New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Beyond NYU: A wellness entrepreneur’s journey from Violet to Golde

CAS alum Trinity Mouzon Wofford, the CEO of the wellness brand Golde, became the youngest Black woman to launch a brand at Sephora in 2019.
Max Van Hosen
(Illustration by Max Van Hosen)

When CAS alum Trinity Mouzon Wofford began her college journey, majoring in psychology on a pre-med track, her goal was to enter the medical field as a physician. After her mother was diagnosed with a severe autoimmune disease, she had hoped to make a difference in others’ lives.

However, her original plan took a turn when she discovered her passion for business. Mouzon Wofford worked with her husband Issey Kobori, another NYU alum, to found Golde, a wellness brand that sells skincare products and matcha and latte blends. The turmeric-infused blends hit Sephora shelves in 2019, making Mouzon Wofford the youngest Black woman to launch a brand with the store. Her accomplishments as Golde CEO earned her and her husband a spot on Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 Food & Drink list in 2020.

In an interview with WSN, Mouzon Wofford shared her insights on navigating the post-grad job market, her experience switching careers and her journey launching her very own brand.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity. 

WSN: What was it like having to go off to college while your mom was dealing with an autoimmune disease at home?

Mouzon Wofford: Her battle with rheumatoid arthritis really impacted her daily life and, of course, mine. She was often stuck in bed for days at a time. I watched her deal and struggle with that, and when she switched over to seeing a more holistically minded physician, she saw this incredible improvement in her symptoms. It was really the first time in my life that I had seen her improve, which was an exciting lightbulb moment for me. I decided, ‘This is what I want to do; I want to go off to med school, I want to be pre-med.’ That was how I ended up in that world. I was really set on this idea of bringing holistically minded health care to people like my mom, and I believed that at that time that the best way to do it was through a foundation of medical degree.

As Mouzon Wofford continued her studies, she realized that she did not need to follow the traditional path of medical school before pursuing her own interests. This led her to explore different career paths after graduating from NYU in 2015. 

WSN: What sparked your transition from pre-med to business?

Mouzon Wofford: I was like most college grads, because I had no idea what I wanted to do. During the first half of my senior year, some of my friends were already getting jobs locked in, and I was starting to feel this pressure of, like, ‘What am I going to do?’ I ended up going forward with this venture-backed tech startup in the city. I didn’t know anything about startup life, but I would describe it as sort of being thrown into the fire in the best way possible by learning so much. That experience was very much formative, because it was at that first job post-college that I started to dream up the idea for Golde and bring it to life.

In 2017, Mouzon Wofford used her husband’s background in business and her prior interest in holistic treatments to create Golde. As an RA during her junior year at NYU, she said, she often suggested remedies like raw garlic to sick college first-years.

WSN: Can you speak more on how you incorporated your own interests when creating Golde? 

Mouzon Wofford: I was totally that friend or co-worker who would suggest various herbal remedies based on how you were feeling. Something that I started to get more and more interested in was this idea of taking the concept of wellness and developing a brand that felt really approachable and exciting. I wanted to create a different sort of relationship with wellness than what was already out there.

When I was coming up with the idea for Golde, wellness and natural foods were either primarily associated with the old-school, crunchy-granola stuff that I grew up with, or a very luxury offering, which didn’t really resonate with me as a young woman and a person of color. Our goal was, ‘How can we just do something creative and warm in this space that just feels a little different from what we’re seeing?’

Mouzon Wofford and Kobori began Golde by making turmeric mixes from their Brooklyn apartment and attempting to sell their products door-to-door and to wholesalers. Sephora began retailing Mouzon Wofford and Kobori’s products in 2019. 

WSN: How does it feel to reflect on your journey from your beginnings to where you are today? 

Mouzon Wofford: I think that there is a sense that I’m on the mountaintop looking down and saying, ‘Yes, I did it.’ However, the reality that I feel — and that I know so many other people in my place feel too — is that it always feels like you’re at the bottom of the mountain and you’re looking up. It gets harder with time to look back and see how far you’ve come. In this season of my life, I’m looking to appreciate what we’ve been able to do in the last several years. I hope that by giving myself a little bit more space to appreciate what has happened, I can dream even bigger for the next 10 years.

Contact Bruna Horvath at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Bruna Horvath
Bruna Horvath, News Editor
Bruna Horvath is a sophomore studying journalism and English at CAS. When she’s not a News Editor, she’s a "Gone Girl" enthusiast, a Goodreads lover, and a Barnes & Noble frequenter. You can usually find her ordering an iced mocha, telling people her name is “Bruna” not “Bruno,” or on Instagram @brunaahorvath.

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