Jade Kearney is here to help women worldwide with their pregnancies, proudly standing as a black female entrepreneur and serving as a role model so that others can follow in her footsteps. Following her own experience with pregnancy, Kearney launched her own company called SheMatters which focused primarily on black females.
SheMatters is a mobile app standing as the intersection of tech and wellness, recently raising $1.5 million in funding. Since then, the online platform has expanded to WeMatters, to encompass minorities and under-serviced communities including LGBTQ, trans, Asian and Latino women, and more.
Kearney is also the author of The Pink Book, a yearly guide for black mothers to help them navigate the safest hospitals for pregnancy. The goal is to reduce the high death rates among black mothers and babies.
Additionally, Kearney launched Black Girl’s Tech Day, an annual conference for women of color.
Sheen spoke with Jade Kearney, who was due any day now with her new pregnancy.
Where are you from and how’d you get your start in all this?
I was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, where I lived until the age of 10. She then moved to Torrence, California where she lived for 3 years. After a short stint in Cali, Jade returned to Newark, New York.
After giving birth to my daughter Kenora in 2017, I experienced preeclampsia and postpartum OCD. I had intrusive thoughts and knew something was wrong. I began to seek help and didn’t find care that was created for people who looked like me. My doctor prescribed me Zoloft without paying attention to what I was experiencing. I was uncomfortable and flushed the medicine down the toilet.
When did you first get the idea for SheMatters? What was your goal?
I got the idea in 2018 after going on my own wellness journey during my postpartum period. The goal is to support black mothers who experience postpartum mental illness.
What is the reality of launching your own app?
The reality is things don’t always happen as your vision, you have to listen to your audience. What you think will draw people in may not work. You have to communicate with users intimately to understand the type of support /help they are looking for.
How important is something like The Pink Book? (Visual ASSETS)
It is extremely important because when a Black woman is experiencing an emergency we are looking for the safest hospital, not the closest. Researching the safest hospital is too time-consuming during an emergency and can lead to further complications.
What does mental health and wellness mean to you?
Find the balance between mind, body, and spirit. Whatever that means ie. a day off, spirit prayer, or going to the gym, whatever finds you peace.
How was the process of writing your own book?
I documented all my encounters with investors and Black founders. I was able to identify a huge disconnect.
What are you most looking forward to next?
I’m most looking forward to addressing black maternal morbidity on a national level. Being an authority around safety and cultural competency for black women.