Built with Pride

Built With Pride: Kelly Maxfield, Hot Shot Chocolate

Name: Kelly Maxfield

Location: Toronto, Canada

Describe yourself in three words: Caring, Creative, Generous.

What is the name of your business and what do you do? 

Hot Shot Chocolate. We make handcrafted artisan chocolates and host virtual events.

Why did you decide to start your own business? How did you get started?

I’ve always been a leader and I love sharing my passion with others. Folks love chocolate!

In just a few words, how does running your own business make you feel?

Rewarding, yet terrifying.

What are some of the hurdles or roadblocks you’ve faced as an LGBTQ+ small business owner, specifically? How do you overcome them?

As a very public LGBTQ+ company we don’t always get certain bookings or clients. However, we focus on our community and allies that support our mission and have similar values.

What unique perspectives do you feel you bring to the small business economy as an LGBTQ+ business owner?

We try to always view and support as an all inclusive company, respectful of representing the LGBTQ+ communities and equal opportunities for all.

What are some of your major wins or accomplishments since starting your business? What are your proudest moments?

Surviving every day is an accomplishment and proud moment to keep Hot Shot Chocolate going. And are thrilled to have our first retail client since the pandemic! Hot Shot Chocolate is now sold at Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto.

What are the next big plans you have for your business?

We are currently looking for more retail spots to support and help sell Hot Shot Chocolate.

When you’re having a tough day, who or what inspires you to keep going?

Reading the inspirational emails we’ve received from giving back to our community.

How can LGBTQ+ business owners give back to their community?

Approach community centers and find out how you can help. Sign petitions and share content.

What advice would you give to other LGBTQ+ small business owners just starting out?

Reach out to ask questions and collaborate whenever you can. You don’t have to do it alone!

What’s your “power song” and why? 

“Medusa” by Griz & Wreckno. It’s a queer anthem banger—a fiercely bass-fueled, hip-hop-laden slice of empowerment, created to uplift the underrepresented LGBTQ+ voices in dance music.

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