Today we’d like to introduce you to Wendee Brungardt.
Wendee, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My heart and motivation in starting my company began when I was dealing with some tough health issues in 2015. I was experiencing anxiety, depression, hormonal imbalance and some major pain issues. I have always been a believer in natural health and healing our bodies from within and taking good care of myself. I am an ex-college athlete and have enjoyed being physically and mentally fit. When I started experiencing these tough health ailments, I was at a loss and felt hopeless. I visited a medical Dr. and was prescribed an anti-depressant. That was a miserable six months of being on that, which made me feel even worse! Thankfully, a friend from the gym suggested I go to a dispensary and buy some CBD oil. I honestly had no clue what it was and was worried she was encouraging me to take something that would be considered a drug, something I was uncomfortable with.
I decided to start researching about CBD and the endocannabinoid system and got educated about it. As I was learning about the vital role of our endocannabinoid system in our health, my science mind was so fascinated! I had never heard of this system before and yet God put it into our bodies when He created us. This system works right along with our 11 other major organ systems found in our bodies; it just wasn’t discovered until 1992 at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After learning so much about our E.C.S. and how a phytocannabinoid-rich product (full spectrum CBD) could benefit this system, I was excited to give it a try. I walked into that dispensary more confident to buy it and see what benefit I would receive.
After taking the CBD oil tincture for many months, I noticed that internally I was feeling more balanced and more back to myself, so I continued to take the CBD and was very hopeful! My husband thought it was expensive snake oil, but he saw the positive benefit I was receiving from taking it daily and started to wonder if it was the real deal. Then, while working on our vehicle, he smashed his finger with a large hammer and was in lots of pain and swelling. That week, we happened to be at an expo and there was one CBD booth there. I encouraged him to try a topical and he was shocked at how quickly the CBD lotion minimized the pain and swelling. I had already been telling him before we went to this expo that I wanted to start my own CBD company and help others. I just knew that was God’s plan for my life.
In 2016, my vision to help others with this amazing natural supplement began to form. I met a really nice lady that year in the newly forming CBD industry and she helped connect me with organic hemp farms and taught me more about the benefits of CBD and how it could benefit my customers. I knew my heart in this business was to truly help others, listen to them and hopefully provide something that could benefit their health naturally. I also knew that I wanted to be set apart and be unique in the ways that the Lord has gifted me in my own life so the name of my business was very important to me. The name Cornerstone came about because of my faith and that Jesus is the cornerstone of my life. He is the foundation of my life on which I depend and stand! I also knew that I wanted to be sensitive to people’s incomes and if God put it on my heart to give my product to someone, then I would do just that. That brings me so much joy! I also write a hand-written personal note in every order to let my customers know how grateful I am that they trust in my company and products.
I take great pride that my company, Cornerstone Botanicals, uses USDA-certified organic Colorado hemp and USDA-certified organic CO2 extraction to create the highest quality products for everyone’s therapeutic benefit. I have worked very hard to have a company of high integrity, transparency and kindness. I am blessed to be doing a business I love and have so much passion for! Today, my husband and three teen boys enjoy helping me with my business. My sweet hubby, Jeff, is all things website and technology; he makes everything run so smoothly. Tyler, my oldest son, has been the visionary behind our CBD pet line and continues to grow our business in Chattanooga, TN. Taegen, my middle guy enjoys helping with some creative juices and outside-the-box ideas. Corey, my youngest son, enjoys working events and shows with me. They are a vital part of Cornerstone Botanicals!!! What a joy it is to be doing this business together and helping people and their beloved pets with their health. We are overjoyed with our amazing and loyal customers and look forward to being in this industry a very long time.
Has it been a smooth road?
Being part of a new and growing industry has presented many difficulties to work through and overcome. But we have never thought of them as obstacles, only opportunities for learning and growth.
One of the first difficulties I encountered was struggling with telling my family and friends about CBD and my desire to create a company. I feared they wouldn’t approve of me getting into this industry because of their lack of knowledge and understanding of exactly what hemp was and wasn’t. At the time of starting Cornerstone Botanicals, most people hadn’t heard about CBD and it’s benefits and their ideas of what hemp might have been was accompanied by a difficult association with the marijuana industry.
As the hemp industry inherently comes with a stigma from marijuana, it has also been plagued by a plethora of struggles regarding its legal status, the ability to have bank accounts and merchant processing for credit cards, and FDA labeling guidelines with the use of allowed/disallowed words. Due to the confusion of the similarities and differences between hemp and marijuana, associated industries of banking, advertising and marketing, and other necessary business model components are struggling to adapt to new definitions and the full acceptance of hemp and CBD as a legal and acceptable product.
While we are still pursuing new options to overcome those barriers, we also must deal with an over-saturated market by hundreds of new companies, some that are cutting corners and using substandard materials and practices to create cheaper products. This ultimately hurts the whole industry when customers don’t recognize the benefits of CBD for their health and wellness due to the poor quality products available on the market. We are excited for new regulations for the continued improvement and growth of this industry.
What I am most grateful for in our business is that I can truly say I am walking in God’s perfect plan for my life, I have never felt more confident in myself and my company’s products. I can trust and just enjoy each day that He blesses!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Cornerstone Botanicals story. Tell us more about the business.
I am the heart and soul behind Cornerstone Botanicals. I am passionate about helping others, listening to their story about their own health issues or pet’s health issues. I enjoy to bring education to help my customers understand about our endocannabinoid system and how CBD could possibly benefit them. I have my degree in Exercise Science and I am a retired massage therapist so I appreciate the science involved and learning more about this vital system in our body. I also really enjoy promoting my products to athletes because I played four different sports in college and know the wear, tear and inflammation that occurs when we work out hard. CBD internally and externally is so important for our recovery and health. I am so grateful that the Lord chose CBD to benefit me and that it gave me a motivation to start my company years ago. I would have never guessed that I would be running my own successful business and changing people’s lives and health for the better!
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
The hemp industry has already made lots of positive change since the Hemp Farm Bill passed in late 2018. I see it continuing to grow and become more widely used as a natural & safe health supplement & product. There are exponential ways in which I see hemp impacting our future; more hemp food and drink products, more hemp farming and possibly more in the medical field. I believe there are exciting things on the horizon for all things hemp!! And what a blessing to be a part of it!
- Full Spectrum CBD Tinctures in 500mg, 1000mg & 1500mg ($50, $90, $130)
- THC free Broad Spectrum Tinctures in 500mg & 1500mg ($55 & $135)
- Muscle & Joint Relief Roll On ($42), Titan Stick ($74), Warrior Lotion ($75)
- Pet CBD Tinctures in 250mg & 500mg ($33 & $55), Pet Treats in 2mg & 5mg ($18 & $40)
- Pain Relief Softgels in 1200mg ($99) & Bedtime Softgels in 2400mg ($109)
- CBD Lotion in 500mg, 1000mg & 1500mg ($49, $89 & $129)
- CBD Facial Oil 100mg & 200mg ($30 & $65), CBD Bath Bombs 35mg $11
- Website: www.CornerstoneBotanicals.com
- Phone: 970-239-3374
- Email: Wendee@CornerstoneBotanicals.com
- Instagram: @cornerstonebotanicals
- Facebook: @CornerstoneBotanicals
- Twitter: @CornerstoneCBD