…Support from Communities — Buy from women! In order to have a successful business it needs to have business coming in. It can seem obvious, but in an age where quality can be sacrificed for convenience, it’s a good reminder. Do your diligence and research women-owned businesses in your area and support them, even if it means driving an extra 5 minutes to another store. This small act allows others to see women-owned companies thrive and in turn be inspired to do the same.
As a part of our series about “Why We Need More Women Founders”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Maggy Troup.
Maggy is a bodyworker, kinesiologist, educator, and entrepreneur. She spent over two decades as a massage therapist before co-founding and launching her cannabis line in 2020. With a degree in Kinesiology, Maggy specializes in helping her clients connect with their bodies and relieve their pain. She has taught and developed curriculum in Sports Massage, Advanced Anatomy, and therapeutic massage practices.
As Maggy deepened her work with clients, she observed the majority of her clients suffered from chronic discomfort and inflammation; many of them complained they had limited options when it came to managing their pain and often felt overlooked. A bohemian at heart and a product junkie, Maggy had been utilizing cannabis for chronic pain, anxiety, muscle aches, and relaxation for years. After researching and experiencing a myriad of benefits and relief from using cannabis, incorporating it into her massage practice was a no brainer.
With her business partner and mastermind behind the formulation, the first product they created was a blend of cold-pressed and botanically infused cannabis oil that combats chronic symptoms and relieves pain. Maggy has seen first hand what this Mother plant can do and she is dedicated to helping create conscious consumers and advance healthy lifestyles through advocacy and education.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
I grew up in Southern CA. I’m the youngest of 4 children and we were all homeschooled. Our social life was lacking save our main social outlet, the church we attended 2–3 days a week. I realized from a very young age that I didn’t fit the church status quo. When I hit puberty I was told that I wasn’t “godly enough” and the way I dressed was disrespectful when in reality, I was just a young girl in a woman’s body. It confused me because I loved my community and I consistently showed up and engaged with the church. I was frustrated and felt like I could never win, so I did what any teen would do, I developed anxiety and an F.U. attitude.
My conservative parents warned me that drugs were bad, but that didn’t stop me from experimenting with ‘secular behaviors’. The first time I consumed cannabis, I was camping with friends and I just remember feeling so incredible — I felt relaxed, I felt more connected with my body, I was having feelings of euphoria. You know what I didn’t feel? That acute anxiety that had been my constant companion the past decade. From then on cannabis and I were inseparable.
I started chasing more of that feeling — and this was the start of my era of self-medication. I tried everything — from psychedelics, to uppers, to downers, to cannabis in every form. I was on a journey of unconventional self-discovery and growth. I attended massage therapy school right after high school and quickly fell in love with massage because bodies are universal and generally function the same. Touch is so powerful and allows me to connect with people on a deeper level. After receiving a BS in Kinesiology, I realized that my true passion is being able to help people repair and recover from trauma. It’s a dream come true to have the opportunity to blend my passion for body work with my advocacy for plant medicine.
Can you share the most interesting story that has happened to you since you began your career?
My everyday bag I carry around says “Buy Weed From Women” (which I LOVE) and I strike-up a lot of conversations because of it. A few months ago, I was getting my nails done and I had my bag with me. I had three separate people come-up and compliment my bag. Two of them asked me about my work in cannabis. After the third one came up, my nail tech said “you have to tell me about what you do.” Talking about cannabis so openly still feels taboo. People don’t know where to start when it comes to incorporating cannabis products into their wellness routine and how it can help with pain management; we’re aiming to bridge that gap.
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?
Years ago when I was first starting my massage business I was almost scammed out of 1000 dollars. I advertised on the internet (craigslist if you can believe it!) when I started my private massage practice. I received a lot of weird requests and emails but I quickly became good at spotting them, so I thought. I started emailing a potential new client that he wanted a package of massages during his trip to Los Angeles; we agreed on a price and he said his assistant would cut the check. When I received the check it was over 1000 dollars of what we agreed on. I immediately sent him a message and he told me he was traveling and asked me to deposit the check as is and then write him a check refunding the overage. Me, wanting to give excellent customer service and so proud of myself for going above and beyond for my future client I beelined for the bank.
The whole time I was talking with him I had this nagging feeling that something wasn’t right but I pushed it aside thinking it was me doubting myself. In line for the teller I saw one of the bank employees standing next to me. I leaned in and asked her if she could take a look at the check for me. At first she said everything was good, then paused when handing it back to me and asked if she could further examine it. She left and came back a couple minutes later. She told me that the routing number didn’t exist in the database. If I deposited the check it would clear, but then about 3–4 weeks later it would come back and the bank would take the money back but I would be out my “refund”. I sent him a scathing email that was ignored.
Trusting your instincts is a learned ability and something I didn’t know I needed to learn until that moment. I taught massage therapy for many years and I would always tell my students they must learn to tap into their intuition to listen to it.
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?
We started this business in 2020 during the peak of the COVID lockdown. There isn’t a particular person but a bunch of them. When we first started our cannabis brand, we made so many rookie mistakes. We were trying to navigate a newly regulated space and finding the right answer at times felt impossible. We did some digging online and came across multiple groups dedicated to women in cannabis. A few of our favorites have been Women Empowered in Cannabis, Haus of Jane, and the Lady Jane Society. These groups have been integral resources for us regarding decisions such as finances, legal, manufacturing, regulation and even marketing. Through these groups we are able to connect with others and give back by sharing our experience as well.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
The Compound Effect by Darin Hardy — I was in a really tough place when I listened to this book. I had just had my second child, my marriage was on the rocks, I was searching for purpose and I simply wasn’t happy. I blamed my circumstances and my spouse for my unhappiness and resented my children. One day while cleaning the bathroom and listening to this book (thank heaven for audiobooks) the author was talking about accepting responsibility for our lives and taking back control of our fate. It hit me right in the gut, but it’s a moment I’ll never forget. I realized that it wasn’t life handing me shitty cards, I was pulling those shitty cards out of the deck myself. I started going to therapy and working through my own patterns, it was the kick in the butt I needed.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?
“You are the sum of the company you keep” I love people and I’ve always been very social. Growing up, my motto was always “the more the merrier.” However, I have a habit of wanting to help every single person I come into contact with. I’m an empath and I tend to take on other people’s pain, which, as you can imagine, can be very unhealthy and makes for some very confusing relationships (especially in my 20’s). I still love being with people and have a large social network, but I’ve learned in the last few years that I feel better when I’m selective with my inner circle. My energy is precious and I now understand the power of surrounding myself with people who challenge, support and love me.
How have you used your success to make the world a better place?
We are building a community focused on education and acceptance; creating a space that others can feel empowered to voice their experience and questions around cannabis use. Specifically we help those seeking better options in regards to pain management, mental health, and disease-prevention. I know people are wanting more information because I get asked the same question all the time “where do I start?”. The more dialogue we create, the more people we can help find answers and the closer we get to stamping out the stoner stigma.
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. According to this EY report, only about 20 percent of funded companies have women founders. This reflects great historical progress, but it also shows that more work still has to be done to empower women to create companies. In your opinion and experience what is currently holding back women from founding companies?
When we first started to build our brand, I just wanted to build a business that could support my family. Starting a business requires risk and it felt really scary to take on risk, potentially unnecessary risk, to start to build something from scratch. I thought — is it irresponsible for me to be spending money on a new venture during COVID when so many people were losing their jobs? It takes a mindset shift to step into your own power and know that you’re offering something that people need.
Finding confidence to speak-up was a huge learning curve for me and something I still struggle with today. Starting MATCH CANNA forced me to learn a lot about communication, dependency on others and failing forward. Finding my voice, trusting my instincts and being confident in my ability to make decisions didn’t come naturally, I learned these skills slowly and the lessons didn’t come easily. It’s scary, but you have to have a growth-mindset in order to be successful — and be willing to fail. I’m so grateful that I have a business partner who excels where I struggle, she looks at things in a big-picture way and she’s behind the scenes where I love being front and center.
Can you share with our readers what you are doing to help empower women to become founders?
Women need to see more women taking chances. In order for us to have more women founding companies, there needs to be more female mentors influencing women’s success. I have been a business owner for many years and I learned that the most important thing is to not reinvent the wheel, instead, mimic success. How can people mimic what they don’t see?
Christina (co-founder) and I continue to learn and grow as much as we can and we share our knowledge in the different female-centric groups and communities that we’re a part of. We also personally and professionally support women-owned businesses in both the cannabis space and beyond. We’re helping to make space for women and the way that they want to work and we will continue to encourage and inspire more women to start their own business.
This might be intuitive to you but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?
Our culture puts expectations on women from an early age telling them that they have to hustle and lose themselves in order to gain success and respect. When women stop living up to the status quo they start honoring themselves and finding their voice. I was taught that women are to be selfless and to gain this you need to lose yourself in service to others, this made me act and think small.
Women give unique perspectives and a woman that trusts herself has the confidence to say and do what needs to be done.
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Can you please share 5 things that can be done or should be done to help empower more women to become founders? If you can, please share an example or story for each.
- Support from partners — Women are often laden with invisible work (cooking, organizing, childcare…) and this doesn’t leave much time for creativity or advancement. My husband often takes my kids to do solo-dad adventures leaving me time to spend on my business. Childcare often falls heavily on one partner. Not by agreement, but because of gender stereotypes. I think it’s high time for men to start pitching in.
- Women-led business groups — We need to hear more from women leaders. Women have been taking business advice from men for years but I think we can agree that we function differently. The strategies that work for a man in the workforce don’t always translate. When we started our business we were met with a lot of discouragement (mostly from men) telling us that the business is hard and to go into a different field. It wasn’t until we started seeking WOMEN in this industry did we find the encouragement and advice we needed to get started.
- Mentorship- Mentors can help keep you motivated, push you to learn new skills, increase your professional network, and provide encouragement. Starting a business can be challenging enough, if more women had mentors, they could work smarter, not harder and could learn invaluable lessons that would save them the pain and lost resources from making huge mistakes when getting a business off the ground.
- Support from Communities — Buy from women! In order to have a successful business it needs to have business coming in. It can seem obvious, but in an age where quality can be sacrificed for convenience, it’s a good reminder. Do your diligence and research women-owned businesses in your area and support them, even if it means driving an extra 5 minutes to another store. This small act allows others to see women-owned companies thrive and in turn be inspired to do the same.
- Allow women to mess-up — As women we are told to be silent, be beautiful and to most importantly be risk-averse. Starting a business is risky and means you will fail forward, mistakes are inevitable. We made some pretty big mistakes in the beginning, but we learned from them and moved on. People loved to tell us what we “should do ‘’ when it came to making decisions for our business. They also loved to point out when we fail and what we “should have done”. This advice is never helpful, we should be encouraging women to succeed and help with solutions not discouragement. It’s important to remember each failure gets you closer to your dream.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I feel I am part of one now! We are just one of the many cannabis companies paving the way for better alternative medicine through legalization of cannabis. We are just tapping into the medical properties of this plant and legalization will open the door for further research and allow for local, state and federal tax revenue. The more we talk about this, the more people will be open to learning more. I believe this plant can help many by allowing for a safer and often more effective treatment plan for a myriad of issues. The rebel in me is excited to be paving the way for such a new and controversial industry.
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.
Definitely Glennon Doyle. I have so much respect for anyone who can be that honest and vulnerable. I relate to her feeling of being trapped by society’s internalized ideology for women. As children we learn to rely on society to tell us how we should feel, act and behave. Raising a daughter myself, I wondered how to break those systemic behaviors while I am still reprogramming my own life. After reading her last book, Untamed, I was inspired to live a life worthy of my daughter instead of trying to ‘fix’ everything around her. By tapping into my own wildness I can inspire her to live a life untamed. I guess I would really just like to tell her THANK YOU and give her a hug.
How can our readers further follow your work online?
You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn @matchcanna; you can also check out our website https://matchcanna.com/.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.