In honour of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we sat down with the ladies of one of our favourite B+F brands: Me First Wellness. Alicia H and Jennifer H. were both born and raised in Vancouver (Alicia, to a Hong Kong Chinese Mother and Canadian Father), where they launched their CBD wellness brand many know and love for their beautiful bath salts, dreamy headache rollers, and more.
Settle in, grab a cozy drink (we’d recommend a CBD tea, of course) and follow along as A & J share with us their biggest inspirations, manifesting, and of course, CBD!
A & J: We’re a CBD lifestyle company made for women by women. Our goal is to empower as many women as possible to put themselves first! When we put on our own oxygen masks first, we can be there for others too. We strive to empower women to live their best lives, so we can go out into the world and be our best selves in our careers, for our loved ones, friends, families, and communities.
A: I grew up in Vancouver with a very strict Mom, and developed a resistance to authority. I tried Cannabis in high school and dabbled on and off until I [suffered] an adverse reaction and had to stop.
Although I couldn’t use cannabis due to the psychoactive effects, I had began hearing that cannabis could be used to help with medical ailments like rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. Two of my Mom’s best friends had rheumatoid arthritis and I thought, too bad there isn’t a way to get the health benefits of cannabis without the “high.”
I started hearing about the benefits of CBD five years ago and because I was so interested, started trying topical products for my aches and pains from a car accident and sports injuries. I discovered that they really helped me. I was so interested I started tinkering with making a pain salve myself. I did a leadership course and held a non-profit CBD and cannabis education event with my best friend and the organizers of the Spirit Plant Medicine conference. The speaker turnout was impressive and we loved the reactions from our friends, families and communities when they learned about the significance of the healing properties of cannabis– specifically from non-psychoactive CBD. The great vibes from the event helped us channel our energies into starting our brand and getting a small line of high quality, natural, Full-Spectrum CBD products that we loved using ourselves, so we could provide them for our own communities. And that’s how we started out!
J: I first got introduced to CBD by my friend [who] used it for sleeping, and both of us always had sleep problems, never sleeping before 5 AM. I like everything clean and as natural as possible, so I jumped at this. After hearing about more of the benefits I started sharing my knowledge about CBD to my friends. It was when I started talking to Alicia about it that I found out that she was a super expert at this stuff!!!
We both went to the same medium on the same day and she claimed that if we went into business together, we could truly successfully help a lot of people who needed it.
A: I’m so grateful to have the camaraderie of my business partner. Without her, I probably would have run out of steam before we ever got off the ground! There isn’t a large community of female entrepreneurs in our community because we aren’t technically seen as a completely legal business in Canada. So many of the business owners in our community are usually men, and even when we hear of female brand owners, most people in our industry prefer to stay anonymous. Hopefully the Canadian government will becomes more established with the rules around CBD, similar to the US, so we can all create a great community once that happens.
J: We have met a handful of female members in this industry and they are all super nice and soo helpful when we do work together. Also am very lucky that my business partner is so knowledgeable in this industry and has many friends that help and guide us along the way.
A: Be daring and go do it! And redefine your definition of failure.
I’m a perfectionist and have had to do some self work to not let my perfectionism tendencies hinder the progress of my business - because entrepreneurship isn’t always straightforward or easy! I love the story of Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, and how her father taught her to see failure differently when she was young:
“When I was a child, my father used to encourage my brother and me to fail. At the dinner table, instead of asking about the best part of our day, he would ask us what we failed at that week. If we didn’t have something to tell him, he would be disappointed. When we shared whatever failure we’d endured, he’d high-five us and say, ‘Way to go!’ The gift my father gave us by doing this was redefining what failure truly meant.” – Sara Blakely
As an entrepreneur and business owner, breakdowns can pile up and things aren’t always in my control. Redefining failure has been the key to shifting the way I solve issues when they come up, because I’ve realized I don’t have to be stuck in the problem. Being able to step back and get a big picture perspective has really helped with moving through and recovering from breakdowns better. When we get to the other side of breakdowns and get to experience the breakthroughs, it’s super motivating to keep training myself to redefine failure!
J: My advice is: manifest what you want and be clear about your goals. Set your intentions and put it out there into the universe. And start seeing yourself reach your goals.
A: I wish I was taught that not every effort results in a success or failure, and that even if I fail at one task, or one part of a project, or event the whole project, that I can come back and still try again in another way. Not getting stuck in a breakdown or the feeling of failure would have kept me more motivated, asking and getting support in the ways I need them, and moving forward in a healthy way.
J: Sales is such an important skill to learn. I feel this is such an essential skill to have as it can be applied to any business you start or if you apply at a job. The art of sales is also a way to communicate with people and relationship building
A: Doing something that makes a difference in the world, and showing my 1.5 year old son that he can do it too one day.
J: Is hearing people around me healing naturally with mother nature by their side. Hearing this inspires me to do what I do as it is actually improving the quality of someone’s daily life.
A: Reese Witherspoon and her production company’s vision to work with more female creators from all walks of life, and the success she has built through empowering women.
J: I loooove Oprah- I started watching her when I was young, and looking back to how she started and what an empire she has built is just so amazing. How many hearts she has touched along the way, and being such a positive influence to so many by being her authentic self.
A: I’ve been an athlete all my life, and have suffered from injuries not only from being a competitive swimmer and beach volleyball player, but from two car accidents as well. Being able to play sports is a huge part of my life, and being taken out by injury can have a really big impact on not just my physical wellness but my mental wellness too. We developed products that help with body and headache pain management, inflammation, sleep recovery, and anxiety. Using them hand in hand with my active recovery journey has helped enormously. I’ve worked with a whole gambit of Physiotherapists, Chiropractors, Massage Therapists, Kinesiologists, Active Rehabilitation Specialists, Counsellors, and a Physiatrist. It has been a long journey of discovering how to recover from chronic injury and I’m glad to say that today I am stronger than ever, and have more tools in my tool belt to deal with any issues that may come up. Today, I strength train three days a week and play beach volleyball four hours a week, something I would have never been able to do just two years ago. Our products aren’t the only answer, but they have been a big part of helping with my recovery naturally, each step of the way.
J: I love everything wellness.
You can shop the entire Me First Wellness collection right here on birchandfog.com
It’s easy to work CBD into your daily routine with our true-full-spectrum CBD Tinctures, Pain Stick, Bath Soak and moreShop Collection