How I Fell In Love With CBD
I’d always had an entrepreneurial spirit. In fact, I went to law school with the mindset that I would eventually hang my own shingle as a solo practitioner. But with the twists and turns of life, I eventually landed an awesome position on an in-house legal team at a major beverage brand. It was during that time that my husband and I decided to start our own business selling his family’s generations-old recipe for New Orleans-style pralines. However, the excitement of bringing something new to life quickly turned to panic and confusion.
Like everyone else in the world, the events in the beginning of 2020 swiftly changed our plans. Just the day after we received our final permit to begin operations, our state begin limiting commercial activity and those plans were postponed indefinitely. I found myself struggling to make sense of the new world that we were living in – working from home, raising three children aged 5 and under, and trying to stay safe and healthy. No pressure, right? Wrong!
I’d always enjoyed a relaxing day at a spa or massage parlor and would frequently pop into one of the local reflexology massage locations during a lunch break for a quick session to relieve tension and calm my spirit. Yet, with the temporary closure of such businesses, my favorite coping mechanism was, well, gone. I knew I needed to find a new way to manage my stress and allow myself to focus on my family and my work.
I recalled a recommendation from one of my doctors that cannabidiol, or CBD, could help with relaxation and I ordered a tincture directly from his office. It arrived the next day, and since I was overwhelmed by all the change in such a short amount of time, I immediately began using it. Within minutes, I felt calm and completely relaxed even though I was simultaneously trying to homeschool and figure out whether my next meeting was on Zoom, Webex, or Teams.
I began researching CBD, its various uses, its differences from its big brother, marijuana, and all of the many ways that it can be consumed. I also bought a lot of interesting products, only to find that some were made with subpar ingredients that I quickly trashed. Though I found a few things that I liked, there was always something that I felt was missing. Then it hit me – maybe this was another opportunity after all!
There’s a saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” And as a mother, I knew a thing or two about ways to make something out of nothing. Since I couldn’t go to a spa at the time, I could recreate the experience in my own home. After months of formulating and testing, 51st Place was born! Our products are all natural and are made with the highest quality ingredients. We use pure essential oils to promote relaxation and provide tranquility through aromatherapy. And, of course, CBD is our shining star, enhancing the experience by not only nourishing and hydrating the skin but also contributing to a superior relaxing experience.
As I built this brand, it was important that I incorporate certain values from the very beginning. I wanted this brand to serve as a platform to promote better self-care and wellness among women of color, especially Black women. Furthermore, as a Black attorney entering the cannabis space, I also understood the history surrounding the demonization and criminalization of this plant and knew that it was necessary for me to do my part. In an effort to promote and support social equity within the industry, 51st Place will donate a percentage of sales to organizations that provide educational resources about cannabis and restorative justice initiatives. Additionally, I began using my professional expertise as a participant in expungement clinics throughout my hometown of South Los Angeles to help right the wrongs done to so many Black and Brown people within my community due to the War on Drugs.
At 51st Place, we believe that wellness begins at home. And they say that home is where the heart is. It is my hope that you see and feel my heart in, both, our products and brand values. So, take care of yourself first so that you can take care of others around you. And remember that at 51st Place, you’ll always be at home.