Originally posted on Voyage Phoenix.
Today we’d like to introduce you to Lauren Kemp.
Lauren, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
A couple of years ago, I was training for my first marathon. My muscles constantly felt sore and tight, causing me daily pain. I tried doing lots of stretching, some yoga, a few deep-tissue massages, and even magnesium spray to help alleviate the pain. Then one day I decided to try a CBD salve before I went to bed – and woke up the next morning surprised at how much better I felt!
It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I decided to start Cozy Cactus Goods. I had put in my two weeks notice at a global tech company with no job lined up and my plan to take some time off to do some soul-searching and figure out what I wanted to do next. 48 hours before my final day, I came up with the idea to create a line of CBD body balms with a modern design that was easy to use, travel-friendly and appealed to busy professionals like myself. So, instead of going on a spirit quest once I had time off, I began working hard at turning my vision into a legitimate business.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There have been many ups and downs and struggles.
For example, there were some infrastructure issues like getting our LLC and merchant processor account. We had no experience creating skincare products before and had to create our body balms from scratch, constantly iterating until we figured out a formula we liked (and we still are always looking for ways to improve). I’m used to moving fast and taking action from working in the tech industry, and everything felt like it took so much longer than I anticipated to get things done.
There are also mental struggles, like my fear of putting a piece of myself out there and being vulnerable. And being worried about being judged and not being good enough.
But, I am very fortunate in that I have a supportive group of family and friends who encourage and help me as I go through every obstacle and fear. It makes a big difference knowing I’m not in this alone and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them – especially my husband, Brian, who has been helping me run the business. This company isn’t at what my vision is yet, but I’m proud of all the progress and things we’ve accomplished so far.
Please tell us about Cozy Cactus Goods.
As I previously mentioned, Cozy Cactus Goods is a modern skincare line of CBD body balms. There are a few things that set us apart from other CBD products:
- Branding. Most CBD products out there currently have a lot of cannabis branding (typically with pot leaves and/or references to 420, hemp, and marijuana). I wanted to create a product that had a clean, modern design that would appeal to people like me who love the benefits of CBD but aren’t really part of the cannabis community.
- Design. Most CBD balms come in a jar where you have to scoop it out with your hands or it’s in lotion form. I wanted our product to be easy to put on (just twist up and apply) and solid so that it would be travel-friendly because I’m usually on a flight every couple of months.
- Philanthropy. It was important to me that Cozy Cactus Goods also gave back to the community. That’s why 1% of our revenue is donated to specific causes we care about, like mental health, the environment, veterans, and breast cancer support. Each product is tied to a specific nonprofit.
I’m very proud of our product because I truly believe it can help people feel better while also giving back and doing good in the world.
How would you describe the type of kid you were growing up?
I was an athlete growing up – most of my free time was spent playing competitive softball and volleyball and traveling around the state or country for tournaments. I did well in school (mostly) and was generally shy, but if you asked my close group of friends they would’ve described me as quirky. I loved (and still love) music – singing every part of the song from the lead vocals to the backup vocals to the guitar solos. And I loved to dance, even though I wasn’t very good at it!