Dreka Gates Talks Holistic Healing In Beauty Wellness & Cannabis



Trailblazing in her rite, celebrity entrepreneur Dreka Gates has taken a seat in the C-suite in multiple industries including beauty, wellness, and holistic spaces. And that’s just on a Monday. By Tuesday, Gates is opening doors for people in the cannabis space that look like her.

She is making history as one of the first African-American women to open a dispensary in the state of Mississippi opening its doors this spring. While on Plants Over Pills with Mama Sue and Glasshouse Brands and rounding out Women’s History Month, the duo also appeared on a massive billboard in Times Square on March 30. Celebrate with me as, I am honored to spotlight, Dreka Gates. Check out the full interview below.

One-On-One With Dreka Gates

Onthesceneny: As you are big in the beauty and wellness space, how important is wellness to your overall well-being?

Dreka Gates: Oh my gosh! Health and wellness are at the top of my list. I always tell people as long as I’m happy I’m good. I don’t care about anything else.

ONY: Now you talk a lot on your platform about holistic healing and your holistic lifestyle. How did you get into that?

DG: Growing up I always felt like I was a healer to some extent. I don’t mean a healer in the sense that I go and put my hands on people but I feel like I have a gift. Like I’m very in tune with my body and nature and using nature to support my whole body wellness. When I graduated from high school, I went to school to be a doctor. I thought that was the route for me to take. But it wasn’t. Two years in I dropped out and became my husband’s manager. I don’t manage his music career at this time.

I also had surgery at 20 years old, due to having big breasts. So I had a breast reduction because I was like a toothpick with big breasts haha and it was causing problems in my shoulders. When I went to the hospital, these people nearly killed me. It was supposed to be an outpatient surgery. I ended up having to stay in the hospital a couple of days because they had punctured a lung or something crazy. Ever since then I kind of sworn against ever going to a doctor or a hospital setting, like ever again. That experience kind of just pushed me more so into the natural, holistic way of just being. It’s something that’s just been with me since then.

ONY: Someone that inspires you, would be a lady by the name of Mama Sue. Do you mind sharing with us about you guys this bond and connection?

DG: Oh my gosh. It was amazing. Just talking with her and meeting her for the first time, I honestly felt like she was a much older version of myself. It was kind of surreal. It was like, wow, this is what you’re gonna be like when you’re here. It was amazing talking to her. She was just like pulling me in. I call it being in my psychic space. Mama Sue is all up in my psychic space. She was all up in my brain, literally just like pulling everything out. I’m like, oh my God, talking to her was like sitting and having a conversation with myself. It was just amazing and beautiful. We just have this connection, like on a deeper, spiritual level. It’s like we already knew each other before knowing each other, you know? So it’s very beautiful and super inspiring.

ONY: Now as we continue talking about wellness, you have your own wellness brand, Dreka Wellness. What was the driving force for you to create your Dreka Gates Wellness brand?

DG: Wellness that’s always been with me. But being in the music industry and doing the work that I was doing, like, I never ever, ever had the time to do it. So like in 2018 and 19, I started working on formulas, but it was like, I just didn’t have any time to put into it. And then COVID hit. So we weren’t touring, we weren’t doing anything. So that gave me the opportunity to finally dive into it and bring it to life, which is what I did.

That has been such a beautiful journey because that stuff excites me. Like, I love sharing, just like stuff that I’ve created and tools that I’ve learned along the way to help me to stay in that space of being well, and balanced. I love it because it’s a platform where I’m able to just share all of my tips and tricks or secrets and tools with everyone.

ONY: Making time for what you are passionate about is so important. Now, one element of your brand is that everything is plant-based. Now, how did that come about?

DG: Okay, so my thing is, I do use the term plant-based. I do not use the term vegan because I’m not a vegan. I don’t subscribe to that anymore. I’ve done that lifestyle, but that’s not it. It didn’t lead me to being as healthy as I am, now that I live a balanced lifestyle. So plant-based is the majority of my products and the power that the plants hold coupled with the power that we have within ourselves is the basis of my brand. Like you can achieve anything. There is nothing that I feel you cannot heal that your body can’t heal with the support of plants.I realized the magic in the plants. That’s the premise of my company and my lifestyle. I consume mostly plants. I still don’t eat a lot of meat. There’s a lot of power in plants.

ONY: Now we’re talking about the power in plants. Let’s talk about the magical plant Cannabis. I went to cannabis college, so I am very knowledgeable just as far as how it’s healthy for healing. What inspired you to wanna open up your dispensary in the state of Mississippi, especially being the first black woman to do so?

DG: For me, it’s all about bringing this knowledge to people who don’t know anything about it. Down south in Mississippi, we’re in the Bible Belt. It’s bad if you’re having sex, meanwhile everybody is having sex. How’d you get here? You know what I’m saying? It’s bad. If you’re smoking marijuana, it is a plant. Like what exactly are we tripping about? You know? So it’s my goal to destigmatize it and to bring them a much safer alternative because so many people are addicted to opioids. They don’t know any other way. They are scared to get hooked on drugs, but it’s like you’re already hooked on drugs. Like, let me show you something much safer. Let me show you this much safer alternative that eventually one day you’ll probably be able to grow yourself, you know?

But for now, I’m able to provide this for you and show you how to use this properly, and what it can do for you. My goal is to educate people and show them a better way of being. That is so important to me! I have someone close to me who was on antidepressants and painkillers for chronic pain, and they’ve never in their life smoked or consumed marijuana until I introduced it to them. They are no longer on antidepressants or in chronic pain and strictly consume cannabis to ease the pain that they experience in their bodies. For me, that is a miracle. This is someone who doesn’t even drink and who is clean as a whistle. So if I could do that with this person, surely I can convince other people to consider, you know?

ONY: You have your farm to be honest, you remind me of Kelis because of your influence in the entertainment space, especially music, and how you’ve been able to utilize your platform to bring more awareness and attention just to a healthier, more natural lifestyle. How did you go about acquiring a farm and raising your kids on the farm?

DG: Back in 2007 and 2017, Kevin and I purchased a farm. We had zero intentions of living on this farm but it was just going to be a place of retreat for us because I mean, we were spending like 80 to 90% of our time touring from city to city, country to country. Like our lives were like nonstop. So we’re like, okay, we’ll get this farm. This is a place where we can go and kind of just like ground and get back to ourselves and recharge. At the end of 2019, I did an ayahuasca ceremony. Afterward, I got this download and it was like, what the hell are you doing? I’m going to need you to get out of California and go to the farm. That was like this very loud, clear message that I received. I looked at him and I told him, I was like, look, I’m going to the farm you can come or you can stay here. And he is like, well, you’re not leaving me here. So he came with me and the kids and we all went to the farm and then covid hit during our move.

It was like, wow, like this couldn’t have happened at a better time. It has honestly been amazing. I flourish, the kids have, and he has as well. We have become much better beings just by being on the farm. Like I intend to spend the majority of my time there. We travel a lot because we’re in the entertainment industry. Um, but that is like home base. And that’s where we get to like I said, like recharge and just like ground and balance out and get back to ourselves. That’s forever home.

ONY: That’s incredible. Now another space that you’re pretty big in, is beauty. I mean, your skin is just incredible. You know, a lot of times I’ve seen people say, you look better without makeup. Can you share any beauty tips with us?

DG: It all starts with taking care of your body as a whole. Your skin is gonna tell you what’s going on internally, you know what I’m saying? It’s going to tell you what’s going on with you spiritually, mentally, and physically. So for me, it is just about taking care of my body as a whole. I do drink tons of water and I also know my body, like I know myself and what she likes. I know what she doesn’t like, and I make sure that I’m working with her and fueling her with the right things and not putting anything into my body that my body doesn’t like. I just use my skincare products. I developed them for myself and now I can share them with the world. But yeah, like just keeping your skin clean, keeping it moisturized, and giving your body what your body needs are my beauty tips.

ONY: For someone who’s looking to get into a better, healthier lifestyle, more on the holistic side, what advice would you give them just to kind of get their start?

DG: One thing I am very intentional about is finding affordable ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle because this is what helps me to stick to it. Like I know that this is what it is, so I have to follow it. Getting things like the food allergen testing done is super important. That alone is gonna get you on a different path, you know what I’m saying? And I do that every three months because our bodies are constantly changing and evolving. So it’s like you have to stay on top of that stuff, you know? But at the same time, like if you can’t afford it, start paying attention to your body. Your body’s gonna tell you if you eat something and then you have gas and bloating and things, nine times outta 10, you shouldn’t be eating that. You know what I’m saying? Or if you eat something and then you notice that you start getting acne, you probably shouldn’t be eating that. That is where I would start first with food and start just paying attention to my body. Start small. That is my tip because I feel like that is a major trigger for a lot of people. I think that is a great jumpstart into being more whole and taking care of yourself.

ONY: I appreciate you utilizing your platform to bring awareness to someone even like me who, you know, is on this journey every day trying to get healthier and inspire others around me. I’m always like, here, eat this. They, as long as you’re gonna eat it, you don’t even know what it is. That’s why it’s scary. So you need to know what you’re eating.

DG: To touch on that. Any box, bottle, I don’t care if you put it in front of me the first thing I’m doing is flipping it over to the back immediately. I’m trying to see what is inside everything, I don’t care. It can have the prettiest picture on the box. I’m picking it up and I’m flipping it over like I need to know what it is.

ONY: I appreciate it as this is Women’s History Month. I’m so glad I’m able to celebrate with you. You are making history, you are a trailblazer. Um, and again, thank you so much for using your platform ’cause you are changing people’s lives and you know, your story, your brand is very needed. So thank you so much.

To learn more about Dreka Gates’ endeavors in the beauty, wellness and cannabis industry, be sure to follow her on Instagram @drekagates and visit her official website here.



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