Dogwood is owned and operated by 2 long-time friends, Katie Pilgrim and Jamie Boling
When did you start your business or career?
We officially launched Dogwood Botanicals in January 2019 as a way to offer wellness through cannabis and hemp to folks in places that didn’t have abundant, legal access to clean cannabis, like we are blessed with in California. Although our brand is new to the market, we’ve have been working together in the cannabis and arts industries throughout our 10 year friendship. In addition to our backgrounds in cannabis cultivation, Katie was also the Assistant Director of an art gallery and involved with other art businesses in SF, while Jamie was working as a business consultant and business manager in SF and LA.
What do you do?
Our core mission is to support the earth as we support each other and our endocannabinoid systems. We want to empower others to utilize plants for healing and wellness, and share how we’ve found more well-being through cannabis and CBD. Our first offering is an alcohol-free tincture with 2 simple ingredients: MCT coconut oil + full-spectrum hemp extract.
Who inspired you or what inspires you?
Wow so many things! Nature is one of our biggest inspirations. Our mission was inspired by our time working with the healing and creative powers of cannabis. It became obvious after traveling back and forth for years between TN and CA that our friends and family in TN were missing out on what was available to us in CA. This inspired us to begin looking for ways to help them gain access. Once momentum started gaining with the Farm Bill and hemp pilot program in 2014, our wheels were turning about hemp and the its healing benefits.
A struggle you face in your business?
Compared to 100+ years of hemp + cannabis prohibition that impacted everyone in our country and denied access to the benefits of this plant’s medicine to countless people, our struggles our minor. Compared to the communities of BIPOC who were negatively impacted by the prohibition years, our struggles are non-existent. Compared to the struggles of the countless people currently incarcerated across the country for non-violent cannabis offenses, our struggles are not really struggles at all. That doesn’t mean we haven’t had challenges that caused struggle. As longtime cannabis advocates who have experienced trauma associated with our advocacy of this plant, both first hand and through the experiences of many in our communities, we are more motivated than ever to to continue pushing forward and spreading love through cannabis and hemp.
Have you stay true to your brand (career) or have you changed it throughout the years?
Our values are everything to us and we intend to stay true to our focus on the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit in order to give back and operate as consciously as possible and to set an example for others in our industry and beyond. This philosophy manifests in many ways from our emphasis earth-conscious farming practices to our high standards for any business we work with. All shipping materials and paper goods are sourced from 100% recycled materials and are biodegradable. We also reserve 1% of all sales for donation in an effort to give back to to grassroots organizations.
Something that scares you?
Cannabis laws in the South where we grew up.
Who would you like to work with someday? Collaboration or Ideal Company
We are inspired by so many women-owned businesses! That being said, a collab with fellow Appalachian herbalist, Lauren Haynes of Wooden Spoon Herbs is at the top of our goals list right now.
How did you come up with your business name?
The dogwood is sacred tree that is abundant and celebrated in our hometown of Knoxville, TN. We chose the name after the idea came to us on a trip in our early planning stages. It was affirmed when we synchronistically saw a Dogwood tree in the PNW later that day. Then we read more about Dogwood’s use as a flower essence and its use in dealing with trauma, maintaining grace, finding balance, and knew it was so aligned with the benefits of hemp and connected us to our roots in the South.
What type of music do you listen to?
We talked about this at lunch with an old friend today. Our friendship and many of our key relationships exist because of a connection to live music. Long ago, our backgrounds were in music and event production in the TN. Music is constant companion through the good times and the bad. We have a broad appreciation for music, including Southern hip-hop and trap, Bluegrass, Psychedelic Rock, Electronic Music, Jazz, Reggae, and even Classical.
What’s your morning or work week look like?
Slow morning routines. Maximizing time during the week by focusing on certain departments / tasks each day. We both juggle roles outside of Dowood: Jamie is a mom and still sees business consulting clients, and Katie is on the the Board of Directors for a youth program in the city and she also runs her own art blog. So we are big on maximizing our time, meeting in-person at least once per week, and aim to take time on the weekends for maximum balance.
What do you do to keep your sanity?
Laugh a lot. Especially when it would be easy to freak out.
Give one tip or advice to someone who maybe interested in your biz?
Get your hands dirty in the soil and build a connection with the cannabis plant.
What is your studio situation?
We are HQ’d in San Francisco and Sonoma County from our home offices. Katie lives right at the Ocean in SF and frequently breaks up her work day with visits to the wild dunes. Jamie lives in Santa Rosa where she works from her sunny south facing office where her 5-year old loves popping in to our meetings. We are both so grateful to be able to work close to home and maintain life balance while we dive into entrepreneurship.
Do pay for accounting and other admin work?
Not at this time because we are lucky to have an in-house pro. Jamie has a background in business administration and operations. She runs a consulting business helping small businesses create efficient systems and handles our accounting and admin.
Dogwood team’s two questions….
1. If you were given $10,000 for your business, what would you do with it?
We would commission a beautiful mural in our hometown of Knoxville, TN that adds to the landscape around it and also sparks curiosity about our brand.
2. What was your worst job before Dogwood?
Each aspect and challenge of our careers and work experiences got us exactly here and prepared us to lead this company. We’ve both worked our share of dirty, laborious, or minimum wage jobs but we always try to make work fun, especially if we’re working together! In fact, several years ago we had the time of our lives karate kicking waste off of our farm truck into the county dump.