Exploring the best way to integrate my love of supporting women with cannabis advocacy has been an incredible journey.
You're going to hear me talk about "my community" quite often throughout this post. Reason being, it's a big deal to me. Community shaped who I am today, as a woman, a wife, a mother and as an entrepreneur. I don't mean just my current sphere of incredible people, but every community I’ve been a part of up to this point in my life; family, school, career and friends all played a vital part in the making of ME. They play a vital part in the making of all of us!
I'm not going to sell myself short…arriving at this point in life has also taken a lot of courage, and grit. However, having a village to support my visions and vouch for me has made such an impact, I need to send my gratitude to each of you.
As many of you know, family is super important to me. I have the Turkish version of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". The traits that are absolutely not flexible are the ones you are imprinted with. They are the experiences that make us subconsciously choose certain paths as our adult selves. Growing up in a big, lively, and dare I say - somewhat rambunctious family, was fun but also a huge learning experience. We each have our space (some more than others 🙂 but when shit hits the fan, we got each other's backs and we stick together. We are our own community.
School was interesting, and seemed to get more difficult as I entered high school. Lack of confidence with difficult home situations made those years tough. As I shared in my video, I was in survival mode during those years. That community prepped me for real life - the jungle. Learning to communicate and navigate through a larger body of people, while dealing with personal and family issues was a valuable lesson.
Each of these communities had positive impacts on my life, even if I could not see it at the time. my current network has been the most generous and given me the greatest ability to move forward - and for that, I will be forever grateful. Alternative Mothers Group was a dependable and extremely loyal foundation for what became an extended family for me. Postpartum depression in early motherhood made me realize what I needed most was to be surrounded by like-minded women, experiencing the same struggles. Somehow, the community from my CHILDHOOD taught me "if you can't find what you need, create it!" So I created AMG and turned out, hundreds of you needed it too.
The path I am on started with my entrance to motherhood. AMG helped me find strength and confidence in parenting choices, which led me to become a doula. Becoming a doula taught me how to build a business from the ground up. It taught me compassion and opened my eyes to a new way of supporting people. I loved it, and still do. The countless families in AMG and in my doula practice, the hundreds of placentas I processed, working for DTI…all of this propelled me into this amazing journey and this new canna-community. I enjoyed being my own boss and creating my own work schedule and flow so much, I knew I could never (fully) work for someone else again. But I needed more, and I wanted a challenge. Something that extended much farther beyond ME and another person. I wanted to help and reach people that are much farther than my immediate circle or within a 20-mile radius. I wanted to make an impact bigger than AMG and one-on-one client support.
I really enjoy bringing people together over a common interest, networking and marketing. Those things take confidence and passion. I’m not afraid to put my thoughts up for the world to read or view. I am prepared to take on whatever emotional reaction or criticism a person might have. I’m aware that cannabis is the new “tech bubble” and everyone and their mother is trying to get in on it. I’m aware that even though it’s “cool”, it’s not cool to everyONE and not cool everyWHERE. I also know that this is just the beginning. My experiences up until now have prepared me to take on the world, and- side note: I may finally be approaching a point in my life where I don't give a shit what someone thinks of me. If it feels good to me, I'm doing it!
AMG and doula-ing were lights in my life that prepared and propelled me to take on a giant. For years, the board (Alicia, Julia, Maureen, Sage and Louise - and in the beginning, Tara) volunteered time to running AMG. The meetings and the organization it took to manage the group became too heavy for us after we had our second and third children, so we decided it was time to make AMG into a simple FB group for all. What I learned later was that I (we) weren't JUST giving, we were also receiving. The sheer experience of creating a group of that size (with various branches) was something I can be proud of today. But my hunger is insatiable and that childhood imprinting of needing to bring people together and create a group of like-minded individuals was something I needed to reimagine and recreate to suit my current life.
My needs at that time were to be around new mothers that had just given birth. That weren't sleeping or were trying to figure out what kind of food to start feeding their baby. My needs have evolved as a woman and mother and when I experience something life changing, I have a desire to bring people together over it and share the beauty with them.
I won't go into detail about my personal relationship with cannabis here - you can watch my video for that. But what I will say is that cannabis has had a HUGE impact on the quality of my life. Bohemian Villa is something my husband and I put together for fun. We love entertaining and when we bring our talents together, sparks fly. We can't wait to do bigger dinners in the near future as we explore larger venue options! But Oov Lifestyle is ME sharing my experience and my life with my extended family. My hope is to reach women and mothers that are dealing with daily emotional or physical pain and give them something to move towards. Give them the face of a normal mom that they can identify with, which might make them think differently about a controversial plant. Oov Lifestyle is about bridging the gap between cannabis and motherhood, spreading knowledge, killing stigma and bringing women safe products to find the relief they are looking for.
I know we may not have seen each other for a while and perhaps we have lost touch. If you feel that you may have benefited or experienced something positive from us crossing paths, I would like to ask you for a favor in return. Help me bring my new baby full circle? I've given birth to Oov Lifestyle, but now I need my village to help me raise her into the fierce movement I know she can be.
There are a few ways you can support me, and none involve money or more than a few minutes.
- Follow me on Instagram! You can find me at @Oovlifestyle. (I know this might not seem like much, but raising my social following will give me more leverage with larger companies, and Instagram is where cannabis lives.)
- Repost one of my Instagram posts on your Instagram. You'll need to download a Repost app, Tag the handle @oovlifestyle and invite them to follow as well. (My community is your community, and this is how we reach and help more people.)
- Send this newsletter (or the website) to anyone you think might appreciate this kind of community or information and have them subscribe to the Oov.life email list. There are so many cool things coming soon…events, info nights, Oov apparel, etc. Keep in touch with me and watch us grow!
- Subscribe to my YouTube channel. Reviews on products, interviews and quick tips are coming.
- Come join us! My new FB group "Women of Cannabis" is growing quickly and I would LOVE to see some familiar names in there. Plus, you might learn something you didn't know or come across a product you can't live without.
When I decided to write a blog, I knew my first one would be dedicated to you. Bridging you all to this new journey is so important to me. After all we have done for each other, it felt like the natural thing to do.