Written By: Andrea Sanchez-Mendoza
The yin to her yang
Kaniya Samm and Anika Carter are two amazing ladies who make up team Rooted LLC. a wellness startup providing clients with culturally empowering services. Co-founder Anika gave us some time over the phone to speak about their Legacy. Carter and Samm make great business partners, each filling in gaps for one another. While Anika says she’s more abstract in her ideas, Kaniya usually balances her out by being detail-oriented and focusing on the execution of plans. But their connection goes beyond just being business partners; the two have been best friends since sophomore year of college.
Where the roots first started
The inspiration behind Rooted LLC. started after Anika and Kaniya noticed the lack of resources and preventative care that black women receive within the healthcare industry. Anika reported being motivated by “seeing in our respective communities, (a) lack of resources, and (mostly) preventable negative health outcomes.”
Their passion goes further than their lived experiences in the Bay Area, as both women are full-time doulas. When asked about their doula training Anika expressed that “although Kaniya and I didn't go through a training program in New York, we went through a doula training that was centered around all birthing folks. (That includes) gendered female women, queer, (and) non-gender conforming ... Ability is something that's often left out in the birthing world in terms of conversation and what that can look like. So we are looking at how we provide (that) support from the jump, to be preventative and not responsive”.
Preventive health care
Now, these statistics may come across as shocking, but that is why both Anika and Kaniya are so passionate about lowering these statistics because these outcomes can be prevented with the correct care. “Every day birthing persons of color are engaged in health systems that are not reflective of their lived experiences and are often discriminated against at every entry point to care … This is a public health crisis”. One of the services that Rooted offers that helps combat these statistics is “The People’s Doula Project” (TPDP). Built on a belief that no matter the state of your income, everyone should have access to basic resources, TPDP is a low-cost full-spectrum doula service, offered for low-income birthing folks.
After asking Anika what she would like their legacy to look like Anika focused on three key elements at Rooted, reflected in their mission, to restore a sense of power, safety, and prevention within the healthcare system.
1. Firm in their mission:
“We’d like our legacy to be an organization that stood firm on our principles and our values. (Many), negative health outcomes are completely preventable, and (in our work we find) a way that folks feel self-determined and self-empowered.”
“We want to restore that sense of self, that sense of agency. And that sense of power, where folks feel capable and safe, to do all that they want to be, to have safe experiences and to feel well within their body.”
3. Impact change:
“We want to be able to have a measurable impact for folks. Where we have had folks with questionable health outcomes or were told that they're at risk for these negative health outcomes ... through our services, (we want to) reverse that.”
Growing their roots
When I asked Anika about what’s next for Rooted, she told me their small but mighty team is planning on expanding a product line soon. “Kaniya and I are really into holistic health. So we make various types of teas, for our birthing folks, for stress, anxiety, and teas that just taste yummy to us. We have some Shea butters coming down the line, some candles, and then some merch that we're looking to produce”(Anika Carter). Rooted hopes to grow their reach and expand their clientele to be able to have more of a larger presence within their community. One of their biggest goals is to be known as one of the leaders of wellness. They would love to be an agency that folks automatically recommend when talking about the healthcare industry.
Both ladies have been equipped with the tools, resources, and personal experience to invoke change within the birthing community, where they can empower and create a safe place when they are bringing new life into the world.
To learn more about Rooted LLC. including how you can also support their mission by following them on Instagram. For the latest updates on their services, check out their website here.
Represented Foundation's mission is to close the diversity gap in social impact leadership.