Q+A W/ FOUNDER, VICTORIA PUSTYNSKY
If you haven’t heard of our line of CBD-infused snacks, sweets or treats yet, you probably don’t follow us on IG, or read the news. AND YOU PROBZ SHOULD! Along with the 25+ baked goods in our offering, we have a curated shop of some of the BEST CBD products in the marketplace. Curated by the cannabis experts at Nice Paper, you can be sure that we gathered only the highest quality items. Aurora Hemp Elixirs, are a part of our CBD family! In two lovely flavors, Lavender Spice and Grapefruit Rosemary with 15mg of full-spectrum CBD in a (beautifully branded) bottle, we think you’re going to love it. Drink it on its own, or use it as a mixer for some magically vibey feeeelz.
Check out our Q+A with founder, Victoria Putynsky, and don’t miss our FEELZ by CHLOE. pop-ups!
Hi Victoria! Thanks so much for chatting with us. Please introduce yourself, and your product?
Hi! I am Victoria. I am the Founder of Aurora Elixirs, a recently launched brand of hemp-infused (and cannabis infused) aromatic sparkling tonics. I live and work in Portland, Oregon but am originally from NYC.
What did you do before founding your own company, and when did you decide to go out on your own?
Most of my career was spent in the wine & spirits industry. I was fortunate to begin my path at the most prestigious luxury goods company in world- at LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) immediately after graduating from Business School. I worked in brand marketing, trade marketing and eventually ran the on-premise sales division in New York City. After having my son in 2011, the industry hours became grueling and work-life balance became a priority. We moved to Portland because of the vibrant food & beverage culture, but also because it is less of a grind than NYC! I started off in the Oregon wine industry and eventually struck out on my own once inspired by the local entrepreneurial spirit- something I don’t think I ever could have risked if I remained in NYC. When Cannabis was legalized for recreational use in Oregon, I saw so much white space to develop an innovative product that had the same sensibilities as the brands I previously worked with. Aurora was born from that motivation to create something special that bridges the worlds of fine beverage and cannabis.
Aurora Elixir’s branding is beautiful! What were you trying to convey through your packaging and messaging?
Aurora is the goddess of the dawn and also a magnificent natural phenomenon. The idea of the branding behind Aurora Elixirs is to inspire transformation, an uncommon experience, and fusing the sensibility of an aperitif with the transcendental spirit of consuming cannabinoids. We wanted the brand to be sensual, celestial, and elemental: natural and clean, but with the goddess inspiration feel to it.
What has been your personal experience with CBD, and why do you recommend it to others?
I am a long time pot smoker and knew nothing about CBD before visiting dispensaries in Oregon. I started using CBD tinctures and gummies to ease my anxiety about flying and to help with infrequent bouts of insomnia. I also experimented with topical treatments with and without THC for muscle soreness following rigorous workouts and for relieving tension around the neck and shoulders. CBD soon became less about relieving stress and tension and more about feeling grounded and in balance on a regular basis; part of my regular routine. I recommend that people who are curious about experiencing start with a smaller dose (between 5 and 15mg is a good place to begin) and experiment with different forms: food, beverage, and topicals or tinctures. Each experience can be different.
What’s your favorite way to incorporate Aurora Elixir into a cocktail?
I love the Lavender Spice with a clean gin, citrusy bitters and a squeeze of lime. Lots of ice. Lately I’ve been using our Rosemary grapefruit with spicy finishing salts around the rim of the glass- with or without tequila!
Talk to us about any current challenges you are facing in growing your business?
Where do I start?! There is no handbook for running a hemp or cannabis business and because of federal laws, banking remains a huge challenge. State laws are constantly in flux- for instance California’s recent ban on hemp CBD in food products. There is still a huge need to educate consumers and the trade on what CBD is. There is still a lot of fear about consuming or selling it, because of all the unknowns. I think we are doing well at getting our brand out there, but there is a sense that it is still a risky business and potential partners are proceeding with caution. We are so grateful for the efforts that by CHLOE. is putting in to educating the public about quality made food & beverages that contain CBD.
Where do you hope to see your brand within the next 5 years? I
I hope to see an extended product offering, new flavors, and cannabis infused products in dispensaries around the country. I also hope that more retail outlets learn about and except CBD items in the grocery section.
What do you love most about living in Portland, Oregon and what do you miss about NYC?
I love that Portland has a small town feel and big city amenities. There is a strong sense of community that comes with seeing the same faces with frequency. I miss the diversity and collective ambition about NYC. Although the population is so varied, there is a common understanding and drive that comes with living in the big city.
Nickname? The Viper!
Favorite place on earth? I don’t think I’ve seen enough of the earth to have found it yet.
Favorite meal (that you cook)? Sungold tomato, garlic, linguine. End of summer simple special treat.
Secret talent? I’ve been called a pool shark.
Early bird or night owl? Early Bird!
3 favorite restaurants? Il Buco (NYC), Café Pushkin (Moscow), Kachka (Portland, OR).
Choice super hero power? Lightening speed.
Juice or smoothie? Smoothie. Green.
3 objects you can’t live without? Bottle opener, lipstick and American Express card.