How These Female Founders are Redefining Expectations in CBD
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When Jewel Zimmer talks about Juna, the CBD company she founded as an everyday solution for women’s health and wellness, she gets deep in the weeds, so to speak. She waxes rhapsodic over the brand’s regenerative farming practices, which sequester carbon and help reverse climate change. She raves about Juna’s extraction process, yielding some of the highest-quality, most actively therapeutic botanicals available. She could geek out for hours over the companion plants that share soil—and rich nutrients—with Juna’s harvests, boosting the bioavailability of gold-mine compounds including healing cannabinoids, aromatic terpenes, and healthful omegas.
It’s no surprise that Zimmer has a passion for ingredient-focused formulations, having hailed from the fine-dining world as a pastry chef and side sommelier. A chocolate company she founded in the late 2000s—unique in its harnessing of the feel-good compounds in raw cacao, which attach to brain receptors—“was arguably one of the first adaptogenic functional foods on the market,” Zimmer says.
But while it was cacao that pulled Zimmer “down a rabbit hole” into the miraculous alchemy of mood boosting and therapeutic compounds, it was with cannabis—specifically, the non-psychoactive cannabinoids that balance mood and create homeostasis in the body—that she “really fell in love,” she says. “People are less likely to go for quick-fix pharmaceuticals and are starting to explore more plant-powered wellness. As a mother and somebody who’s working all the time, I thought, this could probably save my life: calm the nerves, decrease the anxiety and stress. It could save every parent or every CEO in the world.”
Formulating the products—supremely efficacious tinctures geared toward optimizing “mind, body, mood and sleep”—was Zimmer’s métier. But how to connect with her target market, those mothers and businesswomen who were “faced with sensory and schedule overload,” just like her?
Enter Taylor Lamb, a seasoned growth marketer and new mom with a proven record for driving accelerated business growth. “So many brands are private labeling the same exact products and targeting men or young stoners. The branding is green, there’s hemp leaves all over it,” Lamb says. “Juna offers elevated, premium products you can trust, ones that clearly hit all of our four product pillars of being effective, fully organic, solve a specific problem, and fit seamlessly into our customer’s routine.”
Having helped launch high-end women’s sleepwear brand Lunya, and successfully connecting with a discerning customer base for whom top-shelf quality and everyday wellness are end-alls, Lamb was primed to understand Juna’s target consumer and seek her out where she already was. “Every decision we make is to improve the customer experience from how she is introduced to the brand all the way to the product taste. With marketing, we are looking at her world instead of just pumping more ad dollars into one advertising channel” Lamb says. “Her daily rituals, how and when she practices self care, who inspires her, what events she makes time for, where she gets her news, what wellness trends intrigue her, where is she vacationing?”
"We needed a solution to optimize every day: to sleep better, be more productive during the day, balance our moods and hormones simultaneously, and show up as the best versions of ourselves."
~ Jewel Zimmer, co-founder, Juna
Certainly, it doesn’t hurt that Lamb and Zimmer are the buyer they seek. “Because we’re her, it makes everything we do that much more authentic,” Lamb says. “We don’t have to try to pretend to be something for someone. It’s a very natural process for us.”
One thing they intrinsically know of their customer is that she craves simplicity: a seamless solution to be incorporated into her busy life, rather than add to the myriad stressors. “Juna is meant to be consumed daily, like a multivitamin” Lamb says, adding that the product’s regular-basis applications promote repeat purchasers. (Lamb herself never goes a day without, she says; and Zimmer concurs.)
Juna’s CBD offerings—meant for therapeutic dosing, akin to their THC product line—are meticulously crafted to elevate the everyday. There are the hemp CBD mood-lifting, mind-centering Balance drops that can be mixed into a morning cup of coffee; the naturally-sedative synergy of Nightcap’s plant actives and botanical essential oils, and a pain-relief topical for the tensest of shoulders. Juna's California-only THC collection offers three products for the mood of the hour—Gold to lift your spirits, Jade for when you want a serene vibe, and Nude to help feel calm and collected.
“We’ve really come at this as an adaptogen for a modern world,” Zimmer says. “We’re moms, entrepreneurs, we both have passion projects. We needed a solution to optimize every day: to sleep better, be more productive during the day, balance our moods and hormones simultaneously, and show up as the best versions of ourselves.”
“Our Juna tinctures have been used over 450,000 times, are 5-star rated, and boost above a 30 percent repeat customer rate.”
~ Taylor Lamb, co-founder, Juna
So, might the men whose partners are suddenly awash in calm get in on the action some day? “Maybe one day we will do something for men,” Zimmer says; though she’s not one to enter the formulation process half-way. “We need to first understand how CBD works in the body differently between men and women,” she insists. “But nothing’s impossible, right?”
“Our Juna tinctures have been used over 450,000 times, are 5-star rated, and boast above a 30 percent repeat customer rate,” Lamb adds. “These tinctures are just the beginning for us, as we build into the Juna world and work to expand our collection for the modern woman. This year we are excited to close our first round of funding and bring to market new product categories for Juna world that have yet to be seen in the industry.”