Tia Mowry has been up to a lot since starring on the iconic 90’s sitcom Sister, Sister— alongside twin Tamera Mowry-Housely—which has recently landed on Nielsen’s list of most streamed shows after hitting Netflix. In addition to acting (you can check her out on Part 4 of Netflix’s Family Reunion which premiered on August 26th and won a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Children’s Programming), she is a wellness entrepreneur. Frustrated by the lack of women of color represented in the wellness space and her own bout of health difficulties, Mowry co-founded Anser, a line of affordable vitamins and supplements, which can be found at Target, to address the wellness needs of all women, no matter their race or socioeconomic class.
Consider Mowry, the Black version of Martha Stewart and Gwyneth Paltrow, of sorts—but way more approachable. She's serious about building her wellness and lifestyle empire, and it extends far beyond her supplement line. She recently followed her best-selling tome Whole New You: How Real Food Transforms Your Life, for a Healthier, More Gorgeous You: A Cookbook with The Quick Fix Kitchen, an easy-to-follow cookbook featuring simple, effortless recipes and time-saving tips for living a healthier, stress free lifestyle. She also hosts her own Youtube channel, Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix, where she does weekly videos that help viewers solve life’s small dilemmas. And, she has a new homeware line, Spice by Tia Mowry, that’s set to launch soon. As you can see, she's definitely about her business.
Below, Mowry chatted with EBONY about her personal wellness journey, the path to founding Anser, and what to expect from the second season of her Netflix show Family Reunion.
EBONY: What inspired you to start Anser?
Tia Mowry: I started Anser because of my own personal wellness journey. I was on this journey of trying to find some sort of healing for my underlying health conditions, which were endometriosis and eczema and migraines. I ended up meeting an incredible Black female doctor, a gynecologist, and she gave me a proper diagnosis of endometriosis because I was suffering from it for years.
Of course, getting the answer to why you’re having these symptoms really helps with your healing. We did two surgeries to try to suppress the symptoms I was experiencing and she later told me "Look, Tia, if you don’t want to have a third surgery or you want to have kids someday, you’re gonna have to change the way you eat and change your lifestyle." I was like "What?" I was in my 20’s and nobody, especially a doctor, had ever told me "I can help you, but…"
A lot starts with you and the decisions you’re making in your life. I ended up listening to her and I’m so happy she told me the honest truth. She pointed me in the direction of my healing, which is making healthier choices when it came to what I was eating, doing more yoga, exercising, meditation, and also taking supplements.
My goal with Anser was to inspire other women and people to take charge of their health and wellness because when you become more aware of what you’re putting in your body and the decisions you’re making for yourself, you really can see benefits.
What have you learned about endometriosis since your diagnosis?
When I first sat down with my doctor, I didn’t even know what endometriosis was. The first thing I learned was a lot of African-American women do have a huge percentage of the diagnosis, which was very interesting to me. The other thing that I’ve noticed is that endometriosis is a highly inflammatory condition, meaning it’s caused by inflammation. I was able to learn about food and how food can suppress or exacerbate the inflammation in your body. When I started to focus on foods that cause inflammation in your body and to stay away from those foods, it was very clear how and why my migraines and eczema—conditions that inflammation is also a part of the diagnosis— also went away. It taught me the importance of food awareness and what you’re putting into your body.
What are the two new products that you’re launching?
We’re coming out with an amazing green powder. It has all of the antioxidants that you need to make you feel amazing and energized and get all the proper nutrients you need to feel great and healthy. What’s great about the green powder is that it's easy and palatable. Not everyone likes the taste of proper greens; and, sometimes you don’t have time to cook and eat those things that we need. Supplements really help with that. You have them in your back pocket to get through the day.
We're also launching a product that concentrates on brain focus. I know that’s really important to me. A lot of times, we can feel like we’re in this brain fog. With myself, when I’m feeling focused and I don’t have that brain fog, I’m able to be more productive and [can] do what I need to do with my daily tasks. We all don’t want to be navigating through this world feeling fatigued and not feeling great.
How did getting into the wellness industry give you insight into how Black women can be better represented in the wellness space?
When I was on my journey, I didn’t see any representation or any women of color. That was a part of the conversation, especially in the marketing. That's why I was excited to do a Whole New You; I wanted to fill in the gap because you don’t see Black faces on the cover of a book talking about wellness and making healthier alternatives when it comes to cooking. I wanted to change that.
With Anser, it’s not about this supplement being only for African-American women, it’s about including African-American women in this conversation. So, this supplement line is for everyone. Another reason I started this line was because I wanted it to be accessible. A lot of other supplements that were out there were priced very high and it made me feel like it was for one group of people, which I didn’t feel was fair at all. I feel like wellness should be obtainable and accessible to everyone and shouldn’t be a privilege. Everyone should be able to reach their potential and feel good.
What do you think the wellness industry can do to include Black people in the wellness space?
I think that they can continue to have those conversations and allow us to be a part of the conversation. They can also invest in Black ownership and Black entrepreneurs who are in this space so that we can continue to spread the word and bring awareness to our communities. It’s needed and it’s extremely important. That’s one of the reasons why I love our partnership with Target. They decided to invest in our product so that we can continue to be part of that wellness conversation. I think it would be incredible to see more of that.
Part 4 of Family Reunion, in which you star as Coco, premieres later this month. What can you tell me about it?
One thing that I can tell you is you can expect a lot of laughter. There’s so much more heart and you’ll see more musicals. I believe that there’s two musicals in this second part of Season 2. There’s something special and amazing in this season that I think a lot of people will be excited about.