Wake + Bake: A Sexual Wellness Founder's Guide to Getting upBy Jerico Mandybur
Meika Hollender, co-founder and CEO of Sustain Natural has made other peoples’ sexual wellness her literal business. But, the work of leading a synthetic-free and sustainable tampon, condom, and lube company means that personal wellness can sometimes take a backseat.
Which makes perfect sense when you learn that she’s published a book, and made Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list both within the last few years. It's exhausting just to read. But, after putting a year of conscious effort into self-care, Hollender's found the recipe for a productive morning that sustains her days.
And sometimes, the secret ingredient is cannabis.
Jerico Mandybur: How did you and cannabis meet?
Meika Hollender: I grew up in Vermont, so we met early. My relationship with cannabis has very much evolved from where it was when I was younger. Today, I use it a lot more medicinally; when I have a headache, nausea, or sometimes when I am just having a night in and want to think that whatever Netflix special I’m watching is funnier than it probably is.
What time do you wake up and what’s the first thing you do?
I wake up around 7 a.m. and (sadly) the first thing I do is go into my bathroom and check my iPhone.
What does your daily cannabis routine look like?
I wouldn’t call my relationship with cannabis or CBD a routine. It’s more about knowing it's there if I need it. As I mentioned, I really enjoy it and depend on it if I’m not feeling well. I’ve had a lot of gut health issues throughout the last few years (stress-induced) and cannabis has helped a lot.
First product you reach for?
Tata Harper face wash because it’s the best natural face wash out there that doesn’t dry out my skin!
Song that *actually* gets you up?Currently Lizzo’s “Good As Hell” because Lizzo! Earlier this summer, though, it was “Money” by Cardi B. Powerful women, dope lyrics—things that get me up in the morning.
Morning self-care ritual?
My routine has changed a lot over the last year. About 12 months ago, I had no routine. I was lucky if I remembered to wash my face before I called an Uber and ran into the office. More recently, I decided if I wanted to last through the day and be productive, I needed to carve out time for me each morning.
So I’ve tried a few different things, but I’ve landed on starting by making oatmeal (I always wake up hungry) and a cup of hot water with lemon. After I eat, I meditate for 10 minutes. Then skincare: shower (sometimes), wash my face, moisturize, and makeup. My husband wakes up about an hour after me, so we usually chat for a few minutes (mostly me talking at him) when he wakes up, and talk through our days and our evening. Then I head to my favorite coffee shop, Interlude in Tribeca, for an almond latte and I’m off.
Favorite thing to eat in the AM?
Oatmeal (I prefer something warm), or plain old gluten-free toast and butter.
Everyday comfy outfit?
Levi’s jeans, Everlane white tshirt, Veja sneakers, velvet scrunchie, and a cashmere sweater.
Vape, tincture, topical or edible?
A vape—it’s so easy! I also love the act of smoking.
What are 5 emojis that describe mornings at your house?
🏃♀️ (me, sprinting out of bed) 🧘♀️(trying to find my zen and meditate) 🤳(calling my sister to say "hi") 👄(waking up my husband) 👩🎤(me, heading out of the house)
Tell us about the products that keep you going all day long?Sustain Natural Lip + Body Balm because my lips are constantly dry, and this is my favorite lip balm in the entire world because it’s long lasting. Spotify—does that count? I couldn’t live without Spotify. Supergoop! mineral tinted face SPF is lifesaver and the best mineral sunscreen for the face I’ve found. Plus my velvet scrunchie :)
Introduction: Kayla Noriega