Welcome to the second part of the “Women Workin’ Wonders” series going on throughout the month of March for Women’s Month! Today I have two amazing women, Michelle Lesperance and Kareemah Sellers, the founders of the wellness subscription box, SoulfulSelf, that is for your mind, body, and soul. Off the top of our heads, we can easily name three beauty/haircare subscription boxes but these ladies wanted to create something that played a vital role in their everyday lives and that they knew other women of color were in need of. SoulfulSelf empowers and inspires women of color to honor their spirituality, embrace their inner beauty and awaken their authentic, soulful selves. Since the wellness industry has so many avenues within it, there’s no telling what Michelle and Kareemah may bless us with inside each box. I am so happy that I had the pleasure of talking with them about SoulfulSelf, their favorite wellness practices, why women of color have to put ourselves first, and so much more!
Michelle is from Long Island, NY with a background in production for companies like Viacom and NBC. Kareemah is from Philadelphia, PA having worked in marketing for companies like RocNation and DefJam. They both have lived in NYC for over six years and continuously excel in all that they do! Having met while working together at RevoltTV, naturally, they clicked and gravitated towards one another. Even still, they are often so much in sync, saying what the other was thinking and just being on the same page. Both women loved working in the entertainment/music industry but also knew deep down inside that they were on this Earth for a bigger purpose, which is to teach people about their spirituality and to uplift and service them.
One afternoon as Michelle, Kareemah, and their coworker Crystal were taking a stroll through Central Park during their break the SoulfulSelf idea came about. They mentioned to me that Crystal is super creative and always has million-dollar ideas. She is also a mom, which like most mothers, she sometimes feels like she doesn’t have enough time for herself. While Michelle and Kareemah were throwing out ideas as to how she can regain her “me” time, Crystal said she’d love to learn more about chakras, crystals, etc but without having to do a ton of research. “Maybe a subscription box type of thing”, she said and as the words rolled off her tongue, they all stopped and stared at one another. It’s like the light bulb instantly went off and they just knew it was something they had to do! If Crystal would have never brought up the idea, they may never even have thought about it. I’m a strong believer that you meet every single person in your life for a very specific reason and this is proof, divine timing at its finest.
Since the beginning of time women, especially women of color, were taught to be the backbone of the country, the companies we work for, and even our families. Kareemah explains, “Wellness for women, especially women of color, is a radical thing to do because for hundreds and thousands of years women of color have been taught and told to do the complete opposite. There’s so much pressure on us and then we’re not even taking care of ourselves.” Ultimately, when we’re constantly putting others first, our own personal needs fall by the wayside and what happens then? Our health, mentally, physically, emotionally, and psychologically starts to deteriorate, we pass this down to our children and their children, and the list goes on. In the past, these opportunities to put our foot down were never presented but now our generation is here, breaking barriers and creating lanes for the people who run the world, women! This is not to say we don’t want to love and care for our families but we are now aware that it is okay for our husbands to cook dinner and clean up the house every once in a while when we take a much-needed yoga class after a long day of work.
Do you know much about feminine and masculine energy? I didn’t either until Michelle told me about a course she’s currently taking that breaks down both, on many levels. Something really important that she’s learned is that when women were raised in a household where their mother was a single mom or the head of the household, they tend to go into womanhood putting out more masculine energy than feminine. Taking control and taking care of others are a few traits that dominate masculine energy while feminine energy is taking care of yourself and putting yourself numero uno! SoulfulSelf is here to make sure we’re letting that feminine energy flow with ease and carefree.
Michelle lives in Harlem and Kareemah lives in Brooklyn, two boroughs with an extensive amount of culture in each but yet whenever they visit their local yoga studios, they notice at least 75% of the classes are filled with white people. Most of these ancient practices were started by people of color but are now being repackaged by non-people of color in black/brown neighborhoods. What’s that about? SoulfulSelf is coming in to reach more of our people and get them into classes that focus on a variety of wellness practices. Yoga and meditation have been rapidly growing throughout our culture for many decades but is it a possibility that when we don’t see many of our own people we just simply don’t feel the desire to go? Michelle goes to a dance class that is run by two black women and has an amazing time; the majority of other dancers are women of color too. You feel more comfortable and free to be your authentic self where you see more people who look like you, right?
Positive daily affirmations are essential for Michelle’s self-care routine. She was recently told by a friend to record herself saying her affirmations and that has been a game-changer! Hearing her own voice, speaking life onto and manifesting all the things she will receive is what keeps her going. If it’s yoga or spin class, anyway for Kareemah to move her body is her favorite form of practicing wellness. She also is a sleeper, who knows and understands the benefits of a well-rested night of sleep and even preps for it, shutting down her mind before ending her night. She’s also very careful about what she puts into her body. Michelle and Kareemah both love making smoothies! Kareemah’s favorite smoothie is mangos, bananas, kale, spinach, and water. Recently, she tried a new one with almond butter, blueberries, and bananas that she loved. For a year and a half, Monday through Friday, Michelle would combine banana, mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries), greek yogurt, almond butter, honey, almond milk, and rolled oats together to create her smoothie sensation!
If you go to SoulfulSelf’s Instagram, you’ll see it’s filled with nothing but good vibes and positive energy. From beautiful quotes to fruits smoothie recipes, to women putting themselves first, to crystals and sage, you’ll instantly feel all the feels. Without hesitation, Michelle says the Rose Quartz crystal is what SoulfulSelf exudes. This crystal deals with love from all angles to self-love to romantic relationships to just loving and caring for people outside of yourself. Michelle and Kareemah are living this exactly. SoulfulSelf comes from the heart, is something you can just tell in a matter of minutes into a conversation with these ladies, and it’s meant to enhance the heart chakra. This entire brand is based on love! When Kareemah does a lot of yoga poses that deal specifically with the third-eye chakra, she feels more in tune and is often attracted to crystals with vibrant blue tones.
We all love receiving gifts! Even when we ordered something from Amazon or our favorite clothing store, we get excited like a kid on Christmas when we see that package waiting at our doorstep. What makes SoulfulSelf so unique is that it brings wellness to the comfort of your home. You know, automatically, you’ll be putting yourself first every month when you receive that package and you didn’t even have to do a ton of research or try to find ways to do so. Everything you need is in the box ready for you! The first box will be on its way in no time but I just wanted to get a glimpse of what we could possibly expect. Michelle and Kareemah let me know that a lot of the brands they will be working with will be run by women, especially women of color and that their so excited to have the opportunity to give exposure to brands/companies we may have never heard of before. There’s no doubt that you’ll find something each month in the box that you’ll love and then will want to buy more.
Wellness retreats locally or even overseas to a beautiful location like Bali, vision board parties, and other events are definitely on the horizon in SoulfulSelf’s future. I’m beyond proud of these two amazing women for walking in their purpose, being so passionate about what they do, and helping build a community up with tons of love. I can not wait to receive my first box and of course, I will be posting all about it but I want to make sure you get yours, so to do so, go over to SoulfulSelf.co and subscribe! Also, follow them on Instagram to get your daily dose of self-love – @soulfulself
Categories: self love