How did you decide to go into working as an entrepreneur?
I always knew I wanted to have a job that was truly aligned with my most authentic self and that is hard to find when working for someone else so after years of trying to work for other people it was the only option for me. After I was diagnosed with MS it gave me a perspective on life that it’s now or never, so I took the leap. I was more consumed with excitement than nerves.
Do you notice a lack of women in your industry and how do you tackle this problem?
There is a lack of women especially as the industry grows, sometimes i’ll be at an event at i’ll notice its maybe 5% women. This motived jessica steinberg and i to start entOURage Network. A platform to engage and empower women into the legal cannabis industry, being such a nascent industry its very important for women to be at the forefront in the early states to fully utilize the opportunity for entrepreneurship that’s available.
What have you sacrificed at each stage of your career?
The biggest sacrifice was my stable salary which i miss less and less each month as i’m rewarded in so many other ways through learning, job satisfaction and happiness. It feels like its more my lifestyle now rather than a job as it is certainly not 9-5.
What does it take mentally and emotional to start your own business?
It takes a lot of mental and emotional strength. I don’t think entrepreneurship comes with a big enough warning sign of just how hard it will be. It takes adapting your life style, your time dedicated to friends and family, accepting failure and learning from it and unquestionable dedication. But it’s been amazing because I have learnt more than I could have ever had and really broadened my skill set into area’s I didn’t even know I would be passionate about.
What has helped you get to where you are?
My experience in my sales role beforehand has helped me immensely – I was familiar with pitch decks, financial models, networking, business development, KPI’s, heavy targets and the sense of taking ownership for your business so that has definitely helped me, but I also think my personality has played a big part, I’m persistent, I’ve always loved turning no’s into a yes, and I also see nothing as impossible.
What fears did you have about entering a grey area market of CBD and its links to Cannabis?
There where not many fears for me, i come from a diverse background where cannabis has been an open topic of conversation due to it being a part of my grandads faith and his roots in rastafari, so we have always been aware of the medical benefits and anecdotal claims. The CBD market is grey but with more laywers entering the space now the regulations are becoming clearer putting fears at bay.
How can we make it more known that Cannabis is an industry option for women?
We try and do that through the entOURage Network which i mentioned earlier. This is a passion project and Jessica and I’s main focus is to let it be known that this is a growing industry that provides great entrepreneur options for female founders. Globally it is one of the only billion dollar industries where 10% of women in the industry sit in c suit levels or above. You can find out more on our instagram page @entouragenetworkldn.
What is one piece of practical advice you would give to someone starting out?
Networking is key, go to every event you can and study every element of what your business needs. You need to know your subject matter and industry but also, marketing, PR, digital, e-commerce, standard profit margins. Having an understanding of what makes a business successful helps with your business plan rather than going of estimates which are especially hard in a new industry like CBD.
What are you working on at the moment?
I feel more like what aren’t we working on at the moment, we are doing a re brand, creating lots of educational content through blogs, podcasts and video’s. We are also working with really great formulation scientist for our launch in January of some great functional cbd skin care products.
Where can people find you and your products?
You can find them online at www.ohana-cbd.com and instagram: @ohanacbd for all updates of where we are and what were up to.
What is your relationship with Primrose Hill?
Its home, its my first and some of my best memories, its where I met my oldest and dearest friend in primary school. Its my favourite place in London.
What do you like the most about Primrose Hill?
Of course the view, the calm it creates for me is magic, when i want to escape the feeling of living and working in central london i’ll go to the top of primrose hill for a moment of calm. Everything is forgotten with such a beautiful view. “I have conversed with the spiritual sun I saw him on primrose hill” is one of my favorite quotes.