Ladies, periods don’t have to be something you dread each month. Shaina Kandel can tell you just that. As the founder and CEO of Moon + Leaf, her company creates hemp-derived products that help women embrace periods and connect with their bodies.
Based in Marin, CA, Kandel has spent 10+ years in strategy & healthcare consulting and the consumer goods industry. She has spent her career supporting the health of people, organizations and the plant.
OOV spoke with Kandel about Moon + Leaf and how she was inspired to use cannabis to help women think differently about their periods.
What did you do before moving into the cannabis industry?
Before starting Moon + Leaf, I was working at Fair Trade Certification supporting some of the biggest food companies with their sustainable sourcing and marketing strategies. I had researched the cannabis industry during my MBA program in 2015, and had always been interested in getting involved.
At Fair Trade, I was working closely with some incredible purpose-driven entrepreneurs and was inspired by their ability to create social change through business. At the same time, I became highly interested in working with herbs and plants for health and wellbeing.
Overall, my career has been dedicated to supporting the health of people, organizations and the planet. In addition to my time at Fair Trade, I’ve worked in HR consulting, strategy consulting, taught yoga for seven years, and did a MBA in sustainable business at Presidio Graduate School.
What was your motivation to get involved?
Moon + Leaf exists to create a culture in which women love, honor and listen to our bodies. We create CBD products for period relief and to turn periods into a ritual of self-love.
I spent 10 years in the corporate world. In each job, I started to experience burnout. Inevitably, I stopped getting my period, which is when I knew something was really off. This prompted me to quit and prioritize my health. This cycle happened a few times.
It finally dawned on me that my period was giving me information about how I was living my life. It changed my relationship with my period from something I dreaded to something I respected.
At the same time, I studied the growing cannabis industry during my MBA program and worked in consumer goods at Fair Trade. One day, the light bulb went off to create products for period relief, using the power of CBD that helps women learn to love our bodies.
What advice would you give a friend wanting to break into the cannabis space?
Starting a business in a brand-new industry is wrought with complications that other businesses don’t have to face. It takes grit and persistence. At the same time, there is a buzz and momentum surrounding the cannabis space right now that is unparalleled. It feels like the opportunity is limitless.
How do you talk to your family or friends about cannabis?
I love sharing about the health benefits of cannabis. A lot of women I talk to are sick and tired of taking painkillers during their period, but don’t know what else to do. To be able to alleviate pain with the power of plants instead of painkillers is such a gift.
What are some of your concerns as legalization continues to spread?
What I love now about the cannabis industry is the number of female entrepreneurs and the level of collaboration between women in this industry. It is powerful and creates possibility through community rather than threat through competition.
Looking ahead — even as big multinational corporations and Big Pharma get involved — I am hoping that this collaborative culture created at a grassroots level by amazing women continues to grow. I’m excited to see what the next level of collaboration can bring.
What is the most important piece of advice you can give to female entrepreneurs?
You have to align yourself with a vision that is more important than any setback you experience or voices of self-doubt you have. The setbacks, doubts and fears will be always there. But, if the vision is powerful and has a purpose bigger than you, you will find the energy to keep going.
To learn more about Moon + Leaf, visit their website at www.moonandleaflove.com or follow them at @moon.and.leaf on Instagram. You can also contribute to their Crowdfunding campaign at https://igg.me/at/moonandleaf.