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If you’re a woman that all about jet-setting, exploring the world and rejecting any limits placed on you, meet your new best friend, Kenisha B. McIntosh. This renaissance woman is an award-winning life coach, international speaker, and co-host of the ‘You Thought It, We Said It’ podcast. Now, she’s adding entrepreneur to her resume with the launch of My Tribe Essentials — her all-natural answer to traveling woes like anxiety, restlessness and even germs. This woman on the move spoke to ESSENCE about how her brand was born, how depression propelled her forward and why My Tribe Essentials is your newest travel necessity.
Name: Kenisha McIntosh
Location: Atlanta, GA
Briefly tell us a bit about your journey to My Tribe Essentials.
My Tribe Essentials was not something I planned to create for others, I was truly being cheap for myself. People who know me know that I don’t sleep AT ALL. I took a trip to Bali this year and I was sooo excited the entire way that I didn’t sleep most of the 17-hour flight. When I finally arrived, I ended up crashing like 2 days later. As someone who appreciates taking advantage of my time on vacation, I wanted to figure out something that could help me sleep on my flights during my travels and I didn’t want to take medication like Zzzquil. I knew that lavender oil was magical from previous experience, but it also made me not want to wake up at all. So, as I searched for solutions I thought ‘why don’t I make something with lavender that I could travel with?’ and the first My Tribe Essentials product, Amethyst, was created. Oils have been a staple for Black people way before we came to America. So I researched and tested until I found the perfect oil mist that would calm, aid in sleep, but wouldn’t force you to drag yourself awake. After testing the blend with friends and family & giving samples during speaking engagements, I was brave enough to introduce it to the world — and the response has been amazing!
Describe My Tribe Essentials with a song title.
If I had to describe it with a song title, I’d choose ‘Black Girl Magic’ by Che Lingo. The song talks about black women all over the world, their beauty, and the natural magic that we have. My Tribe Essentials products celebrate the simplicity of a dope product, that Black women all over the world can appreciate.
What’s the most challenging part of being a Black woman entrepreneur?
I think the most challenging part is not being so hard on myself. As a Black woman, we’re taught to go extra hard. We don’t sleep, we sacrifice, we use all we have just to be seen and have our businesses flourish. I have to remind myself that I need to sleep and take care of myself. I have to push myself through the no’s and disappointments. I’ve been committed to clapping for myself, even for the smallest wins. And I maintain positive energy by surrounding myself with the dopest people. I also take naps now, that was challenging for me but I think I’m becoming a pro.
My Tribe Essentials was inspired by your travels across the world. What trip impacted you the most and why?
Every trip I take gives me goosebumps because I truly can’t believe I’m there until I arrive, but I’d have to give credit to 2 recent trips to Dubai and Bali. In Dubai, I experienced the most grateful emotions that I’ve ever felt in my life. I cried tears of joy EVERY SINGLE DAY. On my flight there, it began when I was awake looking at clouds and realized that just 2 years prior, I was depressed and battling suicidal thoughts. I couldn’t believe that I was alive, on a plane to Dubai. That trip was one of my favorites because I finally realized that the universe’s plan for my life was working for my very best.
Bali was definitely the same vibes as Dubai — straight gratitude. I spent 7 days at a yoga retreat on a secluded island, surrounded by dope Black people and love. That trip made me understand the human connection and how tied together our experiences are. I also got real AF with myself there. I finally admitted to being in love, I released anger and fear from my life, and I opened up to strangers without hesitation. That trip was a gift and I’m forever indebted to everyone I experienced it with.
What has been your biggest victory thus far?
My biggest victory thus far has been getting out of my own way. People have a tendency to block their blessings and opportunities with their words and their thoughts. Although I’m a positive and optimistic person, I’m human as well and I have the same tendencies. With My Tribe Essentials, I wanted to focus to be on making the best products, everything else I would do until I got it right. Les Brown once said, “Anything that’s worth doing is worth doing badly until you get it right.” The universe has been rewarding me every step of the way, so I’m pushing through.
What’s your personal favorite product from your line and why?
Honestly, I can’t choose one because two of them take the cake for me. Amethyst, the calming rollerball, started this whole thing. My love for resting and being calm is intertwined in that product. And as a yogi and frequent meditator, I use it to zen out no matter where I am. The Rose Quartz, moisturizing toner ties with Amethyst because of how important skincare is to me. This toner has natural ingredients, works for most skin types and keeps your skin moisturized and refreshed. It a powerful elixir for long travels and helps to keep my acne from resurfacing. A friend of mine received a test sample and ended up putting in a special order for a larger size because her husband even loved it. That heartwarming sentiment is what makes this product a favorite.