TL;DR Happy Lunar New Year! Learn the many auspicious ways to celebrate the Lunar New Year with cannabis co-founding Asian Americans with products sold on Eaze and learn some basic foundations for Qi Gong exercises with Natalie Mei Watters.
Happy Lunar New Year, year of the Metal Ox! This year is about steady continuation towards a strong and prosperous future. Dedication to a sturdy foundation makes room for exponential growth. Join Natalie Mei Watters as she guides us into a Qi Gong exercise to cultivate our life force energy for the new year ahead, then learn how Nouera co-founders pivoted their company in 2020 to bring you earth-forward, inclusive joints designed for a functional high to boost your present experience.
Qigong Exercise with Natalie Mei Watters
Qigong is the cultivation of energy through posture, movement, breath, and meditation. Qi is our life force that exists internally and externally, we can use certain techniques to exchange what is flowing within us with what flows all around us.
In this demonstration, Natalie will show some basic stances, how to use the hands to move the energy around us, how to sync the breath with movement, as well as brief meditations or observations to build awareness of our internal power.
Enjoy the quality of the practice and let your take away exist in what you liked and how you feel overall.
As you cool off from your exercise, check out this video from cannabis founders Cynthia Boedihardjo and Jessica Sharp of Nouera, Ophelia Chong of Asian Americans for Cannabis Education, Felicity Chen of Potli’, and Mia Park and Jennifer Tran of Sundae School, as they share how they celebrate Lunar New Year in their own traditions and hear how they’ve worked to destigmatize cannabis in their Asian communities.
And get to know the founders in this AACE INTERVIEW with Cynthia Boedihardjo and Jessica Sharp of Nouera by Ophelia Chong. Excerpt below:
Tell us how Nouera came to being?
We met through a mutual friend who produced events at Cynthia’s community hub she built in the Mission district of San Francisco called The Laundry. We instantly connected over our shared love for community building, plant medicine, and fostering meaningful relationships and spiritually driven lives. As two Asian women who had success in tech and found it unfulfilling, we wanted to transition into work that celebrated our femininity, spirituality, business skills, ancestral roots, and community so we decided to build that for and with each other.
How has the experience of creating a brand and having EAZE support you both in your goals?
Our business has always been about sharing nourishing experiences in wellness focused containers to foster community and connection. Nouera has been running conscious entertainment events since 2017 and last year we were fortunate to be selected and complete the Eaze Momentum accelerator program as its first cohort. When the world turned upside down in 2020 and we could no longer host in-person events (and it became clear it was going to be a while until that could happen again) we knew we needed to pivot. Because we had the relationships and knowledge from working with amazing partners including SF Roots, Locals Equity Distro, and through the Eaze program and marketing so many great cannabis brands in the Bay Area from our events, we saw an opportunity in the market to provide a product that we knew our community would love – joints in small manageable sizes for a feel-good functional high to pair with experiences (now offered online) It has been our pleasure bringing Smallz to the market. We use recyclable hemp plastic for the container and natural hemp paper in the cones – honoring mother nature in our creations is very important to us. Having all these great partners and community is what has allowed us to bring this product to life.
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How does your family feel about your cannabis businesses?
Jessica: My father is a western medical doctor (Pediatrics and Child Psychiatry) and since I have started this business he tells me he is proud of my business persistence but he also still carries many stigmatized beliefs about cannabis. My mother and siblings have been supportive. Moving into cannabis has been a difficult transition but also deeply fulfilling in finding my own path, which ultimately my family has always been in support of me doing. My father comes from a lineage of Mormon pioneers and my mother immigrated from Korea-her family really struggled after the Japanese Occupation and Korean War. She moved to the US to start a family here with my father and start fresh. When my mother left Korea, she really left Korea behind so we really identified as “American” growing up disconnected from the Asian community.
Cynthia: Coming from a traditional Indonesian-Chinese family, I was hesitant to tell my parents at first but when I shared with my older brother my growing passion in the industry, he was the first one to support my endeavors. Surprisingly, my parents shortly followed suit after first confirming that it was legal to conduct cannabis business in CA. Having experienced the mindfulness that comes when pairing cannabis with a guided experience that helps you connect to yourself, I knew there was a way for Nouera to usher a more conscious way of imbibing cannabis.
Read the full interview here: AACE INTERVIEW: Cynthia Boedihardjo and Jessica Sharp of Nouera