"I love sleep," social entrepreneur Mandy Bowman tells us over the phone. "I am the person who will cancel plans to take naps." As the Founder and CEO of the app Official Black Wall Street, it's no wonder Bowman remains dedicated to getting in her necessary R.E.M.. "Even if I go to sleep late at night, I'll always give myself more time in the morning to catch up."
Upon graduating from Babson University, this Brooklyn-native began a mission to "empower the Black community through economics and ownership." Her app, Official Black Wall Street, encourages its users to #BuyBlack, by sending an alert to your phone when you are near a Black-owned business.
The future? "I envision Official Black Wall Street becoming a global ecosystem of small Black-owned businesses and those who understand the importance of supporting them," she declares. "We are super excited to be expanding into countries like The Netherlands, South Africa and other areas around the world in 2021 that have a need for this as well."
Here, she shares what's next to her bed.
What side of the bed do you sleep on?
I usually sleep on the right side. I actually didn't even realize that about myself until you asked me this question.
What can you not sleep without?
I can't sleep without a blanket—even if it's 100 degrees outside, I still have to have a blanket on my bed. I don't have a favorite blanket or anything—it just has to be, like, a piece of cloth or comforter.
What do you keep next to your bed?
I have a nightstand table next to my bed. On top of it, I have a bouquet of flowers and a bunch of books. I always have one book that I'm currently reading on it as well as my journal, which I use, I would say, a few times a week. I am currently reading a book called Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. As an entrepreneur I always try to read at least two business-related books a month. This one came highly recommended by so many that I had to check it out myself.
Do you keep any electronics next to your bed?
I do. I try not to, but I do keep my phone plugged in. But, by the time I get into my room, it's always on "do not disturb" automatically.
What's the strangest thing that you keep next to your bed?
I guess it's only strange because I'm an adult, but I have a teddy bear that was my late grandmother's. It just stays in my room by my bed. I call him Buddy. I was very close to my late grandmother and I am very big on family and holding on to things that remind me of late relatives. Whenever I see it I am reminded of my grandmother and how funny and young spirited she could be. The teddy bear is special to me because it belonged to my grandmother and someday in the future, it will belong to my own daughter, and so forth, and so on.
What's your nighttime routine like?
My nighttime routine is starting earlier and earlier these days. I think it's a direct correlation with the fact that it’s getting dark earlier. Usually, I'll start getting ready for bed around 9:30/10:00PM. Before that, every single night, I always work out for at least 15 minutes--usually a 15-minute HIIT workout or a targeted strength workout to tone my legs, arms, core, etc.
After showering, I'll always meditate and journal. Recently, I started this new practice where I only go into my room to sleep. It helps so much. Before, I used to have a lot of issues with actually going to sleep. I could be lying in bed for hours awake. Now, I won’t even enter my room until it's time for me to fall asleep. I also use a meditation guide on YouTube that helps.
I also have my nighttime routine around skincare, which has multiple steps and can change every day of the week. Normally, on a heavier day where I'm doing more, I'll exfoliate with a microdermabrasion tool. I'll put on an Aztec clay mask and mix in a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. After that, I'll go through my routine of cleansing, applying my toner, and moisturizing. The cleanser, toner and moisturizer I use is this kit from The Butter Bar, one of my favorite Black-owned skincare brands. What I love about their products is that they're all made from natural, vegan ingredients and are specific to your skin type. My skincare routine is really relaxing for me, so I'll take my time and do one thing at a time. It helps me unwind and really get ready for bed.