Amandine Ayala

Amandine Ayala (she/her) is a holistic herbalist and tea alchemist, helping purpose-led people prioritise self-care and self-love to achieve their deeper mission.

In today’s episode, we discuss drinking tea as an act of self-care and connection. Tea blends for anxiety and business challenges along the entrepreneurial journey. Why some terms around cannabis are rooted in racism – and how we can avoid them. And so much more.

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Conversation transcript:

Katherine   

Well Amandine, I’m so excited to talk to you. Thank you for coming to the Cauldron.

Amandine  

Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to have a chat and a cup of tea with you.

Katherine  

Ah me too. So I actually have to say I had a gin and tonic before the call. I just got home from a very busy day. And my partner made me a G&T and I thought, well, I can’t reject that. So I had that. And I thought, I think I’d better make myself a big pot of tea for Amandine, it doesn’t feel right to have a gin & tonic.

Amandine   

I love it. I love it and obviously we’re in different timezones so for me, it’s still the morning, so I’ll be waiting for a few hours for my G&T. But you go nuts!

Katherine  

Do you have an actual gin and tea? Or is it tonic?

Amandine

Oh, no, sorry. We just call it G&T. Do you not? It’s tonic, yes.

Katherine

We do as well, but I thought it’s a fun play on your business which is all about tea, drop a little bit of gin in there..

Amandine

Oh, yeah, absolutely. What a great business and product idea actually. 

Katherine

There you go, could be a new blend. 

Amandine

I love it!

Katherine

Well, you know, you know where to find me when you want to send me some royalties for that one. So, before we dive into chatting, because I do have so many questions I want to ask you, I’m so curious about what you do. But first off, just paint a picture for us of where you are right now. So, what room you’re in, what city you’re in, what’s around you?

Amandine

Oh, love that question. So I’m currently in Nice in the south of France. This is where I grew up and I’m in my office, which is kind of on the attic floor and I’m facing a window. It’s really sunny today and beautiful and warm. And I can see outside onto the hills. If I lean a little bit to the left, I can see the sea in the corner. And in my office is, it’s a little bit messy, a lot of shelves with a lot of jars, empty jars, and then tea jars that have tea in them. And I have a lot of boxes with a lot of herbs surrounding me. That’s pretty much my surroundings right now. And I have a cup of tea, actually, I have two cups of tea. Full disclosure, because  I know I’ll be talking a lot so I actually prepared two cups of tea in advance.

Katherine

That’s amazing. I love that you did that. That sounds beautiful. I actually spent some time in Nice when I was 18 on a trip, and it’s just beautiful.

Amandine

Yeah, it is lovely. And I’m normally based in Amsterdam. That’s where my business is based. But with the current climate and the lockdown I’ve been spending some time here with my family. And you know, there’s a lot of worse places to be spending some time to be stuck in. So I’m really grateful.

Katherine 

Yeah, absolutely. How is France doing at the moment with everything?

Amandine

Slowly better. We’re getting ready to open up again in five days on the 19th and not fully open up but terraces will be open because we are still now technically on full lockdown. Shops are still closed so everything will be open on the 19th including cinemas. I tell you I cannot wait to go to the cinema. And yes, so and then in June, the curfew will go away, which is huge. Because right now we have a curfew at 7pm. Yes, that’s been really interesting, actually. So yeah, so slowly, but surely things are reopening which is great, because the weather has been fantastic here and I can’t wait to sit on a terrace and have a glass of wine.

Katherine 

Oh, that’s so French. I love it. I actually went to the cinema for the first time since COVID as well last night and yeah, it was interesting. It was really strange to be back in a theatre again. 

Amandine

I imagine. What did you see? 

Katherine

I actually saw a film called Lockdown, which is all about lockdown, with Anne Hathaway. I got invited to a premiere, which was nice. So we got lots of goodies and it was just nice to support the cinema as well. Yeah, it was a really sweet movie, it was just a lot of fun. And it was kind of the movie that I think we all need, you know just to laugh about this situation so yeah. 

So let’s dive in. There’s so much I want to unpack with you. And I guess the first place to start is I would actually like to share your business mission that you have on your website because it’s just brilliant and beautiful. As a copywriter I can’t help but mention it. So your mission is to expand the conscious use of cannabis. You make delicious organic hemp based tea blends with naturally occurring cannabidiol, I always get that tongue twisted. How do you say that?

Amandine

So there’s two ways of saying it. You can say cannabi-dial or cannabidiol. Different people say different things. Yes, so and CBD for short, which is much easier.

Katherine 

Much easier, I’m going to say CBD! “…And botanical self-care products to help you find what you seek. From a good night’s sleep, that breath of fresh air you’ve been needing today. We believe in making self-care, effortless, using nature and nothing else. We know the journey to self-love isn’t always a walk in the park, and how tough it can be to make time for yourself. We’re here to show you the way with plenty of exploration, courage and compassion.” Wow. How did you unearth that mission? How did you get to this point of such a beautiful mission for people and our planet?

Amandine

Thank you, it was really a process because self-care didn’t always come naturally to me. And about three and a half years ago, I quit my corporate job after I was on the verge of a third burnout. And as I could feel it coming, I just knew this wasn’t the life for me anymore. And I had been in this, I didn’t realize that at the time and this is after years of looking back and understanding myself but I wasn’t able to look after myself and put myself first. I was being the person that my job and my company wanted me to be. And I was travelling a lot and it was really intense hours. And quitting my job to start my own business made me realize the care that I needed, and that how I had neglected my body in so many ways. I went into a depression. And I started exploring blending herbs with intention. I had been drinking herbal tea my whole life, but I never really did it as an intentional self-care move. I was drinking it because it tasted nice and it was warm. But I started to really study the herbs and the benefits, and blend herbs and include cannabis in my teas in order to heal myself, to heal my body, heal my mind. And so the intention behind it was completely new. And I realized the power of pairing the benefits of herbs with the intention to put yourself first. And that really changed things for me. And I started to talk about it with my friends, with my family, and realize that most people have something they would like to heal. And there were herbs for that. So I started blending herbs for people around me. And that’s how Bloem & Moi  was born. And that’s how that mission was born of, you know, the intention behind it. And I’ve also been a cannabis consumer for many, many years. And it wasn’t before I moved to Amsterdam and started to do proper research into what was available to me, because as it’s depenalized there you know, you have a different choice that you wouldn’t in a place where it’s prohibited. And I started to understand what worked for me, and how and when and in which quantity and for which reason. And that conscious use of cannabis is also so important to me, because just like with everything if the right intention is not there, you will not get a pleasant experience or the hoped results, basically, and this is how this came about.

Katherine

Oh I love that, a couple of things that you said there. One was about nature, and really holding and offering all that we need for health and wellness. And you know, different things that we’re being challenged by and I love that you discovered that for yourself. And yeah, that conscious use of everything, even if it is something that’s natural. You know, I spent some time in Amsterdam and I will be incriminating myself here because in my country, they’re very behind when it comes to cannabis use and its benefits. But I did enjoy a wonderful week in Amsterdam sampling a lot of the products. And you know, it is interesting what you say, there have been times where I have absolutely abused cannabis and used it to mask things like my anxiety, for instance. And that has been a time that has not been a beneficial relationship. And there have been other times when, as you say, I have very intentionally looked at cannabis as I mean, what would you call it, a medicine, a tool, you know, to help with those things, as opposed to, let’s just silence the pain. 

Amandine

Yes, that resonates so much because I started my cannabis journey as a, you know, 20 something, well probably 20 actually, I was young, I was a student, I had a lot of social anxiety. And I went to cannabis for connection, basically. And then it moved into when I started working, it moved into an escape, like you’ve just mentioned, really escaping the long hours and the anxiety and the stress. And cannabis can be anything you want it to be. And it’s such a wonderful plant with so many different strains, which are types of cannabis basically, that you can get such different results, depending on how you approach it and what you actually use. And again, you can’t decide that, you can’t make an educated decision, unless it’s available legally as it is, well, it’s a bit of a grey area in Amsterdam, but you can buy it legally anyway. And yes, and I’ve now learned to use it as a self-care tool, as a tool for me as an entrepreneur. It helps me boost my creativity, boost my energy, because I know exactly what works for me and how and it’s been just a wonderful, wonderful tool. And let’s also not forget that now with CBD that you’ve mentioned, which is a compound of cannabis that doesn’t make you high at all. And therefore there are types of cannabis that will have high CBD content, and very low THC content, or zero THC content, which is the compound that does make you high. So cannabis doesn’t have to make you high, it can still support you like in my teas, which are hemp-based. Hemp being the version of cannabis that has no THC to simplify it. Cannabis can still support you without this idea of altering the perception and the mind. It can still be a wonderful herb, a wonderful tool to use as an entrepreneur and beyond and it all starts with intention. 

Katherine

As with everything in life and business, right?

Amandine

Exactly, absolutely. Intention is key.

Katherine

Yeah. So talking about hemp-based tea and tea in general as an act of self-care, what blends do you tend to recommend or what blends tend to be popular for your entrepreneurial clients?

Amandine 

So, I have four blends in my range of teas and all of them tend to a very common problem with entrepreneurs. So it will depend on the person and the time they are in their life at the moment. I’ll give you an example. So we have Nuit, which means night in French and that’s my sleepy blend. And I mentioned this first because sleep is at the core of our health, right? If you’re not getting rest, you’re not sleeping properly, which is such a huge common problem, poor sleep quality for whatever reason can be, your body won’t replenish, it won’t be nourished in a way that it needs to be and that can have you know devastating consequences on your health, both physical health and mental health. And so Nuit is one of my most popular blends because sleep quality is a common problem. And it contains hemp, valerian roots, lime flower, and camomile. So that’s the perfect blend for the evening and again, because it’s so important to have a good sleep at night, so although it doesn’t seem like it directly links with entrepreneurship, anybody can drink this tea, but it will support your work, right, and the change and the impact that you want to bring in the world because it will make you sleep better. And that will have a ripple effect on everything else.

Katherine

Yeah, absolutely. I think sleep is exactly what you say it all comes down to sleep like nutrition and other things too. But it’s really the one thing where if it’s being affected, it really does impact so much in your day, and what you’re trying to create in the world, and really can hold us back from actually, you know, fulfilling the vision that we have. So I really love that you touched on that first. Beautiful.

Amandine

Yes, it’s so important that if someone comes to me and tells me about a problem they have, something they’re feeling, I will always ask how are you sleeping, because that could be the reason behind a lot of things. So that’s really important. And then I’ll share my favourite right now blend, which is my latest blend, it’s called Vif which means sharp in French. And it’s well I guess kind of the opposite of Nuit because it’s an energy brain power clarity blend, and it’s perfect if you’re looking for a caffeine-free beverage to give you a bit of a boost. So it’s your perfect coffee alternative for the afternoon for example. And it really sharpens your mind and supports the creative process and I absolutely love it. It contains hemp of course, hemp is at the base of all my blends. It contains hibiscus for the lovely colour and fruity taste. And then two adaptogens, which are ashwagandha roots, and ginko. So these two are great for brain power and clarity, and supporting your body energetically as well.

Katherine

And those last two are fungi, right? 

Amandine

Oh, no, sorry. No, no, they’re not mushrooms, sorry. Ashwagandha root is a plant that has little red base. And ginko is a very leafy tree. They are not mushrooms, but they are also adaptogens like some mushrooms are indeed. And that means they are herbs that are recognized to support you on a level both spiritual, physical and mental. 

Katherine

Oh, okay, that’s what adaptogen means, I didn’t know that.

Amandine

Yeah, so it’s a very powerful blend, and I absolutely love it. Yes.

Katherine

Oh, gorgeous. Well, you’ve just made me crave tea. So I’m going to pour another cup of tea. I wish it was your tea. It’s not but that’s okay.

Amandine

Well, I hope that one day you get to try my teas.

Katherine

I do too. So I don’t know if you’re aware of the laws here in Australia, but as I said before, we are a little bit conservative down here. And I was actually in the UK for just over three years before I moved here. Actually it was longer than that, it was four years I think just before COVID we got here. And you know, just to see the difference in regulation around things like CBD oil and cannabis, that people take the THC. It’s just really different. And so what’s happened here is I think around February of this year, there was actually a law passed where it’s now legal to get CBD oil or CBD products at a pharmacy with no prescription, which is a really big, progressive step forward for this country. However, the difficult thing now, the challenge is that manufacturers can’t just start selling it. They actually have to apply to the TGA which is the Therapeutic Goods Association and get approval for their products.  And to get approval, they’ll have to show research, they’ll have to show efficacy. So we’re in a bit of a grey zone at the moment where we cannot import products like yours into Australia, but I’m very, very confident that soon that will happen. So I’m crossing everything.

Amandine

Yes, I hope so, too. I mean, I think it’s incredible that and not in a good way that it’s only, you know, started moving this year in that area. But yes, it’s still very slow, but we are moving in the right direction, even in Europe. Although sometimes there are laws and things that pop up that really make me question that but I think overall, it’s moving in the right direction.

Katherine 

Yeah, I believe so. It can be really frustrating when you’re someone who, you know, has experienced the benefits of something like CBD and it’s just so slow for them to recognize that and to separate, as you say, like, CBD is not THC, you know, you can take the THC out of it, and have the health benefits of the plant without it being mind-altering. And I think it’s taken scientists a really long time to get the lawmakers to see that and to acknowledge that so. Yeah, I think we’re moving in the right direction. But it’s um, you know, it’s been a very slow road. 

Amandine

Yes, absolutely.

Katherine

So for the podcast, it is the winter season because it is now getting into winter here in the southern hemisphere, but I do have a lot of listeners, in fact, most of my listeners are in the US and UK. So I know where you are it’s starting to warm up and you’ve got some nice sunshine today.

So, when I talk about winter, you know, it’s not just about the seasons in nature, it’s not just about whether it’s winter outside, but we might also experience winter in our lives, we might have, you know, a really challenging time, we might have grief, we might be facing oppression and things like that. Or it could be in business, you know, sometimes you have a season in business where it’s really quiet, and things just aren’t moving the way you want, or things start to sort of fall away or die off. And there’s this time, I think, to reflect and pause and figure out what’s next. So I was sort of wondering whether you could recommend some self-care, whether that is through teas, or even other supports, to really help us with our winter, whether it is the actual winter and trying to keep warm, or whether it’s that metaphorical winter, in our business or our life?

Amandine

Yes, definitely. And I love what you said about seasons and how it’s not just the planet season, our bodies go through the seasons and they are usually in line with the world’s seasons. And so the first thing I will say, with winter self-care is that by looking around in nature, we can already understand what our body’s need at that time, right, we tend to go into a hibernation mode, where we need extra comfort, and warmth, and nourishment, we’re a lot more inward than outward, we don’t necessarily want to go out or see too many people at that time. And so it’s really important in any season to tune into our bodies, and I think spending time in nature is a great way to do that and connect to nature. And to see what’s going on, this is something that works really well for me anyway. And in winter we will need even more sleep. So I’ve already mentioned how important it is. So it might seem like a really basic tip. But sleep is self-care, like definitely. And in winter, we need a whole lot more of it. So sleep, give your body the sleep that it needs. That’s the number one thing I would say. Give yourself grace, because in winter, we are slower. I see it in business, for example, my winter months are a bit slower, because I just don’t have the energy that I might have in spring or in the summer. So it’s just important to be kind to ourselves and remind ourselves that this is a time for looking in and nourishing and nurturing ourselves, our bodies, our minds, and it’s okay not to be 100 miles an hour, the whole year round and all the time. So that’s also important. Then I have some herbs that will support the body during winter as well that I can recommend. Because the great thing with nature is that it will provide us with amazing things that can support us regardless of the time of year right, so I had created a winter tea blend which supports our bodies in that hibernation period perfectly and it contains hemp. Also cinnamon, cinnamon is a great spice for that time of year. And it’s no coincidence that you know, you find it in mulled wine, for example. It’s a wonderful spice that supports the immune system and something great that you can pop in your tea in the winter or in your food in fact. Lemon balm is a favourite of mine and it’s in one of my tea blends. It’s leafy with a bit of a sweet aftertaste herb that will support your mental health and help regulate your stress levels and your anxiety levels. And I find that, you know, sometimes in the holiday period it can be a bit stressful too. So that’s a great one that I recommend as well. And then another spice which also supports the digestive system and the immune system which is great at that time of year when we usually eat quite a lot, is cloves. Cloves you also find in mulled wine and again it’s not a coincidence, that’s a great spice that you can have, clove tea is great. Also, if you feel a bit under the weather, or after a big meal. So those are three great herbs that I recommend for the winter. And a bit of spice as well is lovely in the winter, because it gives you that extra kick and warmth that you need at that time.

Katherine

Yeah, it sort of fires you up in all senses of the word. Yeah, those blends sound just magical. I love what you were saying there and I wanted to circle back to it, which was about, you know, not always seeking to be always on and productive. You know, I think our capitalist culture has taught us to continue growing, you know, if a business doesn’t grow, it’s failing. If the business is imbalanced, and it has ebbs and flows, it’s not successful, which I think most people who are listening to this podcast know that that’s not true. But that’s certainly what we’re being taught to believe and how I’ve been socialized. And I think what I love about your offerings, and what you’re talking about there with the winter in your body, the seasons in your body, as well as the stages in nature, it’s about cycle, isn’t it? It’s not constant growth, you have growth, and it falls away. And that leaves room and opportunity for new things to come in. So I do just want to just touch on that, because I think that’s such an important point. And then the other thing, too, was, I was reading, I think this was on your website, but correct me if I’m wrong, you say that nature is a magical gift and it’s our duty and our right to preserve and honour it. And I think that’s beautiful, because we can talk about things like herbs as what they give us, you know, this helps with this, and that, and that’s what nature can offer us, what it gifts to us. But I love your take on well, also, it’s about stewardship, and making sure that we are doing our duty to look after nature, to nurture it, you know, in whatever way that looks like for us. So I’m just curious about your own approach to protecting and preserving nature. How do you do that? What are your favourite ways to be in nature and be a steward of the land?

Amandine

Yeah, I love that question. I think it’s really important for us in business and it’s always been top of mind for me when especially starting a product business that we don’t put, we don’t do even more damage to the planet, basically. And this is why in my, well, it’s a couple of different reasons. But one of the reasons that I use glass jars for my teas, is for that eco-friendly approach and so that I’m not putting out more plastic into the world. And I’m giving people the opportunity to see that something is not necessarily disposable, and it can be reused and given a different life. So it’s really a priority in business for me to also work with companies that are as local as possible. Sometimes that means in Europe, but I’m not shopping in Asia, for example, for suppliers, I’m really trying to find collaborations and suppliers in my area, so that to reduce carbon footprint but also to support local communities. For example, with my herbs, I get them all from a local herbalist, they are all mostly sourced in France. Organic and guaranteed pesticide-free, which is actually not implied in the organic label. When you have an organic product, you can have up to five different pesticides in them. And I know, nobody knows this, I myself didn’t know this until quite recently. My herbalist guarantees them pesticide-free. So this is something that I’m really passionate about because not only for our bodies for obvious reasons, right. But also because that means that all these herbs and this product that I’m putting out in the world is not damaging the planet even more by spraying chemicals everywhere. So that’s a big thing. I feel a big connection with nature, plants and animals. And I try to spend as much time outside as possible. So depending on you know, the situation like this year it’s not been easier than other times, but I really try to listen to what nature has to say and I do my work with a lot of intuition. And I try to listen basically to nature a lot. And it drives, it drives what I do, and the way that I do it.

Katherine 

I love that, thank you for doing that. Wonderful. And I hope that more manufacturers will follow suit and do the same. 

Amandine

I hope so too, yes. 

Katherine

Yeah. So maybe you could share if you have this top of mind, you know, what are your favourite things about being in nature? Have you had any magical moments in nature? Are there any challenges that you’ve experienced, perhaps in your business that nature has helped you? Or herbs that helped you to navigate? I know, you touched on that.

Amandine

So I think what I love most in nature are the animals. I’m a huge animal lover. And even when I’m in Amsterdam, and I take a walk in my local park, I just love to look at the ducks, and especially in spring where you start seeing the babies and there’s these birds, these birds that have little, they look like ducks, in fact, and they have little nests everywhere. And you can see them from, you know, looking after their eggs. And then when they pop out. And I just love that and the parrots and all the birds, and I just love animals. And in fact, a big part of the reason I’m doing everything I’m doing is to one day, have a beautiful animal sanctuary and give animals you know, a second life and host retreats and be able to grow all my herbs and have a really, you know, lovely property where I can nurture my own peace of nature basically. So that’s, that’s what I really love in nature and to answer your questions about how has nature helped me, it’s helped me on so many occasions when I feel stuck, whether it’s in business or in life, right? Sometimes it feels like I’m in a dead end, and there’s no answer, and there’s no way out. But removing myself from that even just for a moment and putting myself in nature. And again, it doesn’t need to be like in the middle of nowhere. It worked beautifully. As long as I’m surrounded by greenery, and I mean water’s always great, I find it really helps me process things as well. So a canal or lake and tuning in to my body. And sometimes it means meditating, but sometimes not even, it’s just closing my eyes, taking a few deep breaths. And just understanding that there is so much more to life and to the world than that situation or problem I’m stuck in. And it just helps me put things in perspective. And it also inspires me. I’ve had so many great ideas while walking in nature or sitting in nature. I love to journal when I’m in nature. It’s just a source of inspiration and it’s helped me in that way so many times I can’t even count. And so it’s wonderful. That’s what I tell everyone, if you feel stuck, go take a walk in nature. At worst, it will energise you and at best it will inspire you and take you places that you couldn’t even imagine.

Katherine

Yeah, so true. We actually moved out of the city. We first got here in late 2019 before COVID. And we just got an apartment, we didn’t know the city very well so we got an apartment that was quite close to things and there was a bit of water nearby, but you know, mostly it was concrete. And I just felt so off in my body, in my energy and my spirit even, and I just knew that I had to get out of there. And so we’ve moved up to the bush and we’ve got this beautiful big garden with huge trees and so many birds. And about five minutes away there’s a huge national park with kangaroos and koalas and more amazing birds. Yeah, it’s just, it’s, you know, it’s inspiring, but I find it also very humbling because you think you’ve got these really big, important problems. And I’m not talking about real serious life problems, you know, that you might be facing. But if you’ve just got a challenge in your business, and as someone with anxiety, you know, your mind can just take in all sorts of panicky directions about what it means about you, and what’s going to happen each time. Just being in nature makes me zoom out, it helps me to zoom out and realize that there are so many, you know, important things that are happening outside of my brain. And that, you know, the universe is so much bigger than this one problem that I can see. So yeah, I totally agree with you that it’s just very grounding. It’s very humbling and it’s so inspiring. 

Amandine

Absolutely, exactly. It’s humbling. Yes, I love that. 

Katherine

There’s something that I wanted to ask you just before we start to wrap, and I know that you touched on this on your website again. And it was about how, you know, quite often we call cannabis weed or marijuana. But you mentioned that it’s actually deeply rooted in racism, those terms. And would you mind just unpacking that with us because I actually wasn’t aware of that.

Amandine

Sure, I love that you brought that up, because it’s really, really important. And few people know about this, in fact, and I only know about it probably because I work in the industry. And I now find it really important as a white woman in the cannabis industry to share that more so that people realize that cannabis was and is still used as a weapon against Black and Brown communities. It all started in the US and just to back up a little bit, not that long ago, hemp and cannabis were used in a lot of countries around the world for medical properties in Asia, but also in Europe. And in the US, and also industrial hemp was used for a lot of things like paper and rope, hemp is actually really strong fibre and uses a lot less water than cotton to process. And to give you an idea, the American Constitution was written, the first page was written on hemp paper. And yes, and a lot of the American presidents back in the day were in fact hemp farmers. So well, because of course in our lifetime, cannabis has been portrayed as a drug, it wasn’t always so and it changed when, everything changed when the Mexican Revolution happened and a large group of Mexican people started immigrating to the US, and they brought cannabis with them. But in fact, in Mexico, cannabis was made illegal shortly after that. And it was a way that, while some people in power in America started associating cannabis with Mexican people and giving it that negative connotations, right, both for cannabis and for the Mexican population. And this is one of the reasons the term marijuana is used, which is a term that I never use, because it is deeply rooted in racism. It is a term that was made more common by politicians, American politicians on purpose so that it would reinforce that connotation, basically. And then fast forward a few years where now most countries in the world have made it illegal. They, politicians, used the war on drugs, and cannabis being one of those drugs, as an excuse to arrest Black and Brown communities. And there were actually laws, sorry, I don’t remember the exact dates, but there were actually laws that allowed the force, the police, to arrest a Black or Brown person, but not a white person. And how they got around this was with calling it cocaine, crack cocaine. So if it was a Black or Brown person, and that was legal, and that’s how the population in prison in America started growing. And cannabis was used entirely as a weapon against those communities, while in parallel its use in the white population was growing with the 60s and the 70s. This was really something that was used against marginalized communities. And it’s still now because we see states where cannabis has been legalized. And if you look at the population in prison, for cannabis, or for something that is, right now in their state, legal, the majority are People of Color. And so this is something that a few, you know, associations and that people are fighting for in the US. And it’s starting to move forward. But really, what’s needed is expungements so that people who were arrested for cannabis offences, you know, can be released when it’s legal in their state, which hasn’t been done yet.

Katherine 

Thank you so much for outlining that for us. I think it is really important that we recognize that. And there was a documentary on Netflix a while ago, and I’m trying to think of the name. But that was around the Jim Crow laws. And yeah, the atrocious incarceration rates, and I just want to acknowledge too as someone who lives in Australia on stolen land that the First Nations people here, particularly young boys, and young men, are disproportionately locked up for similar offences. So that’s happening here, too. That’s not just historical to the States. So yeah, thank you for mentioning that.

Amandine

Sure, and I think it’s yeah, it’s really important to remember because again, now the industry is booming, right, especially in the US, and a lot of white people are profiting as well from something that so many people are still in jail for. So it’s really important for me to remind people of this as I’m also working in the industry and to contribute to ending that.

Katherine

Yeah, that’s awesome. Thank you. So I guess I would love to know, what’s next for you in the business? What have you got coming up? And what is your vision for the future?

Amandine  

So I have my first tea alchemy workshop coming up in June, and I’m really, really, really excited. It’s the first one I do publicly with ticket sales. I’ve provided this type of workshop before smaller groups like memberships or smaller communities. And the reason I’m so excited for this workshop is that I’m going to be sharing more information about tea and about herbs and also give tools and tips on how to tune into your body and listen to what it needs. And then the interactive part is all about blending your own herbs and I’m just really excited to share that, you know, anyone can do this at home, anybody can create something with herbs and create their own tea blends and have this healing and self-care intention. So that’s, that’s really, really, really exciting for me. And the vision for the business, I guess, is doing more of those because I’m really passionate about helping people to connect with nature in whichever way and the tea blending might not be for everyone, but I do think that a lot of people if they understood how easy it can be right, and how you don’t need to know all the things to experiment with that, more people would tune into herbal teas. And I also find it a great tool to remind everyone that cannabis and hemp are just herbs, it’s just a herb and it has healing properties like all other herbs and it can be a great tool in our lives. So my vision for the business is really to spread that more and to also create more blends for women entrepreneurs. I create bespoke tea blends, which I love to do, which can embody your business values and personality, and make the most amazing customized gift for your clients, or suppliers or friends or collaborators. But I just love to create new blends basically, and customizing it and personalizing it to a specific needed specific feeling and help women entrepreneurs to extend the work that they do and take their clients back to certain feelings. So that’s, that’s really my vision for the business paired with the vision I already shared with a huge property and growing my own herbs and doing retreats, self-care and cannabis retreats. That is really a dream of mine. And that’s probably not for this year or next. But it’s something that I have in mind all the time, you know, hosting women in a place where they can feel they can put themselves first safely and experience with plant medicine.

Katherine

Oh, I love that you’re brewing that. That’s just fantastic. And you know, once COVID restrictions ease once the travel restrictions ease, I will be right there.

Amandine

But I’ll keep you posted. But yes, that’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while and I just love this idea.

Katherine 

Yeah, and I love that you’re doing these custom blends based on brand values and the feeling that you have when experiencing a business. I think that’s just so insightful and intuitive.

Amandine  

Yes, this is one of my favorite work because I love to work one on one with people. I love to recognize the individuality in everyone and in every business. And I love to talk, I love business in general, I love to talk about business and I love to be able to take a conversation that’s about branding and your audience and business and translate it into a tea blend. I just think it’s a little bit magic and I love it.

Katherine

It’s so magic, really magical. So we do have a very generous offer to listeners of the Content Cauldron and this is for the tea alchemy workshop and any product in your store. So I will drop a link to that in the show notes and also at the website. But for listeners who want to get 10% off, use the discount code ‘CONTENT10’. And what’s the website URL Amandine?

Amandine 

My website is www.bloemetmoi.com  It’s BLOEM ET MOI. Yes. And that’s because bloom is spelt the Dutch way, bloem in Dutch spelt like that is pronounced bloom, it means flower. And of course, I played on the blooming in English as well and my business was created in Amsterdam, and is based in Amsterdam. So it’s, it’s the mix of the Dutch and the French.

Katherine 

Thank you so much for offering that to listeners. And last question, which I like to ask everyone on the podcast is, what does heart-based business mean to you Amandine?

Amandine 

I love that question by the way. Heart-based business for me, is, it’s about two things. It’s all about listening to myself, like my true, true self. So I could say following my heart, right, and also, considering the world we live in, and the planet that I create, on and supports me in what I do. And for me, running a heart-based business is understanding that my business goes way beyond me. And that it can have a positive impact if I choose to make a positive impact and therefore taking that into account and making decisions consciously, that embody that principle, that it’s not just me, it’s about so much more than me, and that my business can contribute. And I think our businesses are changing the world and I want to remember that and make decisions accordingly.

Katherine 

Well, that was magical. Thank you so so much for coming on the Content Cauldron and sharing all of your incredible wisdom. And I just, you know, the connection that you have to nature and to the universe is very clear. And I love your vision that goes beyond you know what you’re doing right now, and I wish you all the best with your retreat as well. 

Amandine

Thank you so much for having me, Katherine. This was fantastic.