For Bonkosi Horn, wellness is not a check mark, not a daily one and done. “We live in a culture where you work out and then—you’re done, you’re good,” she says. “That’s not necessarily the case.” A lifelong athlete who played Division 1 volleyball at Butler University, Horn says that sport and being active has served as a platform to consider health from all angles. “It was a catalyst for my interest and desire to take as best care of my body and self as possible,” she explains.
Horn, who radiates positive energy, honed that line of thinking while working at Lululemon—where she spent a decade cultivating community and events around wellness. Ultimately she launched concept stores that expanded on the idea of connection by bringing in local artists, speakers, instructors and chefs to explore health on multiple levels. “We work out, do yoga, run, whatever, but what else is there for us that ignites us and gives us life?” she asks. “We tapped into looking at a person through the lens of all the things and what that does to our body.”
In 2019, she and friend Morrisa Jenkins opened Freedom Apothecary in Philadelphia, a clean beauty, wellness and community boutique. (Horn is the co-founder and creative director.) It’s also an event space that hosts workshops and gatherings.
As with all things Horn does, she appeals to the whole person. “We as humans are not one dimensional,” she says. And that’s the shop’s focus, to reach women—and women of color in particular—and create a space that they can sink into, connect with others and learn about the many sides of and the numerous resources for whole-person wellness. “When we take care of ourselves and our environmental well-being, we want to do more, we’re more equipped and more aligned with ourselves, which allows us to uplift others,” Horn explains. She brings that same energy to support Stripp’d Juice, a cold-pressed juice shop that her husband Khoran opened in 2015, and Guardhouse Café, which he opened in 2020.
But most important, she says, are their children, aged two, six, and 10. Weekends are often spent driving the kids from one sporting event to the next. “We’re here, we’re there,” Horn laughs. “It’s a lot of managing to ensure our kids see the active world.” But Horn, who sees sports as a jumping off point for a healthy and full life, wouldn’t have it any other way.
From Summer 2022