Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Nana Amoako-Anin
A Successful Black Woman Entrepreneur In Ghana Tells Why She Quit Her Dream Job As A Lawyer In NYC
Before moving and becoming a successful Black woman entrepreneur in Ghana eight years ago, Nana Amoako-Anin (45) had what can be considered a perfect life in New York. This former New York-based lawyer, born in the United States, had reached a very exciting level of her career, having started out in the field of law at the Manhattan District Attorneys Office. “ I had transitioned to work on Wall Street. It was really a dream life. My husband also worked in banking at the time. We lived an upbeat ‘we’ve made it’ faced paced life in Park Slope, Brooklyn”, Amoako-Anin told Travel Noire.
However, soon after being married, her daughter arrived and life changed. “Our life plan was pretty much set, as most friends in our peer group dreamed of buying a house and settling outside of the city. With such aspirations also in mind, we also craved for a slower pace, and warmer climates. My husband who is also Ghanaian had his sights on relocating us as a family to Ghana. My sense of adventure coupled with his influence, made it happen and our lives took an amazing turn. He said, “why buy a house in New Jersey when we can build a house in Ghana?”.
Amoako-Anin said before she moved to Ghana, she was very familiar with traveling overseas as she was born into a traveling family. “My parents being retirees from the UN and World Bank, took us early on, on trips to Rio, Geneva, Istanbul and Kenya. We also lived in Zambia for a formidable part of my childhood. Such memories fueled my love of travel. I continue to travel, and I also have fond memories of trips to India, Israel, Paris, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Madrid, Barcelona, Nigeria, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.” But, being of Ghanaian heritage and having spent most summers in Ghana, from a young age, it felt natural for her and her husband to want to move back where soon she would become a successful Black woman entrepreneur in Ghana. “Ghana is also a great country for Black Expats, for its history. Many Black Expats have traced and continue to trace their roots to Ghana. This connection certainly makes considering a move to Ghana, even more compelling.”
She added that Ghana presents cultural opportunities, saying that everyone is welcome there. “I have met so many people from all over the world. The connections run deep. A few days ago, I met a lovely woman who re-located from East Flatbush, Brooklyn New York. It’s such a small world. When we spoke, there was so much ease in her reflections about living in Accra. She feels right at home.”
As a successful Black woman entrepreneur in Ghana, she has a variety of businesses, including advising growth stage as well as matured and emerging businesses. But her yoga studio Bliss Yoga Accra has by far been a business pursuit, that Amoako-Anin is most proud of. “Being an avid yoga practitioner and licensed instructor, when I first moved to Accra from New York many of my business colleagues and new friends were curious about practicing yoga with me. Thus, as demand for my time grew, I made the life-changing decision to open one of the few full-service yoga studios in Ghana, 8 years ago.”
Bliss Yoga Accra offers group/private yoga classes, as well as yoga teacher certifications and stress relief programs. “My studio has been credited with popularizing yoga in Ghana. Additionally, being one of the few African, woman-owned established studios, Bliss Yoga Accra stands to change the narrative on the accessibility and face of yoga.”
She also said that working in the wellness industry has afforded her the opportunity to meet some amazing people who have relocated to Ghana or are working on various short and long-term work assignments. “I increasingly [it’s becoming more of the norm] meet expats who have lucked out and are working remotely from internationally-based jobs. The style of living here is not isolating, and there is never a lack of people to connect with and share ideas. From book clubs, nomadic dining collectives, to a skateboard park, hiking groups, and of course – yoga and wellness activities – I enjoy the expats that I meet, many of which I have made lifelong friendships.”
Anin revealed that hundreds of people have benefited from discovering wellness practices through her business. ”We are truly a global village, and I’ve seen more and more practitioners travel to Ghana over the years, and make time in their year to participate in our 9-week teacher training program. We’ve had students from such places as Liberia, Switzerland, and New York, make that commitment.” I think expansion has been organic over the years, and it continues. We started with 15 loyal students when we first opened 8 years ago. To date, we’ve sold over 950 studio memberships. “