Meadow commissioned this interview to hear Eliza's story of launching Lucky Box Club, her luxury cannabis subscription box brand, and why she and her partner were named Mr. & Mrs. Wellness Village at this year's Meadowlands cannabis retreat. Listen to the 10 minute interview or continue to read the transcript, below.
Eliza: The term "The Cannabis Yogi" was kind of just given to me by a writer from Leafly, but it was one that I was really excited to step into. I really have a deep belief that cannabis can enhance all facets of our lives and found that it's so profoundly moved me throughout my own yoga practice. It helps people to connect more deeply with their own bodies, their own spirits. It helps people to meditate and ultimately kind of just helps us to look within and come into a more reflective state. Hosting my yoga classes previously without cannabis, I felt like a fish out of water. I think that I really love the plant for its ability to get people to step out of their pain and out of their suffering and into their bodies.
John: That's a really good point. And now looking at that signature cannabis yoga offering of yours, Bend and Blaze, how do you structure it? How do you give your clients what they are looking for?
Eliza: When people arrive, they have the opportunity and the option to use cannabis. They can bring their own. Sometimes I usually have pre-rolls available for people. Some people like to vape. Otherwise a lot of people actually come and just use topicals. It is really hard to drop into yoga poses if you're in literal physical pain. So we build in about 30 minutes for people to just consume, to connect with each other, and then we drop into our meditation and go through a really sweet Vinyasa and Yin hybrid flow, which means that we are moving in connection with our breath. An inhale will take you through one move and an exhale will take you through another. And the Yin portion means that we're also holding certain poses for an extended period of time, anywhere from two to five minutes. And so this type of a hybrid flow really allows for people to lengthen, to strengthen, and to kind of just create space inside of their bodies. And then at the end of every class, my signature really is my sound healing. I use singing bowls or other instruments and my voice and sing or chant and talk people through different guided meditations.
John: That really does sound holistic and that you cover every area that you could want to feel. And so moving on, I want to ask you about another thing you do, which is that you're the founder of Lucky Box Club, which I understand has been named the number one cannabis subscription box company in California. Can you tell me about the vision behind this phase of what you do and how that's been going for you?
Eliza: Before the cannabis yoga existed and before Lucky Box Club existed, my partner and I were actually cultivators in Nevada City. And really, we love this plant. I mean, it was just such an incredible thing to learn from him about the process of growing and understanding what it really takes to go from seed to smoke. And one thing that really was very clear to me and to us is that not all cannabis is created equal. And as we also started to learn more and more about the other manufactured products that are out there, whether they're topicals or edibles or beverages or suppositories... there's just so many products out there. What I like to tell people is that there's a product for everybody, but not every product is for every body. We are all created so uniquely, and we all carry such different trauma and pain in our bodies, that it's important to find the right products for the right people.
So in 2016, the concept of Lucky Box Club was kind of formed and in 2017 we really started to act on it. And then we were able to launch and get all of our licenses in order by 2019. So it's been a long road, but we absolutely love what we do. We love to find products that will enhance people's lives.
John: That's a really lovely way to put that. You mentioned your partner in that last answer. And obviously this is a family operation and here you were once featured in the official Grammy's gift bag. Can you tell me a bit about what that was like for you and how it felt to be a part of the Grammy's?
Eliza: You know, it's funny; the road of entrepreneurship was filled with so, so much excitement. I almost forgot that that even happened. It was an incredible opportunity that was presented to us and every presenter and every nominee of the Grammy's did receive a miniature Lucky Box that actually featured at that time high CBD products. And I believe it was the first time ever that they were accepting such products to be in those types of gift bags that went to all of the celebrities. So it was a really phenomenal opportunity that of course we could not pass it up
John: Yeah. That's pretty wild. And also I'm sure it gets lost in the shuffle because verything's so hectic when you're in startup mode. So next I want to shift topics to the work you've done with Meadow. Can you talk a bit about the technical and infrastructure side of your company and how you use Meadow to manage your cannabis delivery operations?
Eliza: Absolutely. Yeah. You know Meadow has been instrumental in helping us to stay organized and to keep track of our inventory. And as a point of sale system for us on the back end, it really has been quite seamless. It leaves very little for us to want more of, and what we do need or want certain features, they are very receptive to them. So, if you really feel like the Meadow team has kind of become family and they're part of the LBC team and they definitely take on all of their tasks with that type of energy as well. So we're super grateful to them. Yeah, we, we love Meadow. We love being one of the early adopters and supporters and they in turn, have also really supported us. And what an incredible symbiotic relationship we have.
John: That's an excellent thing to have, and a great asset in your business, I'm sure. And tell me now about the Meadowlands cannabis retreat from this year where both you and your partner were named "Mr. And Mrs. Wellness Village"? Tell me about the wellness village that you helped create and this immersive experience, what was that?
Eliza: Luke and myself (that's my partner), we love creating and curating experiences; to us, that's what the box really is. And so anytime we have an opportunity to curate experiences in a live in person setting, we love to hop on the opportunity. We were so honored that the Meadow team thought of us and reached out. Aria, who is their organizer for Meadowlands, she is a colleague and a good friend, and she knows that I myself have produced other retreats. And so it's such a treat that she sees our vision and invited us to kind of produce the wellness village last year. And what that meant was that we really created a decorated and curated experience and a space that allowed for people to come to take a break from all of the networking and to drop into their bodies and to have a safe space to smoke, and just to zone out a little bit and enjoy guided meditations every evening and pop-up sound baths, and a few other offerings that we created for people. So it was such a highlight for us and we can't wait to continue creating such experiences for Meadowlands and beyond.
John: Can you tell me a little more about what drew you to creating a retreat space like this and to do it with cannabis? What's the philosophy behind what feels good about that for you?
Eliza: You know, a lot of retreats, especially ones that are within the cannabis industry, they mean that we're always on, if you know what I mean. It's like, we're always trying to put our best foot forward and we're always networking and we're always trying to talk up our companies and our positions and make sure that we make the most of every minute of every single day. And while that is an important philosophy to have, it's just as important to make sure that you make time and create space for yourself to release and relax, and kind of just let that adrenaline rush kind of just come down to a slow, smooth pace. And so for us, our vision behind the wellness village was really to curate a space where people felt safe and supported and comfortable just in their own skin.
It was really beautiful to see how many people were kind of looking for this type of a space, because while Meadowlands is a cannabis retreat, it's very high energy, there's like a lot of like dance parties and high-frequency things happening at every hour, all the way through the night time hours. Whereas the wellness village was like a very zen space for people to relax and retreat to before having to go back to their tents and go to sleep.
John: What an amazing thing to create and to be a part of this gathering in that way. Sounds totally in sync with the other parts of your business too. So thank you so much for sharing all of this. And let's close today with some final thoughts that you'd like to share with those listening, other people in the cannabis industry, I'm sure. What would you like to tell them about your place in the industry and your company?
Eliza: You know, I think just for people to understand that we really are a community, and to not lose sight of the fact that the cannabis industry started off as a movement.
And it's important to understand the people that were here before us and the people who are coming after us. Just to recognize that we really have to stay a community and to support each other and to make sure that we make access to this amazing medicine accessible to everyone.