It’s Women’s History Month, and to celebrate, all month long we’re highlighting some of the women who are creating the history of CBD. To continue our month-long celebration of women, we sat down with Claudia Mata, founder of Vertly.
WLM: Tell us about what got you started with CBD?
CM: I wanted to do something that was exciting enough to make up for what I left behind in New York. My husband has two brothers that are in the cannabis industry so when we moved to California, I was inspired to study herbalism. When I started studying, I found there were a bunch of herbalists around my area. I took courses and it attracted me to dive in. Through my studies in plant wellness and healing, I knew I wanted to do something involving my family and wellness and tie it all in. For me, that was CBD.
WLM: Did you use CBD religiously before starting your own company?
CM: My husband used to treat his athletic injuries, specifically his knee, with CBD. His brothers are really rooted in the cannabis industry so I had been exposed to it for years.
WLM: How has CBD helped your day-to-day life?
CM: I am lucky in the sense where I don’t have chronic pain. I have two small children and ever since having them, my body has been a little creaky at times so I apply CBD topically to help certain areas. It’s like a vitamin for me. I use it in my beauty and wellness rituals in small doses.
WLM: What makes your CBD company unique?
CM: We built our own laboratory so if you get something from us, you are getting a fresh product made within the past few months. Nothing in our line is outsourced. We have local herbalists that work with us. We wanted to keep everything accessible.Overall, our process is the biggest differentiating factor.
WLM: What is the best advice you were given when starting your CBD business?
CM: Even though CBD is becoming more mainstream, it’s not an easy industry because it’s still in a wonky-grey area. When you are in an industry with a lot of ambiguity that’s a little scary. Rather than advice, here are my two favorite inspiring quotes, “Act as though everything in life is rigged in your favor” and “Leap and the net will appear.” Before this, I only knew fashion and now here I am jumping into a whole new space. Every time I embark on a new adventure these quotes are encouraging.
WLM: What’s your recommendation for using CBD for the first time? What advice would you give new users on how to dose and what to expect?
CM: I think it's important to be realistic with your expectations of CBD. It's not a silver bullet that will cure all, but it can help you feel better and mitigate some discomfort you may be feeling. It's important to experiment in order to find what dosage works for you. Everyone will have their own unique needs and responses to it. We have different levels of inflammation and absorption rates of cannabinoids that vary from person to person. What I love about plant medicine + plant healing is that it requires us to listen to our own body on what's working and what's needed as opposed to prescribing a specific amount of something for everyone across the board.
WLM: What do you have planned for your company in the next year and 5 years in terms of new developments, products, expansion?
CM: We have a new product that’s out in the next two weeks! It’s a workout recovery spray. My husband and I have used it for a while. It’s plant-based with aloe vera, menthol, and a few other soothing ingredients. I personally use it on sore parts of my body to mitigate pain. For us, our products are a reflection of how we use them and our lifestyle.
WLM: If you had to pick one product of yours, which would it be?
CM: It’s seasonal. I love a bath in the winter and with that I use the salts. When I travel, the lip butter is my savior, especially when I have dry patches under my eyes.
WLM: Have you noticed skin conditions such as eczema and acne improve with the use of your Vertly skincare products?
CM: Yes, CBD helps with inflammation of the skin. We noticed our relief lotion is also super helpful.
WLM: This is Woman's Month and the theme is the better the balance, the better the world. #balanceforbetter. What tips would you give fellow women to help them achieve more prominent roles in the workplace?
CM: We as women need to find ways to support each other. Especially in New York, fashion is super competitive but at the end of the day, do what you can to move it forward. Mentor people to help others rise faster. The more people we can help in that way and have that mentality, we will increase those around us in the work force. In order for you to grow, you can’t work in a bubble, you need that extended network of support.
WLM: Have you experienced any barriers as a female in terms of leadership? If it has affected you, how did you overcome those barriers?
CM: I worked in fashion before this, which was predominately female. In the CBD space, it has been lovely to see such proliferation of women-founded brands. The whole purpose of CBD is how can it make your life better. I’m happy about all those strides but if you do look at the cannabis industry at large or other corporations, it is led by men. We have a long way to go.
WLM: Who are your female role models?
CM: My mom, my old boss, Michele Obama and Oprah. My role models are women who are always trying to support other women.
WLM: What keeps you up at night?
CM: The “what if” of my children.
WLM: What keeps you going during the day?
CM: I have an internal hustle that I found when I started my business. It’s this grit that is always pushing me forward.
WLM: What advice do you give women who are trying to get ahead in their career?
CM: First, I definitely think it’s important to trust your gut and your instinct. That little voice inside your head. Secondly, a lot of things aren’t as big a deal as we think. The whole point of everything is the entire journey is a part of everything. It’s taking the time to appreciate the moment that you’re in.
WLM: Thank you so much for your insights and your leadership in our industry.