My name Rena Sarpong, I am 23 years old. I currently work for a youth charity as an Engagement Coordinator and I graduated from university studying Applied Criminology and Forensic Investigation almost 2 years ago. Since I could remember I have always had the passion to make a difference in people’s lives but I had never pinpointed how to do so. I have changed my passion various times from studying all sciences in college and FAILING, to finding a key interest in the criminal justice system in University, to wanting to start a youtube channel and now starting my own business. One thing I have learnt so far is that it’s very normal to have more than one passion and its ok to change your career choice because only you understand your vision. I finally came to the realisation that I love fitness, after gaining around 2 stones in university my body changed dramatically without me noticing until one day someone pointed out my weight gain and from then it felt as though my weight gain was the first topic of discussion whenever I bumped into somebody! Coupled with the stress of university I became depressed, I had never had issues with my body I was always the athletic one in my group, in fact I loved my body. I experienced a huge confidence knock and slowly began my fitness journey in 2014 with many failed attempts to lose weight.
Tell us about your GLDN Journey so far?
I have always been an introvert and depicted signs of social awkwardness that many people misinterpreted as stand-offish even though I was always in the midst of large personalities. I told myself that I needed to do more, network more and give people the chance to get to know me. One day I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a post from my friend about GLDN. After making a promise to myself to get out of my socially awkward shell, I emailed the founder of GLDN to do a youtube collaboration (one of my elaborate ideas) which we did and it was great. I found myself returning to these GLDN sessions because it really did feel like a ‘safe place’ for black females to share and lean on each other for advice. To share my ideas to a room full of strangers was a very scary experience, these were once just thoughts that I would doodle at the back of my notebook at work. Now I had a group of smart black females who hardly knew me, pushing me to reach my full potential. GLDN reminded me how important it was to elevate and encourage other black females. As black females we come across many adversities in society and we are often played against each other instead of learning to uplift each other. Each GLDN session I attended made me feel refreshed in black female excellence and I would always leave feeling inspired. What I really enjoy about attending GLDN is the group discussions, I particularly enjoyed when we discussed self-love and black hair. Many words of wisdom were shared amongst the group and even though the meeting was specifically held for women, we were graced with the wise words from Kofi Arts about learning about our identity through listening to others and reading. He also touched on how much people become worried about the superficial things on the outside rather than looking after what’s within, our minds and body.
Tell us about your purpose, passion and brand?
I previously stated that my new found passion was fitness. Learning about how my body can change through food and exercise became fascinating to me. I wanted all my female friends and family members to join the gym or at least take an interest in fitness which proved to be a difficult task. After talking to many females, I realised one of the main obstacles which prohibited females to work out was the ‘embarrassment’ and lack of self-confidence they would feel when working out in front of other people. I thought to myself how I can help counteract this idea of embarrassment females feel. I have always been in love with sportswear and how trendy and comfortable the items of clothing were. Sports-wear has pushed its way to the frontline of fashion. You can now couple up a pair of tracksuit bottoms or sport leggings with a pair of trainers or heels! After much research, I came to the realisation that there were not many options for women in the UK to buy AFFORDABLE, comfortable, stylish sportswear. I then decided that I wanted to create my own brand of sportswear and sports accessories, I believe comfortability and confidence starts with what you wear and how you wear it even if that’s your own skin.
Vixen Fitness Apparel! A brand that exudes Sexiness, Confidence and Comfort. Vixen is a brand that builds confidence and the reason why I chose the name Vixen is because many people will think of the typical stereo type of a video model however, when I think of a vixen I think of a confident female who captivates the room when she enters, a female who believes in her self-worth and is comfortable in her skin, a female who is confident! We are advocates for body positivity and not only do we provide a business, we also provide a support system. One of our aims as a brand is to encourage females into health and fitness and to become the best version of yourself with the body you already have. We have launched our first product, the Vixen Sweat Belt, a workout accessory that intensifies your curves whilst increasing the production of sweat around your mid-section. The belt is made out of Neoprene and dry wicking qualities to ensure you are left feeling dry and comfortable after your workout whilst your belt soaks up all your hard work. Check us out on Instagram @vixenfitnessapparel and email us for enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org on how to get your Vixen Sweat Belt and start your fitness journey today.
What would your GLDN piece of advice be?
A piece of advice I would share with young females is to spend more time finding what you love about yourself and what you are good at rather than spending time on what society makes you hate about yourself. No one is perfect but everyone is unique, mwah x