Geraldine Mae Cueva said:
“My vision for women in this industry is for more women of color to be running businesses and sitting at the table with no question.”
Describe yourself and what you do.
I am a retail merchant, community strategist, and cannabis enthusiast. Professionally, I work as a consultant in the Business of Plants. I manage content and facilitate strategic partnerships that create bonds between the brand and the consumer. I cultivate meaningful relationships that ultimately expand into community growth. Additionally and more casually, I call myself a “Chillanthropist”: a person committed to studying the current landscape of cannabis culture and redefining what it means to “chill.” As a Filipino-American woman, I am innately chill by nature. I motivate others through real talk and positivity as the co-host of almost chill, a podcast focused on amplifying the voices of people of color, especially Asian women. In summary, as my “chill” brands suggest, I’m simply a “Pro Chilla,” dedicated to the art of chill.
When did you get started working with cannabis?
In 2015, my best friend and I noticed cannabis brands emerging on Instagram. It was clear that their brand identities evolved around a new kind of cannabis consumer–women. I saw more thoughtfully designed products and values that stemmed from promoting cannabis as just another wellness tool. As a cannabis consumer, I could relate but knew innately that there was so much more to be done. So I decided to pivot in my merchant career and use my skillset to build brands, strong relationships, and engage communities through education and meaningful experiences. I currently manage content and partnerships for LEVO oil and lead general marketing on and offline for the Humboldt-based cannabis beauty brand, Kiskanu. My mission for each of these brands is to highlight the power of the plant through cross-community collaboration and herbal education.
What is your vision for your creative endeavors?
My vision for women in this industry is for more women of color to be running businesses and sitting at the table with no question. Additionally, my vision includes those with privilege and opportunity giving back to create more equity and space for those who do not. I visualize accountability, clean products, and purposeful collaborations.
What is your personal cannabis origin story?
My origin story with cannabis really started with self-care. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was consumed with the intention to connect with myself and engage with my thoughts. It became ritualistic for me. I used it to find my chill. It also became the catalyst to engaging conversations with my closest friends and the root of many beautifully enhanced experiences on the dance floor.
What is your Superpower?
Positivity is my strength. I believe in protecting your energy and for me that starts with protecting my positivity. It’s the foundation of my being and what I lean on for resiliency.
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry or with your business to date?
My greatest obstacle to date is self-doubt. It’s something I manage regularly but have found ways to overcome it through self-affirmation, meditation, and surrounding myself with optimistic, inspiring people. The understanding that I am more than one thing is something that energizes me and pushes me forward.
I call myself a “Chillanthropist”: a person committed to studying the current landscape of cannabis culture and redefining what it means to “chill.”
What is your advice for women in the cannabis industry?
For women entering the cannabis industry or exploring it, I want them to know that there is space for you. If you have an idea, product, or skillset, share it. Speak on your mission! The support is out there–be authentic, be honest, and be real with others. There is room for everyone.
Connect with Gigi Cueva:
Instagram: For updates on Gigi’s work, follow @artandtimesofchill