What started as a weight loss goal grew into a successful vitamin company.
Samia Gore, 40, of Detroit, is the first black woman to have a line in The Vitamin Shoppe in the store’s weight loss category.
Starting August 1, it launched its TRIM line, which includes herbal metabolism drops, energy drops and appetite suppressant capsules, in over 700 vitamin stores across the country.
In 2014, Gore Body founded Complete RX, a lifestyle and wellness brand for herbal and vegan dietary supplements.
“I wasn’t always interested in health and wellness. This is an industry I fell into because of my own personal journey, ”she said.
Prior to owning a multi-million dollar company, Gore was a human resources manager for the Department of Veteran Affairs. One year after it was founded, she left the federal government to concentrate fully on her company.
“When I left my federal job, we were earning my annual federal job salary on a monthly basis for a full year,” said Gore.
The businesswoman grew up in western Detroit and graduated from Southfield High School in 1999. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in psychology from Eastern Michigan University. She then completed a master’s degree in business administration from Central Michigan University.
Gore had four children along the way: Amirah Wiley, 19, Harmony Wiley, 17, Sincere Wiley, 16, and Carter Gore, 7.
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After giving birth to their fourth child, Gore was determined to lose the 80 pounds she had gained during her pregnancy. She started looking for healthy ways to lose weight and keep it off. She found that one of the things she was missing was a good vitamin supplement.
Gore tried several products and none of them worked for her. She described it as “complementary roulette”. She said that some of the products she used made her sick and impaired her appetite.
She was also prescribed an over-the-counter weight loss supplement and had a “mom makeover” that included some cosmetic procedures, including a tummy tuck.
“After completing this process, I realized that it wasn’t just a quick fix. You have to find ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle that I didn’t necessarily grow up with, ”said Gore. “As a kid, I never knew about protein, or about eating lean or about taking vitamins,” she said.
After many attempts and errors with many products, she got in touch with Dr. Ruby Lathan, a nutritionist who cured her thyroid cancer through a plant-based diet. Gore and Lathan developed a plant-based product that boosted her metabolism and helped her transition to a healthy lifestyle.
“The products are herbal and our brand is herbal because I wanted to offer our consumers a clean product,” she said. “I wanted you to look at our products … and know exactly what’s inside.”
Gore attributes her success to her followers on social media. In 2014, she began documenting her weight loss journey on Instagram. When she launched Body Complete Rx, she didn’t have a hard time getting customers because people noticed her changing their bodies and they believed they could too.
As with any business start-up, Gore has faced some challenges over the years. Although she had many customers who loved her products, she said it was more difficult to market her product within the black community, as black owners are more likely to have products in the beauty industry rather than the supplement industry.
In the early years of her business, she moved away from being the face of her company because she found it difficult to convince people that her products weren’t a scam.
“Having been a black woman in supplements for the past few years with no space in a retail store, I feel like I have to work ten times harder.” said Gore.
It was only a year ago that Gore renamed her business and now people know that she is the woman behind it all. Now that her product is available in The Vitamin Shoppe, Gore hopes she can inspire young girls looking to make their own nutritional supplements.
Contact Janelle James: JDJames@freepress.com and follow her on Twitter @Janelle___J