Queen City Naturalistas To Watch In 2017

Robin Emmons

After spending 20 years in Corporate America, Robin Emmons quit her job and found her passion. Nine years ago, Emmons decided to use her passion to promote social justice related to food insecurity and, healthy food options in marginalized communities. Emmons dug up her entire backyard and sowed the seeds for the nonprofit, Sow Much Good. She dedicated herself to eliminating systemic barriers in the food system that disproportionately affects the working poor and underserved populations. Since the launch of Sow Much Good, Emmons has served as a food activist who works tirelessly to raise awareness about inequities in the food system that eliminate the basic human right of a significant number of people to access healthy food.



Tina Owens Knox

Tina Owens Knox is a wife, mother of two, entrepreneur, and servant-leader who is dedicated to helping mothers become more financially literate. After the birth of her youngest child, Tina decided to leave Corporate America and apply the skills she learned as a former Mary Kay Sales director to educate women about the importance of life insurance. Tina is the creator and host of Honor Thy Neighbor, an event that honors individuals with a passion for service to others. Knox spearheaded New Growth Hair Magazine’s outreach efforts at Thomasboro Academy. She was personally responsible raising more than $15,000 worth of backpacks, food, and free haircuts for low-income students at Thomasboro Academy.



Elisa Chinn-Gary

Elisa Chinn-Gary made history when she became the first African American to serve as Mecklenburg County’s Clerk of Court, one of the most powerful positions in our county. She is responsible for 200 employees and her office collects more than $100 million in receipts. During the past two years, Chinn-Gary has improved the level of service at the courthouse, technologically modernized the court, increased employee morale, and encouraged her employees to give back to the community.




Djuana “Dfitz” Lewis

Djuana Lewis is a photographer, documentary film maker, graphic designer, and web site designer who is affectionately known as Dfitz. In her field, she is one of Charlotte’s fastest rising stars. Two years ago, Dfitz released Naturally Me, a documentary about her decision to transition to natural hair which was featured at The Bronze Lenses Awards in Atlanta, GA. Currently, she is planning her next film. Dfitz is the photographer responsible for capturing the November 2015 cover image of Isis Brantley and the February 2016 cover image of Elisa Chinn-Gary.



Kween Kandace

In 2014, after she began seeing bald spots and losing hair, Kween Kandace concocted her own regimen of natural remedies to counteract hair loss. This experience led Kandace to develop Khemistree Naturals, an organic natural hair product designed to nourish the scalp and regrow hair.  The name Khemistree Naturals was created from the word “Khem” which means the black land of Egypt and “Tree” which is a symbol of growth and transformation. Kandace is a student of holistic health and believes that the body can heal itself with the proper nutrition. Kandace is on a mission to help women transform their mind, body, and spirit by taking care of their hair starting at the roots.




Asha Sims

In 2010, Asha Sims, a licensed counselor, became frustrated with the traditional western approach to healing and mental health. She concluded that many of her clients were over-medicated and unable to connect with their emotions due to the side effects of their medications. So she began seeking alternative healing and wellness options. Asha’s search resulted in her practicing Yoga, becoming a Yoga instructor, and founding Ashakti Wellness, a business that offers holistic health options including: Yoga classes, Reiki training, Hypnosis, workshops, online training courses, and special events. Sims is the creator of The Winter Goddess Bazaar, an event that gives women who are interested in alterative health options an opportunity to connect, exchange ideas, and engage in business with each other.




Kasha King

Kasha King is a dedicated wife, mother, and educator who holds a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  Currently, King teaches 7th grade Social Studies at Coulwood Middle School. During the 2015-2016 school year, King was honored with the title of “Teacher of the Year”. In addition to being an educator, King considers herself a student of life and is an avid reader. When she is not preparing our nation’s future leaders, King is perfecting her self-taught cooking skills. King has combined her passion for reading and cooking to co-produce a show called GoodReats, a web series, with her husband Mario D. King. GoodReats is a show that provides viewers with good reads and good grub.


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