Wendy Baker, founder of Space Gem
Space Gem lovingly handcrafts edibles in Humboldt County using organic and vegan ingredients, single source ice water hash and CBD infusions from single source cannabis flowers.
What is the biggest obstacle you are facing right now in relation to the pandemic?
The uncertainty of what’s going to happen next. I definitely felt we had a struggle in January with China being shutdown and communications. We didn’t have packaging for an entire month, so that was a huge thing that happened. That’s when I first caught wind of the pandemic. Then another thing that started to happen was the supply chain, even basic needs like sugar. It got crazy there. I still feel like I have a little PTSD—I don’t know if I can say it like that, but I’m just really worried about supplies. It’s definitely been a really big hurdle. With testing, it’s a really big deal for us to have clean, organic sugar. We tried buying sugar from other places but they’re contaminated with these black flecks.
How are you adapting your business to meet the needs of your clientele?
We’re definitely adapting. We went from cooking five days a week to cooking seven days a week. And we have packaging going seven days a week. We’re really trying to keep up with production. That’s our goal: to make sure we don’t sell out. We want to make sure our medicine is available for everyone. But it definitely has been a little bit of a challenge. Our workspace is pretty small so we’ve had to be really creative in how we do social distancing. With this pandemic, our sales have increased which is amazing. I’m so grateful for it but we also can’t just keep hiring people. We have to be smart and strategic about it.
It has really been a whirlwind and when you’re a leader you have to hold it together and stay focused and keep your team together because there are so many emotions and we’re all dealing with different things.
Are you experiencing an uptick or decline in business?
It’s been an uptick and we keep meeting our goals and exceeding them. Our sales have really shown it, and I’m so grateful that people have chosen us.
What is your takeaway from the new reality of operating during the pandemic?
I have not stopped working since the pandemic has happened. I’ve taken two or three days off. I’m just really grateful for what it has taught me in this weird way how to focus and how to be compassionate. It has really been a whirlwind and when you’re a leader you have to hold it together and stay focused and keep your team together because there are so many emotions and we’re all dealing with different things. You have to be here in the moment and just get through. It really was a challenge with everyone going on unemployment, the kids not being at school, are we going to be unemployed? As a boss, all these questions come up. I see my team everyday so I feel that me being there really reassured them that everything’s going good. I don’t want them to feel stress or any resentment towards anything I didn’t do that I could have done better. I’m happy that my staff felt safe enough to stay working and keep it going. That’s a really big accomplishment.
What are you doing to keep it together both on a personal level and business level during these challenging times?
I’m adapting everyday and we’re doing really good. I’m drinking vegetable juice in the morning, every morning, because I feel like it’s my saviour from the anxiety. I’m eating a lot of Spacedrops. It is a struggle, both personally and work-wise because work can be so demanding but so can family and kids. I’m definitely trying to learn about balance and make sure I have enough time for everything. That’s the goal. As a woman we can do it all—have a family, have a business, have that life, and be good at all of it. At least try. Family and mental health are so important.
The New Canna-Normal is an ongoing Q&A series with the cannabis community as we evolve to greet the new normal.