Get a good night’s sleep: Sleep is critical for health and will almost always contribute to brighter days. I’ve seen many people make great strides in reducing their anxiety by overcoming their sleep issues.
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Angela Arena..
Angela Arena is the founder of Kind Lab out of Beverly, MA. Working in technology & operations in Fortune 500 to startups over her career, she found herself in a stressful job causing many sleepless nights. Her journey to find relief through natural solutions led to Angela’s discovery of cannabis and its many benefits. She founded Kind Lab to empower women to say ‘yes’ to putting their wellness first with a line of CBD-rich, hemp-infused products to help them feel healthy, calm, energetic, balanced, and beautiful as they move through life.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
The old adage is true: necessity is the mother of invention. After years in a comfortable F50 job, I accepted a position at a shiny startup that quickly lost its glimmer and left me stressed out to the point where I could not sleep. After exhausting over-the-counter and other “socially acceptable” solutions (wine, PM pills, etc.), I discovered cannabis. I took that little hit of marijuana and slept through the night for the first time in weeks, and had to know more about this incredible, natural remedy and discover why people weren’t talking about it.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
When I first started my investigation into cannabis, I found it hard to even say the word “marijuana” out loud without laughing a little. The stigma was so real and compelling. It took many hours of research, networking, and experimentation for me to get my head wrapped around the facts of cannabis versus what we’ve been taught. This inspired one of Kind Lab’s tenets of empowered wellness: promoting education to relearn what we’ve been taught about this plant so it can be accessible to other women who were struggling with the same issues I had been.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I first opened my brick & mortar, I wanted to offer so many different products. I was so enthusiastic and just wanted to have something for everyone. I soon discovered that people were looking for simplicity in their selection, as getting over the stigma of cannabis in & of itself was a big hurdle for most. Plus, from a logistics perspective, managing & maintaining those many SKUs was too burdensome. Now, I focus on what I want to offer and am happy to point customers in the direction of other brands that share Kind Lab’s values for those products we choose not to offer.
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 about that?
When I first started in the industry, there weren’t many people who considered cannabis a viable industry profession. Networking was an excellent opportunity for me to meet other like-minded professionals. I joined an incredible group called Elevate New England — and together, we educated and encouraged each other into meaningful careers and continued to support each other both personally and professionally.
Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
The main goal of Kind Lab is to make cannabis wellness more accessible to women, to teach them the importance of keeping their cup full, and to encourage them to take charge of their health & happiness. That mission & messaging is the basis for everything we do.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
- Get a good night’s sleep: Sleep is critical for health and will almost always contribute to brighter days. I’ve seen many people make great strides in reducing their anxiety by overcoming their sleep issues.
- Be proactive: Don’t wait until something is a problem to address it. As the saying goes: make time for wellness, or you’ll be forced to make time for illness.
- Self-care: It’s being thrown around a lot these days, but self-care is more than just treating yourself to a mani/pedi. It’s also about making hard decisions, such as whom or what is worth your time and energy. Maybe that’s a specific person in real life or on social media. Edit out those things that don’t enhance your quality of life.
- Eat well: The mind-gut connection is real, plus what you ingest become who you are. As an experiment, fill your body with nutritious foods for 30 days and see how it changes your quality of life.
- Expand your toolkit: Exercise, meditation, CBD — there are many ways to enhance your wellness naturally. I wish I had known more about marijuana & hemp when I had insomnia — I would have prevented myself from getting that far gone. Even when you’re feeling great, discovering a new tool will keep you that way and be ready at the waiting when things aren’t going your way.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I’m doing it! Slowly but steadily, I’m re-educating people on the benefits of cannabis and the bigger picture plans as medicine & natural wellness.
The next biggest thing would be dismantling our desire for answers to come in pill form and the importance of proactively maintaining our health & wellness.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- If you try to be everything to everyone, you’ll end up being nothing to anyone. Happily exclude people from your target market, and get narrow in your focus.
- Start small. There’s a lot you can do with putting something little out in the world and getting reactions, then continuing to build. Let your company & ideas evolve over time with help from your target market.
- Listen to your customers. They’ll tell you exactly what they want from you. And when they do, deliver it.
- Look for the least expensive options. Yes, you want the shiny packaging and the best unboxing experience, but does affording that mean you forgo other revenue-generating opportunities? Get creative, and you can always enhance as the capital becomes more available.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is truly the thief of joy. You have no idea what’s going on behind that shiny social media feed. Your energy is your most critical currency — keep it focused on what you’re doing.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health, and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Social responsibility is one of Kind Lab’s tenets. For example, we do our best to ensure we’re using recyclable packaging, only offer vegan products, and use organic ingredients in our products. Reducing our footprint and impact on the world is a way we “give thanks” for these plants that have given us so much.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Thank you for these fantastic insights!