The importance of prioritizing health and wellness in our communities has become an increasingly consistent topic of discussion over the years. For Black women especially, wellness is a sector in business that has grown significantly as more and more women are putting themselves and their mental health first.
On the final day of the inaugural ESSENCE + New Voices Entrepreneur Summit and Target Holiday Market, business owners in the wellness industry joined ESSENCE Lifestyle Director Metanoya Webb to discuss the impacts of their business, social media, and changing the mindsets of women. Going beyond the surface level of bubble baths and face masks, these ladies are changing the aintiquated mindsets that have surrounded the concept of wellness when it comes to food, vaginal health and fitness.
Slutty Vegan founder Pinky Cole, Body Complete RX creator Samia Gore, The Honey Pot founder Beatrice Dixon and Gymnetics Fitness founder Lana Ector are four entrepreneurs who are changing the way Black women experience wellness.
One look at statistics show that over 50% of Black women experience obesity and other health crises like diabetes and high blood pressure in their lifetime. Knowing the numbers, Beatrice spoke to how she wanted to shift the focus to making clean and efficient products for Black and Latinx women.
“Black women and Latina women buy feminine products 200% more than any other race,” she said during the panel. “Our goal is to heal anybody’s vagina if we have the opportunity to.”
For Lana, knowing that 4 out of 5 black women experience obesity led her to create the movement, #BlackGirlswWorkoutToo. “My mom and I knew we wanted to create a community to combat that [obesity].”
As prioritizing wellness continues to become less of anomaly in Black and brown communities, through hashtags and social media influencers, more examples of wellness practices are gaining visibility in the digital space. The women spoke to how social media has helped their businesses by allowing them to introduce their concepts to new audiences.
“I think the word ‘wellness’ is something you hear so much of now,” Samia told the audience. “It’s also an uprise of mental and self wellness; “self-care” wasn’t a word that many people used to use.”
Social media plays a major role in showcasing the wellness community and it also helps these women push their businesses forward and build their own communities. Pinky cautioned that while social media helps businesses generate money, it’s equally important to utilize other platforms to reach out to your audience.
She also urged the audience to learn the science behind social media platforms and turn the analytic data into dollars.
As the conversation came to a close, Beatrice noted that a positive part of the social media boom in addition to heightened visibility for entrepreneurs is the the freedom of millenials. Specifically, she noted that digital platforms have created an atmosphere where companies and executives are being held accountable for their products. “You see a lot of people calling companies out and holding them responsible,” she said. “And I think that’s amazing.”
Head back to ESSENCE.com for more of everything you missed at the first-ever ESSENCE + New Voices Entrepreneur Summit and Target Holiday Market.