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HomeLIFESTYLEBEAUTY & FASHIONEmpowering Menopausal Women: An Interview with the Founder of Akanni Beauty

Empowering Menopausal Women: An Interview with the Founder of Akanni Beauty

Menopause: A natural part of a woman’s life journey, but often dreaded due to its myriad of challenging symptoms. Particularly for Black and Hispanic women, menopause can be even more pronounced. These women frequently experience more severe symptoms, longer durations of hot flashes, and compromised sleep quality.

Against this backdrop, Akanni Beauty emerged. Initially conceived as a partnership, Valencia G. Wallace now steers the brand solo. Akanni Beauty’s mission is to transform the menopausal experience for women by providing natural products to address symptoms like hot flashes, skin dryness, and disrupted sleep. With a fresh focus on subscription boxes and supporting fellow small and women-owned businesses, Valencia is on a mission to champion the needs of women as they navigate their menopausal journey.

Q: What inspired the launch of Akanni Beauty?
A: The market’s aesthetics, a noticeable gap in natural menopausal products, and an underrepresentation of menopausal women of color. My personal menopausal journey made me aware of these things. I am not anti-aging or an advocate of prescriptions when they are unnecessary. When I discovered I was perimenopausal via my doctor, the first thing I was given was a prescription. It wasn’t until I started researching that I discovered the side effects. As a natural problem solver, I started looking for solutions that represented who I am and the natural lifestyle I live, hence Akanni was born.

Q: Why target natural products for menopause?
A: Many women can not or do not want to take hormone therapy.  Menopause is not a cold or a disease that has to be “dealt” with.  Menopause is a natural transition in a woman’s life, and it only makes sense to approach its symptoms in harmony with nature. Using natural products ensures that women are nourishing their bodies without exposing themselves to potentially harmful chemicals or synthetics. Furthermore, many natural ingredients have properties that can help alleviate common menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, mood swings, and skin changes. By choosing natural solutions, women can manage their symptoms holistically, promoting overall well-being and aligning with the body’s organic rhythms. Plus, in a world increasingly leaning towards clean and sustainable living, natural menopausal products offer an eco-friendly choice that’s both beneficial for the individual and the planet.

Q: How are stress and menopause connected?
A: Menopause, in itself, is like this rollercoaster of physical and emotional changes. When estrogen takes a nosedive during menopause, it throws a curveball to our mood and stress reactions, making us feel more anxious or easily irritated.

Now, flip the script. If you’re already stressed out, whether it’s from work, family, or just life, it can crank up those menopausal symptoms a notch. Think more intense hot flashes or even trickier sleep nights. Plus, let’s not forget, many of us are juggling other life changes during this time – maybe handling teenage kids or even reassessing our careers. Or like me, raising toddlers and running a business.

So, it’s kind of like this dance between stress and menopause. One amplifies the other. Tackling stress can make the menopausal journey smoother. It’s all about finding that balance and staying in tune with our bodies. Selfcare and stress management works wonders.

Q: Which menopausal symptoms can be improved by reducing stress?
A: Reducing stress benefits overall well-being, irrespective of the menopausal stage. You’d be surprised how intertwined stress and menopausal symptoms are! 

  1. Hot Flashes: Yep, those sudden waves of heat can be triggered or intensified by stress.
  2. Sleep Issues: Stress can lead to insomnia, and many women already find sleep M.I.A. during menopause. Reducing stress can help improve sleep quality.
  3. Mood Swings: Stress can exaggerate those mood fluctuations. Less stress often means a more even-keeled emotional state.
  4. Memory Issues: That ‘brain fog’ or forgetfulness? Stress can amplify it. Lowering stress can lead to clearer thinking.
  5. Weight Gain: Stress can mess with your metabolism and lead to cravings, making it harder to maintain a healthy weight during menopause.

Q: How do Akanni Beauty products assist women during menopause?
A: Akanni Beauty is all about offering natural alternatives to the various menopausal symptoms. It’s not just about looking good but feeling good from the inside out. This isn’t just about products; it’s about an experience. Our lineup is intentionally crafted to address the unique challenges women face during menopause. Everything from relaxing aromatherapy blends to products that offer instant hot flash relief all the way to menopause specific skincare, we try to hit all the areas that are challenges and turn it into a great experience. 

Q: How does a woman “keep her sexy” when experiencing menopause?
A: Keeping your sexy while experiencing menopause starts with self-care. Most women that are menopausal age have experienced more time taking care of others needs before their own. If at no other time, menopause means “me” time. It is more than going to the gym or getting a massage. One of the definitions of sexy is appealing. A woman must ask herself what makes me appealing to ME? Is it appealing to carry a product that screams menopause or a product that when you put it on it feels good, smells good and looks good? It’s about internal and external rejuvenation and choosing products that empower a sense of beauty and confidence.

Q: What drove the foundation of Akanni Beauty?
A: Facing personal challenges with menopause, I sought solutions. Akanni, meaning mutual benefit from an encounter, encapsulates the brand’s essence. The vision has always been broader than products; it’s about creating an inclusive, open dialogue around menopause.

Q: How has your role evolved in Akanni Beauty?
A: Starting with a focus on skincare formulation using natural ingredients, my role has now expanded. As a solopreneur, I juggle everything from product development to business management. Pivoting to a subscription box makes it easier because I am mostly curating products. That starts with products that have helped me along the way and bringing them to the public in one comprehensive package. 

Q: What’s the dynamic of running Akanni Beauty as a solopreneur?
A: It’s a mix of challenges and rewards especially since my husband and I are in the adoption process. Every decision, success, and lesson rests on my shoulders. Personal experiences, like navigating through Hurricane Ida’s aftermath, have only fortified my commitment and shaped Akanni’s story. That story includes my family and running a business that complements our life, not complicates it.

Q: What’s the future trajectory for Akanni Beauty?
A: Akanni Beauty’s horizon is bright and expansive. As the menopausal marketplace evolves, we’re not only focused on championing the needs of the underrepresented but also on fostering a supportive community. A significant part of our growth strategy involves collaborating with and uplifting smaller brands that share our ethos. By creating a platform where these brands can shine, we hope to cultivate a diverse and rich ecosystem of products and solutions for women navigating menopause. Simultaneously, pivoting to a subscription model, aiming to cater to a broader audience while also providing a platform for these smaller brands. Our overarching goal? To be a holistic hub for menopausal women, where they can find products, knowledge, and a sense of community, all while supporting a network of passionate creators and entrepreneurs.

Q: Why I choose to work with Swagher?

A: My relationship with Swagher Magazine goes way back before the pandemic. From my speaking engagements to writing contributions and other ventures, they’ve been a constant ally. Swagher’s role in expanding my personal brand cannot be understated. Their invaluable insights, deep industry knowledge, and commitment to excellence have been pivotal in many of my successes.

What sets Swagher apart is their strategic approach. They don’t just provide ideas; they lay out clear, actionable goals, coupled with strategic ways to implement them. Their dedication to storytelling, combined with a tangible strategy, makes them an unparalleled partner in PR and marketing. With Akanni Beauty, I knew I wanted a partner who had not only the expertise but also a shared history and a deep understanding of my brand’s journey. Working with Swagher Magazine feels like coming full circle – building on past collaborations to shape a promising future for Akanni Beauty. It’s more than a partnership; it’s an ideal collaboration built over years of mutual trust, respect, and shared aspirations. 

Q:  How can customers reach you on social media? 

A:

Instagram: @akanni.beauty 

Pinterest:  @akannibeauty

FB: @theakannibeauty

Website: www.akannibeauty.com

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