Caroline Mauro is the Founder and Creative Director of lifestyle brand, INDA Creations. INDA Creations is a holistic healing company that focuses on the healing powers of nature - plant medicine and crystals. INDA aims to enhance and amplify the wellness journey with tools for healing and symbols of self-care, inspired by Mother Earth. Channeling the healing powers of nature, INDA Creations works in partnership with a family owned farm in Vermont whose natural herbs and flowers are infused in over half of all product offerings.
Caroline talks her journey and inspiration.
How did you get involved in cannabis?
I entered the industry 5 years ago when I started my cannabis wellness company, INDA Creations. We are a one-stop online shop for all things wellness, combining offerings of crystals and crystal jewelry, ritual tools, smoking pipes, holistic gift sets and CBD products. At the time, I felt inspired to create my own brand as there weren’t many brands or products in the space that accurately represented female audiences or conveyed cannabis as wellness and plant medicine. The industry felt bleak: the messaging was all wrong and the products were even worse…distasteful cannabis leaf socks, tie dye tapestries, poorly executed one hitters etc. - it frustrated me that chic smoking accessories weren’t an option.
Drawing on my background as a Stylist and Art Director in the fashion industry, I decided to concept the brand and our signature product, the INDA pipe necklace, a discrete wearable necklace that transforms into a working smoking pipe. At the same time I was living on a farm in Vermont that was transitioning from a CSA model and produce farm to an organic hemp farm. I fully immersed myself on their farm during the inception of INDA and living there, learned so much about plant medicine and CBD before the big boom we’re seeing now. I decided to incorporate their grow into our wellness products like my herbal blends, honey and balm and moved to Venice, CA a few years later to further solidify myself in the space and dive in head first!
What is your mission with INDA Creations?
My mission is to help others heal through natural modalities and provide customers with self-care tools to amplify their wellness journeying, always inspired by Mother Earth. I use INDA as a platform to advocate for natural healing, support small farms and small businesses, promote cannabis as wellness, and to continue the fight to destigmatize and normalize the plant. I am also passionate about cannabis education and speak to important topics regularly on my brand’s handle i.e. transparency on sourcing, clear labeling and messaging, the difference between full-spectrum and isolate, etc. Spreading and raising awareness is so important in this industry!
Where do you see yourself in the industry in 5 years?
I hope to continue to help to normalize cannabis and use my background to make a difference in the world at large! I am currently parlaying my experience in the industry and combining all of my passions to launch a creative agency @RewolfAgency with fellow cannabis advocate Brooke Burghstellar of @buddingmind and other talented freelancers, serving the cannabis industry and beyond.
We cultivate elevated content for conscious, disruptive, eco-friendly clients, weaving stories through curated content, original visuals and authentic messaging. From organic hemp farms to eco-friendly fashion brands, we service businesses who make positive changes in the world and put the planet and people first (and proudly donate a percentage of our earnings to various charities dedicated to helping heal humans and the earth). By nature of our experience and alignment and affinity for cannabis, we hope to continue to service many brands in the space in the future.
I hope to continue to merge and integrate cannabis with other important passions, sectors and industries and use my background and knowledge to weave cannabis throughout these other spaces i.e. travel and tourism, experiential and events. I recently developed a Venice Beach Wellness tour for Side Story Travel (sister company to Mr. and Mrs. Smith) where I give participants an overview of California’s wellness scene and cannabis culture. We tour dispensaries, health food stores like Erwhon, Mushroom Tea House Four Sigmatic and holistic crystal shops. Many people on my tour live outside of the United States in places where cannabis is illegal, have never heard of adapotgens and get wide-eyed at the thought of mushroom tea… it’s such an honor to take them on this journey (taking them on their first dispensary trip always touches me so deeply!) and educating and guiding them through all things wellness in the heart of my favorite LA neighborhood.
Something I am also hugely passionate about is creating wellness + cannabis experiences. I believe that we can create lasting impressions and even shift human consciousness through meaningful, thoughtful experiences and events. I’ve created a pop up interactive wellness lounges in the past (Herbal Rolling Bar + CBD tea stations at Summit and a wellness dispensary called Moto Oasis at Desert Daze Festival) and both experiences fostered such beautiful, heart opening, human connection.
What's the biggest challenge of working in the cannabis space and the biggest reward?
The biggest challenge is certainly the red tape that comes along with working in the space. This industry is not for the faint of heart (I always joke that I picked quite the industry to be a first-time entrepreneur in!) These challenges include banking and credit card processing shutdowns (and in turn website shutdowns), deactivated social media accounts, the inability to advertise on traditional business platforms, business insurance hikes, etc. Because it is a new industry, it’s a bit of the Wild West to navigate at times. The biggest reward though which makes it all worth it for me is being able to help others and offer natural healing modalities through this magical plant. From easing elderly clients arthritis with hemp balm to hearing feedback that our honey has helped my customers combat miserable insomnia and intense anxiety, there’s nothing more gratifying than knowing I can make a difference in other people’s lives and help them heal naturally.
Do you have any advice for any fellow cannapreneurs?
Speaking to the above challenges, my advice would be to make sure you are super passionate and ready to fight because you will undoubtedly hit road blocks (so you have to have thick skin, a tenacious attitude and love what you’re doing!). The challenges will be worth it if this is an industry and space you’re truly passionate about. Never stop reading learning and educating yourself so you can, in turn, be an advocate and educator (read all the books, do all the research, enroll in classes etc.). Since it’s such a new industry and connected to our health and well being, I believe as employees and business owners in the space, it’s our duty to help educate and share knowledge - it is not always readily available and can be extremely confusing to navigate for curious newcomers. The other piece of advice would be to understand the holistic process of the plant itself and namely, connect to the cultivation side of things. Spending extended time on farms in Southern Humboldt and Central Vermont and being with and learning about the plants (and farming) was invaluable and truly changed my life and outlook of the industry. Plus, you can never go wrong with immersion in nature and getting your hands dirty.