it ‘real’ at the same time. 


#LocalLove is all about showing love to bad-ass bosses like yourself. Can you share with us what you do for work and how you make an impact?  

I am the blogger/content creator behind TorontoShay, an Instagram page and blog that highlights all of the people, places and things that I love. I am also the proud Co-Founder of The Glow Up, a Facebook group that serves as a resource and international community of black influencers who inspire and educate each other. And most recently I started an influencer agency with my husband called Kensington Grey Inc. I’ll be able to share more on that later.


How did you get into this line of work? 

I have worked on the business side of media for some of Canada’s top media conglomerates in sales and advertising for 10+ years and had also tried my hand at blogging in the early 2000s so when I was on mat leave with my daughter Kensington, I decided to give this whole ‘Influencer’ stuff a try. It seemed to be the direction that media was going and I also felt like I had the tools and connections to be successful at it. I started sharing my life and the things that I loved, people responded well to it and I never looked back.


What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given (career or otherwise).

If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never get it.


How about the worst? 

Just buy the shoes. Treat yo self and any advice related to spending money frivolously.


If you could paint your ideal life, what would that look like in 5-10 years from now?

Sean and I are happily married with possibly one more little one. Kensington will be an intelligent, confident and happy teenaged girl and we may possibly have another little one at home. We’ll be running a successful agency headquartered in Toronto, with offices in New York and LA. Said business will have probably evolved several times over in 5-10 years but it will definitely be centered around content creation, advertising and new media.


What are your favourite resources that you’ve come across over the years (e.g., email extensions, design apps etc.) 

I use Planoly to help me plan out my instagram feed. Story Luxe and Unfold to make my stories look a bit more polished and lately I’ve been learning from some of the best to ever do it (it, meaning a wide variety of things) on the Masterclass app. I am also obsessed with Audible as I have no time to sit down and read books anymore so listening to them is a great (and also entertaining) alternative that allows me to multitask while listening.


Canadian women entrepreneurs that people need to know about:

Catriona is someone that I’ve been inspired by and have looked up to for several years but she goes without saying. 


Trey Anthony is a successful Canadian entrepreneur that I respect and look up to. 


I also love the brand that Jenny Bird has built and how the brand is still very much a Canadian Staple. I think that Karena Evans is amazing on so many levels – She’s a talented creative and an inspiration to girls younger AND older than her.  


Does Ayesha Curry count? I love how she’s built a name and a brand for herself, she is opinionated and outspoken and is a force to be reckoned with, (famous husband or not). 


I will be 100 percent honest here. I tried googling black Canadian women entrepreneurs to add to this list and I was hoping to find a lot more than I found. I don’t understand why we don’t have more Oprahs, Avas, Shondas, Rihannas, Pat McGraths, Janice Bryant Howroyds, and Sheila Johnsons. I want there to be several Canadian black female billionaires.  I hope to be part of the change that I want to see in these categories.



The Cowe


For You