Hi everyone, I’m AJ and my pronouns are she/her/hers! I’m a clinical researcher, cosmetic formulation chemist, materials scientist, and the CSO of MULTI/founder at SULA LABS - a product dev & testing R&D lab for Black owned brands and dark skinned consumers. That was a mouthful, but that’s me :-)
When I met Mal and Nina in 2021, we all shared one thing – not being seen in the wellness industry. Mal shares a lot about ailments and messaging in the wellness industry that has historically missed out on representing people of color, despite the fact that we kind of built this thing. For me, a lot of what I saw missing was in scientific innovation and testing.
My Take On The Wellness Space / What We Want to Bring to the Space
I like to think of wellness more as wellbeing – and as a scientist, I’d like to think that “being” has a lot to do with your biology and environment. Think about it – your genetic makeup and external experiences inform your diet, the way your skin looks, your mental health, and your overall physical wellness. Therefore, it always made sense to me that wellness goods should be inspired by you. For me, this looks like harnessing the power of biomimicry. I pretty much sing the praises of biomimicry everyday on here, but this concept is centered on the idea that human-inspired materials can work with human structure and function for optimized output. In other words, using internal and external supplements that are informed by your bodily functions could potentially help support your bodily functions. Furthermore, as an academic myself, and a business owner in the personal care market, I see a deep tension between academic evidence and anecdotal evidence when it comes to efficacy in the wellness space. However, I like to think that MULTI calls to question, “Why not both?” This is why when we develop products, we bring the seeds of academic literature and biotech innovations to plant in our community of hundreds of amazing MULTI friends, and ask them – “Does this make you feel good?” I firmly believe that we need more of this in the wellness space.
Where Does MULTI Sit In The Wellness Space
As a team of all women of color, it’s empowering to be unified by such a strong mission of ultimately feeling good. The wellness space can either be so sterile and serious, or “woo-woo” and flimsy, and it produces a dichotomy that a lot of people like Mal and I don’t feel welcome in, despite the fact that we are drawn to the wellness industry from uniquely different motivations. However, I truly believe that the sense of community and forwardness that MULTI brings has the power to change conversations of how we view wellness, and shift it to how we see our wellbeing.
So, thanks for coming along for the ride. :) As a scientist, I tend to feel more comfortable locked up in a lab all day (sorry to my team), but going into the world and seeing how our impact makes others feel makes me excited to be on this journey with you all. I can honestly say that I feel so lucky that my job is to do what we do here best – creating feel good goods.