Founder Ashley Harmon is behind a multivitamin company geared toward Black women.

When Harmon was a freshmen in college she faced a slew of symptoms, which was later determined to be caused by Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), xoNecole reports.

“I was constantly bloated, and my skin was breaking out,” she told the outlet. “And I was so tired, I struggled getting out of bed in the morning.”

Harmon connected with a naturopathic doctor who diagnosed her with the hormonal disorder and a vitamin D deficiency. For a period of time after that she relied on prescription medications, which came with a heavy hit to her pockets and led to side effects.

This inspired her to make her own supplements using various ingredients.

“I spent years ordering different ingredients and testing different formulas until I found a mix that worked,” she explained, according to xoNecole.

Harmon never imagined that she would one day launch a business for other women who faced similar health conditions, she says. Her previous work had included consulting and later assisting two startups.

She added, “While I enjoyed making supplements for myself, I didn’t plan on creating a business around it.”

The wake of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted Harmon to launch Mela Vitamins with a specific aim of catering to Black women.

“The CDC and other health institutions estimate that anywhere from 76-90% of us are [vitamin D] deficient,” she explained, per xoNecole. “This can have a tremendous impact on our day-to-day health, and can also increase our long-term risk of breast cancer, dementia, and other diseases that already disproportionately impact Black women.”

Mela Vitamins currently offers a multivitamin, labeled as Daily Essentials for Women, at a price point of $39.99.

Its website states the product is created with “science-based nutrients, probiotics and adaptogens to support whole body wellness.” The formulation specifically includes Vitamin A, Vitamin, B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Biotin, Zinc, and more.

“We spent a year doing consumer focus groups and speaking with women in our community to understand what their health and wellness goals are, and what benefits they wanted from a multivitamin,” Harmon detailed to xoNecole. “That is how we arrived at our key focus areas — stress management and mental focus, blood sugar management, digestion, and skin/hair health.”


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Looking ahead, Harmon plans to bring a new product to the market with the support of Glossier. She is a participant in its grant program, which was created in 2020 to amplify and invest in Black beauty entrepreneurs, its website mentions.

“Glossier has supported my vision to grow Mela Vitamins to be the go-to wellness brand for melanated people,” Harmon expressed to the outlet. “We have created a new niche within the wellness and beauty supplement industry that has been largely underserved, and I want us to continue to be the leaders driving research and innovation in this area.”