We are thrilled to welcome co-founder of NED Ret Taylor to the show! We talk about building a business and finding your purpose, and what it’s really like to “follow your passion”. Ret talks about the 4 pillars of his business and how he personally stays in the flow when life gets busy.
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This is Joy & Claire Episode 117: Purpose and Passion with NED Co-Founder Ret Taylor
Episode Date: March 10, 2022
Transcription Completed: March 19, 2022
Audio Length: 48:36 minutes
Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.
Claire: And this is Claire.
Joy: Welcome back to another wonderful episode of our show. It’s truly wonderful. I think we’ve been talking about it for a couple weeks now because we’ve been very excited to have Ret Taylor on the show, one of the creators of Ned, who has been a wonderful sponsor of ours over the years. Welcome to the show, finally. Well, you were on our Episode 300 back in the day.
Joy: But actually sitting down and having a conversation, this is the first time.
Ret: It is, which is crazy.
Joy: How does it feel?
Ret: It feels like we’re old friends. Thanks to Instagram, I know everything about both of you.
Joy: For better or for worse.
Ret: Yeah. This is great. I’m so glad to be here.
Joy: No, thank you so much. We truly sing your praises every time we do an ad for Ned. I know you know this because we’ve talked to you about it over the years. We love to work with great people because it just makes us feel good when we’re talking about a product that’s not just a product for us. Especially because products are so in your face and everybody’s selling something on Instagram or on their podcast, and it has just never felt right to us. We’ve been in a position to be picky to work with who we want to work with for products, so we’re just super happy that we’ve been able to work with you over the years.
Claire: I also love that for something like CBD, which a lot of people it takes them a while to trust it. It’s kind of confusing. It’s becoming more mainstream now, but a lot of people still have so many questions about it that we feel so confident being like, no, it’s fine. Ret and Adriaan got you.
Joy: You’re good. You guys will be fine.
Ret: Well, I mean, I remember – and this going back almost three years. But you guys vetted us hard. You guys asked major questions, made sure you found the right answers, checked those answers. I love when people that we work with do that. Not everybody does, but the ones that last the longest, and the ones that we find the best relationships long-term are the ones who do. And you guys, again, you really zeroed in to make sure that this was a product that was going to work for you first and then your audience second. It was super, super clear that you guys were all business when we first started. And then we became friends.
Joy: Yeah. All this and then when you came into our Episode 300, you were probably like, “Oh, these girls. Oh, these girls. Who are we working with?” No, it was great. And everybody got a Chapstick and was really excited.
Claire: I mean, to this day, every time I talk about that Chapstick. I love it so much.
Ret: I love it. That feels so long ago. That was pre-COVID.
Claire: It was.
Joy: That was so fun.
Claire: It was like 3 years and 6 weeks ago, approximately. Because my daughter is 3 years and a month old.
Joy: Yeah, Claire was about to pop. I’ll never forget. I was like, “Claire, are you sure? Are you sure we want to do a live episode? You’re about to have a baby.” But I’ll never forget, you guys came up on stage. It was the first time we’d met in person. We were just so excited. Now it’s like, three years later and here we are still. So how are things going? First of all, what is new with Ned? How have you guys been? Give us a little life update.
Ret: Yeah. Well, man, three years. We’re coming up on our four-year anniversary, which isn’t a ton in business world, but it’s a lot in this industry. It makes us OGs in the hemp space. Certainly not the pioneers, but we definitely got started when CBD was – I mean, it was something like 3% of the population knew what CBD was 3.5-4 years ago. And now it’s got to be more like 83% or even 93%.
Joy: It’s everywhere.
Ret: Yeah, and it wasn’t back then. Ned was really born out of Adriaan and my desire to help people. For me, have a deeper connection with the natural world, and for Adriaan find a better way of bringing simplicity into their lives. It really stems from my story, his story, our personal stories. Which are different but super similar as well. They really resonate with so many people. His was a story of burnout and overworking and thinking that he was doing all the right things when he was chasing money. Getting money and then finding not that much fulfillment. For me, it was my mom’s cancer and really wanting to help her find the natural remedies, the nutrition that would help her beat her cancer. And then just understanding too how powerful nature is. When we’re living in tuned with nature, when we’re eating and moving and spending time outdoors and sleeping according to our circadian rhythm, it’s like going downstream, going with the flow. As opposed to when you’re out of alignment, you can thrive for a little while. But it’s just harder. It’s like an uphill battle. So really wanting to bring that to people. It’s part of the origin of Ned. Four years on, to roundaboutly get back to your question, things are good. Things are really good. We’ve got a great group of customers. We have some of the highest loyalty in the industry. Not just in the hemp space or in the wellness space, but in the entire direct-to-consumer space. We’ve got extremely loyal customers. We’ve put out some beautiful products since we started working with you guys. We’ve really leaned into more specific use space. So our sleep blend is our bestseller. It’s CBD plus CBN plus other botanicals that help with sleep. People just get it. It’s like, oh, I have trouble sleeping, and this is called sleep blend. What’s in it? Okay. This looks good.
Joy: That will work for me. I know. So I don’t know if you’ve heard when we do our ad reads` and we talk a lot about how we use it. There’s this really funny story that I was talking about how, truly, whenever I use the sleep blend, I get hotel sleep. I was like, “I get hotel sleep.” And for me, I get great sleep in a hotel. I love it. So I kept saying this, and one day Claire during the ad was like, “I know you’ve been touting hotel sleep, Joy, but I don’t sleep well in a hotel. My story that I get sleep after I get home from a hotel, that’s how well I sleep.” Okay, great. Whatever hotel situation is for you, the reason I sleep so well is I don’t have animals or things waking me up. I sleep great. And I stand by that. Because I truly sleep so well. So that’s our running joke is Claire is always like, “I hate to burst your bubble, Joy.”
Claire: Mine is like the first night home from a hotel sleep. [laughing] Feels like flat pillows. You’re sleeping under a sheet practically. Why don’t they give you blankets in hotels?
Joy: Where are you staying?
Claire: Come one. I’m paying $300 a night, you’re not giving me a blanket. I mean… [laughing] I think it’s so interesting too to hear you talk about that. For the people who are listening, a lot of you guys know that I was working in the natural products industry until pretty recently and have a maybe greater-than-average understanding of this arc of CBD as an ingredient and how it really exploded onto the scene and cannabinoids in general have really explored onto the scene. But still, CBD is the main one we hear about. To hear you talking about CBN and these other cannabinoids, it’s interesting for me to put myself in your shoes and think, how do you get that information out to people? There’s this huge educational hurtle when people first hear about CBD. And now it’s starting to feel a little bit less crazy. And then, you’re bringing up all these ingredients. You’re adding other botanicals into the mix, which I don’t know if that hurts or helps because people are more familiar with some of those ingredients. But you guys have created such an approachable brand. Is that something that you consciously set out to do? Or does that just come with the territory of who you guys are?
Ret: A bit of both. It’s definitely who Adriaan and I are and our whole team as well. But no, it was very, very conscious. I remember the conversation I had with my mom when I brought CBD home for her. She was like, “Oh my God.” She calls me Retty. “Oh my God, Retty, where did you get this? Are the police going to show up?” She’s like, “I’ve never smoked marijuana in my whole life. I’m 65. I’m not going to start now.” I’m like, “Mom, I got this at Alfalfa Supermarket.” Back then, it was for kids with epilepsy and for dogs with anxiety. It came super highly recommended. This is 2014. But she was really nervous about it. I just remember that conversation when it came to putting together our brand. It’s why we chose the name Ned. We were just thinking, what is the most approachable name we can come up with? And Ned is your neighbor, right? Ned is the guy or gal who you can go knock on their door and ask them for sugar or ask them for a natural remedy, ask them to quote James Joyce or come fix your sink. Ned is just a very approachable person. He or she has come to embody this person. It’s really who I aspire to be. We ask the question all the time, what would Ned do? WWND? And Ned has super high principles. So if it comes to something like we could use this ingredient. It’s going to be cheaper, but it won’t be as effective. What would Ned do? Well, we’re not using that ingredient. So that was what Adriaan and I, our first meeting before we even formed the company was go climb South Arapaho Peak just west of Boulder. We didn’t make it to the top, but I always say it was the most productive day of our entire business. Because that day we laid the guiding principles. We wrote the rule book for what we will and won’t do. It just became so much easier to make decisions after that.
Claire: That is a fascinating branding decision, to just create this total, neutral persona that you consult. I was about to say, it sounds like you low key named your company after Ned Flanders. But I don’t know how down with CBD he would be.
Ned: [laughing] Yep.
Claire: I’m curious. It feels so cliche to say it that I hesitate to even say it. These last two years have been bonkers for everyone on the entire planet and stressful, and we’ve been dealing with things in ways that we’ve never had to deal with them before and reading for new tools. I know CBD, obviously one of its main uses can be for stress reduction or stress relief or stress management. You guys have a lot of products that can have those benefits as well with additional botanicals. How do you personally manage the stress in your life? I’m talking a little bit, how do you use your personal product, but also where else do you turn? When you talk about going with the flow and being with the current, I think that visual is such a good one. You can have a good time swimming upstream, but not for that long. So I’m curious to hear what you personally do to stay in the current.
Ret: Yeah, it’s a good question. And honestly, it’s tough. Like right now, honestly, to be completely vulnerable here, I am way out of the flow right now. Not everything is great. But that’s super normal, and that’s just the way it’s got to be as an adult. But what I’ve been doing to make sure it’s as good as it can be is to connect with nature as much as possible. I’m super fortunate, but this is by design. I live up in the mountains. This is a conscious choice because I know that spending time in nature is important for me. So we live about 6 minutes outside of Boulder, just up in the hills. Pretty much every day, I’m out there up in the morning. I try to catch every sunrise. I’ve got my doggy with me. We’re running. We’re trail running. We’re climbing. We’ve got a full-on CrossFit slash parkour ninja movement thin set up in my yard. So for me, it’s nature, movement, the connection of the two of them. Then I’ve got a cattle trough right next to my back door, and it’s filled with ice cold water. I’ll spend at least three or four minutes in that each morning. And that, if you ever want to change your mood immediately, just get into some cold water. You can’t help but –
Joy: That will change my mind to be real angry.
Claire: I mean, it’ll change it.
Joy: This is one of those things where eventually I’m sure I will jump on a bandwagon if I get a cow trough or whatever and start this. But right now, I’m like, oh my gosh. What does it do for you? Truly what for you, how does that reset? What happens?
Ret: If you’re in the shower, just turn it cold. If you don’t start laughing or freaking out in a funny way, maybe it’s not for you. But I inevitably just have this funny moment where I’ll just start laughing. What’s happening in the body is it’s releasing all types of hormones. Happy hormones, neurotransmitters are firing, and it really does boost your mood. From a long-term perspective, it builds up your brown fat cells. We have white fat cells and brown fat cells. Some people are just better at handling cold. We’re all physiologically pretty much the same, but some of us just have more brown fat cells than white, and brown fat cells can be fostered with cold. That’s why people from Minnesota, 40 degrees is really warm for them. People from Miami, that’s freezing. So we build up our brown fat cells, which also help with our immune system. I caught a cold last winter, which is rare. And I realized, it’s because I haven’t been in my ice bath for like six weeks. I’ve been at it. Yeah, that really helps too. The biggest thing is it helps with coping. You’re sitting in that tub, and your body I just telling you, “Get out. Get out, get out, get out, get out. Get out!” And you say, “No. Not going to do it. I’m sitting in here.” And you really ignore that voice. It’s just practice for other times in life when, “Give up. Quit. Give up, give up.”
Joy: Like, that mental strength?
Ret: Yeah, you build that mental strength. And the ice water is such a good metaphor for it. And it’s such an easy thing without any consequence. Other than just getting a little cold.
Joy: It’s interesting that you say that. Everyone who is listening knows over the past year, I overcame an autoimmune disease. I worked with a naturopath because I didn’t want to do the western medicine treatment, which was essentially removing my thyroid. 90% of my treatment was hydrotherapy. Hot-cold therapy. Very methodical. I wasn’t doing ice baths, but I was doing hot-cold therapy. That’s really interesting you say that. Now, when you were talking earlier, I have a quick question around running a business, doing the company work every day kind of seems to go against the flow, if we’re using the river analogy. I heard you in another interview talk about how you and Adriaan really look at experiments, and more of the karma approach with business. How do you stay in that mindset? Can you explain that a little bit more? It’s almost counterintuitive in the world that we live in that we always want to be hustling, and we’re going to miss out to be taking a step back and letting things more from a flow. How do you do that?
Claire: And especially in an industry where it feels like if you miss a step, you’re out of the game. Something like CBD that’s such a hot topic.
Ret: Yeah, the experimental part is really about both Adriaan and I coming out of entrepreneurial experiences prior to Ned that were in cutthroat industries. It was very dog eat dog. It was very western. And just not wanting to play in that game any longer. I personally spent 17 years hustling in that game, and it never felt right. Adriaan as well. A little less time. He likes to always tell everybody how much older I am than him, which is three years. But I’ll do it for him today since he’s not here.
Joy: You’re welcome, Adriaan .That’s really funny.
Ret: So we wanted to be a part of a business that created a legacy, that did something good. And yeah, we believe in karma. We believe in the golden rule. And it’s why we’re part of 1% For the Planet. It’s why we have always sourced everything creating the absolute best product and then worrying about how to pay for it. So it’s an experiment for us about how things go when you run a business according to those two rules, karma and the golden rule. We just believe that when you do right by others, others will do right by you. And I believe that that’s why we have such a loyal audience. It’s why our products work. It’s why we created those guiding principles that we can always turn to. For me, that’s the only kind of business I want to be a part of at this point. And it’s a lot of fun. It means too that we get better people in our team that we couldn’t even afford otherwise. They have much bigger experience, and they could work for a much bigger company. But we get great people, and we get advocates that throw their necks out for us. It’s karma. It’s always asking what we can do for other people first comes around.
Joy: Isn’t it the truth. This is an extreme example. But the Theranos company and all the documentaries that are out right now about the show that just came out around Elizabeth Holmes and how the vibe was so bad, and it just came crashing down. There’s so many examples of businesses like that. I’m always curious too of people who start their business and company is – there’s this idea, “follow your passion, and it will all work out for you.” I’m sure it’s not roses and flowers every day. It’s not perfect. You still have your struggles. Would you argue that it’s more about following something that really makes you grow that makes you happy? Or what would you say about that?
Ret: Yeah, yeah. I mean, 3-4 years ago, I would have said, “Just follow your passion. It will all work out.” There’s a lot more to it. I still would say that. What I was doing before was selling four- and five-star custom furniture and equipment for the hotel industry. I was really, really good at it. I was near the top of my field, and I could have had a really comfortable life doing so. But it came to the point where I physically couldn’t do it any longer. I remember being at this conference in Vegas. I was standing in one of the booths my firm represented. It was a carpet company. And this designer, a very nice woman, was asking me about the pile head on the carpet. I just couldn’t bring myself to care any longer. I was so over it. I physically couldn’t answer her. But this was two years after I had discovered my purpose. This was a year after starting Ned and still doing both.
Claire: Just physically could not care anymore.
Ret: I could not care. I couldn’t’ bring myself to care about the pile head of the carpet. I just had such bigger fish to fry. The point of that is, it was unsustainable. I had this really lucrative business, but it was unsustainable because I didn’t have a passion for it. So honestly, I set myself back. I did that for 12 years. I committed to something that had an end. And Ned doesn’t have and end for me. Ned is truly my passion. I never don’t want to be doing this. I just love what I’m doing. I love what our team is doing. I love being able to help people break free from the prisons that they find themselves in, which is insomnia or anxiety or health. I love setting people free, and that’s my ultimate goal.
Claire: What you said is just really profound, but I do want to take a silly moment to ask, how do you feel about hotel sleep? Now that we know that you used to be in the hotel furniture industry.
Ret: I think it’s hit or miss. It depends on the day.
Claire: It depends on the hotel.
Ret: Usually if I’m in a hotel, it’s because I’m doing a lot of things. It’s not that I’m at the hotel to get sleep. I’m there because I just crash there at 1 o’clock after a long wedding.
Claire: You’re at a convention in Vegas.
Ret: Pretty much, yeah.
Claire: I love that because I think what you just said gives an interesting perspective on a question that we ask a lot of people, which is, do you think that you can really live your passion and find fulfillment in a way that doesn’t ultimately end up being shortsighted. I think we hear from a lot of people that the realities of thinking, “Oh, I’m just going to go out and live my passion,” like what you said, it’s not as easy as that. And for a lot of people, it becomes very disenchanting because the whole reason that they were attracted to it in the first place is because they were attracted to the ease. And to feeling like it wasn’t ever going to feel like they were rolling a rock uphill. But I think what you’re saying is take it even that next step further. Sure, you can be passionate about it, but the thing that really transcends the difficulties is a bigger purpose around sharing that with other people and around bringing other people into that. Rather than just having it be about you and your own experience.
Ret: Yeah, that’s really well said Claire. You’re 100% right. There’s got to be something more than I love surfing, so I want to make a company that makes wax for surfboards. There’s got to be more to it. Because eventually it just becomes, here’s what your calendar looks like – 9am with the bookkeeper, 10am with the attorney, 11am, you know. Can I swear on your show? It’s just shit. It’s the same shit that you were doing when you were working for Sensodyne industries. But if you’ve got a bigger purpose, then absolutely, and it means that there’s not an expiration date too.
Joy: Like you can count on a mission statement, like the values that you guys came up with and the commitment. You can fall back on that.
Joy: I was thinking about this too of when people go and follow their passion, they think about money – I feel like a lot of those books about following your passion are like, and then you’re going to make all this money if you follow your passion. I just feel like that’s a weird way to look at it too. I mean, money is fine. But I also heard you talk and Adriaan talk about some of the happiest times in your lives were when you really didn’t have much. I think we all can kind of argue that as well. But how do you argue that piece of, yes, you have a business. You have to keep your business afloat. How do you view money as a part of that conversation?
Ret: Yeah. You’re right. For Adriaan and I, I think the happiest times in our life was when we had the littlest. Here at Ned, we have what we call our quadruple bottom line. There’s four parts to it. They’re all equal in importance, but I’ll start with the traditional bottom line, which is the money. I mean, a business has to make money. Otherwise, it ceases to exist. So there’s that element. Then we also consider our impact on our customers, on people. So how are we performing? What are the metrics that we can judge our success or lack thereof based on what we do for our customers? A third one would be what we do for ourselves, our team, the families that are part of our team. And then the fourth one is the environment and everything social and responsible. So we judge everything through those four lenses, and one is not more important than the other. So that’s how we do it. But following your purpose is, I think, really important, but there’s a lot more to it. There’s an art to maintaining the passion once you’re in the trenches.
Joy: Right. I think the piece that I find interesting is it just is different for every person. Perhaps you didn’t go into this business being like, “I want to be a bazillionaire.” You’re like, “I just want to do something meaningful and impactful.” And maybe someone else is like, “No, I want to be a bazillionaire.” So I think there’s just not a one size fits all with this whole passion thing. I think what it really comes down to is we’re all searching for happiness, but happiness isn’t as easy as this formula, “Follow your passion, and then the money will come.” What if you don’t really care that much about money? You just want to have a fun life and enjoy your friends. I just think it’s really cool you think differently around that. And also, just to remind people being thoughtful about what’s really important to them. If they’re setting goals, going out and changing their career path.
Ret: Yeah. You know, I see it with my wife. She’s a brilliant artist. Abstract surrealist painter. And she has this sense that her paintings aren’t valuable unless there’s a monetary attachment to them. But she’s selling them. To put it bluntly. We just had this conversation on Sunday. I wish she would just paint for the hell of it because she enjoys it so much because it has to come out of her. She’s a true artist. And I feel like if she did that, she might sell more paintings.
Joy: I can see that. That’s like that flow thing as you’re kind of attaching it to the outcomes as opposed to the process. Anyway. I just think that that is so in our face of the moneymaking piece and what your worth is is how much you have or what have you. I really like, too, thinking about it simply as truly the times in your life – and I’m wondering even if the people who are very, very rich in the world will probably think about the really simple times in their life are the best times. So let’s switch gears and talk about maybe the most commonly asked questions about CBD from your customers. What are they asking? Because I know a lot of our listeners probably have the same questions.
Ret: Yeah, I spent a lot of time connecting with our customers. I try to speak with at least 15 different customers a month and try to find a wide range of customers as well. So a lot of questions are – a great question I just had the other day was, how do I optimize your products? And I get that. It’s, I’m spending good money on this. I’m going to use it instead of something else. I’m going to dedicate my time to it, my thought. So how do I optimize your products. And we actually had a big discussion on this this morning with the leadership team here. It’s a great question. It depends on the product. I mean, we could go real deep here. I don’t know how much time we want to spend on this, but one of the things to remember – and this kind of came up earlier in the conversation – was none of our products are a silver bullet. Anybody who tells you they are is full of it. If you’re not doing other things – like you alluded to, Joy, what else do I do? If you’re drinking coffee all day long and then putting back a few drinks, and you’re stressed out, and you’re on your phone until you fall asleep, TV on in the background, bad hotel sleep. You’re just shoveling snow in a blizzard. It’s not going to do any good.
Claire: Shout out to bad hotel sleep. Maybe that’s why I have crappy hotel sleep is I’m just eating samples all day. I liked what you said about, none of the products are a silver bullet. I wonder if that’s something that you experience a lot, that people turn to botanical remedies after they’ve exhausted a lot of other options. Is that something that you have to talk people down from?
Ret: Yeah. We love when people come to us having been on the pill train. And we have some great testimonials where people spend years, decades with their pharmaceuticals that lead to other pharmaceuticals, etc., etc. And then they find us, and for some bodies, hemp, cannabinoids, or magnesium, another product line of ours, is what their body just needs. They finally find it, and they’re very happy to do so. So yeah, I love that part of it.
Claire: So this is the thing we also talk about. We had them. Joy talked about her autoimmune disease and her naturopath, and we had her naturopath on the podcast probably around this time last year, right? She had something similar to say, and I’ve also heard this from my husband who is a nurse and used to work on a cardiac step-down unit where there are certain people who they just want that quick fix, and they’re not really willing to make a long-term lifestyle change, and they’re not really willing to look at their behaviors as a whole or change their behaviors as a whole or imagine that their behaviors are causing their problems. I think that being in a space where you are able to address some things that are so hard for people. I mean, talk about insomnia, anxiety. I feel like I have to disclaimer, this is not medical advice, but I use CBD during my pregnancy to resolve horrible – I mean, I threw up every day for ten minutes and had horrible restless legs, restless arms, couldn’t sleep. CBD was the only thing that helped me. And also, there’s not a lot of other options out there when you’re pregnant. I think it just is so cool to be in a space where you do often have – like I know you say this is not a silver bullet, but it can really bring hope to people who feel like they’ve exhausted all their other options. Does that feel heavy? Or does that energize me?
Ret: Oh, it totally energizes all of us here. If we didn’t have as much confidence in our sourcing, in the quality of our products, that would feel really heavy. But we put a lot of time, effort, and a lot of extra money into just creating the absolute best products. So I know that they work. I’m confident. One of our guiding principles too is if we find a better way of doing something, we do it. So no, it totally energizes me, and I love seeing those testimonials. Any time I’m down – which again, honestly, I’ve been a little down recently – I go read a few testimonials, and it’s so bolstering. It is truly, truly beautiful, and it’s everything to us. Yeah.
Joy: I’m not saying this because you’re one of our sponsors and you guys are some of our favorite people, but I feel like this is something that Claire and I have both been using over the years. It really is the only supplement product that you really feel a difference from. I remember listening to a podcast interview about supplements – any supplements. All the supplements that are on the shelves right now. I think it was actually the Mind Pump guys, who I think also you sponsor them, and they’re great. But I think Sal said something like, “Yeah, you should just stop taking all your supplements. I promise you, you won’t feel one difference.” That always stuck with me. Not talking about CBD, but he’s like, “Any supplement you’re taking right now, just stop taking it. I guarantee you won’t feel a difference. Saves you a ton of money.” I was like, that is so true. You don’t feel anything. There are some supplements I’m sure people actually need, like from a doctor or whatever. But this is actually something when I take it, I actually do feel different. So it’s worth putting, money Ito because you’re like, yeah, I actually feel like I’m paying for something that I can feel a change. [laughing] And that’s important. People want to know.
Joy: I had a friend that I referred to you guys, the sleep blend. She kept texting me. She was like, “Are you sure?” Yeah, it can be costly. And for whatever people are budgeting into their life. She was very, very nervous about investing in this. I’m like, just trust me. If you don’t like it, I’ll buy it from you. And the first couple nights, she was like, “I can’t believe… I’m sold.” I’m like, “I told you.” But yeah, it’s a big decision for people, but it does work.
Ret: Yeah, sometimes it takes a little while to work. We might not be talking right now. Seriously, when I bought my mom that first CBD that she freaked out about, I was like, “Mom, I’m going to use it too, and we’ll do this together.” And it took me three weeks. I was pretty much out of the bottle. I’m like, I don’t really feel anything. Then it started to kick in. Then I also looked back and I’m like, wow, I’m probably averaging another hour of sleep per night. I’m recovering faster. It’s not like a shot of tequila or a punch in the face.
Joy: I mean, I kind of feel that sometimes. Maybe my system is very receptive.
Claire: Joy, I think what you’re speaking to though is the thing about – we can joke about supplements and, oh, just stop taking everything. But I think there is that difference of how far away are you from your baseline, so how much are you going to feel something when you start using it.
Joy: That’s true.
Claire: Somebody who is pretty close to their baseline, it’s going to take a little bit more for them to feel the effects of something. But somebody who is really struggling and hasn’t had a good night of sleep in a couple of years or has been so stressed out for years that they are experiencing physiological effects from that, even moving the needle a little bit for those people is going to feel huge. I always talk about taking the mellow and the magnesium. I feel a huge difference from magnesium. I also last time had to make a disclaimer that magnesium is going to make you poop. So just as a reminder for everybody, if you’ve never taken magnesium before, don’t freak out. But I’ve had it prescribed to me by a neurologist for migraines, and I have a tremor. There are these things that it is so easy to dismiss supplements, and it is easy to dismiss botanicals, and it is easy to honestly in a lot of cases to dismiss CBD. And you look at the FDA. There’s this obviously huge conversation over the last two years about who do we trust to tell us what to put in our bodies. I think that you can extrapolate so much from those fears of people, basically down to the statement of like, “But what if it doesn’t work?” I think that’s a really valid fear for people to have because you are putting something into your body that’s never been in there before, that you don’t know how it works. When it comes to CBD, there’s a stigma around it and a stigma around hemp. That’s why I really credit you guys for having such an approachable brand. I also think that it is just really interesting to think about what it can take for people mentally to get over those obstacles and allow themselves to be open to the experience of the effects of herbs and botanicals.
Ret: We also make it pretty easy. We have a 30-day, no questions asked money back policy. If it doesn’t work for you – even if it does, we’ll give you your money back. No questions asked. So that helps. But yeah, it’s about that perceived value. And yeah, if you’re drinking coffee right up until the time you take your CBD before bed, that’s going to be tough. But we try to make it as approachable as we can. We just want to get this out to people. Our mission is to get people these natural remedies that do work and are great alternatives to some of the harsh pharmaceuticals out there.
Claire: I want to just talk for a second about your hemp farm. I love your photos of it.
Joy: I was just going to ask this question. I’m so glad you brought it up. Tell us about the farm.
Claire: So your farm is in Paonia, right?
Ret: Yep. Yep.
Claire: I mean, who doesn’t love Paonia? If you guys aren’t familiar with Paonia, it’s this funky, hippie town on the Western Slope of Colorado. Do I need to get into the water differences between the front range and the Western Slope? It rains more in the Western Slope, guys. It’s good for farms. I’m not going to get into it. Joy is laughing because –
Joy: She really wants to though, just so you know. She really wants to.
Claire: I have a master’s degree in natural resource policy with a focus on water law. And so I’m like, I want to talk about it. I’m not going to. It’s so beautiful. I want to hear about it, and I want to hear about why you guys chose Paonia. Is it magical? Because it looks magical.
Ret: It’s so magical. It’s so magical. Yeah. Well I spent the entire summer of 2017 meeting with hemp farmers, driving all over Colorado. And these were the farmers that were growing for the big companies at the time. They were super highly recommended, etc., etc. They were good people, but they were growing hemp just for quantity instead of quality. So I was just pretty unimpressed. This was originally for my mom who had breast cancer. I wanted to create my own basically in my kitchen for her and for a few friends. And that’s were like the seeds of Ned. Turned into a lot more. But I kept hearing about this farmer in Paonia. I knew Paonia to be that beautiful, just bountiful farm basket, which it really is. I finally was introduced to him. Turned out, my sister knew him. She lives over the pass in Redstone. As soon as I drove onto his farm, I knew he was our guy. There were prayer flags all over the place. He was playing binaural beats and reggae to his plants. He was vortexing the super pure mountain water, biodynamic farming, putting his hands in the soil and feeling the spirit. I mean, way above and beyond organic.
Joy: I really want to meet this guy. I really want to meet this guy. Binaural beats for his plants, that’s amazing.
Ret: We keep it going. We play binaural beats when we blend and mix and bottle our products.
Joy: Oh my gosh, that is amazing.
Claire: Haven’t you seen the thing on the label where it talks about the vibrations?
Joy: Yes. It’s so – okay.
Ret: So Paonia is wonderful. It’s funny because it’s 5 hours away. We drive past dozens of other hemp farms, but we’re going there for the best. Jonathan and his family, for our money, they grow absolutely the best. Best hemp. And we just love the relationship with them. They’re wonderful people, and we just really love working with them. The price of hemp has fallen through the floor since we’ve been working together, but we’ve continued to pay Jonathan about what we were paying him when the price of hemp was through the roof because we just love the relationship. He’s a big part of our company. He’s become a partner for us. You’ll see him in a lot of our marketing.
Joy: Yeah, oh the website. It’s beautiful.
Ret: Yeah. I’m really excited because his wife, mother, and daughter – three generations of Reckling women – farmed one acre at their homestead. They were in charge of it, and it was the highest yielding acre on the entire farm. The farm is only 8 acres. This was above and beyond anything we’ve ever seen in terms of cannabinoids and yield and health of the plants. We’ve got really beautiful photos and video from just before harvest with the plants at over 9 feet tall. Just unbelievable. So really love that those three women – today, International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting them and just that beautiful story. That hemp goes specifically into our hormone balance blend. Just love them, love everything about them, love working with them. This is where follow your passion comes in. It’s like, how can you not enjoy that if you’re passionate about it? So I’ve just been leaning into things like that as I try to get back into the flow.
Claire: I love that, and I love how intentional you can make that. I’m sure that they love having partners in you guys to pull that story out and really appreciate that intention and appreciate, hey, we’re going to see how amazing these women are and this feminine energy that they’ve brought into this acre, and we’re going to use that and put it in our hormone balance blend. Take that all the way to the customer experience and all the way into the bodies of your customers. Everyone listening knows that I’m the farthest thing away from woo, and I typically kind of roll my eyes at this kind of stuff. But I also really believe that it can be there if you want it to be. I don’t ever fault anyone for taking that step further to really find the intention.
Joy: I think you’re more woo than you say you are. I think you have some woo.
Claire: Maybe a hint. Maybe a w-. A w-, but not woo. Alright, well we are just about out of time. I do want to hear what is coming up. Give us a peak around the corner for Ned.
Ret: Yeah. Well we’re leaning more into the explicit uses. Like brain blends, balance blends, destress blend. These have been really big successes for us. Honestly, we just love creating them. Love working with our botanist, Annie Miller. Figuring out the various herbs that go into them. So we’re working on a couple others. One will be a brain blend focused on cognition but also clearing away the mental cobwebs. Focus, clarity, longer ability to concentrate. These are all things I want. And then, I also though want to keep my brain healthy. Alzheimer’s runs in my family. What I want to do is proactively keep my brain healthy. So that’s one of them. A recovery blend is probably next after that. That’s in the cannabinoid, CBD space. Mellow has been a huge success for us, our magnesium product. So we’re going to lean in on that. A lot of our customers come to us for sleep, so we’re going to do a mellow sleep. We should call it hotel sleep, you know.
Joy: Be careful, some people don’t like it.
Claire: Focus group of two, we’re split down the middle.
Ret: Get the best hotel sleep of your life.
Joy: Whichever you like. Pick a very fancy hotel, I guess. Name it after a fancy hotel.
Ret: So there’s that. And then we’re also working on longevity products. Not all of us want to climb a mountain or win a gold metal or whatever. We just want to be able to go about our day, maybe have a glass of wine, and not feel like crap the next morning. So we’re working on some product for exactly that. It’s not for the athlete, but it’s just for the rest of us.
Claire: I went to a Venture Film Festival this past weekend where it was all film makers and athletes who were women or non-binary, and it was so interesting because the difference between going to a Reel Rock where it’s all like, “We’ve got to conquer the mountain, and here’s our first ascent! Here’s our badass new [UNSURE 46:26.04] root!” And this festival where it was like, “Look at this activity I just love doing. Look at how fun this is.” It was so interesting. I feel like what you’re speaking to, I think we’re seeing a shift in our culture – to bring it a little bit back to that feminine energy thing. As we’re starting to move away from this win at all cost mentality because so many of us have had moments in the last few years where we’ve realized, I was just working without looking around. Now I had no choice but to look around, and I’m done winning at all costs. I am hearing that more and more from everybody, of I’m sick of this conquer mentality. I want to just live my life and enjoy myself. I feel like I’m constantly having to do the next thing. Yeah, I want to just have fun and get a good night of sleep.
Ret: Yeah, yeah. The simple things, right?
Ret: Absolutely, I love that.
Claire: Well thank you so much for joining us. It was so great to see your face. It was so great to talk to you. We’re so grateful for your partnership over the years and also your friendship and just for having you in our sphere. We really do think the world of you guys, and we are so grateful that you’re part of our podcast community. So thank you so much.
Joy: And happy birthday month.
Claire: And happy birthday month to Ned.
Ret: Thank you.
Claire: We can’t end this episode without mentioning that it is Ned’s birthday month, and so you guys can get 21% off with our code this month, code JOY. So that’s helloned.com/JOY or use code JOY. Not to be confused with Ned Flanders. But if that helps you remember it, then by all means use that to your advantage. So support our podcast, support all of these awesome folks at Ned. Thank you, guys, so much for listening. We will talk to you next week.
Joy: Bye, everybody.