MEET STACY

Q + A FROM THE FOUNDER OF WINK


SO WHAT GOT YOU INTO THIS BUSINESS?

My best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was going through chemo and it was awful. We all know someone, or someone who knows someone, or we’ve been through it ourselves - and we all know that cancer is absolutely terrible. And so is its treatment. So, my friend was going through it all.She was in pain, sick all the time and she had a family to raise. The world doesn’t slow down just because you need it to, you know? 

She was using marijuana for relief from the pain and nausea, and it was knocking her out. She was having a hard time trying to keep up with work, the house, the kids, making dinner, the dogs, the homework. All that. So I went into a shop for my first time to see if I could find a better solution for her. 

My experience there was less than great. I felt overwhelmed and under educated about marijuana in general. When I asked for a low-dose option for a cancer patient, the bud-tender basically told me there was no such thing. Everyone wanted the most potent product on the market. So I decided to create a micro-dose option for cannabis consumption that would allow my friend, and everyone, the freedom to medicate throughout the day and still carry on with their responsibilities and routines.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY NOW?

In California, since I founded W!NK in 2015, the industry has come a long way. While I was the first brand created for-women, by-women, I am no longer the only female-focused brand. Whoopi and Maya introduced their brand for women in 2016. Thankfully with the new Me-too movement, having more female-focused brands is helping to educate women on the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. Women tend to trust women and I think education is the biggest component to having a successful brand. That is where the industry is headed, education. Retailers have learned to accommodate the growing female-demographic of cannabis consumers as well. Well-built stores have beautiful, informative displays, educated staff, and takeaways for consumers. 


So yes, I think the industry has, and still is, blooming. As more women come to work within it and pass along their knowledge of the values of cannabis, it only gets better, and more inclusive.

DO YOU FEEL BEING A WOMAN HELPS YOU WITH WINK? THERE'S ALL THIS TALK OF WOMEN RISING THE HEIGHTS + DOING WELL IN THE INDUSTRY, BUT WHAT'S IT BEEN LIKE, FOR YOU?

Of course. I built W!NK to fill a void that had been created when it was overlooked by the hard-core stoner underbelly of weed culture. There was nothing specifically for women, and our micro-dose vape pens easily began to fill that void. As we introduced them to shops and partners, we were not just well received but shared. It wasn’t just us talking about them. We were being referred from shop to shop and woman to woman. We sought to help educate consumers, and non-consumers, on the medicinal benefits the plant offered. And we were dedicated to helping women become acquainted with, or reacquainted with cannabis, both marijuana and hemp based cannabis. And I think people appreciated that. 


I believe we were on the mark because we were followed by other brands doing the same thing. There are now other for women, by women brands out there that are doing a great job. And there are brands out there that are focused on education and de-stigmatizing the plant that are doing beautifully as well. I believe women have made that happen. We are the nurturers of our society, so it is only fitting that we are the ones cultivating positive conversation around this plant. 


And I would say being a part of this conversation has been good for me. I’ve enjoyed watching the discussions surrounding cannabis shift from what gets you high to what restores you, and have obviously benefitted from it as well.

YOU SAY YOU'RE A PRODUCT DEVELOPER. WHAT INSPIRES + INFLUENCES YOU IN YOUR ENDEAVORS?

My specialty is product development. My sales manager tells me to slow down all the time. I just can’t, it’s in my blood. I’ve always been an entrepreneur. 

I started the WINK brand with micro-dosed vape products and a patent-pending battery/pen that looks like makeup and goes with my philosophy of being discreet. I then introduced all of my wellness and skincare products that target ailments from nausea, to ADD/ADHD, depression, eating disorders, skin conditions, anxiety, sleep disorders, and more. 

I source the highest quality full-spectrum hemp from both local and international farms to ensure my products contain the highest quality CBD. I keep creating products because I am inspired to help women incorporate CBD into their lifestyle as a natural alternative to manufactured drugs and enjoy the therapeutic benefits cannabis has to offer. 

WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE WINK?

I built businesses. I’ve always been into developing products, and have a few other endeavors under my belt. I also own and operate a brand called Seven, a higher-dosed brand that competes with the masses. I developed Seven simultaneously to W!NK when everyone around me told me I was crazy to develop a low-dose brand for women. 

Now, they all want stock in WINK. 

WHILE RAISING A FAMILY?

Yep. Two of my four kids and two of our dogs are still under the roof. 

WHAT YOUR GOALS FOR 2019?

I want to grow! W!NK is a great brand with wonderful products. Those who know us love us and those who are introduced to us stick with us. We’ve perfected our existing portfolio, and are ready for the rest of our community to enjoy us. And when I say community, I mean women. 

Our CBD products can be used by anyone and I want to be sure we get that message across this coming year. We’re doing well in California, but it’s time to make our way through the states and to the east coast.


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE WOMEN WHO WANT TO WORK IN THIS INDUSTRY OR WHO WANT THEIR OWN BUSINESS?

I’d say be true to who you are. Find a cause that aligns with you and support it. Whether that means working for a product maker or marketing one, if you’re aligned with the brand’s ethos and vision, you will go far. 

Then I’d say don’t stop until you get there. Just like any cause, career and worthwhile endeavor, getting to the goal is a lot of work. So announce your intentions and allow others to help you. Once you begin to introduce yourself to the industry, you will absolutely be welcomed.