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Inspiring Conversations with Da’Shunnda Hayward-White of For My Sister

Today we’d like to introduce you to Da’Shunnda Hayward-White.

Hi Da’Shunnda, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My journey to mental wellness began in late 2017. At the time, I was Miss Virginia State University and a new Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated member. I was (and still am) grateful for these two life-changing opportunities; however, I was unhappy and struggled with high-functioning depression and anxiety. I could never pinpoint where those feelings came from, but I knew what I was struggling with and needed help. I promised myself that I would seek professional help starting in January of 2018, and that’s what I did. To this day, it’s one of the best decisions I have ever made. When I finished my first therapy session, I knew I wanted to create a community for women with the same experiences as me. I knew that I wanted to be a resource for others. With each therapy session, the desire to find more ways to pour into me, and encourage others to do the same, grew each day. I didn’t know it then, but 2018 was the year I truly started to walk in my purpose. Navigating my mental health has not been easy, and I still have challenges with anxiety, imposter syndrome & opening up about my past experiences.

“For My Sister” was created for me, for those who look like me. And those who experience similar challenges. It creates space for Black women To laugh, cry, celebrate, and be. Sometimes it helps not to be the employee, the mother, sister, or friend. In this community, we get to put ourselves first. We can come as we are but will leave educated on how to prioritize ourselves and our mental health.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It hasn’t been a smooth road, but a rewarding one! I have struggled with trusting my gut and the vision God has given me. This is one reason I birthed the idea of For My Sister in 2020 but did not launch until 2022. Given this, I have consciously tried not to seek validation from others regarding my ideas and creativity surrounding my business. Now I tell myself, “go for it! Share that post. Send that email. Don’t think too hard about it!” Ever since I started trusting myself & trusting God, everything has aligned.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
For My Sister is a monthly “self-care” subscription service for Black millennial women. We will address and work to help destigmatize mental health care within an exclusive community by providing women ways to prioritize themselves through a self-care activity (and related products) each quarter. Our self-care activities, mental health education & products will decrease feelings of depression, anxiety, or related illnesses and increase confidence, self-awareness & a positive relationship with one’s self and others. Our brand differs from others because we offer community, support, & connection, providing black women with a non-judgemental environment to freely vocalize their challenges while connecting with like-minded women.

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
My mentor is my high school teacher, whom I’ve known since 10th grade. I am blessed to be part of her non-profit organization, EyeAm, where I get to stay connected with her and several other young women dedicated to becoming their best version. We should have a mentor for specific areas in our lives, like our careers. I became close with my supervisor from a former job, and on my last day, I expressed that I wanted to stay connected with her and asked if she would mentor me. I value her work ethic and passion for social work & know that I could continue to gain valuable knowledge about the field from her.

Pricing:

  • $65 per box
  • Subscribers get 4 boxes per year

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Seneca Williams

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