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Sister duo Cornelia and Julia Gibson are on a mission to make the wellness space more inclusive. According to Black Enterprise, the two women joined forces to create a fitness product company where Black women could see themselves reflected.

The company—dubbed Toned by Bagged Em—features an array of yoga mats that include imagery of women of color practicing yoga. The three mats, that are a part of the Toned Yoga Mats collection, includes illustrations of a Black woman sketched by their mother. The woman is donning coily tresses and fitness gear while practicing different poses. The mats are the first product to be released under their collection. The sisters—who started their business after raising over $2,000 within two months through a Kickstarter campaign—say their mission is to empower women of color along their wellness journeys and work towards increasing the representation of Black women in fitness products.

“Our own experiences maintaining our health and physique has lent us firsthand experience on how hard it is to remain encouraged and motivated to stay in shape,” read a statement on their website. “We realized that we are among a group of women that make up a large part of the fitness community, but still feel ignored and misunderstood.  That is why we created Toned by BaggedEm. We identify with a plethora of issues that often impede a woman’s fitness motivation like body image issues, hair maintenance and sometimes just plain ol’ lack of energy.  Our ultimate goal is to create a brand that tells women that we are most beautiful when we push ourselves.”

Many entrepreneurs are carving out spaces for Black women in the world of wellness. Christina Rice founded a social wellness club for women of color dubbed OMNoire.


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