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Two Black Female Founders On Why Representation In Wellness Matters

Juneteenth, a federal holiday that is observed on June 19th, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. It’s a time for education and acknowledgment, and to pay tribute to the roles and contributions of Black Americans who have enriched our society.

In celebration of Juneteenth this year, we’re spotlighting two of our favorite new brands at The Vitamin Shoppe and the brilliant women who founded them. We asked both Janell Stephens, founder of Camille Rose, and Dorian Morris, founder of Undefined Beauty, about their entrepreneurial journeys and why representation matters in the wellness industry. Here’s what they had to say.

Q&A With Janell Stephens, Camille Rose Founder

What inspired you to become a wellness entrepreneur?

As a mompreneur, I went on a quest for all things natural. I wanted to ensure that I was giving the best of the best to my children when it came to products and food. I decided to create handmade products using the mantra that whatever you put on your body should be good enough to put in it. This standard was unlike the mission of many of the popular beauty products on the market at the time; harsh chemicals and unpronounceable substances were the industry standard. The more I researched these substances, which were the norm in the products on retail shelves, it became evident that a premium method of producing beauty products was a dire need that wasn’t being met. My objective of simply developing products for my family soon began the process of creating the Camille Rose brand that we know and love today.

Why does representation matter in the wellness industry?

It’s so incredibly important for people to see themselves in this industry. Inclusion allows for a better connection and it builds trust between brands, consumers, and societies. If we want a more inclusive society, then we need to be the leaders in representing and showing everyone. Seeing the world through the eyes of others allows for a better understanding of their behavior and desires.

What makes you the proudest about your brand?                                  

I am the proudest that the consumer loves what I have created. It’s exciting to see how my products are being used on their hair and body and that they are loving the end results. I am so proud to know that I have created a brand that is rich in moisture, sources ingredients with integrity, and is made with a pinch of LOVE!

Q&A With Dorian Morris, Undefined Beauty Founder & CEO

What inspired you to become a wellness entrepreneur?

After working across legacy corporate behemoths General Mills and Sephora and building brands for other people, I decided it was time to build one for myself and Undefined was born. I launched Undefined because I felt something was missing in the industry: authenticity, inclusivity, and the courage to do things a little differently. There’s power in living “undefined.” Undefined is focused on democratizing wellness via clean, conscious, inclusive plant magic (a.k.a. plant-based solutions, like adaptogens) and I believe beauty is wellness and wellness is beauty.

Why does representation matter in the wellness industry?

The wellness industry has historically had one face and it was skinny, blonde, affluent, and white. But I believe we ALL deserve access to high-quality products that don’t cost your firstborn child. I incorporate diverse illustrations on my packaging to tie back to the ancient plant magic in the formula or end benefit of the product, showcasing the beauty of diversity and inclusivity in action. Representation matters. Seeing is believing is becoming. But inclusivity is broader than just the color of your skin—its information inclusivity and economic inclusivity. I also operate by the value system of Conscious Capitalism, partnering with Female-led, BIPOC, and LGBTQ businesses across my supply chain because business empowers business. It’s about the power we all hold to vote with our dollar to be part of societal evolution and progress, and I use this tool to amplify and support businesses like Undefined that have been historically not given a seat at the table. We build our own table.

 What makes you the proudest about your brand?

Undefined meets people where they are on their beauty and wellness journey and ultimately, I want folks to feel comfortable, empowered, and able to find tools to help them thrive. Wellness shouldn’t be elusive or exclusive—let’s democratize it.

Explore more Black-led wellness brands at The Vitamin Shoppe. 

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