#wcw Shaina Kandel of Moon + Leaf

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You may already know Shaina Kandel, a long-time member of the Women Catalysts community, from the Lightning Talk she did last year about how we can use plant-based products for period relief. This week she’s doing a workshop called “Elevate Your Health: Healing with Cannabis and CBD,” where she will share her passion for making ancient medicine more accessible.

What are you making happen right now?

Right now I'm building a company called Moon + Leaf. Moon + Leaf exists to create a culture in which women love, honor, and listen to our bodies. We create CBD products for period relief to turn our periods into a ritual of self-love. The idea being that by flipping the script on our periods - culturally something made shameful and taboo - into a time to slow down, practice self-care, and celebrate our bodies, we can experience our full power as women through total self-acceptance. Our products combine CBD with a blend of other herbs that have been used for centuries to help relieve cramps, calm the nervous system, and help our bodies thrive during our periods. It's like CBD meets herbalism - all powered by plants.

What inspired you to take action?

I spent 10 years climbing the corporate ladder, from a high tech company, to a big consulting firm, to getting my MBA, then to working for the non-profit of my dreams. But after a few years at every job, my health would start to fritz out with constant colds, tendonitis, blocked tear ducts, and more.

But the kicker that would compel me to quit my job was that I would stop getting my period.

I realized that my body was sending me a message. It was telling me that life was not supposed to feel like an endless, white-knuckled marathon. That we are here to experience joy, creativity, passion, and fulfillment. And it was telling me that it is my job to create this better way for myself.

This message was the inception of Moon + Leaf and one that I am still learning for myself: it is time for women to choose to love, honor, and listen to our bodies.

What have you learned in the process?

This might seem like a strange answer but one of the most unexpected things that starting a business has taught me is how to pray.

There's that saying - starting a business is like jumping off a cliff and building the plane on the way down. So that’s just it. I’m doing my best to build the airplane, and I trust myself to build a great airplane. But I have no control over the weather patterns or the force of gravity or the topography beneath me. It is my skills AND the mystery. The truth is there is a solid part of the equation that is out of my control. I show up and I do my best and then I pray.

How can the Women Catalysts community help?

Yay! Love Women Catalysts! Well right now we are running a crowdfunding campaign to fuel the growth of Moon + Leaf. If any of you have run a crowdfunding campaign you may know it is a vulnerable thing! So if this AMAZING community is curious about what we are up to, feels inspired by this vision and our offerings, or knows someone who would love our products, you can check out the campaign here and share with your friends! It closes on May 16th.

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