Tonya Lewis-Lee on Creating the Perfect Vitamin
- Written By:Allie Rose
- Photography:Keith Williams
Tonya Lewis-Lee has been a committed advocate for women’s health professionally since 2007. She became the national spokesperson for the “A Healthy Baby Begins with You” campaign initiated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health to raise awareness about the infant mortality crisis in the U.S.. Tonya developed lifestyle brand Movita Organics to inspire and provide tools for women to be their best, healthiest and strongest selves.
What lead you to create Movita Organics?
I created Movita because I was looking for the perfect vitamin to both boost my health and fit my active lifestyle, and I couldn’t find it. I had started taking a supplement and realized that I felt better and had more energy. However, it wasn’t as convenient as I would have liked, and it didn’t check all the quality boxes. Who has time to take four to six pills a day? And who wants an upset stomach afterwards? Plus, when you’re trying to improve your health, you need a supplement that is completely clean. I couldn’t find one product that combined everything I wanted.
What did you do before Movita Organics?
I am a lawyer by trade and I practiced for a couple of years. Since then I have had a career as an author of books such as Please Baby Please and Gotham Diaries, I've produced films like The Watsons Go to Birmingham, and raised two children. And what really led me to Movita Organics was my work traveling the country talking to women about the challenges of living a healthy lifestyle.
What resources have you discovered over the course of your journey that you would recommend to anyone who’d like to start their own journey toward holistic healing and inner wellness?
The first step for me was really actively engaging in a positive state of mind, meaning that I read books about positivity and went through the Science of Mind, reading the daily affirmations...I don't remember if I made it through the entire year, but I do engaging in a daily practice of looking at life through a lens of positivity has helped me access the desire and motivation to take care of myself. I also have to add, that having friends who engage in wellness around me has been critical..their support, their examples keep me going!
Always stocked in your fridge?
Coconut water, spinach, almond butter and in the freezer, blueberries.
Do you have a go-to comfort meal you love to cook?
I love my morning smoothie of the above ingredients along with unsweetened cocoa powder and protein powder — its like the drink of life for me.
Cocktail of choice?
Club soda with fresh lime juice in a martini glass.
What is your favorite restaurant and your favorite meal there?
Right now it is Avra and I love the beet salad and the grilled branzino with a little olive oil and lemon.
Favorite wellness destination or city?
New York City — there is a juice bar on every corner and I can walk everywhere.
What does wellness mean to you?
Wellness means being physically and mentally able and open to live life to the fullest and having a positive mindset with an eye towards doing some good in the world.
What’s your morning routine?
I love routine and my morning routine is coffee, water, Movita, I scan the news then head out for a work out.
Describe the perfect date night:
It can be hanging at home, a great dinner, a fun movie — as long as we are both present and in a good mood, it’s a perfect date night.
What are your beauty must-haves?
Creme de la Mer and lots of water.
Do you have any low-maintenance routines that help make life easier?
I think eating well and exercising makes everything easier.
Your wardrobe/Style must-haves?
Black jeans, black t-shirt, and a black crew-neck sweater.
List 5 things you must have in your handbag:
Partial to pink Mac lip gloss, my headset (I don't put the phone near my head if possible), my Moleskin notebook, a bottle of water.
List your favorite Amazon find:
TGIN hair products (actually my sister hipped me to them) and organic castor oil (for the hair).
The four steps to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
Step one: Finding a hole in the market, Step Two: Being able to fund a proof of concept. Step Three: Having a strong threshold for risk as the concept is proving itself. Step Four: Being flexible enough to pivot when necessary.
What brings you hope?
The youth. I think our young people are growing up in a world that has lost its way a bit and they are watching. They are vulnerable, but they care about their world and are going to fight for it.
Any tips or advice for those who are aspiring to follow your career path?
I'm not sure that I have a particular career path, so I would say that if you are a creative, you should carefully follow that inner voice — work on it even when no one believes in you, when no one is paying you until you can get there. Sometimes you have to pivot and your "failures" are a part of your learning experience.
I would say, I have a lifestyle of working that I have grown into starting with trying to start a magazine while I was working as an attorney during the day. I never got the magazine going, but I learned a lot.
This article was originally published in May 2018.