This SHEeo Healed Her Vagina Holistically & Created A Brand To Help Women Do The Same
With the rise of more and more black women breaking away from traditional 9-5s to become their own bosses, the CEO is getting a revamp as the SHEeo. CEOs are forging their own paths, blazing their own trails, and turning their passion into a profit. In the Meet The SHEeo series, we talk to melanated mavens leveling up and glowing up, all while redefining what it means to be a boss.
Mariah Gray's love for healing began while working at a local herb shop, where she learned the power of herbs and explored their medicinal properties. As a woman who suffered from heavy bleeding and severe pain during her menstrual cycle, she found that natural remedies and herbal steam treatments would quickly put her yoni at ease, and soon began creating her own herbal blends for other healing women. Today, Essential Wombman educates and provides natural products for vaginal health and womb care for issues often further exacerbated by toxic products on the market.
In this week's feature, meet Mariah Gray of Essential Wombman.
Courtesy of Mariah Gray
Title: Founder & CEO of Essential Wombman
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Year Founded: 2017
# of Employee(s): 1
30-Second Pitch: Essential Wombman educates and provides natural products for vaginal health and womb care. For years, women have suffered from vaginal health issues caused by most of the toxic products on the market. Essential Wombman specializes in creating natural products for your most sacred feminine parts. Our mission is to teach the importance of self-love and self-care.
What inspired you to start your brand?
I developed my love for healing others while working for five years at a local herb shop. During that time, I studied herbs and began trusting the healing properties they have. Positive feedback motivated me to create products of my own. As a woman, I understand the issue we go through every day. I created products that worked for me, essentially for every woman to enjoy.
What was your a-ha moment that brought your idea into reality?
While suffering from heavy bleeding and severe pain during my cycle, I began looking up natural ways to treat my issues quickly and was introduced to Yoni Steaming. I developed a Yoni steam blend with specific medicinal herbs and started to steam once a week. Within two months, my flow decreased significantly, my pain was nonexistent and my cycle only lasted two days! My Essential Yoni Steam blend changed my life.
"As a woman, I understand the issue we go through every day. I created products that worked for me, essentially for every woman to enjoy."
Who is your ideal customer?
Essential Wombman is for women who are tired of relying on prescription medicines to treat their issues. At Essential Wombman, we embrace all women, especially those that are ready to heal naturally. Our goal is to get women to discontinue the use of toxic products to maintain good health. I have created a line of holistic products for women that really work.
What makes your business different?
All of our products are created with intention and love. We offer quality organic herbs and ingredients in every product. Offering one-on-one consultations is essential to giving personalized treatment plans and product recommendations. I have a high success rate and appreciate all of the positive feedback I receive from my clients.
What obstacles did you have to overcome while launching and growing your brand?
Trying to encourage women to switch from a product they are used to using was very challenging. Getting women to trust plants and crystals was even more challenging.
How were you able to overcome them?
Through education and testimonies, it helped turn my followers into clients. Getting women to trust me became easier the more transparent I became and the more they got to know Mariah/Essential Wombman.
What was the defining moment in your entrepreneurial journey?
In 2017, I opened Essential Wombman Yoni Steam Spa; it was very successful and within five months, I outgrew the small space. It was the moment I realized I am living in my purpose and women are trusting me and my products to receive the natural healing experience they deserve.
"I realized I am living in my purpose and women are trusting me and my products to receive the natural healing experience they deserve."
Where do you see your company in 5-10 years?
In 5-10 years, Essential Wombman will be every woman's go-to brand for everything self-care. We are currently working on expanding to products for every woman's needs. We are working on opening Holistic Women's Wellness centers around the world where women can come to heal, connect, release and recharge.
Where have you seen the biggest return on investment?
I absolutely love vending. Vending has been very successful for Essential Wombman. I try to participate in at least two events per month. I enjoy getting to personally connect with my clients. I am blessed with the gift of knowing what a woman needs when I interact with her. I am forever grateful for this gift.
Do you have a mentor? If so, who?
I don't currently have an official mentor but I always believe that I am a student. I am always learning from other herbalist, healers and business owners. I will hopefully have an official mentor soon.
Biggest lesson you’ve learned in business?
You can't do everything by yourself, well you can but you will burn yourself out! Forming a team is essential to any business, outsourcing work that you may not be able to do is important. I am learning this lesson right now and currently seeking talent to add to my team.
"Forming a team is essential to any business, outsourcing work that you may not be able to do is important."
Anything else you would like for people to know, or take away from your entrepreneurial story?
Be authentic in everything that you do. Don't be afraid to jump into an oversaturated industry understand that what's for you is for you! Most importantly always Love yourself, Love your Yoni!
For more of Mariah and Essential Wombman, follow her on Instagram @Essential.wombman and Facebook: Essential Wombman.
Featured image by Essential.Wombman/Instagram
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Get To Know 'Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story' Star India Amarteifio
Actress India Amarteifio has enchanted audiences with her captivating performance of a young Queen Charlotte in Netflix's latest hit Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
The limited series, a prequel to Bridgerton, follows the young queen as her marriage to King George of England causes a societal shift. Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story debuted on Netflix earlier this month to rave reviews from fans and critics alike.
The show had left many in awe of the stars' portrayal of each character and its riveting storylines, so much so that it excelled in the streaming platform's top ten charts landing at number one when it premiered.
Since then, Amarteifio and her castmates have been trending on social media for various reasons. The list includes many sharing their remarks regarding the love story between Queen Charlotte and King George and social media users wanting to know more about the actors and actresses.
Although few details have been released about Amarteifio and her life, many would be surprised to know some uncovered facts about the star, unveiled recently during her promotional tour of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
India Was a Trained Dancer
Prior to focusing on acting full-time, Amarteifio was a trained dancer.
Marie Claire magazine reports Amarteifio --who grew up in England-- attended the Richmond Academy of Dance when she was 11. The following year, Amarteifio received a scholarship for Sylvia Young Theatre School. But the star's dancing journey would ultimately be cut short when she was 12 after sustaining a hamstring tear.
Amarteifio told L'Officiel what made her fully transition into acting, in addition to her injury, was that she was "constantly" falling ill. Amarteifio shared that because she loved "the acting element through dance," becoming an actress was a "natural" switch.
"I always wanted to dance. I went to performing arts school when I was 11 to 16. Then I really badly injured myself, and it made me question the industry and the lifestyle of something so reliant on my body," she said. "I constantly was getting injured and ill, and it made me look at the reality of the life of a dancer. I always loved the acting element through dance, so I made the natural transition that way. But I always wanted to perform—acting is just more of a newish venture."
India Started Acting Really Young
Despite Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story being Amarteifio's breakout role, the star has been a part of the entertainment industry since she was a baby.
In an April interview with Vogue magazine, Amarteifio revealed that she landed her first acting opportunity alongside her mother in a commercial for Vodafone when she was eight months old. A few years later, Amarteifio would land theater jobs, including The Lion King, where she played the role of young Nala, Matilda, and Charlie and The Chocolate Factory.
"I was in a Vodafone advert with my mum when I was eight months old. I only found out about it the other day – she told me they did an open call and she just rocked up with me," she said." Growing up, I loved theatre and dance, and when I was nine, I auditioned for The Lion King in the West End. I did that for about a year, then moved on to Matilda, then Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Around that time, I got a scholarship to Sylvia Young Theatre School."
After Amarteifio's injury at 12 and fully deciding to pursue acting as a career choice, she would go on to get minor roles in Doctor Who, The Tunnel, and Sex Education.
"We had a careers evening when I was 14, and I started thinking, 'If I keep doing this, I'll have a short career.' So, I started focusing on acting and ended up getting small roles in Doctor Who, The Tunnel and Sex Education," she said.
India On Being Mixed Race And How She Related To Her Character
As the conversation shifted to how Amarteifio could relate to her Queen Charlotte character, the actress shared that because of her mixed background, she felt she could identify with the idea of not knowing where to "fit in."
Amarteifio's mother is white, while her father, who is Black. Further in the interview, Amarteifio recalled what it felt like being the "only person of color" to enter a room and compared those instances to Queen Charlotte's experiences early on in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
"I'm mixed race. I've got a white mum and my dad is Black – born in London, but with Ghanaian ancestry – so I can relate to her in terms of not really knowing where you fit in. I know what it's like to walk into a room and have everyone look at you because you're the only person of color. There are so many scenes, especially early on in the series where Charlotte does exactly that," she stated. "In those moments, you feel alone and awkward, and it can be uncomfortable to talk about it, but by writing those scenes, Shonda's starting that conversation and showing people that they aren't alone."
India Prepared For Queen Charlotte: A Briderton Story By Watching The Crown
Earlier this month, Amarteifio opened up about how she prepped for her starring role in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.
In an interview with Bustle, the actress disclosed that she binged-watch Netflix's The Crown to get another perspective on being a royal. Amarteifio also shared that her co-star Corey Mylchreest suggested it after they were informed that they would be doing a coronation scene.
"Corey [Mylchreest] actually recommended [that I] watch The Crown because we were doing the coronation scene [in Queen Charlotte]. In Season 1 [of The Crown], the Queen is going through a coronation, and it was interesting to see how that was done—because it's a ritual, it's a very similar experience, and to see the behind-the-scenes elements that they showed in The Crown was actually helpful," she explained.
Amarteifio also mentioned that portraying Queen Charlotte and watching The Crown helped her understand the royal family more as people.
"I definitely understand the royal family more, in the sense of knowing who people are in relation to other people—that's because when I was filming, I binge-watched The Crown. So I feel like I know them all. I know their secrets," she said. "But [Queen Charlotte] didn't give me any further insight into them because we don't delve into that. We're taking from history, but we're retelling it."
India On How The Queen Charlotte Role Impacted Her
In the same interview, Amarteifio provided details about how portraying the role of Queen Charlotte positively impacted her life.
Amarteifio stated that before taking the role of Queen Charlotte, she was often nervous to ask questions out of fear that she would "rock the boat." Still, after playing the character, the star started opening up more because she realized that even if she didn't receive any answers, it made situations much easier to handle.
"I see her as a very different entity. [But] not being embarrassed or afraid of asking questions is probably one of the things that I took away, because she asks questions and gets answers. Sometimes she doesn't get answers, but at least she tried. Sometimes I feel like I'm a bit nervous to ask questions or rock the boat — but actually, it just makes things easier," she stated.
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story is now streaming on Netflix.
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Feature image by Dominik Bindl/Getty Images