Reem Jazzi believes deeply in the natural healing powers of CBD. From its ability to relieve stress, sooth overactive minds, to helping with sleeplessness, inflammation and pain, Jazzi understood during her own personal health journey how many benefits there were in using this plant medicine. While today there are plenty of CBD companies abounding, Jazzi saw a gap in the market in terms of information about how CBD actually works with the human body. When she started her company Yesterday Wellness, she made it a priority to provide as much information to customers as possible, so they too could fully understand how CBD works and the health benefits it could provide them. Today the Toronto, Canada-based entrepreneur sells her products exclusively in the USA through online sales. While launching her business just before the Pandemic began posed many challenges, her investment in working on organic growth through SEO and working with people who share similar values has resulted in success.
Jazi‘s story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:
What was your reason for starting your business?
Yesterday is a wellness company that believes self care is not a luxury, but a priority. We believe in the healing power of CBD and the myriad of cannabinoids found within broad spectrum hemp products. Our premium, all-natural CBD products focus on relieving stress and aiding in the restoration of general well-being. Yesterday is part of a growing movement that revolutionizes health care and encompasses a more holistic take on wellness. For those who are looking to take their health into their own hands and step back into their power.
CBD is extremely helpful for those who have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. Unlike other medications, it will not leave you feeling drowsy in the mornings. The way CBD helps with sleep is by addressing the root cause, as opposed to putting a bandaid on the problem. And the root cause of insomnia? Stress, the chronic kind. People who use CBD for sleep say that it helps them fall asleep faster and stay asleep – meaning no more restless nights. One of our offerings is CBD softgels infused with melatonin, providing even more support for those who are experiencing troubles sleeping during these turbulent times.
We started our business to fill a void in the market as well as to provide a healing form of powerful plant medicine to anyone who was interested, but hesitant, in trying it. When we were creating Yesterday, we realized that there was a lot of talk about CBD, but not enough talk about what it really was and how it could help. There seemed to be a huge educational aspect missing in the whole equation. Because it is technically a form of medicine, though natural, the science behind how it works can definitely be confusing as there is a lot of jargon in the medical field. There are also a bunch of huge, unnecessarily complicated terms in the CBD world.
Our vision was to create a community that anyone would feel comfortable joining and participating in – where they could learn all about CBD in an approachable, digestible way – whether they were just starting out or had been taking it for a long time. We aim to exemplify how CBD can be incorporated into a more comprehensive wellness routine to help people achieve better overall health, holistically – in a way that serves both mind and body.
While we aspire to make this information available and accessible to all, our main objective in starting the brand was to teach women about the benefits CBD could have in their lives. We live in a society in which a lot of pressure is placed on women from all different angles – whether it be at home, at work, in personal or professional relationships. The selfless ones, the tired ones, those who are stretched just a little too thin. Women who could benefit from taking more time for themselves. These were the people we found needed an extra helping hand, and we’re dedicated to providing that for them both in the form of our product and our services. We love getting questions and offering our support wherever it is needed, and it’s so fulfilling to be able to support other women in this endeavour.
How do you define success?
I like to envision a fully rounded view of success. Most importantly, it looks like doing something that’s really aligned with my values, vision and purpose in this life. I can’t find fulfillment in working a job that only benefits me financially. I personally don’t think it’s worth it. My mental health and sanity are not worth the price. Success to me has always meant helping others in any way that I know how. The events in my life have led me to the path of health and wellness and, due to my own personal experience with health struggles, I believe I’ve really found my community here. The pride that comes along with being able to help people through personal experience is such a rewarding feeling. It encourages me to keep doing what I’m doing, and also encourages me to learn more about my health and that of others. Success means nothing to me if I don’t have a healthy mind and body to house it.
Two more things: I’ll know I’ve found true success when I’m able to employ people whose values align with my own – those who are dedicated to building a better world with whatever field of expertise they’ve chosen. Building a true community of individuals who always strive for better. Financially, success means that I’m able to afford a lifestyle that’s aligned with my dietary needs, as well as one in which I have extra funds to purse pleasure from time to time. It’s about finding balance.
Tell us about your biggest success to date
It’s been really tough trying to grow a brand during a worldwide pandemic. Our timing was unfortunate, as we launched right before lockdowns. I’d say our biggest success as of yet is building a community that really values what we do. Whenever we get comments about our branding we get so happy, because a lot of time and effort were put into ensuring that it was designed in a way that it would evoke a sense of calm. Our goal is that the experience of using our product, from package to texture, taste and smell, is calming. So to have people assure us that we’re on the right path has been really rewarding and encouraging. Any time someone tells us our product has helped them is a huge moment of success for a small brand like ours.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Our top challenge has been advertising, due to the strict restrictions in the industry. It’s not easy, and it’s especially difficult to build brand recognition for a new business if advertising is restricted. We spent lots of time trying to learn the ins and outs of what was acceptable in this realm, and found some success there. The greatest success we’ve noticed is when we switched our efforts to organic growth. SEO has been a God send, and aligning with partners whose values match our own has been rewarding in more than one way.
Have you experienced any significant personal situations that have affected your business decisions?
Yeah absolutely, I’ve experienced a myriad of health concerns that took me a long time to figure out. It was only after seeing a naturopath that I was able to reveal the root cause of my issues and get to work on fixing them. This has changed the way I live my life completely, which undoubtedly has an effect on my business decisions. It’s taught me to be transparent and to always dig deeper, not give up if the answers don’t come right away. To be honest with others and let them know how I think I can help them without sugar coating. It’s made me a better listener, and has helped me address others’ health concerns better – learn what questions to ask, form connections, etc. This is invaluable stuff when running a wellness brand. Especially considering my goal is to help others.
Who is your most important role model?
My mom is the first person that comes to mind, Rihanna would be a close second. Both women model authenticity, generosity, kindness, and humour. They are both women who have taught me to never settle and to always expand my education and find new ways to be of service in this world. Both of them have also modelled the importance of charity and not holding on to ones riches at the expense of those who could benefit from some support. And both women have taught me to be myself no matter what others say or think. I couldn’t ask for better values. And I’m so grateful that I begun to learn them in my own home.