Photo credit Samantha Jacoby
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Potency No. 710 CEO Mandy Lile’s got that Southern charm bluntness down to a science – in fact, the first thing you’ll notice upon meeting her is her Kentucky accent.
Growing up, her father spent 13 years of his life in prison for marijuana and although it carries a stigma, Mandy took it as inspiration to show everyone the beauty in this potent plant. She opened her first skincare clinic at the ripe age of 20, quickly developing a knack for plant-based, non-toxic products. And when she moved to LA and met and fell in love with her now-fiancé Harry, she found herself walking through clouds of smoke as the two ventured into the cannabis business.
The two applied their combined knowledge of both the skincare and cannabis industries to create Potency No. 710, a line of balanced beauty products fueled by non-toxic, plant-powered ingredients.
Here’s her story:
How did you get involved in cannabis?
I have a very long history with this potent plant. My dad was dealing in marijuana & growing it way before we ever dreamed it would one day be legal. I visited many prisons growing up . And due to the stigma of this plant you could say there was many people who looked down on me for my dad’s actions. I never let that get to me and actually couldn’t figure out what he was doing so wrong. I knew it was illegal but I didn’t see the harm in it. My best friend’s parents were high up officials in my small town. The judge and prosecuting attorney’s kids were and are still my best friends. Everyone kind of thought I might be trouble due to my dad’s history. But they soon found out I’d find the beauty in this plant and they would be bailing their own children out of jail not me.
What’s your mission?
My mission with creating Potency No. 710 was to clearly disrupt the beauty industry. 😉 The more I read the more I saw an opportunity with using CBD for its inflammation abilities topically in skincare not just in salves for pain and tinctures. As with many health and skin issues inflammation is one of the leading causes of array of health problems including acne & rosacea. So many people were on the tincture and eatable side of CBD. I noticed a void in the high end topical beauty side. So I began to use my 20 plus years of knowledge from being a spa owner and aesthetician to formulate the CBD with other plant oils that I had already had great success with. With the Gold serum formula, I noticed my own skin reduce in pigmentation (sun damage) enlarged pores, speed up cell renewal, smooth out my fine lines, calm redness, help speed up healing process from curling irons burns and it was mind blowing to experience first hand.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
My 5 year plan is to hold on tight and smoke often. Lol. No really I hope to build the Potency brand all while helping people realize the power of plant medicine. And to become aware of all the chemicals we use daily that aren’t necessary in skincare products. I want to be remembered as one of the first few high end beauty products that cleared the stigma of the cannabis plant. I always say the grass really is greener on the other side.
What are the biggest challenges and rewards?
The biggest challenge on the beauty side was obtaining a merchant and marketing for my online store. I had to tip toe around all while trying to differentiate my brand. I just recently started saying CBD more freely were before I used terms like hemp, plant oils, and botanical. I almost felt like I was doing something really wrong. The biggest challenge on the Cannabis side has been banking and pleasing the city all while trying not to get robbed. I tell my fiancé daily I’m not sure how he has handled this so calmly. Then I remember this medicine works wonders on the nervous system as he partakes daily in consuming his own product. Lol. The biggest reward is knowing our son Kush will one day get to enjoy it all without dealing with the stigma like we have along the way.
Any advice for other cannapreneuers?
My advice would be educate yourself and don’t expect to pick people’s brain for free that was quoted from one of my favorite women in the industry Kyra Reed from the Lady Jane Society. We all work to hard to pass this kind of info out free. People don’t realize how much we have at stake. We are literally plowing from the ground up. It’s not a 9-5 job it’s 24 hours and it’s brutal and it’s costly. My advice in the end is to roll a joint and smoke it that’s way easier then trying to grow it. Lol.