Celebrating Women's History in the Making : Conversation 4

For our fourth conversation of our series celebrating women paving the way for the CBD industry, we sat down with Jewel Zimmer, founder of Juna.

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WLM:   Tell us about what got you started with CBD?  

JZ:        While working at my chocolate company and having one conversation after another trying to convince people to try my product, I found that people were super apprehensive about trying THC. People seemed to be more receptive to CBD than THC so when the local San Francisco cannabis community approached us, we evolved from there. 

WLM:   Did you use CBD religiously before starting your own company? 

JZ:        Yes I used CBD before because I saw benefits for myself in such profound ways and so did my husband! He is colorblind and after taking his first CBD dose he said “its almost like I can see color”. For him it was super visual and of course felt the physical relief in the moving pieces of his daily job since he is on his feet all day. 

WLM:   How has CBD helped your day-to-day life? 

JZ:        It's helped me with stress and anxiety. I tend to overextend and this helps. 

WLM:   What makes your CBD company unique? 

JZ:        We are seeing CBD companies coming in by the mass. What sets us apart is our relationship with the plant. Coming from a food background, we understand the plants we are working with to bring out the best flavors and aromas so what sets us apart is the foundation. We are really specific, careful and transparent about sourcing. As an example, we can say we source our apples from Washington State but that doesn’t tell us anything about it. It can’t just be that we source from a small farm, but also what’s going on at that farm?  It’s about the growing practices, the overall farming process, and so on. We keep all the natural terpenes and cannabinoids intact, which is super hard to do. We make sure we have a rich flower to start and that we are capturing as much as possible. We are connected to the plant and carefully looking to see how it’s being grown, dried, cured and extracted. 

WLM:   What is the best advice you were given when starting your CBD business? 

JZ:        Best advice I’ve gotten is to know your business inside and out. Knowing everything from how the plant is grown, dried and extracted to financial numbers and how to talk about your business without having to think about it. Be clear and have a clear vision as to what you’re trying to do and what your mission is. It’s not always easy, you’re always paving a new path. Be resilient! 

WLM:   What’s your recommendation for those using CBD for the first time? What advice would you give new users on how to dose and what to expect?  

JZ:        I encourage people to keep a diary. The analogy I give people is to think about wine. There is red wine and white wine; full spectrum CBD and CBD isolate. Within each one there are different profiles and experiences. With a diary you’re able to write down what you are taking and how much of it. Each week you can change the dose or time of the day and if it hasn’t worked for you, try something else. Not every CBD will work for you in the way your body needs it in an absolute way. The accessory cannabinoids are working with the CBD to make it more efficient and effective in your body. Are you going to drink the same wine your whole life? If you do then great but just try something else, mix it up!

WLM:   What do you have planned for your company in the next year and 5 years in terms of new developments, products, and expansion? 

JZ:       We are working on a couple new products and we will have one ready by late spring. We are bringing back chocolate since we started with chocolate so stay tuned! 

WLM:   This is Woman's Month and for many 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? 

JZ:       Don’t hold back! Collectively as women we can sometimes be known to hold back for the sheer reason of feeling wrong or rejected. I feel like we are in this place where crazy environmental, political stuff is happening, everything is too much all the time to digest while trying to relax. Cannabis is a female plant and has so much female energy. CBD has a strong connection to the feminine body. It regenerates the cells in the breast very quickly. A lot of hospitals are recommending CBD with radiation treatment. The energy surrounding this plant is super important and it’s symbolic of how women are changing with the world and in the world these days. Women are at a place where there is no reason to hold back and have the power to make it happen, whatever that might be. 

WLM:   Have you experienced any barriers as a female in terms of leadership? If it has affected you, how did you overcome those barriers? 

JZ:        Yes, I have faced a lot of barriers. I grew up as a pastry chef as a very young female. None of the women got respect in the kitchen, the kitchens were very male heavy and the environment was very demanding. When I had my first daughter, I couldn’t do it anymore! I really felt like I couldn’t ever do my job in that way again. There seemed like there was no support. I felt like I wasn’t able to achieve certain things. Eventually, I came across great things and people LOVE female founders. They are careful, nurturing and have a different view on things. We have that control in moving through the world as ourselves and not through the eyes of someone else or trying to fill a role “we are supposed to”. Sometimes it’s just the industry. 

WLM:   Who are your female role models? 

JZ:        This is a good interview - no one ever asks me these things! Julia Child from the standpoint of she started her career so late and started cooking in her mid-40’s. Maybe she wasn’t the best at it but she just really loved it and found a way to be successful with her own voice. I made her 89th birthday cake two years before she died! As I grew older I realized the value of what she taught me: that you have your own voice so believe in it and go for it. 

Also, both of my girls 100%. If it wasn’t for them I would’ve quit many things. I mean, I’m making decisions for them and they are powerful. What would I say to my girls if they were in my situation at times? I think about that and then I know the answer. 

WLM:   What keeps you up at night? 

JZ:        Feeling like I need more hours in the day which comes back to this modern society we live in! Excitement keeps me up. 

WLM:   What keeps you going during the day?  

JZ: CBD, of course! Seriously, it really helps me. It keeps me clear, focused, less reactive. 

WLM:   What advice do you give women who are trying to get ahead in their career?

JZ: Honestly, be true to who you are. If you are the truest to who you are, things will happen faster. As soon as you think you should be doing something for someone else is when you lose yourself. Even if it doesn’t feel like you are being yourself, just keep up with it.

WLM:   Jewel, thank you so much for your time. You are shaping our industry in such a positive way and we are truly grateful. And, of course, we love your product!