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When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the uncertainty around it along with the stock market falling and millions of overnight job losses caused people to seek hope in religion and spirituality, resulting in significant industry growth. Black women including have carved out a space in the spiritual wellness industry including Shontel Anestasia, who launched the Urban Gurvi Mama Shop in 2017. Anestasia told CNBC when the pandemic hit, she witnessed people going “back to their roots.” “For the last two years, there has been a surge of people wanting to go back to their roots. Last year, I did just as well being self-employed at my shop as I did working in corporate America,” Anestasia said. The spiritual wellness industry, which involves everything from healing crystals and candles to tarot card readings, has seen significant growth and revenue since the pandemic reaching more than $2 billion collectively. The industry is also expected to continue to grow, hitting beyond $2.5 billion by 2026. Many Black women are finding their entrepreneurial dreams in the spiritual wellness industry and going beyond religion in doing so. In addition to the Urban Gurvi Mama Shop, Hoodoo Hussy Conjure Enterprises and Shoppe Black are also reaping the benefits of a boom in the industry. “The resurgence of spirituality has created a market for people to want to purchase supplies that will allow them to create prosperity, to promote health, to bring in love, and to bring in all the good things that they want to attract to themselves by supporting people that look just like them,” Shantrelle Lewis, the Co-Founder of Shoppe Black said. Even outside of the spiritual wellness industry, Black women have been experiencing a small business boom selling everything from beauty and hair care products to athleisure as they’ve taken their financial freedom into their own hands. Recent studies show Black women have been at the forefront of creating new businesses. After the number of Black-owned businesses took a hit by 40% in April 2020, women of color were among the largest group starting new businesses during the height of the pandemic. Even before the pandemic hit, Black women were already surpassing Black men and women in general in the number of new businesses being launched. A 2019 Wells Fargo report found that 35% of Black-owned businesses were owned by women, over 10% more than the number of female-owned businesses in the U.S.  economy.
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