2021 Business to Watch – Agni NY

Agni NY was created out of an inspiration to share her personal and professional experiences with others. Both experiences have taught her the importance of managing stress and how stress can have a negative impact on health if not controlled. Founder Thureiyya believes stress reduction can be beneficial with the body’s healing process and coping with personal challenges. She makes an effort to choose products with minimal ingredients, hand crafted, and/or made by local female artisans. Her products are designed for the person interested in living a holistic lifestyle. Holistic living is the balance of the mind, body, and spirit for wholeness. Agni NY is currently raising funds for development of her business on the ifundwomen platform. The store is a precursor to her long-term goal to invest into rebuilding communities. She believes it is important to provide educational tools to communities with poor resources for sustainable economic growth.

Thureiyya Rodriguez, DHA, MSN, WOCN is the founder/owner of Agni NY. Based in New York, Thureiyya has been a Registered Nurse for 18 years with a specialty in wound, ostomy, and continence care. Thureiyya recently graduated with a Doctorate Healthcare Administration and has worked in leadership for more than 3 years. She has had Crohn’s Disease for 36 years and a permanent ileostomy for 22 years.

Why is your business a business to watch in 2021?

It’s out of the box for wellness products. I put a spin on wellness by incorporating my nursing and personal experience into the brand.

What inspired your to start your business?

I started this journey because of my experiences with chronic illness and my professional experience as I nurse. The use of aromatherapy helped me to overcome my anxiety and restlessness during painful episodes of the Crohn’s Disease. I grew up being hospitalized for several months at a time throughout my childhood and adult life. The use of candles and massage helped me during these times. I want to share and give back to others. I have cared for patients with severe wounds, pain, and on hospice. Despite their challenges, there was always a moment to smile. I remember I cared for a patient with edematous legs. Each shift, I would sit and get the lotion to massage his legs. At the end, he would smile and be more relaxed. These are the moments I live for in my career and now.

How did 2020 change your business? Was it for the better?

I opened my business in June of 2020. I feel it was at the right time because people are going through the stress of the pandemic and confinement of lockdown.

What lessons did you learn in your business in 2020?

I learned to be innovative and utilize the different resources on the web for marketing your business. Never think you are too old for social media.

What kind of impact do you want your business to leave on your client or customer?

At the end I want my customers to feel relaxed and happy with themselves. I want them to feel like they can take on life’s challenges and overcome them without feeling overwhelmed. That no matter what, they can take a step back and evaluate a situation, and make changes for their happiness. To feel good after using the products or have more awareness after reading my blogs. To just feel life has beauty in chaos.

Do you feel your product or service meets the needs of the market?

The onset of the pandemic has heighten the need for people to take a moment out for themselves and relax. The stress from the changes in our democracy and the events with COVID-19 are a need for alternative approaches to relaxation, which my products provide.

What hurdles did you personally face in getting ready to open your business and how did you overcome them?

I was challenged with knowing how to start and ensuring I had enough revenue. I watched a show on tv and the gentleman mentioned resources at the SBA. I researched Small Business Association and learned about SCORES. They provide free mentorship from the idea phase and after you are established. I am pleased with the help I have received and continue to have regular meetings with my mentor. For my financial challenges, I watched “The Budgetnista”. The information she provides helps anyone interested in getting their finances in order and interested in opening their own business. Both resources have been helpful and provided more than expected.

When did you realize entrepreneurship was right for you?

I realized entrepreneurship was right for me around my 20s. When I entered the workforce, I constantly saw visions of myself being a leader and not an employee.

Why did you choose entrepreneurship?

I choose entrepreneurship because it not only allows freedom to develop my ideas without a limit. I can make my career, business, and lifestyle into anything I choose. There are no barriers or limits to my ideas.

What would you say is your most driving motivation to keep doing what you do?

The desire to meet my goals and knowing I can do it.

What are you most excited or passionate about? (In both business and life or both)

I love to see others succeed. There is nothing more than to see people overcome their obstacles and achieve something great in their life.

What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your business? What are the goals that you hold personally?

I want to build communities that underserved. I aim to provide tools and resources to communities with limited resources for sustainable growth.

Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced who you are, what you believe in and what you’re committed to in your work and life? Tell me about them.

My grandmothers and mother influenced me. Each of them were leaders in their career. My mother’s mom was the 1st black head nurse in an all white hospital. She was known for work ethics, leadership, and quality of care. My dad’s mother was a school teach. Both women were born and raised in the south. Their children were given the luxury of going to boarding schools and college. My mother was a registered nurse who eventually owned her own business. They shaped my values about life and my mission. Each of them taught me the importance of sharing knowledge and building up others.

Did you have any life-changing experiences that put you on the path that led you to be doing what you’re doing today? Tell me about them.

My life-changing experience occurred when I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Nursing. After graduation, I felt the desire for more. I knew I wanted to be a business owner that shared information with others. I would go to work and in my mind say, this cannot be my life for the next 30 years. I choose to go back to school once more for a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration. I made this decision with the notion I will own my own company and put all my experiences into this company.

What’s next for you in your business/brand? What can readers look forward to from you?

Amazing changes are coming. I am building my product line with signature products that are custom curated with the skin in mind. As the proceeds grow, I have plans to put a portion of the revenue into my community. Working with the community center to provide education to my neighborhood.

Is there anything else you would like to share with me?

I am currently running a campaign on Ifundwomen to raise money for the business. When you contribute to my campaign a portion of the funds will go back to ifundwomen for their financial grant programs to business women in need. When you purchase from Agni NY you are not just purchasing a product, you are purchasing a journey. The products are created by female artisans and in the end Agni NY is on mission to support community development for sustainability.

Website | Instagram | iFund Women Fundraising Link

Chandra Gore

Integrity and hard-work have always been the hallmarks Chandra has used to build successful and profitable businesses through her consulting firm has worked with entrepreneurs to help them create foundations for success through her boutique consulting and public relations firm, Chandra Gore Consulting. Quietly making strides with placements for small businesses, entertainment, authors, therapists and motivational speaking clients on local and national news outlets she has been leaving her mark as a publicist in the industry. She is also an author, festival founder, producer and speaker on topics such as Business Strategies, Media Relations and Entrepreneurship. Launching Conversations with Chan - her personal brand that includes a podcast, YouTube channel and publication on Medium.com.

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