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Mom & Me: Building a CBD Boutique Dream (A Mother's Day Tribute)

Blue Lotus Wellness and CBD Boutique - Megan and Mary Galeski

It’s certainly no secret that my mom and I are very close. Sharing a business will do that to you, I suppose. Hardly a week goes by without someone walking into the shop and commenting on how alike we are, both in appearance and mannerisms. And I tell you what, I actually love it. My mom is one of my best friends, and I’m genuinely honored to be compared to her like that. There’s something of a cliché that people in sitcoms utilize where they go ‘oh no, I’m turning into my mother.’ You probably know that trope, a character will be fretting about making a nice dinner for some guests and they say something like ‘we need all the placemats to match’ when previously they would have said that it was silly to care about such a thing. So, then they pause, or another character comments that they once thought it was stupid about placemats, and they have a moment of reflection about how our priorities change as we get older. It can be played for more or less of a joke, but it typically represents, at least slightly, that the person is maturing and learning to understand an adult perspective. That even just by adopting behaviors that they associate with older people they have changed, and they feel concern for a loss of youth or rebellious attitude. Maybe it’s because I didn’t go through all that much of a rebellious phase, and I felt like my parents had generally reasonable priorities. Maybe it will hit me more acutely when I’m old enough to actually start feeling my age. But for now, I can’t remember ever being bothered by the sentiment that I was like or becoming like my mother. She’s always been the kind of grown-up I wanted to be.

So, for Mother’s Day this year, I want to talk about what I love about my mom, because I bet a lot of you share these kinds of experiences with your mom, or other women in your life who have been there for you.

The Best Mom Ever

My mom has been the absolute best mom she could ever be, and I feel blessed a thousand times to have the family that I have. She worked full time from home for most of my childhood to be available to me, much of that while also pursuing a master’s degree. When high school really started to get to me, she sat down with me each week to lay out my homework and plan the time I would need to complete assignments so that I wouldn’t miss anything and didn’t get overwhelmed. She dyes my hair whatever ridiculous colors I’ve decided on every few months. What I love more than all of that though is now that I’m an adult we just talk. About all kinds of stuff. We’re not really a big ‘sit down and eat dinner on placemats at the table’ kind of family. But pretty often we manage to just find each other in the kitchen and talk. Nowadays my mom and I have to get through business talk first. What products we’re low on, new things we’re trying, who packed what order, but after that we usually hang out for a while and just catch up, usually with a meal my dad has made for that evening. It’s nice, and it means that I actually really enjoy living with them. 

A Skeptical Start: Learning About CBD Together

Margaret, Mary and Megan - Blue Lotus CBD

When she wanted to go into business with my aunt Margaret, I knew I wanted to hang around and help out. We spent hours talking about what the store would be like before we opened. Everything from the color of the paint to the font we should use on the business cards. Ideas on how to make each purchase a little bit special, which eventually turned into the decorative bags that accumulate by the dozens in our regular’s homes. At that time, my mom and I knew a lot less about the products, and Margaret had more or less already chosen our starting lineup of oils and gummies. Honestly, that was the biggest aspect that I wasn’t too sure about. Not knowing anything about CBD or any similar products, I thought maybe it was just another supplement fad. We trusted Margaret’s research and her credentials, but it was still odd planning for a business based in something we had no experience with. 

The Power of the Calm Salve: A Family Discovery

The first tip-off that CBD would really be something special for our family came in the form of a prototype of our calm salve. My mom and Margaret wanted a unique formulation for our own line of products, not just to white-label a generally available formulation as if it was something special. It wouldn’t be anything crazy, but it would be ours. So, we receive some samples of a few different formulations and start using them here and there. One a little thicker, one with a stronger scent, but all helpful. It became a staple for my mom to keep a little salve around for whenever the arthritis in her hands started to bother her. For me, it was about neck tension and headaches from studying too long or with bad posture. We’re both prone to headaches and general aches and pain and have tried all kinds of miscellaneous things to help. I’d tried other topical pain creams with ingredients like menthol and had broadly not been impressed. But that first batch of calm salve was just something special. 

Not that she had been casual about it before, but I think it was at that point that my mom really started taking it seriously. She and Margaret had to fill in product descriptions for everything for the website that was being set up at that time and they both really dug into what CBD can (and cannot) do. It was really important to both of them that our website, and later our in-store education, be as honest and correct as possible. I admire so much that it was so important to her for us to be genuine with people. She put just as much energy into her aromatherapy work too, memorizing whole lists of obscure oils and what people use them for. Which ones are really helpful and for what. Once again, she wasn’t going to mislead anybody, and took great care that she knew what she was doing and why she was doing it. She even wrote a few small research papers as part of the certification program, and we joked that it should really just be my turn for that. She had done her time in secondary education. 

A Rock During a Pandemic

But despite all our hard work, we ended up in about the worst time in my lifetime to open a retail store; Spring of 2020. No amount of preparation or knowledge base could have really helped us then. Everyone was scared, no one knew quite what we were supposed to do with ourselves. At my college, we were told with effectively a weeks’ notice that we simply wouldn’t be coming back to the dorms after we left for Spring break, so everyone had to find accommodation elsewhere. I’m sure you all remember what an absolutely bizarre time it was to be alive. No matter what your opinion on politics or lockdowns or toilet paper had been up to that point, we all had something to be mad about or scared of. I, as a very young adult working a scribing position in the emergency department at the time, was honestly scared out of my mind. About working in a hospital, about how the hell I was supposed to pass any classes that had no online infrastructure in place, and for my friends who had to go home to less pleasant households than mine. About everything if I think hard enough about it. My mom though, she was absolutely my rock. She’s not superhuman of course, it was a very hard time for her too, but to me, she was a freight train. Just, unstoppable in her work ethic and determination. Don’t get me wrong, it was a community effort to keep morale up and get things ready for the shop. My dad for example kept working a standard full-time job so that mom and I could spend more energy daydreaming about pretty drawstring bags. He made sure I spent some time on my hobbies too, because he knows that mom and I tend to get lost in the difficult stuff. However, this is a Mother’s Day article, so that’s what I’ll focus on. 

Once the store was open, my mom was in here every single day except Sundays, because I hadn’t really started to fill in for her yet. Margaret was focused on the wellness side and her early massage clients, and so my mom picked up everything there was to know about CBD and our products. When we needed to re-stock something, or we wanted to pick up a new brand or category of product, she went deep diving so that we kept the best we possibly could in the store. I don’t know how many sample packs we received trying to sell us on some random CBD brand with mis-labeled products or hidden sourcing information. Mom evaluated all of them, looking for the gems amid a sea of trash coopting the name of CBD for a quick cash-grab. If she didn’t like it, we didn’t carry it. If a sales rep gave incorrect answers about how CBD worked, we didn’t carry it. If the brand couldn’t explain to us why they’d made what choices about formulation or ingredients we didn’t carry it. Almost solely on my mother’s discretion. And this was nearly thankless. Although in our family we understood and appreciated the effort, there were precious few customers in the store and precious little money to be had. 

No one was going out and about and finding new retail locations that spring. Since we had had no online traffic before, our website got very few visitors, even though people were ostensibly doing most of their shopping online. What people we did see were often tight on cash, because almost everyone was at the time due to layoffs or furloughs or just because it was a difficult time. But my mom didn’t stop. Every day she was in the store learning more or educating. Every day she faced a quiet store and about a million automated spam calls and kept moving. She still found the energy to help me plan out my assignments each week, and comfort me when I cried from it all. 

A Family Business Built on Belief

Blue Lotus Wellness & CBD - Megan and Mary Galeski

And she kept being honest with people, about our store, about our products. She and I will both tell you honestly if you come into our store asking about something we can’t help you with, and why that is. I don’t know if I could pin down the one thing I admire about my mom the most, but her sense of ethics would certainly be on the list. We won’t sell you something we think will be a waste to you. We won’t sell a brand that’s popular if they don’t actually meet our standards. If it’s not good enough for our family, it’s not good enough for you, period. And I only believe that so strongly because she did first. We sell CBD because it's our business, but it’s our business because we believe in it. Every single one of us uses cannabinoid products every single day. Believe me, it’s not about the money, it’s about making people well, and sharing the amazing products that keep us going. I’m so honored to be the daughter of a woman who would keep a business running on principle like that, and we sleep soundly knowing that we do our best to do right by everyone who trusts us with their health. 

Beyond Mother's Day: Celebrating Women & Exploring Wellness Together

With all of that said, here is an updated selection of products that we recommend to help keep you or your mother feeling well this Mother’s day.

1. The calm salve that started it all. The Blue Lotus Botanicals Calm Salve is the best all-around topical pain reliever that we have. This version doesn’t have any menthol, so it has a soft cooling sensation instead of a harsh one. You can use it just about anywhere you like, for quick effect anytime. It’s a great introductory option for folks who aren’t quite sure about this CBD stuff and want something approachable. Or, if you do want a strong cooling sensation give the the new relief stick by PlantsHealUs a try.

2. Relief gummies by Enjoy Hemp. Gummies are an awesome option for anyone who wants a stronger approach than a topical, but finds an oil too difficult to dose, or too bitter. I mention the relief in particular because our research indicates that their combination of CBD and CBG makes them one of our best anti-inflammatory options. So, they’re’ a good all-around gummy that don’t tend to make you too drowsy. 

3. CBD capsules. These are definitely a little more niche, but are one of our most recommended options if you have a relative who is perhaps having some age-related memory issues or anxiety/outbursts. Our article on CBD and Neurodegenerative Disorders goes into more detail, but these are a great choice if you would like to give someone with such an illness CBD, because they slot right into any other medications that they are taking. 

4. 5:1 CBD to THC gummies by Cycling Frog. Fairly different from the last option, but if you and your mom want something fun to celebrate with, these are one of my favorite THC products to recommend. The included CBD makes them a little bit more mellow than a plain THC product, and in my opinion, they are perfect for winding down and enjoying a deserved evening off. For all the hard-working moms who deserve a break (all of you), this one’s for you!

This Mother's Day, we celebrate the incredible women who inspire us. Whether it's your mom, your aunt, or a close friend, these women shape who we are and the paths we choose.  If you're curious about CBD and its potential benefits, we're here to help!  Come visit us at Blue Lotus Wellness & CBD Boutique or browse our website for more information. We're passionate about sharing our knowledge and finding the perfect CBD products for your individual needs. Let's navigate the world of wellness together!

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