Kharissa Forte prioritizes Black wellness, highlights self-care, in the heart of Kansas City

By Sophie Oswald
Photos by Travis Young

Kharissa Forte breaks through barriers. Today, she is a Black woman business owner at the wheel of Grace & Grind. It all started in 2018 when she and her husband, Wesley, were on the brink of filing for divorce, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Before Grace & Grind, Kharissa worked in digital marketing, social media, and website design. 

She was even an on-air radio personality and associate producer. She enjoyed her work in these positions, but she did not feel fulfilled. “Those industries can be so ego-centric, and I didn’t feel like I was actually making a difference in the world. Not to mention, I was smoking around the clock, and chugging energy drinks like my paycheck depended on it,” she explained. 

She was talented in these jobs and continued to work them for a while, but eventually, it all just clicked. “One day, I just had a breakdown and literally in that moment decided I want to work in health and wellness somehow. In hindsight, I think the need for me to prioritize my own health was the guiding light,” she said. “That year, it was 2019, I quit the agency I was at and started working at a local health store. I also enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a health coach. The next year, Grace & Grind was born,” she said. 

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