Rachael Rapinoe, CEO & Cofounder of Mendi
Mendi is a cannabis x sports brand whose mission is to improve athletes' lives using nature's best tools.
What is the biggest obstacle you are facing right now in relation to the pandemic?
The uncertainty. These are unprecedented times and it's probably going to get worse before it starts to get better, which is a hard thing to plan for. Of course, it's difficult being a sports brand right now, with no sports or any brand activations to activate on, but I believe it is the uncertainty that is the biggest obstacle for most businesses in 2020.
How are you adapting your business to meet the needs of your clientele?
Luckily, we're a small and nimble team so we were able to pivot our plans quickly to adapt to this new landscape. We quickly shifted our entire digital content strategy, adding a new video series called Sideline Huddle, to keep our customers extra engaged in Mendi. We also shifted a few product launches to meet the demands of the economic state. Instead of leading with athletes and team sponsors, we felt it has been critical to dive deeper into the product storytelling and how it can help people during this time.
Luckily, we're a small and nimble team so we were able to pivot our plans quickly to adapt to this new landscape
Are you experiencing an uptick or decline in business?
Uptick for sure. We're fortunate to be operating in the cannabis industry during this time. Which is kind of crazy since this has been one of the most restricted industries pre-COVID-19. Now it seems to be one of the few industries staying healthy and reliable.
What is your takeaway from the new reality of operating during the pandemic?
The biggest takeaways are twofold. First, cannabis has proven to be essential to this economy and businesses should be able to operate just like everyone else. Second, I hope a lot of employers will allow their employees more autonomy to work from home. It's an efficient way to work—assuming people are still productive—and more environmentally sustainable than going to an office five days a week.
What are you doing to keep it together both on a personal level and business level during these challenging times?
Honestly, getting outside. Working from home all day can be a little draining at times, so it's important to go for walks, get some fresh air and keep movement as a consistent part of my day. During this pandemic, I have taken more walks and strolls through the park than I ever did. It has opened my eyes a bit to the beauty around me and given me more appreciation for the outside.
To find our more about Mendi read our feature Mendi - Topflight athletic recovery: Mending bodies and minds with CBD
The New Canna-Normal is an ongoing Q&A series with the cannabis community as we evolve to greet the new normal.