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Valentina Rodriguez of Cannaves Oliva: “Know what you don’t know”

Consumers — seek out and support female founded cannabis businesses! I know it’s a given, but no business can succeed without a strong consumer base. Anyone who feels passionately about creating more female business leaders, especially within the cannabis space, needs to make sure female founded businesses are receiving the praise and support they deserve. As a part […]

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Consumers — seek out and support female founded cannabis businesses! I know it’s a given, but no business can succeed without a strong consumer base. Anyone who feels passionately about creating more female business leaders, especially within the cannabis space, needs to make sure female founded businesses are receiving the praise and support they deserve.


As a part of my series about strong women leaders in the cannabis industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Valentina Rodriguez of Cannaves Oliva.

Valentina Rodriguez is the Founder and CEO of Cannaves Oliva, whose namesake hemp-infused olive oil is redefining cannabinoids as a “superfood” component of luxury wellness products. Prior to founding Cannaves Oliva, Valentina worked as an equity research associate at Morgan Stanley. A lifelong athlete, yogi, and an avid believer in the importance of functional foods, she eventually realized her true passion lay in the wellness industry. After obtaining a running injury training for a 200-mile relay race, Valentina discovered firsthand the healing potentials of hemp. However, as she searched for a product to integrate into her daily practices, she noticed there was a gap in the hemp ecosystem. All of the existing products simply did not fit within a holistic approach to health; they were either highly processed and loaded with artificial sugars and flavors (drinks, gummies, etc.) or they felt too “druggy” and inconvenient to take (pills, droplets, etc.). Valentina decided to channel her financial and business expertise into creating the most nutrient-dense, natural, and convenient way to reap the benefits of hemp extract — by wedding whole foods, powerful plants, and a direct to consumer approach.

Valentina holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University. She was born in Bogota, Colombia; her family emigrated to the U.S. when she was 5 years old.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the cannabis industry?

In 2018, a friend got me involved in this awesome 200-mile relay race called Hood to Coast, whereas a team of twelve, we ran from the top of Mt Hood to the Oregon coast as an effort to raise money for the American Cancer Society. As part of my training for the race, which takes place in August every year, I ran the NYC Half Marathon that March. With a little less than a mile left, I felt a sharp snap in my right foot. I sprinted to finish as quickly as possible, but after the race, I could not even walk; it turned out I had developed bad tendinitis in my ankle and had almost torn a ligament in my foot. For the next three months, per doctor’s orders, I couldn’t run at all and I had to spend every morning before work at physical therapy.

Even though I was an athlete my whole life and have been practicing yoga since I was 14, by a stroke of luck I had never had a serious injury. I think because this was my first major injury and I had an urgency to heal quickly for Hood to Coast, this was the first time in my life I had to channel all of my energy towards recovery. Despite my best efforts, I still was only able to race two of my three legs to avoid worsening my injuries. But the race experience was a major pivoting point for me…

The way the race works is you split your team of twelve into two sprinter vans of six people each, and you drive around for about 30 hours, rotating a runner after each four to eight-mile leg. Since you are cramped in a van without a full night of sleep to rest, you really have to learn how to game recovery to be fresh for each of your three legs. So, while my recent injury had made me diligent about recovery, this experience made me hyper-focused on it. I came out of Hood to Coast determined to figure out the smartest way for my team to perform our best the next year.

By this point (fall of 2018), CBD was already buzzy in NYC. So, one day after a tough workout, I made a friend go with me to a local brunch spot that had CBD lemonades on their menu. Their effect on our bodies was incredible. The usual muscle aches and soreness caused by such tough workouts were radically reduced. Of course, I immediately went into full research analyst nerd mode to dig into why this magical lemonade had helped my body heal so quickly. And as I learned more about cannabinoids and the mechanisms through which they interact with our bodies, I started looking everywhere for the best hemp products to introduce them into my recovery practices.

I quickly realized that there was a major gap in the hemp market. No products truly catered to people with a holistic approach to health. Everything was either highly processed and loaded with artificial sugars or flavors (drinks, gummies, etc.) or felt too druggy and inconvenient to take (pills, tinctures, etc.) So, in 2019, I decided to pivot out of finance and channel my business expertise into creating hemp-infused products that could allow people to seamlessly integrate these powerful plants into whole-food, nutrient-rich diets.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Last summer, as I was gearing up to embark on this journey, my sister and I had dinner with her boyfriend’s extended family. I was seated next to his great aunt and uncle. In an effort to make small talk, they asked me what I did for a living and I began telling them about how I was developing hemp-infused wellness products. I expected them to just be confused, to question why Tyler’s sister was going from working at an esteemed investment bank to being in the cannabis industry. I honestly expected them to be concerned that I was working with marijuana. But, to my surprise, they were incredibly excited about my mission!

It turns out, their doctors, physical therapists, and personal trainers had already introduced them to topical CBD products, and they swore by them for their aches and pains. Not only were they very enthusiastic about the possibility of a great new CBD product coming their way, but they started telling me about how all of their friends were also super into CBD. Quickly, they became two of my greatest, most excited cheerleaders, constantly checking in on the progress of our product development and of my journey as an entrepreneur.

Thanks to them, I learned there was an entire boomer market that not only could be interested in cannabinoid-rich products, but in some circles, were already avid users. It was a great illustration of the fact that when it comes to a new potential “superfood” ingredient, people across so many different paths of life are eager to add them to their wellness practices. I realized that I would be missing large portions of the population if I didn’t conceptualize products that were standard enough that anyone who is educated on the potential benefits of cannabinoids could readily add them to their diets. They also made me even more attuned to the fact that a little education from health industry experts would go a long way towards altering people’s view of cannabis as simply connected to an ostracized “stoner culture” and instead embracing the many potential benefits of these powerful plants.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

For background, Cannaves Oliva is produced in Vermont. We source our organic extra virgin olive oil directly from Greece and bring it to Vermont, where we infuse it with organic hemp extract. Our hemp is farmed in Vermont with exclusively organic practices from germination to extraction. Our wonderful chemists use supercritical CO2 extraction to ensure that each batch is perfectly and consistently formulated.

This past February, as we were finalizing the formulation for our hemp-infused olive oil, my mom and I decided it would be a fun excuse to have a mother-daughter getaway week in beautiful rural Vermont. I was so excited to share the product I had been tirelessly working towards. In order to decide on the exact formulation — dosage and terpene profile — that would best accent our olive oil, our chemists had prepared a few variations. My mom, our partners from the farm, our chemists and I would then taste them all and select our favorite.

To further set the stage, I am Colombian, but mostly grew up in Florida. Imagine Gloria from Modern Family, and you basically have a clear rendering of my mother. Well, as tends to happen in early February in the Green Mountain State, there was a big winter storm the weekend we got up there. So now picture Gloria stuck in the middle of a New England winter: bundled up like she was going on an expedition to Antarctica. Definitely a fish out of water. And I don’t know if you are familiar with rural Vermont, but our partner farm is really out in the sticks. It is about a twenty to thirty-minute drive off any major road, and the last half of that drive is on dirt roads through windy mountain sides. So basically, I had accidentally set the stage for my very dramatic Latina mom and I to have to navigate through rural Vermont in the middle of winter conditions.

Luckily, I had gotten decent at driving in the winter, since I went to college in upstate New York. But even there, I had not spent any time driving through icy, unpaved mountain roads. I think by sheer determination we made it to meet our partners at the farm. But there was definitely a lot of “ay Mani”-like screaming along the way… When I think back on this hilarious experience, though, I think it makes a great analogy for working in cannabis. If you are not prepared to drive through the craziest of winter storms, with people yelling foreign nonsense at you, to build something amazing, you are not going to have the force of will that it takes to be successful in this industry.

Do you have a funny story about how someone you knew reacted when they first heard you were getting into the cannabis industry?

Well, my boyfriend thinks it is hilarious to say that his girlfriend is “selling weed,” poking fun at the fact that there is still such a lack of consumer education on the differences between hemp and marijuana. I always get mad at him for this! People tend to shoot me very concerned glances and I have to scramble to clarify that he is joking and explain what it is that I actually do… Also, it doesn’t help the cause of separating hemp from its ties to stigmas still broadly associated with marijuana.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Corny, but definitely my grandfather. My whole family inherited a restless entrepreneurial gene from him — all three of his children and all five of his granddaughters have been entrepreneurs. We are all so incredibly fortunate to have his wisdom and support as our secret weapon.

Last summer the whole family was together for my grandparents’ sixtieth anniversary. I had recently made the decision to pivot out of finance and commit to my entrepreneurial vision full-time. My cousins had also all recently either launched companies or were in the process of building them. The night of the ceremony of my grandparents’ vow renewal, we all gave speeches. My cousin’s husband gave a powerful speech showing his admiration for the example our grandfather had set for us all and the endless support he provided us. His speech was moving. We had all assumed that our entrepreneurial spirit was normal. But, upon reflection, we realized how special it was to be part of a family where everybody individually has decided to build something meaningful, and moreover, to have encouragement and support every step of the way, regardless of how big of a risk you are taking. He definitely made us hyper-aware of the fact that we would not all be the entrepreneurs we were without our grandfather paving the path and being there to help us pave our own paths when the time came.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now? How do you think that will help people?

At the moment, I am focused on launching our flagship product — hemp-infused olive oil. Once we execute this launch successfully and establish our brand as a best-in-class cannabinoid product, then I don’t see any reason why we wouldn’t consider other products to expand our foothold. That said, I know we need to walk before we run.

My vision is that our olive oil will be the first step towards reclassifying hemp as a “superfood” that is a foundational piece of daily wellness rituals. I know our product will help people who already use cannabis wellness products because it will make those daily routines more enjoyable, more nutritious, and more convenient. But where I really think Cannaves Oliva has a chance to differentiate itself is by targeting a new kind of consumer — I want to introduce hemp-infused products to consumers who might have previously been deterred from cannabinoids because of social stigmas or an insufficient focus (from the industry) on holistic health and wellness.

Ok. Thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. Despite great progress that has been made we still have a lot more work to do to achieve gender parity in this industry. According to this report in Entrepreneur, less than 25 percent of cannabis businesses are run by women. In your opinion or experience, what 3 things can be done by a)individuals b)companies and/or c) society to support greater gender parity moving forward?

It’s interesting answering this question, because sadly, from my point of view, this still very much feels like the norm in many of today’s largest industries — at my first job as a trader at an investment bank, in a group of about 40 people, there were only 4 women (including myself) when I started. From research I have read, women actually only account for about 12 to 15% of trading roles across wall street. And that’s just in trading. If we examine who is actually running the businesses, we see the harsh reality that Jane Fraser (Citibank’s new CEO) is the first female running a major Wall Street bank ever. When you compare that to the 25% of women running cannabis businesses, that is a huge jump from what I had been used to, which I find very exciting. But there is still a long way to go towards parity!

In my opinion, three things we can focus on to drive greater gender parity in the cannabis industry are:

1. Education & Experience:

The more educated and experienced women who enter the cannabis industry are, the greater their likelihood for success. By experienced, I mean having some sort of foundational career background in other areas of business, like consulting, finance, law, or other start-ups.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that around 20% of new businesses fail during their first two years, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first ten years. To draw and keep more women in this industry, we need to make sure they are set up for success. Especially because this industry is not for the faint of heart with its complex nature due to current legal & regulatory opacity, supply chain & logistics headaches, and limited ways of coming to market. I think more markedly than in most other industries, we need to ensure women entering the space are adequately prepared for the amount of market research, business planning, legal groundwork, and financing necessary for crushing it. And if women who don’t have this prior expertise want to be cannabis founders, then we need to make sure all of us who do have it are readily available to provide support and mentoring. If we can drastically reduce the odds of female founders failing, I think we can lure (and hire!) more women into this industry.

2. Consumer Support:

Consumers — seek out and support female-founded cannabis businesses! I know it’s a given, but no business can succeed without a strong consumer base. Anyone who feels passionately about creating more female business leaders, especially within the cannabis space, needs to make sure female-founded businesses are receiving the praise and support they deserve.

3. Investor Funding & Support:

As I said above, we need to make sure women entering the space have sufficient education and experience. Part of why this is so crucial is because we need to set women up to receive the strategic support and funding necessary to be winners in the cannabis industry. However, I think this issue reaches far beyond cannabis into other industries as well. If women are not in positions of leadership and success in other areas of business, then when investors seeking to grow cannabis firms are building leadership teams at the start-ups they fund, they will not have a large enough pool of qualified women to bring in female leaders. Our effort to have more female leaders in cannabis needs to be integrated into a broader effort to have more female business leaders in general.

You are a “Cannabis Insider”. If you had to advise someone about 5 non intuitive things one should know to succeed in the cannabis industry, what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each.

1. Expect everything to take 5x longer than you think it will

Map out your desired timeline, be extremely organized and aim for everything to go as planned, and then expect for everything to take 2–5 times longer than you thought it would. When we were going through our process of finalizing our USDA organic certification for our hemp-infused olive oil, there was a one month period of time where we could not get ahold of anyone at our certifying agency. This was entirely because Covid shutdowns and working remotely had so badly disrupted the workflow for the agency. But without their finalized approval, we could not have our labels printed onto our bottles, so our bottle production was on hold. We ended up getting label approval and having our bottles printed three months later than we had anticipated, pushing our entire timeline to launch way back.

2. Be a little cynical & don’t take the easy route

Second guess anything people tell you in this space, because by doing so, you will make sure you do the full extent of research needed to make sure you are building the highest quality products possible. When I was going through the process of searching for and vetting out suppliers to partner with, I had all kinds of suppliers pitching their supposedly next-generation extracts to me. If I hadn’t been critical enough, I would have leapt at the first one that sounded promising. But because I was wary and patient enough, I was able to do my homework and weed out a lot of potential suppliers who had no control over their supply chains. They were buying bulk hemp from a wide spectrum of suppliers, processing whatever they could find in mass, and pumping out extracts. Instead, I didn’t settle for less than the best and I was able to find an incredible partner in our farm, with expert care and control through every step of our supply chain. This is why we are proudly able to be among a handful of brands that have received USDA organic certification.

3. Have a one track mind

All the time, when I am talking to people about our hemp-infused olive oil, I get input about other products we should consider expanding into. While I love the enthusiastic response to our mission, it could be so easy to get distracted by attempting to launch a whole line of products. Not only would this greatly delay our entry into market, but we wouldn’t be able to hone into our namesake product with the level of attention and care needed for it to be perfect. And I think because this is an exciting, emerging space, ripe with possibilities, it could be so easy to lose focus on your core mission. But if you allow yourself to get off track and come to market with anything subpar, you will quickly get beaten by someone who made the extra effort to perfect one specific concept.

4. Have thick skin

If you are someone who is going to take any sort of criticism personally or be discouraged by every closing door, this is not the industry for you. You need to be the kind of person who, on the contrary, feels driven by every closed door to find a better one to bust through. You will face every challenge imaginable to being able to bring your concept to life, even something as seemingly mundane as credit card processing. Being a start-up in an industry still considered high-risk by financial institutions because of its regulatory complexity, makes figuring out every aspect of your operations into a ten-thousand-piece monochrome jigsaw puzzle. You have to be willing to organize each piece by its exact shape and try every single one possible before finding the only one that fits.

For direct-to-consumer hemp brands, there are only a handful of payment processors that serve the space. And most of them require you to have an established (and fairly high) stream of revenues before even applying. So, if you are a pre-launch hemp firm, forget about it! We had to go through a very thorough and prolonged vetting process before finally finding our payments partner. And had I not been able to handle having every other door shut in my face, I might have given up a long time ago. Instead, I explored every avenue until I found an even better solution.

5. Know what you don’t know

You need to understand that we don’t yet know all there is to know about cannabis. And you need to tie this awareness to how you go about educating consumers. Instead of thinking you know everything there is to know about cannabinoids and going out claiming that your product is going to cure a certain disease, you need to partake in active dialogue with your consumers. Educate them about ongoing research into the potential benefits of cannabinoids, but make sure they are aware that we are all still exploring the depths of their powers. The research is simply not there yet to claim otherwise. And by knowing that we don’t yet know everything, the industry can collectively keep striving towards understanding the intricacies of all the various cannabinoids and how they interact with human bodies.

Not knowing what you don’t know could lead you down the path that several firms have gone down, where you wind up receiving warning letters from the FDA for making unsubstantiated claims. We are still all learning and we need to keep asking every question.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the cannabis industry?

1. My personal experience benefitting from incorporating cannabinoids into my wellness rituals. Being able to share these healing practices with others is incredibly fulfilling. What’s better than helping people feel their best?!

2. The power of these plants & how much we still have to learn about them. It is certainly no secret that I am a huge nerd. Any opportunity to learn and be challenged turns my gears. And with how much we still have to discover and understand about all the cannabinoids, this space is constant stimulation for me. There is something new to figure out every day, and that keeps me on my toes, having fun, and super motivated.

3. The opportunity to shape an industry from its infancy. It is such a fun adventure being one of the pioneers that lays the groundwork for how an industry will shape out. I know it may look vastly different down the road, after further regulation, etc., but myself and my peers are paving the path for what the best practices are and what the future of the industry will look like with every decision and innovation we make, and that is an exhilarating process to be a part of. I love playing a part in writing the rules, as opposed to simply having to follow pre-established ones.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?

1. The stigma that still surrounds marijuana and how that stigma clings onto other areas of cannabis, including hemp. I think the only way to improve this is by taking the time to educate the general public about the nuances differentiating various cannabinoids. By sharing the developing science that is exploring the potential benefits of this powerful plant, we can eventually have it be generally accepted and understood that cannabis reaches far beyond getting people high from THC. Moreover, I think with the proper education initiatives and, of course, some major legal reforms, marijuana itself can shed its stigmatized status and be viewed on par with alcohol as a normalized recreational substance.

2. Cannabis laws produce some of the most marked racial inequalities in our criminal justice system. People of color are several times more likely to be arrested for possession of marijuana than white people, despite similar usage rates. These arrests, incarcerations, and criminal convictions then stay on records for lifetimes leading to lost jobs, financial aid, and even immigration status for sections of the population that need these things most. Legalization of marijuana use and possession would not only free up billions of tax dollars currently being deployed by our criminal justice systems for dealing with low-level offenses, but also ensure that these marginalized communities aren’t facing even more unnecessary hurdles towards improving their social condition.

3. The opacity caused by the lack of standardization and clear regulation. Until we receive clearer direction from federal and local governing bodies, cannabis founders need to take it upon ourselves to develop a clear set of quality standards for the industry. The greater our collaboration to shape our industry standards, the greater our input will be when the time comes from regulation by external powers. We are the ones with the greatest understanding about the nuances of the industry and we need to take it upon ourselves to be accountable for honesty, quality, and consistency from all our peers.

What are your thoughts about federal legalization of cannabis? If you could speak to your Senator, what would be your most persuasive argument regarding why they should or should not pursue federal legalization?

I absolutely think cannabis should be legalized at the federal level. The “strongest” argument opponents are clinging to is that marijuana is an addictive gateway drug. But under that line of reasoning, alcohol should be just as, if not more harshly, regulated. As per a study in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, alcohol was actually the initial gateway drug which led its nationally representative sample of 12th graders to additional substance use, including tobacco, marijuana, and other illicit drugs. And furthermore, when you compare the short- and long-term health risks posed by marijuana and alcohol side by side (I referenced the CDC and the New England Journal of Medicine for this exercise), you see that the more dangerous drug is far more normalized, legal, and accessible. Many of the risks are, in fact, exactly the same: the short-term risk of impaired motor condition leading to injuries and motor vehicle accidents; the short-term risk of risky sexual behaviors; the long-term risk of addiction; and the long-term risk of cognitive impairment. But actually, alcohol’s distinct short- and long-term health risks are far more severe. By distinct I mean that these risks are unique to alcohol, versus shared by both drugs. Whereas the worst distinct short-term risk posed by marijuana is the potential for paranoia and psychosis at high doses, in the short term, high doses of alcohol could lead to alcohol poisoning, which, at extreme blood alcohol levels, could result in death. Similarly, whereas the worst distinct long-term risk posed by marijuana is the potential to experience symptoms of chronic bronchitis, long-term alcohol use has been proven to cause various diseases including cancer (breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon) and heart disease. Moreover, the research that has linked marijuana with respiratory issues has purely examined marijuana being smoked. But there are so many other methods of marijuana consumption that would preclude users from having to smoke it, including THC infused beverages, edibles, and tinctures. And while higher THC content in today’s prevalent cannabis sativa strains has led to higher consequences from consumption, if cannabis were legalized, regulated, and socially normalized, people would: a) have a far greater understanding of how to safely dose and consume and b) be able to source their cannabis exclusively from trusted, regulated sources so they know exactly what they are putting into their bodies.

Sources:

Volkow, N. D., Baler, R. D., Compton, W. M., & Weiss, S. R. (2014). Adverse health effects of marijuana use. The New England journal of medicine, 370(23), 2219–2227. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMra1402309

Kirby, T., & Barry, A. E. (2012). Alcohol as a gateway drug: a study of US 12th graders. The Journal of school health, 82(8), 371–379. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2012.00712.xDrinking too much alcohol can harm your health. Learn the facts | CDC
Drinking too much can harm your health. Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 95,000 deaths and 2.8 million years…www.cdc.gov

Today, cigarettes are legal, but they are heavily regulated, highly taxed, and they are somewhat socially marginalized. Would you like cannabis to have a similar status to cigarettes or different? Can you explain?

I made the reference in the preceding question, but I think it bears repeating. I think cannabis should mostly have a similar status to alcohol. Like alcohol, depending on dosage and consumption methods (consumption method being a key element), cannabis does not have to be super harmful for anyone, neither users themselves nor people exposed to users. On the other hand, according to the CDC, cigarette smoking causes more deaths each year than HIV, illegal drugs, alcohol, motor vehicle accidents, and firearms combined. Cigarettes rightfully should be heavily regulated, highly taxed, and much more socially marginalized. Research not only confirms that cigarettes cause cancer (in pretty much any organ of the body), heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease within smokers, but that secondhand smoke also causes stroke, lung cancer, and heart disease in adults, as well as a multitude of respiratory symptoms in children.

That being said, I think it would be fair for smoking marijuana to face restrictions more similar to smoking cigarettes — meaning heavier regulation, higher taxation, and some states banning smoking at public venues like restaurants and bars. According to the CDC, smoked marijuana and tobacco contain a lot of the same cancer-causing substances. Research is still limited, though, and evidence in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the risk of cannabis smoke causing cancer is lower than that of tobacco. Nevertheless, secondhand marijuana smoke still contains psychoactive THC. So, I do think people exposed to smokers of marijuana should be just as protected from secondhand harm as people exposed to smokers of cigarettes. You can’t get drunk just because the person next to you is pounding tequila, which leads me to a very important point…

I think alternate methods of consuming marijuana, including edibles, beverages, and tinctures should be thought of and regulated similarly to alcohol, including being accessible and/or permissible in public venues. After all, with non-smoked cannabis, there is no concern of secondhand effects. Why shouldn’t restaurants be able to serve carefully dosed marijuana cocktails and edibles? I think with proper regulation non-smoked cannabis consumption could achieve the level of acceptance that alcohol enjoys today.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/
https://www.cdc.gov/marijuana/faqs/secondhand-smoke.html
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4827335/

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” — Oscar Wilde

I firmly believe that a large part of loving yourself is taking the time to properly care for yourself. By being mindful of every food, exercise, and thought that nourishes your body and mind, you are setting yourself up for as long, healthy, and enjoyable of a life as possible. You allow yourself to embrace a romanticized view of life that gives you the confidence necessary to tackle huge obstacles, like being an entrepreneur.

Moreover, I think I was largely driven to creating wellness products out of a desire to help people find and express love for themselves. I find so much fulfillment out of helping people be their best selves.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Prioritizing rest and recovery. An overwhelming majority of people only focus on athletic strain to reach personal fitness goals, but they don’t realize that if they don’t take the time necessary to rest, recover, and heal, they are continually breaking down their bodies and will either hurt themselves or never see the full benefits of their efforts. But this also applies to other things like social media and work — people need to prioritize themselves more by taking a step back and allowing themselves the space to rest, sleep, and heal both their minds and bodies. A large part of our mission for Cannaves Oliva is to introduce enjoyable healing rituals into people’s daily routines so that prioritizing rest and recovery becomes something you look forward to setting aside time and space for each day.

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