2020 was not easy on the Black community. The murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, protests, looting in underserved Black communities, and Black-owned businesses on the rocks. Black people need to be supported in many areas, but a great place to start is by supporting Black-owned businesses.
If you're not trying to heal, you're doing it wrong. Right now is the perfect time to start your wellness journey. Meditations, long walks, and journaling has helped me survive this year. As my overall well-being began to elevate, so did my spirit. I decided then it was time to truly invest in reconnecting with my higher self. Reconnect with your mind, body, and soul with these Black-owned wellness brand.
Movita Organics is a certified organic supplement for women. The owner of Movita Organics, Tonya Lewis Lee, is an advocate for both women and infant health. Movita Organics has a supplement for every women's need, including prenatal vitamins. According to Harvard Public Health, Black women are four times more likely than white women to have complications during pregnancy. These complications most of the time lead to death mainly among women in underserved communities. Movita Organics is pushing forward to protect Black mothers and Black women's health. The supplement brand also includes vitamins for beauty and daily health.
When you're first starting your wellness healing journey, it can feel lonely at times. If you're looking to join a movement of like-minded women, then GirlTrek is the community for you. GirlTrek is a public health non-profit for Black women and girls. GirlTrek's mission is to inspire women to reclaim healthy living by walking. They have also encouraged Black women towards careers in health and wellness. Providing world-class training for women to excel in professions like mental health, nutrition, fitness, and more. Walk towards your healing and check out GirlTrek today!
Golde's is the place where superfoods and beauty meet. This Black-owned wellness brand has been taking the industry by storm since 2017. The owner of this self-funded brand is Trinity Mouzon. She and her long time boyfriend founded the brand at the age of 23. The brand sells rich super-food blends that range from cacao turmeric, matcha turmeric, and original. They also have two organic super-food face masks: Papaya and super-food greens. If you're having a hard time deciding what product to try first, no worries! They also sell kits
Ivy's Tea Co.
Ivy's Tea Co. is where tea and hip-hop meet. Herbalist Shanae Jones launched the organic tea brand in 2016. Shanae pays homage to black culture through her tea. Some of the names of the teas include "Sister-Sister", "C.R.E.A.M", "Blow", and "Nip's Tea" honoring the late Nipsey Hustle. The affordable holistic brand also sells raw, natural, and organic herbal-infused honey (yum!). The names of the honey add even more flavor: "So Icy", "Side Piece", "Crime", and "Shmoney" to name a few.
If you're all about a self-care Sunday routine, then this next brand is for you. Herb'N Eden is an all-natural herbal soap and body care brand crafted with excellence. Their products are made with exclusive botanical ingredients to enhance and honor the skin. Herb'N Eden's products are also plant-based and highly beneficial for all skin types. We assure you your skincare prayers will be answered with Herb'N Eden
Looking for the perfect scent to set the mood in your home? Annie's candles are essential to set any mood. Her soy crafted candles will have you all the way, relaxed sis. She recently released Brown Sugar Rum candles just in time for the holiday season. If you're thinking about purchasing their amazing holiday scented candles better act fast! She frequently sells out. You can always purchase NaturalAnnie Essentials fun quote candles. Her "Currently Overthinking" and "Get Shit Done" candles are my new current fave.
Calling all sleep lovers! We just found your new favorite brand to support. Good Night Darling is everything you need for a good night's rest. Their beauty, wellness, and herbal apothecary are dedicated to helping women sleep well, starting with a nice bath. Detox bath soaks, herbal tea blends, relaxing pillow spray, and a plush soft fleece are some of the many products currently available for purchase. If you're overdue for a nap, Good Night Darling will have you feeling all the way good.
Due to 2020 being messy, I think we have all embraced our true inner Homebody. This modern wellness brand will have you canceling all of your plans. Homebody is dedicated to those who are suffering from pain, stress, mood swings, or just plain ole "my non-existent cat is sick, so I can't go out tonight" syndrome. Their bath soak product is infused with CBD, vitamins and amethyst to help anyone struggling with mental health issues. The bath soaks may also double as fun-colored face mask.
A Little Wellness
OK, so maybe you don't need a whole lot of wellness, but just a little bit of wellness. A little wellness is a small Etsy stop shop for a gentle amount of care into your dietary routine. The brand began with female DJ Crystal DeVone and her passion for wellness. Her most popular product is her infused sea moss. Sea moss-infused selections range from Elderberry (for your immune system), Moringa (best for skin, hair, liver, and mood disorder to name a few), and Burdock (a powerhouse when it comes to antioxidants). These infused sea mosses are perfect for your morning smoothie.
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Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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What would you do if you just got laid off from your corporate job and you had a serendipitous encounter with someone who gave you the opportunity of a lifetime? Tamara Taylor was faced with that decision in 2013 after she was let go from her sales profit and operations coach job in the restaurant industry and met a then-up-and-coming stylist, Law Roach, on a flight to L.A. She and Roach struck up a conversation, and he shared how he was looking for someone to run his business and was impressed by her skills. While she took his business card, she was unsure if it would lead to anything. But, boy, was she wrong. Two weeks later, after packing up her home to move back to her hometown of Chicago, she called Roach; he asked if they could meet the following day, and the rest is herstory.
Taylor founded Mastermind MGMT, an agency that represents some of Hollywood’s best “image architects” like Roach, Kellon Deryck, and Kollin Carter, who are responsible for creating unforgettable style and beauty moments for celebrities like Zendaya, Megan Thee Stallion, Taraji P. Henson, and more. Taylor and her company possess an array of functions, but her biggest role is to be her client’s advocate. We hear endless stories about how creatives aren’t paid or underpaid in the entertainment industry, but Taylor ensures that her clients get their piece of the pie. The entrepreneur opened up about her company and her non-profit, Mastermind Matters, in an exclusive interview with xoNecole.
“I always say that I'm an artist advocate first, deal closer second. So my primary focus is to just make sure that the artist is getting everything that they deserve, whether it's compensation or, you know, certain accommodations, but just making sure that they have everything that they need to be able to show up and provide the best service that they're hired for,” she explained.
“So you know, in the beginning, it was hard because I didn't have any experience, and the artists who I was working with at the time–we were learning together, meaning neither of us had assisted anyone. We didn't have mentors in our specific fields. So every deal was like a new learning experience for us from the styling side and also from the business side, and so it took, you know, doing some research, using some very creative tactics, to find out information in the industry and just starting to request accommodations that I knew other artists were granted, who maybe didn't look like my artists.”
Photo by Christopher Marrs
Ten years later, there’s still not many people who are doing what Taylor is doing. However, things have gotten easier thanks to the research and connections she made in the beginning. During Mastermind MGMT’s ten-year anniversary celebration, she announced her non-profit, Mastermind Matters, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that focuses on helping young entrepreneurs through a 12-week program. The program is divided into “two routes.” The first route is for aspiring creative artists who want to start a business from their talent and all the things they need to learn about business, such as taxes, life insurance, etc. The second route is for practicing creative artists who are already in the industry but need resources such as how to plan for retirement or how to sustain themselves if they can’t work for a short amount of time, i.e., the pandemic.
“I just feel that I'm able to have a business and be successful because of their art as well. And so there are things that I know, I tried to teach it to them but understanding that I can only do so much because I'm not a subject matter expert in those fields,” she said. “So I at least want to be able to provide the resources, and then if they make their grown decision not to do it, then that's on them. But you know, I could be guilt-free and taking advantage of the resources that I'm also providing to them.”
Taylor continues to be an innovator in her industry by always pushing the boundaries of creativity and thinking one step ahead of everyone else. The Chicago-bred businesswoman is moving into the tech space thanks to a new invention created with her clients in mind, and she is looking forward to bigger collaborations in the future. Follow Mastermind MGMT on Instagram @mastermind_mgmt for more information.
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Feature image by Christopher Marrs