Tia Mowry on expanding Anser brand and returning to ‘Family Reunion’ set: ‘I’m living in my purpose’
EXCLUSIVE: The Netflix star is dishing on the launch of her Anser blog and how her family fuels her entrepreneurial spirit
Fans may have been introduced to Tia Mowry as a young child star, but today the actress is redefining what it means to be a Hollywood success.
The Sister, Sister alum, 42, has added author, business owner, YouTuber, designer and so much more to her resume, most recently launching a highly-sought out supplement line, Anser, that is expanding into a health and wellness blog by month’s end.
theGrio sat down to chat with Mowry exclusively about her plans for Anser, her passion for entrepreneurship, how her husband and children fuel her fire and what it was like to return to the set of Family Reunion.
theGrio: Tell us a bit about your transition from actress to successful businesswoman?
Mowry: You know, I have to say, I am truly enjoying where I am right now. I am truly grateful to be given just the opportunities that I am given. To be in charge of my career the way I am, it hasn’t always been that way. You know, especially coming into this business as a child, but I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I’ve always wanted to just be in more control of what I’m doing. I am in my 40s, and I had a lot of patience, but I would watch people and learn.
M: I’m just so grateful to be where I am today, especially to—like I said—have my own YouTube channel with Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix, where I can control content. Where I am now developing movies where African American women are the center of the story with a Lifetime deal that I have and then having my own supplement line. I really feel like I’m living in my purpose. I think the lesson here is always stay true to who you are. Always be authentic with your dreams with your passions, never waiver, always be open minded to learn to grow.
G: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a Black businesswoman in Hollywood? Some of the benefits?
M: I feel like the challenges is you always have to be the one to have the strength to stand up, or stand tall, on a mountaintop to break down barriers, right? Because it’s not easy for women in general, and then it’s not easy for Black women in general. You have to be steadfast, you have to be strong, and you have to be willing to be the one to be the bulldozer to break down the door. I can speak on Anser, I think I took the challenge and turned it into a positive. I feel like a lot of Black women do that, in general, like we’re really good at, you know, making lemonade. Here I am going through some sort of wellness issues, or just health issues should I say, and I’m seeing that there’s just no representation when it comes to the wellness community.
M: So it was definitely a goal of mine with Anser to start a conversation about wellness and health, and focus on women of color. Just the women of diversity, because I did not see representation whatsoever. I had to be the one to say, ‘I’m not gonna let this be. I’m not gonna let this happen on my watch. I’m going to find change.’ The benefits, speaking about voice, is I’ve been in this business for such a long time that I’ve been able to build such an incredible community. I’m able to bring awareness through that audience with whatever I’m working on.
G: You’ve said in the past that your daughter is a reflection of you. How does it feel to give her, as a very young girl, an example of a working businesswoman pursuing her dreams?
M: [My family] is what motivates me. It makes me feel like I have purpose, it makes me feel like my focus is so–it’s so strong because I have a daughter that is watching every move that I make. Some people may not know this, but I was a psych major—didn’t get my masters or anything—but I was psych major. What I studied was growth and child development, and children learn through observation. They learn through behavior. You can sit there and tell them that until you’re blue in the face, but if you are not being an example, then how can they learn from you?
M: So knowing that I have someone watching every move that I make, it gives me precision-like focus, you know? And it motivates me on days where I’m exhausted or I’m, you know, overwhelmed. I’m like, ‘This is your purpose.’ You’re living in your purpose to be an example for your children—not only my daughter, but for my son.
G: What’s next for the Anser brand?
M: Anser has grown beyond my imagination. I’m very optimistic. I think that’s very important and vital whenever you have dreams and goals and aspirations, because you have to be your encourager. But with that said, I want to continue to grow and continue to just inspire people and to move within the self-care arena. I am a huge advocate of taking care of yourself and putting yourself as a priority and that’s why, over at Anser, the hashtag is #selfcareisnotselfish. I feel like we live in a society that, especially for women, where we kind of have to put everyone first before ourselves, and we suffer from that as women. I wanted to change that narrative.
M: And again, it happened from personal experience. I saw my mom kind of just give up everything for kids, but now that she’s older, you know, it’s like, she’s kind of fiddling her fingers. I even saw that with myself when I had my son. [We want to] continue to come up with more products that help within that area, or that arena of self care. To continue to educate people about the importance of supplements and certain things to help you live healthy and be healthy, and reach your potential when it comes to wellness. What we will be launching soon is basically to create some sort of hub, where it’s just to educate and be a place where people can go to learn more about ways on how they can take care of themselves—as well as putting a spotlight on diversity.
G: What advice would you give to other moms or other women of color who want to launch businesses or become entrepreneurs?
M: Number one, I think before you launch any business, you have to make sure that it’s coming from your guts and your passion. The reason why I say that is because there are going to be days when you’re going to be overworking yourself. If you’re not passionate about something, or not even just overworking, [but] you’re going to be hearing no’s, it’s going to be challenging. I find that if you’re not passionate about something, it’s very easy for you to give up and quit. But if you enjoy it, and if you’re passionate about it, it’s a part of your life anyway, and eventually, you’ll find success, right? Because you just never give up.
M: You’re gonna fall, you’re gonna take two steps back, you’re gonna take 10 steps forward—it’s just a part of the game. So I would say be passionate. The other thing is, I would say, don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re confused about something, if you don’t know where to start, you know, ask questions.
G: We know that you’re back on set filming Family Reunion again after many months. How does it feel to be back at work? Did you have any nerves about filming during the pandemic?
M: What’s really helping me is learning how to adapt. It’s all about perspective. Now, the reality of the situation is, it’s hard, it really kind of feels almost like a dystopian world. Meaning all of your moves—like you can’t just go anywhere you want to go. We all have COVID officers, were tested three times out of the day, we have to stay in our trailers. Like my screen time shot up 60%. But my point is I’m not about complaining, I’m about adjusting. So I’m just adjusting and then [it’s] about perspective.
M: I am so grateful to be back at work. So if I have to wear a mask and if you have to tell me to move right, left or go upstairs and stay there, I’m like, ‘Okay.’ It has its pros and its cons. The pro is being back at work, being around people besides, you know, your family—which is great I love family—but we like to keep it real, it’s nice to be around other people. To be creative and to be doing what you love to do and exercising that muscle. You know, but at the same time, it’s different. Everybody’s wearing masks. We have to rehearse in masks until we take them off to shoot. I never realized how much I enjoy communicating and seeing faces and seeing smiles and picking up cues. You know, it’s just different, but I’m not complaining.
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