Q+A W/ Founder, Laura White
Feeling calm, cool, and collected? Here at by CHLOE. we weren’t either, until we got our hands on some CBD. Our positive experience with Cannabidiol turned into FEELZ by CHLOE., a one-stop CBD shop where you can get our line of CBD-infused baked goodies + other CBD products galore! We wanted to partner with other like-minded brands using top-of-the-line CBD. Enter: Soul Addict, and the brand’s founder, Laura White, who felt so strongly about the positive powers of CBD that she started her own organic hemp farm. FEELZ by CHLOE. is selling Soul Addict’s Holy Cacao Hemp Butter at both locations. It’s basically vegan nutella with some seriously magical vibez.
Check out our Q+A with Soul Addict founder, Laura White, below!
Photos: Abby Goins, New Perspective Photography
Hi Laura! Thanks so much for chatting with us. Please introduce yourself, and Holy Cacao Hemp Butter?
I’m Laura, I’m the founder of a CBD wellness brand and organic hemp farm called Soul Addict. I started Soul Addict when I was living in New Orleans after using CBD to help empower my own anxiety and depression. I quickly realized how intuitive this plant was for healing and that’s when SA was born! I even jumped ship from my ‘spirit city’, NOLA, to launch an organic hemp farm with my boyfriend outside of Asheville, NC. Since then, I’ve made it my mission to help break the stigma around cannabis and create a welcoming and approachable space for people to feel empowered by their choices of what makes them feel their best. That’s what our products are all about.
All of our CBD products are made with a lot of heart and intention in our kitchen in Asheville, NC. I created our CBD chocolate edible after wanting something that was really indulgent, but also doubled as a calming functional food with our health at its forefront. Our Holy Cacao Hemp Butter was totally a labor of love as it’s made in super small batches, creating an 100% raw chocolate infused with coconut manna and whole plant, full spectrum hemp CBD. If you’re a true chocolate lover, this one’s for you- it’s the high vibe wellness edible of all high vibe wellness edibles. True story: I eat it straight from the jar on the daily for my CBD dose.
You own your own farm in North Carolina, and do your own harvesting! Tell us about this process, and the quality of your product?
Yes! So we’re in our first year of true farm life, I actually grew up on a farm, but this is the first time I’m really ‘in it’ with my own company and calling the shots. My family is very involved and they’ve been life-savers, and my boyfriend has gone from web developer to cannabis farmer. It’s been a trip and I’m really grateful. We were accepted into the North Carolina Hemp Pilot Program last December, so the farming side of Soul Addict has really been my main focus. We currently source all our CBD from organic practicing farms in Colorado using the best of the best, like C02 extraction for all our CBD oil which is kind of like the ‘cold-pressed’ standard for juicing. Those same standards will transcend to our own farm here at Soul Addict.
The hemp season is about 5 months for us, from May to September and everything is sun-grown and organic. We’ve learned a lot and have literally treated our plants like children- because they are! They’re meant for helping empower so many people- so we take this process very seriously and intimately. We’re deep in harvest right now which means the plants are cut down and then hung out to dry to later be extracted for CBD oil. Some of the bigger CBD flowers are manicured and go through a bit of a different process. We’re beginners, but it’s been such an amazing journey, so far. All our plants will eventually turn into our own soil-to-shelf CBD products. That’s unreal and so exciting for me at the moment.
What did you do before founding your own company, and when did you decide to go out on your own?
I was a bit of a startup nerd and also kind of all over the place when I was in my early 20’s. That said, I always had this weird feeling like one day I’d have my own company. After college, I worked in the green beauty world for a minute doing branding development with Mychelle and got my Aesthetician license, which I never used. Then I ended up in the startup world of tech and that’s where I was until founding Soul Addict. It taught me a lot, but really wasn’t my ‘thing’.
I even remember telling my boss at the startup I worked at a few years back about how I wanted desperately to be in agriculture, I’ve always been a nature-loving hippie at heart, but didn’t have the slightest clue how to make that happen with my skills in brand and business development. How I founded SA was actually very organic and personal. I got to a point where my anxiety, that I have dealt with since I was a child, was so out of control with work and life things that I was deep in a depression phase. Not wanting to go back onto medications I had taken in high school and early college, I tried some very well-sourced hemp CBD. That’s pretty much where everything changed, I knew that this plant needed to have a new aesthetic and a new way to be introduced to women and all. It was pretty life-changing to know something could help shift me into a calmer state without any negative side effects. That will be 2 years ago in October- crazy!
What has been your personal experience with CBD, and why do you recommend it to others?
I think in a lot of way it’s completely changed my relationship with my anxiety, which has been the most significant shift in how I approach my overall wellness. On mornings when my heart starts racing and I’m stressed out and that ‘trapped’ feeling comes over my body- it’s a powerful feeling to know there’s something to help empower that. Sharing that story and inviting others to share they own CBD stories, that’s been healing in itself.
That’s my own personal story- not something I’m advocating for or making assumptions about how others utilize CBD. However, CBD is something we’re going to continue to see people explore as holistic wellness continues to offer a new perspective and new tools for us to navigate our overloaded modern day schedules. A lot of people do ask the ‘is it a cure-all’ question because now CBD is popping up everywhere and in everything. I think there’s obviously something to that, there’s a reason why people are sharing it’s been a powerful tool for them and used for thousands of years. But as for being a ‘cure-all’ or a complete solution to any one thing; An overnight fix for anything, is always too good to be true. I always say CBD is an invaluable tool to continue your journey, but not the solution, it’s the whole picture of yourself.
Talk to us about any current challenges you are facing in growing your business?
Mentors! Wow, I had always overheard from my bosses (all of whom were ‘Founder & CEO’-titled women owned companies) in previous positions share how hard it was for them to find fellow women mentors navigating the world of entrepreneurship. From raising money, to feeling supported, to navigating a big deal term agreement as a small company. I knew there was obviously a void there, but it’s a whole new story when you’re really in it and wondering who you can call to navigate the newest roadblock. Insert ‘cannabis brand experience’ into the picture and that’s like a cherry on top.
Not to say there are not amazing women killing it in their respective space that can’t still give amazing advice and that goes for the cannabis industry right now, but having access to that is hard to navigate. Especially on the CBD/cannabis side, it’s an evolving industry and everyone is just taking it one day at a time. It’s really hard to know what is the best path for you when you’re one of the first people in line to do it. All of it said and done, though, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. Everything is a lesson that will eventually make me a stronger CEO and create a company culture I’m proud of.
Soul Addict’s branding is beautiful! What were you trying to convey through your packaging and messaging?
Thank you! I had the pleasure of happening upon one of the most talented designers I’ve ever worked with, Gretchen Schwartz, who is just ridiculously talented and brings your brand idea into this world in a matter of like, a day. She just got it the second we chatted about what I wanted our branding to make you feel something the second you saw it. There’s something heavy and deep about our brand name- there’s a certain shock factor, for sure.
Soul Addict is about taking all the stimulants in the modern world and flipping them inside out. To become ‘addicted’ to the natural world, to your self care, your friendships, feeling your best, to Mother Nature, to whatever makes you feel good that most importantly feeds your soul and breaks free from the worldly addictions that come to haunt us. Tech, food, sex, drugs, alcohol. SA is really an ode to the intuitive relationship with ourselves and knowing what’s right and empowering for us and our own bodies. This play on dark and light, yin and yang, and coming out on the other side stronger in how much self love you have.
Where do you hope to see your brand within the next 5 years?
I think my biggest priority is to tap into my truth for SA and go with however it may evolve- that’s always led me to where I’m supposed to be. The sustainable hemp farming side of our company’s operation will continue to be near and dear to my heart. I really love being grounded in nature on a farm while also running a business there’s a balance there. It’s hard work to run a company and then farm, as well, but it’s so worth it. I really want that side of our brand to grow and to move past the admirable ‘rookie’ stage. Having a CBD line that’s soil-to-shelf entirely through us and being so close to these magnificent plants is really something special. Of course, continuing to grow our product line, thoughtfully, with new exciting ingredients is a big one, which we’re already in the midst of at the moment, so stay tuned!
I want to continue to work on ways for Soul Addict to help people from a multidimensional perspective- from products, to farming, to intentional growth as a company and always adding value to other people’s lives. As long as those check off my list, I feel we’ll continue growing in a direction I’m really proud of.
Nickname? Lala, but only my high school friends and family call me that.
Favorite place on earth? I’m a wanderlust and always feel like I’ve yet to go there, but the place that makes my spirit very happy will always be New Orleans.
Favorite meal (that you cook)? Daal always and forever.
Secret talent? I used to sing when I was younger and still do.
Early bird or night owl? Night owl.
Choice super hero power? Time travel.
Juice or smoothie? Smoothie.
3 objects you can’t live without? My computer (unfortunately), lots of candles (they put me at ease during the workday), and pen/paper- I’m old school and can’t do anything without a good list.
Whatcha readin’? Kinfolk magazine (love), The Fullest Mag (online!), The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, Lost Connections by Johann Hari (which I recommend to anyone who’s ever dealt with anxiety/depression).