Tea time is an underrated pastime. How lovely does it sound to take an hour each afternoon to sit, enjoy a warm drink and snack on sandwiches? So European! Few things could possibly make that experience better but a cannabis infused tea is one. Enter Kikoko, a line of teas, tinctures, honey, and mints by Jennifer Chapin and Amanda Jones.
The duo began their brand when their close friend was battling cancer and used cannabis for pain management, appetite stimulation, and nausea suppression. They noticed that within their circle, more women were relying on pharmaceuticals to help with sleep, libidio, and anxiety, with detrimental side effects. Instead of relying on medication, the two believed in the healing properties of cannabis and so their edibles line was born.
Read on to hear their thoughts on fundraising, their favorite products from their brand, and why pistachios are the perfect munchies snack.
On their advice to other women in cannabis: Make sure you have enough money to weather the industry challenges! You have to love solving problems and be unrelentingly persistent.
On funding their brand: We self-funded and didn’t take a salary for the first year and a half — at times we even couch surfed! Eventually we reached out to friends and family and they became the foundation of our brand. Fundraising is a separate beast with its own complexities and perceptions. Currently only 2.2% of women-founded companies are funded by venture capital. This is proof that the “boys’ club” effect is a major hurdle in the success of female-founded companies. We navigate it by demonstrating that we do what we say we’re going to do. If an obstacle arises, we are honest with investors and correct the problem.
On Jennifer’s first experience with cannabis: Looking back, I was quite prudish in high school and college, I wasn’t a partier at all! One night, hanging out with my sister and her friends, I tried smoking for the first time. I was a lightweight so all I could remember was the room spinning. I slept it off and didn’t smoke again for a long time.
On how Jennifer uses cannabis now: I love it for relaxation and creativity and I truly do use all of our products regularly. Sympa-Tea is my go-to for mellowing out and relaxing while Sensuali-Tea is great when I want to brainstorm and get super creative. I also love our Sleep Tinctures, which will be available starting in March along with Kikoko’s Day Tincture – they’re delicious (which is not easy to do!) and efficacious.
On Jennifer’s favorite munchies snack: I love pistachios, Popchips and delicious guacamole, with a mocktail of our tea over ice!