In the Present Tense with Jayde and Gbemi

In the Present Tense with Jayde and Gbemi

At Present At Present
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      Jayde & Gbemi

"For me, success is measured by joy. When I think about my life, and what I'm working towards, everything is focused on waking up happy, finding joy in the work that I do every day, and inspiring others." - Jayde

1: What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage it?

Jayde: I think my greatest fear is not loving what I do for work. As a creative entrepreneur I am constantly coming up with new ideas, and immediately my brain goes to how can I monetize this, how can I grow this, and how can I turn this idea into a sustainable business? Sometimes it's challenging to focus on just one thing, but one of the beautiful things about having a business partner is you have each other's support and someone to bounce ideas off of. Not every idea needs to consume your energy. As a business owner you can decide to take it or leave it. One way I like to manage this fear is by constantly celebrating the wins, even the small ones. It’s easy to be go, go, go as an entrepreneur but the real joy is found in the present moments - the moments we take the time to acknowledge and celebrate.

Gbemi: One of my biggest fears is being misunderstood or being misrepresented. In this digital era, when you’re the face of a brand, it’s easy for people to make assumptions about who you are as a person. I love being a part of a cannabis brand and being a cannabis evangelist, but cannabis is not my full identity - I have many other passions. There are a lot of preconceived notions about what people who work in or consume cannabis look like, as well as many negative stereotypes. I manage this fear by recognizing that I have no control over what people think and by building out my own personal (yet public facing) pages to embody other aspects of my identity. It’s important for me to be one representation of the many faces of cannabis because cannabis people live multifaceted lives and come from many different communities. I'm proud to say that I'm part of a community of women who are hard working professionals that consume cannabis and unapologetically live the lives they want to live.

2: How do you define success?

Jayde: For me, success is measured by joy. When I think about my life, and what I'm working towards, everything is focused on waking up happy, finding joy in the work that I do every day, and inspiring others. I hope the work I’m doing is inspiring others to be themselves and helping them feel comfortable authentically showing up in the world.

As for the cannabis industry, I think success there looks like a more inclusive and more equitable industry. I actually think that’s what success looks like for all industries. It looks like leadership and executive boards that are inclusive of women, black and brown people, non-binary and queer people, immigrants, people who are plus sized, and really just representation from any group that has been historically marginalized. The internal culture flows into every aspect of a business from the type of products that are produced, the mission, the retail partners, and the marketing so it’s important that a business starts with a more balanced and inclusive culture.

Gbemi: Success for me is feeling balanced, feeling fulfilled, and doing meaningful work that enriches people’s lives. I've worked in corporate environments before where I didn't feel like we actually cared about the end consumer, so with Weed for Black Women, every single decision that we make is about ensuring that we are building up our community, educating our community, and consistently finding ways to bring joy into the lives of our community.

And success for the cannabis industry looks like engaging the legacy people in cannabis who actually helped to build this industry. Acknowledging the legacy farmers and operators who generated the initial demand, and tapping these people for valuable insights on different communities. There are groups that get neglected when larger, multi state operators and legislators take over an industry, such as people of color. Without representation from each of these communities throughout the industry, these businesses lack the right information and education needed to target key consumers.

3: Who are your real-life heroes?

Jayde: Beyoncé, Solange, and Rihanna are what I like to call my muses. Most of all I admire each of their work ethic. One thing about Beyonce no one would ever question is her ability to produce something incredible. I think her consistency is incredibly powerful - she always delivers. Solange, like Beyonce, is a powerful creative and I really love how she produces work in so many different formats. One minute she’s releasing an album and then she’s launching her own line of glassware. I align with and am inspired by this type of creative as I too am a creative who likes to venture into different avenues - never limiting myself to one industry or one idea. And finally, Rihanna, because she’s an artist that has always shown authenticity. She’s from the Caribbean, a small island, and just continues to grow and show up with such confidence - completely comfortable in her own skin. When I look at her it reminds me to feel confident in being exactly who I am in every moment.

Gbemi: My heroes are my family - my mom, brother, and sister. They are all hardworking, busy individuals, yet still find the capacity to pour into others limitlessly. They are constantly looking beyond themselves to see what they can do to help others. I’m just really inspired by people who are able to constantly show so much love to the world. In life I think it’s most fulfilling to be surrounded by genuine, loving relationships. The way my family continues to radiate love and extend themselves has really inspired the way I lead my life and the way I build relationships, even in business and my partnership with Jayde.

4: What is the best gift you've given yourself?

Jayde: The best gift I’ve given myself is the courage to quit my full time job several years ago. Giving myself permission to deviate from my conditioning – which told me my life’s path was to grow up, go to school, graduate, start a job in my field, get married, and have kids. This was a very healing decision for me and instead of allowing myself to feel like a failure for taking a different path in life, I felt liberated. Becoming an entrepreneur has given me the opportunity to express my creativity in ways I’d always wanted to and to do the work that I truly enjoy.

Gbemi: I’d say the best gift I gave myself was being okay with getting laid off. Like most people in corporate America, I used to equate my success in life to my work, so getting laid off was rough at first. But instead of letting it define me, I got comfortable with it, and looked at it as an opportunity to build my personal brand and Weed for Black Women. This gift has given me more creative freedom, more confidence in myself, more growth in my career as a marketer, and the ability to impact people in a way that really matters. In retrospect being laid off was a blessing in disguise and the way to overcome an experience like that is honestly just a mindset change. Of course there will be stressful and overwhelming feelings, but there’s always brighter days ahead, and change always presents new opportunities if you’re willing to see it.

5: What was the last win you celebrated?

Jayde: As cliche as it sounds, I’m always about celebrating the small wins - all of them. For example, we recently launched apparel and this is the first manifestation of our business that’s tangible and offline, so to celebrate I spent the entire weekend treating myself through self care. I got my nails done, ate at my favorite restaurants, sat on my couch for 3 hours to watch my favorite tv shows, and just did zero work. I think it’s important in the midst of moving so quickly in business and in life that we take these moments to pause, recharge, and evaluate all that we have accomplished.

Gbemi: I'm a big fan of celebrating everything. The last big celebration I had was a New Year’s Day party - I’m more of a New Year's Day girl than a New Year's Eve girl. During this party my friends and I do this thing we call a non-resolution. Essentially it’s committing to continuing to do something you were doing the year prior. There’s a lot of pressure in the new year to immediately hop into this growth era, but I like to acknowledge the good habits I already established and the wins I’ve already accomplished, and just commit to bringing those into the next year with me.

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Jayde Powell

Jayde is a content marketer and creator with over ten years of experience in marketing. With a strong background in digital marketing, social media management, and content creation, she has established herself as a well-respected creative in the advertising industry.

Gbemi Maiyegun

With 15 years of expertise in brand marketing and strategy, Gbemi is a seasoned professional in brand and product development, content strategy, and business growth. 

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