Jewel and Taylor of June (L-R)

In celebration and anticipation of International Women’s Day on March 8th, we wanted to shine a light on some of the women in cannabis who inspire us most. These powerful and bold female leaders and pioneers are some of the most ambitious entrepreneurs we know. 

Female-founded and female run Juna was founded by Jewel Zimmer (CEO and Co-Founder) and Taylor Lamb (CMO and Co-Founder). Juna makes functional formulas powered by earth’s most therapeutic ingredients. Juna is redefining wellness by creating plant-powered formulas to optimize mind, body, mood, and sleep.

We connected with both Jewel and Taylor to find out what inspires and guides them in their journey.

What drew you to work with this magical cannabis plant?

As a serial entrepreneur, fine-dining pastry chef and certified sommelier I always lead with an ingredient-focused approach to food, and plant alchemy is no different. I launched my first functional food {cocoa} absolute, at Barneys New York in 2009, infusing single-origin chocolate with adaptogenic raw cacao extracts to intensify the physiological and therapeutic benefits of the fruit. The line soon inspired me to work with other plants and botanicals. When I started researching the cannabis plant I was amazed by all the active compounds. In 2015 I discovered CBD, the compound that would not get you high but could help with stress, sleep and overall optimization and I was convinced it could save the world.  – Jewel

As an experienced growth marketing leader, I’ve led growth marketing and e-commerce for the direct-to-consumer sleepwear brand Lunya as well as the popular jewelry brand, Gorjana. By integrating analytical data with human psychology, I identify behavioral trends, growth opportunities, new acquisition channels, and develop strategic omni-channel marketing campaigns that drive both brand recognition and growth. After becoming pregnant with my first child, I found an increased awareness of health, balance, and well-being. Similar to optimizing ad campaigns, I am on a journey to help optimize wellness through plant-powered biohacking. Juna’s organic, full-spectrum formulas have helped improve my mood, reduce stress, and improve sleep. – Taylor

How do you and your company hope to impact and/or inspire women?

In an era of sensory and schedule overload, our bodies work in overdrive to maintain biological harmony. As female founders, entrepreneurs, and mothers, we’ve experienced this first hand and true necessity led us to the creation of Juna.

Collectively we aspire to optimize our lives and show up as the best version of ourselves for not only our business, but for our families and personal passions. While it’s easy to turn to pharmaceutical solutions and quick fix supplements, new-age wellness studies are shining light on plant-powered alternatives. Cannabis, hemp and other botanicals are re-setting our bodies’ ecosystems and creating long-term benefits and solutions to everyday challenges.

Juna’s plant-powered formulas naturally enhance your body’s endocannabinoid defense systems and provide solutions to these stressors of modern living and a shift in perception with THC that allows for a flow state.

What has been the most difficult and the most rewarding thing about building your business?

All entrepreneurs experience difficult hurdles but those challenges can also force innovation and creativity. We’ve had endless brand pitches with potential investors and experienced challenges raising money from traditional resources which forced us to start thinking outside the box. Beauty vs. cannabis, crowd fundraising vs. conventional, and trends vs. customer feedback. Enjoy every minute of the journey, good times and the “bad,” they all offer an opportunity to learn, grow, keep you authentic and remind you what you stand for.

Cannabis so far is a local industry, born from a global movement. How can leaders across geographies work together to bring other women into the industry?

Juna is on a mission to bring transparency, trust, as well as the physical and environmental benefits to the cannabis and CBD industry and we would love for other female founders to join on this mission. With an increase of poor quality CBD with outrageous product claims, we are shifting our focus towards mind, body, mood and sleep optimization via science and efficacy. We include transparent labels on every product box to disclose batch information, testing, and source. In addition, all Juna’s products are formulated with certified-organic ingredients or ingredients grown with organic and or biodynamic practices to ensure nutrient-rich, active botanicals are in every drop. You can trust that Juna’s formulas are non-GMO, free of chemicals, low in THC, and 3rd-party tested and verified. Working exclusively with sun-grown and regeneratively farmed plants has a huge impact on climate change and we believe it should be an absolute for anyone in the industry.

Women in the industry need to work together to help lift standards, educate consumers, and provide trustworthy and effective products.

What is one bit of wisdom or advice you have for other women looking to lead in this space?

Get crystal clear on your vision and solve a problem. We are firm believers in creating a product, service and/or behavior that creates an emotion or fills a void.

Stand by your vision and don’t compromise for anyone or anything unless it makes sense to who you are as a founder and brand. Stay ahead of the curve; being a pioneer has pluses and minuses, but we would rather be leaders than followers. In an emerging industry such as cannabis and CBD, consumers and regulations are changing by the minute; we’ve needed to be malleable and adaptable but also to stay focussed and move towards our five-year plan vs. just what’s happening at the moment.  At Juna we are refining our voice by the minute, with every day we gain knowledge and sophistication as founders and as a brand.

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