On any given day, you can find Keena Atkinson teaching yoga, leading a WERQ class, making and selling waist beads, recording and editing podcasts, managing her multi-family housing property, or a combination of those things. Atkinson owns R’oujie Wellness, a business she started in 2018 after leaving her career in executive leadership.
Atkinson teaches yoga and dance fitness classes locally at the Princeton Club, through the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness, Progress Center for Black Women, DreamBank and more. She offers in-person and virtual options. When first starting the business, Atkinson wanted it to be about more than just fitness and weight loss.
“I do this because it makes me feel well,” Atkinson said. “Wellness is not limiting me or confining me to just one aspect of it, it also allows for abundance. The principles of abundance which is what the business is founded and based on.”
The R’oujie Wellness name came about after Atkinson taught a class for the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness. She was brainstorming with a group of women and mentioned she was “ratchet and bougie.” She combined the two words and R’oujie was born.
R’oujie Wellness isn’t Atkinson’s first business. Years ago, she became a licensed cosmetologist and started doing hair to take care of her children and make her own schedule. She was working at a salon, and eventually branched out on her own in 2015 with K Naturally Hair, all while attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Atkinson is currently participating in F.O.C.U.S., an entrepreneurial program at the Progress Center for Black Women. The program supports Black entrepreneurs through training, resources, mentorship and more. Atkinson has already learned so much through F.O.C.U.S calling it an amazing program and a breath of fresh air.
“We’ve learned about resources that our tax money pays for that are available to us,” Atkinson said. “If you’re in business, you always have things to work on so it’s nice to be in an environment where you can be vulnerable. You don’t have to have everything figured out and you can still be learning and growing.”
Sabrina Madison, founder of the Progress Center for Black Women said the program has been great for Atkinson.
“Each week, Keena has been beyond engaged,” Madison said.
Madison hired Atkinson to lead yoga and mindfulness for the first couple sessions of the program.
“Those two sessions were really great to the point where participants still talk about how they are using those tools she shared,” Madison said. “It also gave the other participants an opportunity to see her in sort of a leadership standpoint and look to her for guidance and support.”
Atkinson also serves as the center’s Mindful Movement Ambassador. She’ll share tips and videos as part of her role. Madison said Atkinson also will do small group events for those connected to the center.
In addition to running her businesses and participating in F.O.C.U.S, Atkinson has three podcasts, including the Good, Bad, Breakthru Podcast with her childhood friends. They discuss topics related to being your true, authentic self.
R’oujie Ruminations and Revelations focuses on wellness and healing conversations. Atkinson occasionally has local guests on her show.
“Whenever I have guests on, I really get to be the person who is pulling out these beautiful stories from people and that’s an honor to me,” Atkinson said.
She also has Kaleb Conversations in the works, a podcast with her 7-year-old son. It hasn’t been released yet. Atkinson is working on getting advertising partners for the podcast.
Atkinson’s secret to success really isn’t a secret at all. She said if you’re thinking of starting a business, take the first step because people are waiting for you to do what you have in your heart.
“Your action or your vision can be something like making a blanket or writing that thing that you needed to write or illustrating that picture or making that recipe — putting it on paper, it can be anything,” Atkinson said. “I don’t care if you feel like there’s already so many of these things — it’s not yours. A year from now, you will wish that you had started today.”
While Atkinson runs several businesses, mothers her two sons and is an active member of the community, she takes time for herself and her family.
“I do rest. I get my sleep,” she said. “I spend time with my little boy, I have an 18-year-old going off to college. We are enjoying life.”