Women's History Month Ep. 2: Mother, Small Business Owner, Model

In honor of Women’s History Month, Knours is celebrating the stories of several incredible women from all walks of life. As a female-founded, women-run business, we think it’s important to hear the stories of the women in our communities. In these conversations, we explore each woman’s career path, what empowers them, what womanhood means to them, and more. We hope you enjoy these glimpses into their lives and that you celebrate the women in your lives today and every day! (These interviews will also be on our Instagram Stories all week and will be saved on our account so you can view them at any time.)

Today’s spotlight is on Javi Osei! Javi is a mother to a 6-year-old boy, the owner of an organic, vegan handcrafted wellness and self-care business called The Gatherer of Chic, and a model. The native New Yorker loves reading, traveling, and cooking different recipes for her YouTube channel, Cooking with J

Javi’s inspiration for The Gatherer of Chic, came from her passion for travel and because she wanted to “provide value to the communities she was visiting.” She was also going through a divorce at the time and felt there was a need for more self-care and wellness in her life, which helped steer her business in the right direction. What began as a passion project has quickly evolved in her main job (on top of being a mother and opportunities in modeling & film + TV) and while she loves being a business owner, she says it can be exhausting as she currently wears all the hats to make her business successful. Keep reading to hear more of Javi’s story!

1.  What kind of woman in business/in a leadership position do you want to be?

I want to be the kind of woman in business who owns that she is a woman. I think women often struggle with balance in leadership roles, so I want to be able to balance my role as a mother with my professional responsibilities. I would like to offer support to other women and figure out how I can give back.

2.  How have you stayed motivated throughout COVID?

Initially my business was based on sourcing items from my travels, but when COVID hit, like many other businesses, I began making face masks. For a while that was all I was doing and it prevented me from stressing too much and kept me occupied. But when that demand started dying down, I started thinking about what people really needed during this time. Of course, I wanted to make money, but I wanted my business to offer value and not be tone deaf to the times. I also keep thinking that things will not be status quo forever and when this is all over, what would I want my post pandemic self to look like? Thinking in this way has really guided me to pour into myself and that has helped me to stay motivated.

3.  What is it like running a business while being a full-time mom?

Being a full-time mother and running my own business is pretty intense, to say the least. During the pandemic, I am homeschooling my 6 year old son and I “hire” him sometimes to help me out. He helps me make bath bombs and take packages to the post office. I love getting him involved to teach him ownership and work ethic at this early age! I also work in film and television and my schedule can be pretty intense. I might have 13 hour days and then when I come home, I have to get orders out. My son complains that I work too much so the mom-guilt is real and I used to really beat myself up about how much I work, but I found resolution in just owning that I am doing what I need to do to create a beautiful life for the both of us. His father and I are co-parenting and my parents help me as well, so I do have support, which I’m thankful for.

4.  Do you have a skincare routine? 

I am obsessed with taking care of my skin. On the days that I wear makeup, I double cleanse. Foaming cleanser first, followed by a cream cleanser or a micellar water swipe. I steam my face daily for 10 minutes, I use sheet masks and ampules. I like to use a jade roller and gua sha. As I get older, I have to be consistent; a few days of neglecting my skin and it shows.

5.  How has your skin health been affected as a mother/after giving birth?

I think my skin has gotten more sensitive. I’m not sure if it’s changing hormones or what. My skincare routine used to be very simple, but now, a simple wash, moisturize, and tone, simply won’t cut it. I also suffer from occasional hyperpigmentation that I never dealt with before.

6. What is your favorite Knours Product?

The Double Duty Mist. It’s heavenly for my skin. I also love the way it smells. It’s a very soothing scent and it really delivers lovely moisture to my skin. 

7.  What is one piece of advice you would give to your younger self?

Take risks. Don’t be afraid to fail. It’s ok to make mistakes. They only serve as learning opportunities.

8.  What makes you feel empowered as a woman? What does womanhood mean to you?

Being a mother makes me feel empowered. I literally felt like I could do anything after having my son. Like the process of carrying a child and giving birth and daily nurturing another human being is a beautiful thing and I did it! It changed my life and the way I thought, my priorities and my energy. It was like a catalyst that prompted me to be my best self. 

Womanhood is a collective of strength, vulnerability, and ambition. Women are the backbone of any society. We nurture, we grow, we inspire. To me, womanhood is the equivalent of a life force that encourages and prompts progression and improvement.

9.  Are there any small, local businesses you would like to share?

Here are some other small businesses to keep an eye out for:

VERTLY 

A clean skincare and beauty line that contains CBD and other plant extracts meant to soothe, nourish, and protect the skin. 

Grove 11 Candles 

Luxurious, hand-poured candles that can help anyone replicate a spa day at home. Toxin-free, gluten free, and encased in a reusable glass.

Sarep + Rose 

A fashion and home decor brand that focuses on giving back to the female artisans in Africa that help create a wide variety of products ranging from bags of different shapes and sizes, to laundry baskets, shoes, and other accessories.

To further connect with Javi, you can find her on Instagram @javi_osei and @thegathererofchic. You can also check out her full product line on Etsy. Our Woman of the Week series will continue on Monday with Shanice Coriolan, PharmD, a Haitian-American pharmacist in New York City.