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  • Writer's pictureLu Akin

Determining Your Niche

When I thought of who I wanted my life's work to focus on (no pressure right) my first thought went to my community. I am from THE Prince Georges County Maryland. A County close to the nations capitol. A County with the highest population of wealthy black people. A County that births greats. And a County that is catching the attention of nomads looking to settle close to the city.

PG county is a hub, and I can honestly say, there is nowhere else in America like it. The reason I am so proud of PG County is because as a child I didn't realize what it meant to experience racism. I went to school with people that looked like me and I was taught by a majority of individuals who looked like me. I didn't know what racism was because in the little hub of PG county, it didn't exist (or at least I didn't experience it). It was normal to go to a fancy restaurant in the County and to be surrounded by other black people. You could go to your local Wegmans and see other black people shopping for organic and natural foods. This was our norm and I didn't realize how unique it was until I traveled to other parts of America and felt out of place in spaces that I usually felt normal in on the regular. PG county is like a warm blanket. It's comfort, it's necessary, and most importantly it's my home.

Now with that back story, as I was deciding on a niche I thought of how I, a black RDN, could make an impact. When I went to FNCE (Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo) in 2017. I felt Black. You're probably thinking 'well duh, you are Black.' According to the CDR registry statistics there are about 100,000 RDN's in the USA. 72% of those Dietitians are White while 2% are Black. Now imagine being at a conference dedicated to RDN's and other nutrition professionals and you're the 2%. I already struggle with impostor syndrome but this...this was something else. Luckily, I attended the conference with my amazing cohort of dietetic interns from Howard University, which helped because we all felt the disparity and we were able to discuss it so that we all could find our space at FNCE.

With the recent health boom, I felt that the audience and marketing was tailored towards particular individuals. The recipes weren't realistic, the communities looked different, and most importantly the body goals weren't relatable. I wanted to change that or at least contribute to the change. Which is why I wanted my brand to focus on Black women. I am a Black woman and I'm a woman that takes her health into her own hands. When I look for health providers I look for other Black women because honestly, it's just different. Here I am, serving Black women interested in taking their holistic wellness journey's into their own hands.

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