Vanessa Simmons: A Journey Of IMPACT In Entertainment And Wellness

An Exclusive Interview with Tunisha Brown, Founder/Editor-In-Chief of IMPACT Magazine

Vanessa Simmons, a multifaceted talent in the realms of modeling, acting, and entrepreneurship, has left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. Known as the eldest daughter of hip-hop legend Rev Run of RUN DMC, Vanessa’s journey was initially chronicled on the iconic reality series, RUN’S HOUSE, which premiered in the early aughts on MTV.

The reality series not only showcased the dynamic Simmons family but also captured Vanessa and her sister Angela as they pursued their dreams of launching their sneaker and clothing line, Pastry. This marked the beginning of Vanessa’s entrepreneurial spirit, laying the foundation for her future endeavors. “I’ve always been heavily influenced and inspired by my family. Being a part of RUN’S HOUSE made us feel a part of the formula which gave us the motivation to pursue our dreams.”

Transitioning seamlessly from reality TV to acting, Vanessa has graced the screens in various productions, including BET’s GAMES PEOPLE PLAY, UMC’s MONOGAMY, BET+’s DEADLY ENTANGLEMENT, and Tubi’s THE CAREGIVER. Her versatility as an actress has roots in her early exposure to the entertainment industry, bringing authenticity and depth to her scripted roles.

In addition to her thriving acting career, Vanessa ventured into entrepreneurship with Pastry, a brand that reflects her passion for fashion and style. However, her journey took a significant turn with the creation of U4IA (pronounced euphoria), an online community and wellness platform.

U4IA is not merely a wellness brand; it is a mission to provide everyone, especially people of color, with accessible health solutions. Vanessa’s commitment to making health and wellness achievable without breaking the bank is evident in the U4IA marketplace. The platform offers a curated selection of wellness products that align with the brand’s values of affordability, effectiveness, and authenticity.

“Pastry was about catering to women in a male dominated industry, but the root and heart of Pastry was to empower young women to go after their dreams. With U4IA, it’s me as a grown woman who’s done a lot of research in an industry that could be so cruel, to find ways to thrive in life through wellness, self-care, mental well-being, and wanting to offer that to other people.”

One of the standout features of U4IA is its emphasis on mental health awareness. Vanessa recognizes the interconnectedness of physical and mental well-being, making U4IA not just a marketplace but a supportive community. “Our goal is to educate and reinforce the notion that you don’t need to break the bank to live your best and healthiest life.”

Vanessa Simmons has also expanded her IMPACT through partnerships with high-profile brands like Buttah Skin, Saks Fifth Avenue, Yummy Extensions, and Amazon Live. These collaborations seamlessly integrate with U4IA’s vision, enhancing the brand’s influence in the beauty and wellness industry.

For Vanessa, being her whole self means embracing her roles as an actress, entrepreneur, and advocate for accessible wellness. Aspiring entrepreneurs can draw inspiration from her journey, learning not only about the entertainment industry but also about the importance of authenticity and purpose in business.

Looking forward, Vanessa envisions U4IA continuing to evolve and make a meaningful IMPACT on the well-being of its community. In that evolution, Vanessa plans on touring the country with the objective of highlighting health and wellness with “Experience U4IA,” a one-of-a-kind wellness retreat designed to provide attendees with a life-changing experience of well-being.  “This tour means so much to me. I’m going to have the opportunity to get out there to meet the people, to hear what their concerns are, so I can bring the right people to the platform to have these meaningful conversations. This will bring wellness to the forefront in an efficient and IMPACTful way.”

With a focus on accessibility, authenticity, and advocacy for mental health, Vanessa Simmons is not just making waves in the entertainment industry but is also leaving an enduring IMPACT on the landscape of wellness. 

Photographer: Lara Jade

Stylist: Lola Banjo

Hair: Jessica Milani

Makeup: Misuzu Miyak

Retoucher: Victor Marson

Handbags: Silver & Riley 

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