Today we’d like to introduce you to Monique Sar.
Monique, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
“How’s the weed business?”
“I can’t believe you left such a noble profession to become a legal drug dealer…”
“Aren’t you worried about damaging your reputation?”
These are some of the questions and comments I received from people I know and respect in my network. There are so many misconceptions about the cannabis industry and negative stigma behind it. I left my financial planning and advising the practice of eight years to pursue new business in this industry.
I made this huge career change shortly after my grandmother had passed away. Her passing created such a huge ripple effect in my life and I knew I wanted to do something to really help people and make a difference in my life and others.’ I came from an immigrant family and my mother did exactly what immigrants do, work hard so that your kids could go to college and get a good job. I did exactly that, graduated from the University of Denver a year early, became a top 10% intern as a financial representative, accepted a full-time position as a financial advisor, worked my way to build my book of business serving clients all over the country. I always wanted to help others and then started work with several non-profits on their executive boards throughout my career. Even though I had it all going for me and I was on a track to more success in my finance career, I just got to thinking about my family’s legacy and what else I could do to expand my reach and impact on the world. My family came over as immigrants and I know they worked so hard to get us to where we are now. I wanted to take the opportunity I was given to really take it to the next level.
I also come from a very square background and personally believed the negative stigma surrounding cannabis. Once I learned more about its benefits and how it has helped people, I understood that the negative stigma is what stands in the way for many. There is a huge lack of education in this space and many people could benefit from learning more about it. So this is where I decided I was going to do something about it. People crave authenticity, so I wanted to create this company with transparency and integrity whilst serving others.
My business partner, Taylor Mears, and I saw a much greater vision for the people that could benefit from learning more about CBD and its benefits. Here is a story about how we got started:
Taylor and I began working together and came to realize that there was a much greater purpose here. We had intended on Supportive becoming a non-profit and after realizing that we were only serving a certain number of people, I saw that this could be a much greater opportunity and serve so many more people if we decided to take it global. This led us to start the company Supportive Naturals. There are many negative perceptions in this space, and there has been nothing but alignment. With our mission to help people by breaking down barriers, challenging perceptions, and by offering high-quality premium CBD, we found a place for us to serve the community.
Although I still have to battle misconceptions on a day to day basis, I do not mind it, because I get the chance to educate people and share my knowledge. At the end of the day, I co-founded this company to help more people and serve others. It is not about me, despite some of the comments I have received, it’s about the impact we’re creating for others. It does not always necessarily affect the person using CBD for its benefits, but also their spouses, parents, siblings, family members, and friends. They have to battle the stigma too.
I have learned that people do not want perfection – they want authenticity. I have been able to share my story openly and inspire others to challenge the perceptions and educate themselves on cannabis and its potential benefits. Supportive Naturals was founded on the backbone of people and their stories I am very excited to lead this company and be able to forward our mission.
Has it been a smooth road?
It hasn’t been a smooth road. There have been countless struggles along the way. One of the major causes of this is because it is such a new industry. Navigating this landscape has been a real struggle because you can get told one thing and still be totally wrong. My biggest advice here is to lawyer up and make sure you’re doing things the right way. It’s not worth getting shut down or paying fines over. There are already many people out there, cutting corners and taking shortcuts. My team has nicknamed me, “Captain Compliant,“ and I am a big believer of integrity and doing things the right way. When you are in compliance, it just sets you up for success and ensures that you can avoid costly mistakes.
Another piece of advice would be around how to address fear and failure. For young women who are just starting their journeys, I would say that there are going to be so many days where you’re just going to get your teeth kicked in, but it’s critical to just keep pushing. It’s important to reframe and focus on the solution. In the face of adversity, this is where you’ll truly be tested. A good way to get past this and address fear and failure is to remember your “why.”
Remember your why, and remember that it’s not about you, it’s about the people you are serving. Like Simon Sinek always says, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Be the leader that makes a difference. Always offer your knowledge and share it with others.
We as entrepreneurs get so caught up on the numbers, the sales, the results, what people think about us, but it’s important to remember that these are things you cannot control. It’s important to focus on what you can control and focus on how you respond, how you react, your activity, and your inputs instead. You cannot get around hard work and doing the deal. This is ultimately what’s going to move your business forward and the results will come.
Please tell us more about what you do, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I’m the CEO and co-founder of an international premium CBD & hemp company called Supportive Naturals. We are a small team specializing in e-commerce & manufacturing and helping to provide solutions for entrepreneurs and consumers regarding their CBD needs. This includes wholesale and private label. We currently ship to all US states and also have a hub in the UK.
Cannabinoids are phytochemicals that can be found in both marijuana and hemp plants. Cannabinoids such as Cannabidiol (CBD), are a prominent naturally occurring class of molecules found in the plant genus, Cannabis Sativa L. CBD comprises up to 40% of the plant and is one of over 60+ naturally occurring, active compounds found in cannabis. Of these compounds, CBD and Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are usually present in the highest concentrations and are therefore the most recognized and studied. THC is the most well-known cannabinoid and is associated with marijuana’s psychoactive properties. Unlike THC, CBD is described as the non-psychoactive component of the plant that possesses a wide range of benefits and does not cause a high.
Our bodies are made up of an endocannabinoid system and use cannabinoids to maintain healthy cells. Cannabinoids, such as CBD, have a direct effect on the body’s endocannabinoid system as a natural compound. CBD binds to the receptors in the body and mimics the action of cannabinoids in the body.
Many people have started incorporating CBD into their lifestyle as a natural way to promote their own health and wellness. Our products are considered legal industrial hemp. We offer a range of full spectrum hemp extracts, infused products, and even smokeable CBD Hemp Flower. In all of our products, we have a very strong commitment to quality and delivering the best experience to the customer.
We are actually going to be opening up our first retail store in Atlanta, GA this summer. It will be our flagship store as that is where Taylor is from and he’ll be the store manager at that location to be able to share his story and his experiences with the products. These products definitely require a lot more education during the selling process, however being in a retail setting will ensure we deliver the proper care and education to the client during their buying process.
I am most proud of the fact that we are not even a full year in and we are already on two continents and gearing up to open our first physical premises!
Finding a mentor and building a network are often cited in studies as a major factor impacting one’s success. Do you have any advice or lessons to share regarding finding a mentor or networking in general?
I believe that finding a mentor is very important. For me, I did get lucky and I got my mentor through my previous career in finance. However, I did also have to network and meet other potential mentors within the relevant industry. I first spent time by joining groups geared around entrepreneurship. I started putting myself out there and making it a goal to meet others that I could potentially collaborate with. I am a big believer in community and collaboration over competition. From this, I ended up getting connected to more and more people that were closer to my industry and staying on the wellness side. It has been a long and organic process, however, it is definitely worth it because you never know who you will meet. Some of the connections I have made have become good friends, and being surrounded by successful individuals only makes you want to even thrive even more! These inner circles are so helpful for support during your entrepreneurial journey as it can get very lonely.
- CBD Bath Bombs starting at $13.99
- CBD Topical Cream $55
- 1000mg CBD Drops (Oral Tincture) $68.75
- 500mg CBD Drops (Oral Tincture) $37.50
- CBD Gummies (THC Free!) $64.99 – new product, will be released in two weeks!
- CBD Pet Treats $24.50
- Website: supportivenaturals.com
- Phone: 18886566256
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: instagram.com/supportivenaturals
- Facebook: facebook.com/supportivenaturals
- Twitter: twitter.com/supportive_co