As the world continues to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are now embracing wellness more than ever before. With workplace dynamics changing and the popularity of working from home increasing, many people feel compelled to reevaluate their lifestyles and develop new self-care strategies. Sandra Akufo, a wellness and sustainability leader and the Founder and CEO of Onvesso (a home consulting services platform), has been helping people lead happier lives in healthier homes through the work of her organization.
Sandra earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations (PR) and strategic communication with a minor in psychology from American University. Through working at various PR agencies, she’s had the opportunity to serve an extensive portfolio of clients. From acting as an editorial strategist for Microsoft to launching behavior change campaigns for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Sandra spent several years helping Fortune 500 companies, federal health agencies, and healthcare organizations revolutionize their communication and business strategies.
While her career graph might look impressive on the outside, Sandra felt personally and creatively stifled within the corporate sector—especially as a Black woman who constantly felt the need to edit herself and navigate office politics. After experiencing a series of difficult life events—all while quarantining in a small, confined space during the pandemic—Sandra turned to home-based wellness as a means to begin healing. With that, Sandra decided to take a leap of faith and transition toward launching her business venture, Onvesso.
Healing from Within
In 2021, Sandra founded Onvesso, a digital B2C platform that provides home consulting services rooted in wellness and sustainability. The minority and woman-owned business aims to “power healthier people, happier homes, and a more sustainable future.” The company offers three core home consulting services: Home Mapping, Interior Design Consultations, and Dwelling Assessments. These services are two-fold, as they’re available in low-cost, low-commitment plan formats, as well as a more involved, long-term, and retained consulting formats. Sandra and her team implement a philosophy based on five core principles (adaptability, applicability, credibility, desirability, and sustainability) while creating their services and delivering their solutions.
Renewed Sense of Living
From its name to its principles, Onvesso has wellness written all over it. “Onvesso” is a variation of the Italian word “Convesso”, which describes something that curves outward. Sandra landed on the name after likening wellness to a process in which people heal inward to flourish outwardly. Aside from the beliefs behind its name, Onvesso also operates on a science-first mindset, which entails upholding the integrity of science and medicine, ensuring its services leverage evidence-based solutions, and emphasizing that home-based wellness is a complement—not a substitute—to medical or professional treatment.
Ultimately, Sandra hopes to shift the way people think about and approach wellness. That is, getting people to understand that wellness is more than just their bodies and emotions. It’s also their environment—from the buildings they live in to the people they live with. At Onvesso, Sandra and her team also push out free and educational content, such as their blog, podcast, and video Q&A series, to ensure any and everybody can unlock the world of home-based wellness.
Word of Advice
Women—especially women of color—are often treated as underdogs in the business world, and Sandra knows firsthand that this can lead new entrepreneurs to feel the need to “prove” themselves and try to do everything on their own. Sandra encourages women entrepreneurs to be fearless in seeking support as needed.
“Find mentors or advisors, and do not hesitate to contact your local chamber of commerce to get small business support and counseling. Be prepared for rejections and setbacks, but do not give up on yourself,” Sandra said while speaking with WomLEAD Magazine. “Remember to show up for yourself and believe that your innate strength and confidence will take you forward in your journey and will help you reach the right people who will see, understand, and support your business.”
Leave a Reply