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Meet The Founders

Photograph of Nana Eyeson-Akiwowo by Oluwaseye Olusa. Photograph of Marcia Cole by M. A. Hopkins Photography

How It Started

Fourth Phase afterbirth care gift box is the brainchild of Nana Eyeson-Akiwowo and Marcia A. Cole, two friends and former magazine and digital editors also known for their philanthropic work.

The idea for the Fourth Phase afterbirth care gift box was born during Nana’s annual charity mission to Ghana. There, she witnessed the lack of postnatal attention being paid to new mothers in her homeland and vowed to do something about it. “So often we focus on the pregnancy and the health of the baby—which is of the utmost importance—but society typically neglects the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of new mothers," she explains. "Unfortunately, this happens to mothers across the world and it has to stop.”

The fourth trimester of a new mother's journey is one of the most critical phases of motherhood. With that understanding, Fourth Phase afterbirth care gift boxes were conceived to support and unify mothers across the world during the time in their lives when their bodies and spirits are most delicate: after childbirth. During the 2020 pandemic, Nana and Marcia merged minds and began working together to bring Fourth Phase to market.

Based upon her work with women in New York City homeless shelters, Marcia understood the lack of awareness about self- and afterbirth care all too well. “For years I have been working with women in shelters by providing sanitary products, coaching and beauty services to women in need. Co-founding Fourth Phase became a wonderful extension of the work I was already doing as a volunteer and the holistic modalities I am a practitioner of,” says the serial entrepreneur. "And it is where I get to explore three of my passions—startups, helping women and giving back to the community. Coming together with Nana to launch Fourth Phase taps our collective expertise and talents to be in greater service to women in ways often not recognized.”

Created by moms for moms, Fourth Phase afterbirth care gift box helps mothers heal, feel, and be heard. Each Fourth Phase afterbirth care gift box is curated with a new mother’s physical and emotional recovery in mind. The 12 products featured in each box holds this promise: to be hand-created, tested by new moms, Organic, phthalates-free, non-toxic and sustainably sourced.

Hi! I'm Nana Eyeson-Akiwowo

I am the co-founder of Fourth Phase aftercare boxes. I'm a social entrepreneur and seasoned humanitarian with a strong commitment to advocating adequate and accessible health care for all under-resourced women, children, and families. Fifteen years prior, after my dad suffered a heart attack in Ghana, I founded African Health Now (AHN), a global public health organization, to provide information and access to primary and maternity health care to women, children, and families living across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Before AHN, I had a successful career in media, working for women's titles such as Honey, Suede, Essence, and Seventeen, as an Assistant and Bookings Editor, respectively.

After founding AHN, I transitioned into the non-profit sector to better understand how to run a non-profit. I worked for companies such as the New York Mission Society and The Clinton Global Initiative Foundation as their events, marketing, and community relations manager. It paid off.

To date, my work with AHN has serviced over 30,000 people in Ghana and Nigeria who are in need of basic health services readily available in America.

Over the years, I was recognized for my philanthropic efforts: World Remit named me as one of their 2020 Top Influential Africans; the Center for Social Innovation awarded me their 2018 Agent of Change Fellow award; The National Council of Ghanaian Associations named me their 2017 Humanitarian of Year; in 2016 I was given a New York State Senate Proclamation for Commitment to Health Advocacy, and in 2009 I received the Andrew Heiskell Humanitarian Award by Time Inc.

I speak English and Twi, the latter a language native to Ghana, and my husband and I are the proud parents of a beautiful, eight-year-old girl. When I am not working on Fourth Phase, I am in DIY heaven making balloon garlands, resurfacing furniture, and watching HGTV.

Hi! I'm Marcia A. Cole

I am the co-founder of Fourth Phase. A little bit about me: I'm a serial entrepreneur with expertise in bringing brands to market, content creation, creative direction, event curation, and product development. I love bringing new ideas to fruition! And as a staunch advocate for personal, emotional, and spiritual development, I have coached over 300 professionals seeking to live a life by design. Four years ago I created a 501 (c)(3) non-profit called Passion Meets Purpose (PMP), which provides both men and women in shelters access to mind-shifting life coaching, sanitary products, and beauty/grooming services to help them transition out of shelters.

Before joining Fourth Phase and founding PMP, I was known as an editor and marketing agency owner who developed multi-million-dollar revenue-generating opportunities and audience-building partnerships for targeted markets. For more than 20 years, I worked for some of the biggest media brands in the country, holding executive-level positions at AOL, Time Inc., Essence, Latina Media Ventures, Fairchild Publications, and the now-defunct Vanguarde Media. My freelance articles about beauty, hair, health, and entertainment have appeared in The New York Times, The New York Post, Elle, InStyle Weddings, Essence, Heart & Soul and Vibe magazine.

Along the way, a few of my peers took note of my work. I was a recipient of the MEG Grant from New York Women in Commun-ications; I was named Woman of the Year by Golden Shears Awards for my commitment to the success of the beauty industry; I received the Young, Gifted & Black Award for Entrepre-neurship; and JAMPACT gave me the CHIC (Charitable, Hopeful, Impactful, Classy) award for outstanding contribution to professional excellence and my commitment to philanthropy.

Every so often, people want to hear about my experiences and what I learned, so I speak and moderate discussions on topics that include entrepreneurship, social media, and career advancement/or pivoting. I have appeared on BET and The History Channel and was featured in Marie Claire, WWD, and Forbes. I believe strongly in being of service. I was a board member of New York Women in Communications, where I served for 12 years, and was an Assistant Transformational Coach at Momentum Education for three years.

Currently, I am a holistic healer in training studying SunTao Philosophy, QiGong, Chakra Healing and Sound Therapy. I am the youngest of five, auntie and mentor to many, and am currently obsessed with learning how to grow my own produce and recreating bread and authentic Asian recipes from YouTube.

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