Chapter 1 / Sharing Stories
The Ripple Effect: Melissa Nkomo of Kunye
We recently celebrated our second birthday with the launch of a new initiative, The Ripple Effect, where we aimed to support our community, and hopefully add value to the journeys of other creators. With The Ripple Effect, we selected one BIPOC-led new business to receive one-one-one mentoring from three creatives and entrepreneurs that inspire us, as well some time with our founder, Courtney. The program introduced us to so many talented and inspiring entrepreneurs, one of whom was Melissa Nkomo of Kunye, our chosen winner for The Ripple Effect.
Read our feature on Melissa below.
Melissa describes that she has always been a curious person, and in her twenties she became keen to learn as much as possible about herself. Self-care and fitness became a gateway into a deeper understanding of her mind and body. This passion for self-mastery and wellness blossomed into her brand, Kunye, based here in Vancouver.
Kunye – a Zulu word meaning one or oneness – was founded with the intention of supporting the exploration and care of the inner, outer, and higher Self. Melissa’s vision is to create a community for Self Seekers who are interested in getting to know themselves, as she has been.
“Kunye operates from a place of curiosity and exploration and I hope to create a space where women (and men) feel comfortable asking “what would my life look like if…”’
This month, Melissa is launching a digital mindfulness experience, “In Motion”, which will deliver mindful movement classes, healing self care practices, and insightful and informative interviews to help support Kunye’s community. She is also in the process of adding to her collection of Kunye products developed to transform your facial care routine as well as a bath and body collection.
Melissa’s personal journey with healing and spirituality, which she explains as non-linear and truly a daily practice, continues to motivate all of her work. She is on a path of learning to break cycles, let things go, maintain compassion for others, and navigate waves with grace and equanimity.
In addition to Kunye, Melissa also works as a movement therapist and trauma-informed yoga instructor. Through these practices, she fell in love with the knowledge she gained about her physical body and mind-body connection, and wanted to share this experience with others.
Trauma informed movement takes into account the circumstances outside of the practice that can impact our bodies as well as our minds. Sometimes it’s physical injury, sometimes it's emotional injury. Being a trauma informed practitioner offers Melissa the opportunity to create safe spaces to move and help people feel at home in their bodies.
“I truly believe time isn’t something that you find it's something you make. Wellbeing is available to each of us if we prioritize it. We often see depictions of wellness as month long retreats or strict detoxes or programs, but the reality is that vibrational alignment happens with each choice you make throughout the day. It can be as simple as establishing better boundaries, committing to moving your body more in any way that feels good for you, spending less time on social media, or shifting a limiting mindset. Small shifts can have lasting effects.”
"Wellbeing is available to each of us if we prioritize it. We often see depictions of wellness as month long retreats or strict detoxes or programs, but the reality is that vibrational alignment happens with each choice you make throughout the day...Small shifts can have lasting effects."
With Kunye being 100% self-financed, and the barriers to support for Black-owned businesses, Melissa’s greatest challenge has been funding. Yet she believes in the importance of, perseverance, staying curious, and always discovering what works best for you.
“Once you find that thing, stick to it until it no longer serves you and be open to the next thing you’ll discover along the way.”
Melissa’s journey beautifully aligns with our Chapter II theme, “Curiosity”, and we’re so excited to welcome her into our Collective. You can explore Kunye here, and we can’t wait to see what this year has in store for Melissa.