August 20, 2018

One day we realized how many women owned businesses lined the shelves at Erewhon. So we decided to shine the spotlight on a handful of these brands. Karen Lane from Irie CBD left behind a career in the corporate world and carved a new path for herself after CBD helped her in her own path back to wellness.

What inspired you to start this business?

As a Health Care Executive I had done a lot in the corporate world, led in many organizations, consulted in many settings around the world, and then like many busy women, I didn’t manage my stress well and my health failed.  But then I figured it out, and with some help, I got well. However, due to this, I wanted to be more intentional about my life and started to back out of the fast paced high stress corporate world. And in the process of getting well I discovered the power of full spectrum hemp derived CBD.  The day I stood down from the corporate world I met a man who would soon become one of my partners in Irie … and as they say the rest was history.

What advice would you give to your teenage self?

Trust that there is a gentle blueprint for your life, pay attention, look for signposts.  FOLLOW THAT.

As a female entrepreneur, what are the pros of being a woman in charge of your own business?

It rocks!  You get to surround yourself with good people and then help them live their best lives and be successful.

How does your product appeal to all different types of women?

Oh my, our products do appeal to many different types of women. Our Balance Blend is full of adaptogens, in addition to CBD, that help women manage stress and create more balance and resilience in their lives.  Our Calm Blend brings just that and also helps with sleep, something much needed if a woman is to be healthy. Of course, we have a Kid’s Blend that helps the kids and thus helps the Moms. And a Pet Blend that helps the furry family and thus helps the Moms.  Lastly, we have a blend created especially for women called Feminine. It helps with hormone balance and monthly symptoms and pain.

Name three things that guided you to success.

Early in my family I took on a fairly powerful role and still hold that role today.  Some people like to diminish that by calling it ‘caretaking.’ But what I know today to be true is that I seem to have just been born a leader.  I liked to notice and facilitate things in my family and I brought that with me as I entered the world of work.

I adored my father and I knew that he was terrible with long range planning and money management.  His influence was positive in other ways, but in this way, he was very helpful to me as I decided very early not to be that way.  It guided me in my career in significant ways.

Other women leaders who have often put out a hand to bring me along.  

Describe your brand in 3 words.

Irie = Being at peace with yourself, having no worries, a most excellent and highest state of feeling. Elegant. Powerful

What does balance mean to you?

To me, the essence of resilience is balance.  We often expend more energy than we have, but within every moment, or at least every day, there’s a coming back to revitalize. Coming back to yourself.  Reconnecting. This is a very tangible thing – not just some airy-fairy concept.

What three things can you not live without?

The right balance between work, movement, rest, and sleep. Beautiful nourishing foods and clean pure water. How could I not say it?  CBD!

What is one piece of advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs?

Trust yourself even when you don’t feel it.  Lots of women in powerful roles feel like imposters.  Don’t believe that feeling. Lead anyway. Start a business anyway.  Be powerful anyway.

What’s your superpower?

It’s likely both a blessing and a curse, but the simple power of words – spoken and written – are my superpower:  speaking, inspiring, bringing people together, seeking alignment, encouraging. I love the power of well-placed words.

One wellness hack that everyone should know

See situations in your life as a play.  Look at the stage from the audience. See whose play it actually is and where you fit into the scene or scenes.  Don’t own a play where you are a bit player out of habit or need. Write your own play and be the star. Play your part correctly in other’s plays.  That will keep you healthy.

Where did your passion for health and beauty come from?

The process of getting sick and getting well is powerful!  You either give into it or you come out of it with a passion for wellness and a deep desire for all the things that inspire health.

What makes you feel beautiful?

The other day, at 61 years of age, I threw my legs up a wall and stood on my hands for a bit.  Sure, maybe not long, but boy did I feel powerful and competent and beautiful.

Who are 3 inspirational women we should follow and why?

Brene Brown – her work on shame and vulnerability and courage is epic.  

Jill Bolte Taylor – a stunning look at how it is to have and recover from a stroke through the lens of a brain scientist.  Among other things, in her book Stroke of Insight, she came away with the insight that we are all responsible for the energy we bring, always.  

Naomi Shihab Nye – a poet, songwriter and novelist.  Every woman should read her poem, Hidden. And all women, when we go to the grocery store, should learn to “impersonate a cabbage” as she so profoundly tells us in the poem, The Art of Disappearing.

What is the title of your autobiography?

That’s easy.  In the 90’s I took a year off to write it.  I got back into things before trying to get it published, so it sits here with me in my office, reminding me I can do whatever I decide to do.  It’s called Living Among Trees.

What do you love about Erewhon 🙂

Oh man.  Its elegance, beauty, and balance. The people!  The way you feel when you walk in the door. The smell of it.  The produce department with so many colors and shapes. The spirit of it.  And of course, the tonic bar where they offer CBD infused drinks.