“I had no clear vision, no purpose, no mission. For those women out there that struggle to start their own business, I say JUST DO!”
Current City/State where you live: Buffalo, New York
Hometown: Buffalo, New York
Hi Nhi! Welcome to The Boss Diary! So glad you’re here. Tell me all about your business, Sativa Remedy, and how you got started.
To put in simply, Sativa Remedy makes HEMP CBD EASY. The CBD industry within the last two years has been booming. With this comes the creation of “gimmicks” aka products that contain little cannabinoid content and provide no value to the customer, but can also be potential dangerous. Our mission has always been to provide value to our customers by strictly vetting and testing hemp products across the US. Our online platform is a centralized hemp shopping experience that provides users with a variety of hemp CBD products along with educational resources and guidance.
The beginning of Sativa Remedy is bittersweet. My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer at the age of 50 and took on the role of being his caregiver. Throughout his treatment journey, I saw my hero struggle and fight to overcome his illness. Previous experience with medical cannabis patients, showed me first-hand the powerful and positive effects cannabis products were having on a wide variety of ailments from addiction to chronic pain. Endless hours and days of research, I came to the conclusion my dad needed access to this plant. Unfortunately, medical cannabis in NYS was out of our financial reach. (SAD, I KNOW!!)
On the search for other resolutions, John (my business partner) and I, learned about the emerging hemp CBD industry. Hemp derived CBD comes from the hemp plant (same genus as the cannabis plant) but provides relief without the associated euphoria that comes from high THC products. Hemp grows naturally with high contents of CBD, other various beneficial cannabinoids (compounds found in the hemp plant), and phytonutrients. Hemp products such as high dose CBD tinctures greatly improved my dad’s quality of life. It was night and day! He slept better, ate more, and was mentally and physically healthier. Best of all, the products my dad took cost less than a cup of coffee every day!
I had found my calling! I need to get everyone on this. I was sharing left and right my dad’s story. From then on, John and I set out to provide those in our community access to these hemp products and more. The drastic change it has on our customers well-being ignites our soul and drives our motivation. This business is a way of honoring my late father and continuing to fight the good fight for all those in need.
I can imagine it must be difficult and somewhat challenging to start a business in an industry that is often judged and stigmatized by society. In what ways have you overcome these challenges?
The more my business and the hemp industry grows, the more validation it gives me. After we made our first inventory purchase, I sent our emails after emails asking to partake in local vendor shows. Rejection is never easy, but the small victories pushed me. My belief stays unshaken on the amazing potential that lies in both the cannabis and hemp plant. “Stay the path, doing the right thing, and always be honest”, as my dad has always told me!
Likewise, there are many people who are drawn to alternative medicine and other plant-based products. Can you tell us a bit about the health benefits that can be found in your hemp products?
Our products range from topicals for the skin to ingestible oils. We even have a pet product! Our customers have come back stating that they have found relief from their anxiety, chronic pain, sleep problems, and inflammation issues. We’ve had customers wean their pets completely off pharmaceuticals by integrating our hemp pet tincture into their pet’s daily life. A customer with severe spinal and cervical pain ecstatically called me once, because he was able to play golf again without any pain. These stories and testimonials are why I do what I do!
Everyone has a purpose, and it’s so refreshing to find women who are truly living their best life through their passions. How would you define your own purpose?
My purpose in life is to be happy. I wake up every day and strive to make that happen in one way or another. It seems simplistic, but my happiness is the most important aspect of my life. It’s my lighthouse; my guide. If I’m not happy, doing what I’m doing, I refuse to do it. I’m really unapologetic about that. I found that my passion lies in making a difference! Whether I can the world or change the world for just one person, I’ll be happy for the rest of my life knowing that, business or non-business. I push boundaries, challenge the norm, and on the daily I hustle to manifest my best life. It’s not always easy, but believe me it’s an adventure that never gets boring!
Who are some of your favorite female creatives or business women that you look up to?
Lily Singh, is a creative that started on YouTube. She was deeply depressed but simply started creating content because it made her happy. I’ve followed her journey these past 10 years and her mission has never changed. She just wanted to be happy and to make others happy.
As a part time job, I work as a nail technician at Nail Studio and Spa on Niagara Falls Blvd. My manager Thuy is nothing short of amazing. Her story is similar to mine. We both are refugees from Vietnam that struggled with poverty, racism, and harsh social expectations. Throughout my time working for her, I’ve witness the greatness that is in her mind. She runs the salon efficiently with grace, humor, and an unapologetic personality. On top of that, she remembers every customers name and has managed to create an organic community vibe in this small local business. So if you’re ever in town and need a nail salon to go to Nail Studio and Spa is where it is at!!!
Tell me one thing that most people may not know about you.
I fight anxiety every day. Some days are better or worse than others. My anxiety remains well hidden because I’m extremely high functioning even through my anxiety. Five years ago, my depression and anxiety debilitated me and kept me locked inside my room and my mind.
Through mindful practices, intentionally behavioral and cognitive changes, my outlook on life has done a 180 degree turn. My anxiety no longer debilitates me but empowers me. When I’m anxious or depress, I empower myself to search for the root cause and find solutions. If the solution is not within my grasp, I simply let the universe take care of it. It’s easier said than done, but practice makes perfect.
Name one thing that your hometown city is known for that some people may not know.
Buffalo has always been to me as a REFUGEE HAVEN. Buffalo is well-known for many things, but its community and brotherly-love can only be experienced first-hand. Coming here in 1993, as refugees from Vietnam with nothing but the clothes on our backs, my small family found our home. I’ve found my forever home. We were welcomed here with open arms and given the opportunity. The opportunity to work, to learn, to strive for success, and to make a difference. Without this simple act of kindness from so many in the Buffalo community, I would not be where I am today.
What would the “18-year old you,” say to you today?
Holy shit! When did you get into cannabis?! How did you start a business?! This was not the plan!
Life, since college, has essentially thrown me on a roller coaster ride. I hated weed in college and stigmatized those that used it just as much. I’ve always been interested in health care since I was a child and starting college I wanted to be a doctor. That path didn’t work out for a number of reason, but I never knew at 18 I would end up starting my own business and stepping outside the norm of what was expected of me. I’ve learned to not set to many expectations for myself and 25-year old me is much happier for it.
Before you go, what is one piece of advice you would give to women out there who want to start their own business?
Coming from having a history of severe anxiety and depression, I’ve always struggled to live “my best life”. I had no clear vision, no purpose, no mission. For those women out there that struggle to start their own business, I say JUST DO! Wake up every day and do something that moves you just one step further. Ask questions. Knock on doors. Get rejected. Create greatness.
It is my belief that God put humans on this earth for a reason and we have so much untapped potential. When we step outside our ego and stop getting in our own way, the universe listens and that’s where the intersection of business and greatness collide.
- Summer activity: Talking walks by the riverside and going for ice cream!
- Restaurant in your neighborhood: Tim Hortons; it’s a daily necessity.
- Thing to do in the winter: Keep warm, hustle, create greatness.
- Lipstick: Dr.Bonner’s chap stick and Revlon Kiss Cushion Lip Tint
- Color: Tiffany Blue
- Social Media App: Instagram
- Disney movie: Wreck it Ralph
- If you won $20 million dollars in the lottery, what would you do with that money? Pay off debt (Student loans are killer), Buy my mom a house, Build a cannabis/hemp farm in honor of my dad. This farm would provide free access to the plant for all those that cannot simply afford it. It’s just a plant; it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg! Establish a foundation to rescue dogs internationally.
- How would you describe your best friend in 3 words? Reliable, Honest, Passionate w/ a touch of crazy (Kind of like me)
- What is the last good book that you’ve read? Marijuana, Gateway to Health. How Cannabis Protects Us from Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease
- What is the best concert that you’ve been to? I’m a huge fan of EDM and 2 years ago, I saw both DeadMau5 and Chainsmokers. The visuals and the adrenaline rush from the bass was nothing short of amazzzingggg. You felt the music vibrate your heart, soul, and being.
- Number one travel destination in the world that you would like to visit? Vietnam! I love learning about my homeland and exploring the country. I’ve been there twice in my life, but still feel like I haven’t seen enough. Vietnam is a coastal country, so as you drive up and down the coast you see both sea and mountain. The scenery reminds me of the greatness and sheer magnitude and beauty of our planet. The food is also bomb!
- Who is your current celebrity crush? Karlie Kloss. She’s a boss on so many levels. She embodies grace, beauty, and brains.
- 3 things on your bucket list? Establishing a hemp and cannabis retail store, Creating a community in Buffalo that supports cannabis and hemp usage without the stigma. Buying my mom a house. I plan on accomplishing these all in 2019! Then creating another bucket list for 2020! Greatness is a slow game. One year, one month, one week, one day at a time.
- Sensimysensi is inspired by sensimilla the female cannabis plant that is both potent and healing.