Admittedly, the founders of UNOIA discovered the branding for their CBD-infused honey and agave products via a Google search.
“Eunoia [yoo ‘noy uh] means beautiful thinking (in Greek) … We took off the ‘e’ to make it UNOIA. By the way, it’s definitely not a word you’ll find in Webster!” says Danielle Gray, co-founder. “We chose the concept of beautiful thinking because we wanted to focus on the mindfulness CBD brings rather than just the medical benefits.”
Gray, alongside Brandé Elise, founded UNOIA after Elise, who is a voiceover artist, saw the opportunity to create an alternative to smoking any form of cannabis for others who want to protect their voice.
While their brand is innovative, they are much more than two women of color opting in to the burgeoning industry—they are influential in the South and in the LGBTQ community.
“We believe when mental and physical blockages—like anxiety and body pains—are removed, we can enter a state of beautiful thinking where creativity exists,” says Gray. “We also use the green as it aligns with the heart chakra, which focuses on balance, calmness, and serenity.”
“Being yourself unapologetically is true freedom, and we want everyone—no matter their background—to feel that type of indescribable freedom.” – Danielle Gray
SWEET JANE talked with these inspiring women to learn how they are aligning more than just mindfulness and CBD.
Both of us were college athletes and seriously terrified and judgmental of cannabis altogether. When we started to recognize the benefits (compared to alcohol), we started to discover the space as users. Once we became complete cannabis lovers, we slowly started connecting with other lovers and advocates of the plant. Since we are in the South, we knew that CBD seemed like the perfect starting point and an untapped market.
On the South
It’s just hard for people to be open to [cannabis] because there is so much judgment in the Southern culture. We have found education to be the best way to talk about cannabis without being pushy. Our first CBD inspired event, “It Ain’t Weed: A Panel Discussion about CBD and its Growing Popularity in Atlanta,” sold out in less than 24 hours—100 capacity! With that, we knew there is an audience; we just have to help people feel more comfortable about having the conversation openly.
On the LGBTQ Community
We are shaping the industry by being unapologetically ourselves and open with who we are every single day, in every single room we enter. The LGBTQ culture in Atlanta is very progressive, so it is absolutely one of the safest environments where we can be open.
Although we are completely open, we recognize that we are more alike than we are different. We are shaping the way people view women, black women, and LGBT women. Our goal is to normalize our unique perspective because we face the similar human challenges like acceptance, belonging, and love like everyone else. We just want to show the world that you can be exactly who you are—and if a lane is not there for you, create it yourself.
As Women Sharing Their Cannabis Story
Before COVID, traveling was literally where we felt more open. We’ve traveled so many places—like Amsterdam, Barcelona, California, Colorado, and Washington—where cannabis is the norm. From there, we wanted to create cannabis normalcy in the city that we love as well. It helps that we have our own businesses, so we don’t have the same box of conformity that many people understandably have. We are also very much best friends, lovers, and business partners, so we want to show people that that kind of relationship can exist as well.
Our first product was Hemp CBD-infused organic honey which we use lab tested CBD from Folium Biosciences in Colorado and infuse it with local honey. The honey itself helps heavily with allergies and healing of the skin. This is a fully organic product where people can do whatever they like with it. People pour it in their tea in the morning, others place it on biscuits, or make a honey facial masks to help with acne.
The second product came later, our Hemp CBD-infused organic agave. We started infusing the agave because we had several vegan friends that wanted to support us, but wanted that plant based option. We quickly realized that the agave works much better than honey in cold drinks like smoothies. The agave also serves as a great option for diabetics that would find the honey to be too high in sugar.
Since both of these products are widely used, we believe that it is a simple integration into people’s lives, especially for people new or curious about CBD. Overall, honey and agave are perceived to be harmless, which makes the barriers to acceptance a bit lower.
Advice for Others
- Trust your vision—not everyone will see your vision the way you do.
- There are only detours, no stop signs.
- Find a middle ground between what you are passionate about and what people want.
- Don’t think about it, do it. Keep doing.