As the conversation around cannabis progresses and the legal industry continues to grow, more and more information, products, and opportunities are becoming accessible. Young entrepreneurs are jumping into the cannabis field with creative business concepts and marketing strategies in efforts to eliminate the stigma and revive marijuana culture, sparking up a cannabis revolution. One, specific, entrepreneur who's actively involved with this cannabis movement is Iyana — the CEO of Kush & Cute.
Kush & Cute is a handmade cannabis skincare line produced with natural hemp and CBD (the non-psychoactive, fully legal component of cannabis). With her brand, Iyana is determined to tackle all areas of the cannabis business by educating and informing people on the benefits of cannabis, helping treat symptoms that can be alleviated with cannabis products, and pushing for a healthier representation of black women in this newly legal industry. With the hashtag, #PlantsNotPills in her Instagram bio, Iyana is both a patient + an advocate of cannabis, making strides with the creation of one CBD-infused bath bomb at a time.
The Kush & Cute shop provides a variety of natural skincare products including body scrubs, massage oils, toners and bath bombs, all handmade by Iyana. What makes these products so great is that they are all infused with hemp — a powerful plant that's been used for healing for centuries. Aside from all the medical conditions (including anxiety & depression, arthritis, cancer, etc.) it treats, hemp is also known to work wonders on skin by treating acne, dark marks, scars, age spots, sunburn, wrinkles, inflammation, eczema, dermatitis and more!
For this Cannabis Awareness Month, we had the opportunity to ask Iyana a few questions about her experiences working in the cannabis industry, building her brand, and her plans for the future. In this interview, Iyana shares her story with us and gives us insight to how cannabis supports wellness for women. Check out our exclusive Q&A below + celebrate this 420 by treating yourself to some new Kush & Cute treats for a #SelfCareSunday!
What are some things you'd like us to know about you?
My name is Iyana, I’m 23, black (and proud), dog mom, entrepreneur, business owner, cannabis lover, and I am the Creator/CEO of Kush & Cute.
How did you get started with Kush & Cute? What inspired its creation?
About 2 years ago when I graduated from college, I moved to California (Orange County) and started working all kinds of odd jobs. One of which was doing some digital content/social media work for a online head shop & wholesale company. I didn’t move to California to necessarily work in the weed business, even though I was a regular cannabis user, I just kinda ended up there and discovered that I really liked it. However, I also discovered that there were very few women in the industry, especially black women. When I would go to cannabis events I was almost always the only black girl there. Then when cannabis skincare products started coming out I really liked the idea behind them and wanted to try them but because I have the MOST sensitive skin ever I just didn’t trust any product without knowing what was in it. I had been making my own skincare products for awhile & one day just decided to add cannabis to it... It worked even better! That’s when it clicked that I could combine my content creation knowledge, my ability to create all natural skin care, and interest in cannabis to create Kush & Cute.
On your Instagram page, you feature cannabis history facts... What's your purpose for
making these informative posts?
I think it’s really important to educate and share facts about cannabis whenever possible because that will slowly pull people away from the stigma that it’s an evil, dangerous, gateway drug. It's never been that; it’s always been a tool and medicine, and literally gateway to nothing more than the fridge and the bed, haha! When people see the data, research, history, and statistics about cannabis whether they are users or not they can’t deny facts. I have the brand and platform to help push cannabis reform so those bits of information on our IG are just my little way of contributing to the cause.
What change do you hope to inspire through your brand?
I hope to inspire more women, of all ages, to try cannabis is whatever form works best for them. Cannabis can help women the most really. We’re twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety and depression and it's been studied that cannabis is great for treating that. I know from experience. My anxiety and depression is why I tried weed in the first place, it changed my life if I didn’t have CBD and THC products I would probably be on some sort of prescription meds by now . Not to mention PTSD, post partumn, fibromaligia, endometrious, PMS symptoms, ect. All the various aches, ailments, and pains women have to deal with all the time can really be treated with cannabis.
How do you hope to expand your brand in the future?
I would like to have a mobile shop, I keep imagining transforming a little camper or air stream into this pink mobile Kush & Cute shop with our products and other female cannabis products. I think that would be so cool. That my next move right now. The ultimate goal is to be a brand and product that can be for all types of consumers and that anyone who is interested in can access. I want our products in spas, head shops, dispesnaries, nail salons, make up stores, even Target (a girl can dream, haha)!
What's some advice you'd tell to a younger version of yourself in need of motivation to
I would tell myself, "You’re stronger than you think and you’re able to do more/take on more tasks than you think."
What are some of your top product recommendations for a Self-care Sunday?
I would highly recommend CBD bath bombs. CBD anything really, but every Sunday I take a bath using one of our CBD bath bombs they are amazing. Korean beauty sheet mask are also great. They make my skin feel amazing I love them & they just feel like a spa day and there only like, $1 to $3.
With creating homemade products, what's that process like for you?
I usually start by researching my favorite ingredients in products I like, or raw ingredients that I like and I want to see what else I can do with them. Ingredients like aloe, coconut oil, rose water, orange are all really versatile and can used many different ways. That process of researching, testing, and creating a “recipe” takes three weeks to a month. I shop different brands and qualities of ingredients for another couple weeks then once I have all that is when I actually get to make the products. I make everything in bulk now, so I’ll spend a week making like a ton of beauty oils and body scrubs and whatever else. My favorite part if actually when everything is pretty and package, I feel so accomplished because I turned an idea into an actual product.
Do you have any quotes or mantras you're currently really into? If so, what do these
specific messages mean to you?
“Faith over fear." It’s such a simple statement but so powerful. I got it tattooed on my left forearm a year ago and it’s such a good little reminder to myself when my life gets a little too hectic. Also, “When you are in alignment with you're greatest good and true purpose the universe will show you.” I don’t remember where I heard/read this one from but lately it’s been popping in my head.
How would you spend an ideal, "perfect" Sunday?
I now make it a really clear point to spending my Sundays having some moment of self-care or self -love. My routine has been to smoke, go for a walk, take a CBD bath, smoke some more, journal, meditate, and yoga. My week days are crazy so I need to my Sunday to be the most relaxing & reflective time of my week.
[these things take time.] the poetry book available on amazon.com.