Be thankful for everything that you have. This pandemic is impacting all of us differently, both financially, and emotionally. We should focus on the all of the positive things in our lives and just try our best every day.
Try to help someone in need. If you are able to help others, there are still many ways to get involved and give back, including making a financial contribution, donating supplies, volunteering virtually, donating blood, and checking in on people who might need support.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Many of us now have new challenges that come with working from home, homeschooling, and sheltering in place.
As a part of our series about how busy women leaders are addressing these new needs, I had the pleasure of interviewing Katherine Guevara, co-founder of Green Gorilla CBD. Guevara, along with her husband and co-founder Steven Saxton, were the first entrepreneurs to launch USDA certified organic CBD products in 2013. While studying nutrition, Guevara was intrigued by the many applicable uses of CBD and the science behind the ways it influenced our bodies. In her role, she brings a wealth of problem-solving skills, creativity and superior decision-making capabilities which have helped Green Gorilla becoming one of the leading CBD companies on the market. Guevara is also involved in corporate filings, distribution & wholesale/retail accounts management, marketing strategies, company events and employee training.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?
For as long as I can remember I have always had an interest in healthy living!
I studied Family Nutrition and Health, I truly wanted to emerge myself in that lifestyle. During that time, I figured that once I finished school that my career would take me to a hospital, clinic, or wellness center practicing Family Nutrition. In 2010 my husband Steven started looking into the Cannabis Industry for investment opportunities. I was very excited and highly interested. I was familiar with the health benefits of Cannabis. Then I learned about Hemp and the compound CBD for the first time, which was mind-blowing. CBD had promising health benefits and was non-intoxicating, and Hemp had unlimited uses — from wellness products to textiles and industrial uses. I knew that I had to be a part of this industry! Then came Green Gorilla. This is my dream job, my mission in life. I want to help people live their best life.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started at your company?
In November 2018 we lost our home, a large portion of our company’s product inventory and property during the Woolsey fire. During this challenging time, I could have easily become overwhelmed and defeated. Luckily, I had a lot of CBD to help keep calm! But I also like challenges, and this was definitely an interesting one. My husband and I quickly found a balance with our family life. With the help of our amazing team, vendors and retail partners, our company too started to stabilize. This fire occurred around the Holiday Season so all hands were on deck. That November and December became our best revenue-generating months of 2018. When you have a mission in life you always find a way to stay the course!
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
This summer we launched five herbal and vegan CBD capsules. Our current project is educating our consumers about their amazing benefits. We launched the Defense, Sleep, Inflamend, Relax and Balance Capsules, all five capsules have been formulated with plant-based ingredients, gluten-free and 0% THC — They are incredible. I’m particularly excited about our Defense Capsules, which are designed to help support a healthy immune system. With COVID-19 spreading so quickly, we can all use as much immune system support as possible. I like to look at this capsule as an all-in-one, it features ingredients such as EpiCor®, Elderberry, Vitamin C, Reishi Mushroom, Zinc and Echinacea, among others. It’s a convenient and quick way to help strengthen your immune system and get your daily dose of CBD to support your endocannabinoid system. It’s a win-win!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I am grateful for the support and advice that I have received from Steven, my husband and business partner at Green Gorilla. He introduced me to the Cannabis Industry and together we are building a premium CBD Brand. Like most people, when I heard the word “cannabis,” I mostly associated it with recreational use and that it was for people that suffered from chronic aches or traumatic stress. The more research that I conducted, it was clear this was an excellent opportunity to help others in need.
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of our lives today. Can you articulate to our readers what are the biggest family related challenges you are facing as a woman business leader during this pandemic?
The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly affected our personal and professional lives. My biggest family challenge is homeschooling and child-care for our nine-year-old daughter. While my husband is an involved parent and we are a great team, I’m the parent that coordinates everything — from school, doctor check-ups and activities — to name a few. Green Gorilla was also experiencing challenges due to COVID-19 and I had to come up with a plan quickly and execute it immediately.
Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
We are very fortunate to have the ability to hire full-time help for our daughter. While it does come with a financial impact and a huge trust curve, this is a good solution for our family. I tried working from home, but it proved to be difficult — I had too many interruptions, the workflow and project progression was not as good. My husband works from home on Fridays and our child really likes the extra time with dad. Though this crisis has been difficult, we have made the best of it. We are truly enjoying dinner time at home, baking, family bike rides and going to the beach.
Can you share the biggest work related challenges you are facing as a woman in business during this pandemic?
I made the decision to become an “essential worker”. I continued to go into our facility to help keep our business operating smoothly and to find solutions for our new business reality. We ship our products directly to thousands of customers and retail stores nationwide and during these uncertain times, our communities need our products more than ever. We are not open to the public and we are working safely following all CDC safety guidelines. When the news stations report surges of the virus in California, I sometimes wonder if this is the best decision for our family. I am very fortunate to be able to pursue my passion and continue to operate our business during these difficult times and I keep that in mind every day. With millions of people nationwide unemployed I know that my challenges could be worse.
Can you share what you’ve done to address those challenges?
I decided to trust and to be grateful. I had to trust my decision and trust those around me. I also decided that this would be an ideal time to implement all of my wellness knowledge to support my immune system and my mental health. While this virus is very real, we all need to trust that it will soon pass and that we lived the best version of lives possible through it. I know that our Green Gorilla CBD products are helping other people and that makes it all okay for me.
Can you share your advice about how to best work from home, while balancing the needs of homeschooling or the needs of a family?
During this pandemic, I worked from home twice, although I worked from home for a couple of years in the past. I was able to find balance by keeping a schedule and setting boundaries. I’d recommend getting dressed for the day, making time to exercise, even if it’s just 10 minutes. Create a space that is the “work area,” a “classroom” area for your child, and try to coordinate your workload and deadlines with your child’s assignment schedule. Also very important — meal prep! Do not try to cook a feast in the middle of your workday. Set a time to stop your work at the end of the day and switch to family time.
Can you share your strategies about how to stay sane and serene while sheltering in place, or simply staying inside, for long periods with your family?
Be grateful for the downtime. Enjoy board games, family walks, and cooking new recipes with your family. This may be a great time to practice more self-care, whether this is exercising at home, taking an online yoga class, meditating, reading a book, incorporating naps into your daily routine or starting a new hobby. Enjoy your days and stay hopeful.
Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have understandably heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.
1. This health crisis will not last forever, in time, we will heal.
In an earlier question, I shared that less than 24 months ago we were affected by one of the largest fires in California, where everything we owned and a large portion of Green Gorilla’s inventory and property burned to ashes. During the first couple of weeks after the disaster, it just seemed like we had a huge mountain to climb — and we did — but with every passing day we adjusted and continued moving forward. Through the process, our bonds and relationships with those helping became stronger. So, in this time of social distancing pick up the phone and call a loved one, let them know that you appreciate them. Together you will get through this challenge!
2. Learn a new skill or hobby.
Use this time to learn new skills that you never had the time to pursue. At the end of this, you will have accomplished a new goal.
3. Look at life through your child’s eyes.
If you have children or elderly parents, try to create as many fun memories with them.
4. Be thankful for everything that you have.
This pandemic is impacting all of us differently, both financially, and emotionally. We should focus on the all of the positive things in our lives and just try our best every day.
5. Try to help someone in need.
If you are able to help others, there are still many ways to get involved and give back, including making a financial contribution, donating supplies, volunteering virtually, donating blood, and checking in on people who might need support.
From your experience, what are a few ideas that one can use to effectively offer support to their family and loved ones who are feeling anxious? Can you explain?
We are living in unprecedented times, so it’s normal to feel anxious. Staying in touch with your family and loved ones, and offering your time is key. I would also recommend limiting the amount of time you watch the news. While it can be informative it can also be overwhelming. It’s more important than ever to get outside and exercise, even if it’s a walk around your neighborhood. Meditation or yoga can help bring a sense of calm, even if only for a few minutes every day. I would also suggest our Green Gorilla CBD oils, CBD Gummies, or CBD Capsules. Research studies indicate that CBD can be an effective natural treatment when you are feeling anxious.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Life is 10 percent what you make it, and 90 percent how you take it.” ―Irving Berlin
This has been relevant in many parts of my life. Challenges are inevitable, but you can control how you react and the choices that you make to find solutions. Despite all the trying moments that we have encountered in building Green Gorilla, we keep positive and stay course because we believe so strongly in our mission.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!
About The Interviewer: Karina Michel Feld is the Owner and Executive Producer of Tallulah Films. Karina has 20+ years of experience in TV, film, and print and is a respected member of The Producers Guild of America. The mission of Tallulah Films is to bring together directors, entrepreneurs, film investors, and screenwriters to produce award-winning TV and film projects. Tallulah Films continues to be drawn towards films that are meaningful, influential, and uplifting. Karina is also Co-Owner and CFO of Fresh Patch LLC (as seen on ABC’s “Shark Tank”).
Karina Michel Feld
Executive Producer of Tallulah Films
Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports, and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.