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“I’m doing it right”: How Tia Mowry helps black women take wellness in their own hands

With Anser, Tia Mowry wants to make the wellness industry more integrative.

Felisha Tolentino

When actress Tia Mowry started experiencing inflammatory pain, she sought her doctor’s guidance. After being passed from doctor to doctor, she still had no answers. She was eventually diagnosed with endometriosis, a disorder where tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus grows outside of the uterus, but getting the correct prognosis was stressful.

As it turned out, the doctor who correctly diagnosed Mowry was a black woman. “She steered me in the right direction,” Mowry tells Forbes. “It was one of the main reasons [I started] my wellness trip. “

Inspired by her doctor’s support, Mowry was motivated to help other black women – a group she believes have largely been excluded from health talks – with similar guidance. “I wanted to inspire them to do the same. To take responsibility for their health and wellbeing. ”

In January 2020, she launched her supplement and vitamin brand Anser with three products: a multivitamin, a prenatal vitamin and a beauty vitamin for women. Now, a little over a year later, the company offers more than 20 products, including a line especially for children and men. With a regular customer rate of 45%, it is on the right track to triple sales compared to the previous year.

The launch of a wellness brand a few weeks before the pandemic, in which consumers made their health a priority more than ever, has certainly fueled the company’s growth. So is the wellness movement, which is largely led by a wave of black women campaigning for better representation and accessibility in the $ 4.5 trillion industry. In addition to Mowry, the Golde founder and Forbes 30 Under 30 award winner Trinity Mouzon Wofford, the Honey Pot founder Bea Dixon, the Movita founder Tonya Lewis Lee and the BLK + GRN founder Kristian Edwards are citing these charges.

“[Black women] are trendsetters, ”says Candace Barber, Director of Shopper and Consumer Engagement at NielsenIQ. And according to Nielsen data for 2020, blacks are 56% more likely to attend health and wellness exhibitions than the average American. They are also more likely to spend more on products with natural ingredients. “Of course, if you talk about African Americans using more natural products, the general market will follow suit.”

But that’s not all Mowry has done in their favor: Black consumers are more likely to endorse brands owned or endorsed by celebrities than brands that aren’t.

Mowry recognizes her large platform – and she uses it to her advantage. “People know me, they know me very well, they grew up with me, that was an advantage,” says Mowry. “As a black woman [I’m saying]”I hear you, I understand you, I’ve been through and I’m going through the same thing.” And I am ready to invest my time and efforts to change that narrative. “

But she doesn’t want to rely solely on her celebrity and wants Anser to be both a community and a line of products. In addition to highlighting herbalists, chiropractors and other women of color in the wellness sector on her company’s blog, she has also worked with Amazon on Amazon to strengthen other black-owned companies, including coffee company BLK & Bold and hair and skin care brand OBIA Naturals Black-Owned Small Businesses Storefront.

As the business moves – Mowry teases updates coming this spring – she wants to make it clear that just because Anser cares about black women doesn’t mean it can’t be part of the healthcare system of those belonging to other populations .

“It is a false dichotomy to suggest that targeting and targeting blacks somehow detracts from the ‘universal’ appeal and credibility of the Anser brand,” says Mowry. “Black communities have been excluded from the health and wellness industry for generations, and frankly telling blacks and the BIPOC that they deserve to be healthy should appeal to everyone in 2021.”

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