Power Player's Behind UNOIA #CBD Honey & Agave Brande Elise & Danielle Gray
Updated: Jul 26
I remember during the late 90’s leading into 2000 fluidly as a younger adult where I’d sit around kicking it with friends or even boyfriends, their house or mine, while smoking weed and getting high as a kite, literally. Each time that I smoked, I did it sociably. Smoking weed or cannabis seemed like the cool thing to do back then. Most people smoked cannabis just for fun and recreation while others used it as an escape from the heavy toll that life had to offer. Although illegal, it seemed even then, marijuana was the go-to source for a mood stabilizer. Cannabis, when smoked, it makes you calmer, giggly and less alert. Noises shift to a relaxed, low and monotone atmosphere. Cannabis takes you to an extreme vibe filled with aloofness and happy thoughts, a null and muted state. Sources say that their thoughts are clearer when they smoke while others admit that they feel weighted and lethargic while under the influence of cannabis. I can attest to both feelings.
That was then, and things changed dramatically since the glory days of lighting it up and getting lifted [high]. While marijuana is legal in some states, it’s not in others. Secondly, people are more conservative with their habits now. They want the feel-good aspects of cannabis, but they don’t want to get high—and that’s how CBD is set into motion.
Power couples, Brande Elise & Danielle Gray, Brand Ambassadors of UNOIA-CBD Honey & Agave say that CBD is completely safe and a better match for consumers that want to perform their best while using the holistic component of the cannabis leaf… ‘It’s [marijuana] not bad. It’s great-- it’s soothing and its creative to be in that space, but you can’t operate there, maintain a business and maintain what you got to do, and that’s where CBD comes in,” Danielle shared.
Brande & Danielle are a power couple that combined their love for marketing and networking to amp their UNOIA brand to promote an eco-friendly product that’s beneficial to its consumer. Brande is an actress. She does voice-over work in Atlanta… “I love what I do. I have my own little closet here, and I send in my auditions [from the closet]. I go in and come out like Clark Kent [Superman], she joked. “It’s cool with the business. I came up with the honey infused CBD because I really enjoy cannabis, THC, and all those things, and the benefits from it. The thing is, it’s killing my throat, and it’s killing my lungs. I really couldn’t continue, but then I thought, “I drink a lot of tea. What if I incorporate the CBD and the honey, and it’s awesome? It’s nice being calm and reserved, and not always high,” Brande explained the difference between CBD and Marijuana as well as her reasoning for creating such a high demand product. Her partner, Danielle, is owner of a marketing company that she’s run successfully over twelve years. She’s creative designer for the UNOIA brand. “That’s, like, my passion,” says Danielle. “My whole purpose is marketing. I love it like crazy so I’m grateful that I still get to do it and with a brand that we created.”
CBD is manufactured across the globe and vended at your local gas station as well as the internet where business is burgeoning everywhere. If you google CBD, you might find a discount for it on Groupon due to its glowing popularity. Research proves that CBD is like THC, the main psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant. Both have the same chemical formula. However, their atoms are arranged inversely, which means they affect your body differently. CBD is said to work with elements in the body that’s related to feeling of wellbeing while THC makes you high.
As for UNOIA Honey Agave and CBD, Kandi Burruss, carries the palatable product at her popular restaurant "Old Lady Gang.” Deelishis (Flavor of Love), and Mimi Faust (Love & Hip-Hop ATL) are avid supporters of the product, in addition to many other celebrities.
With both of your professions, how did that lead you to this point?
Danielle: First, we started dating, and we both worked from home, so we were able to stay around each other much longer and much more than the average person. We are kind of busy bees with creative minds. Brande was talking about this idea that she had with the honey. I said, “That’s pretty awesome. I’d love to do something creative like that, so I started creating the brand for it and that’s how it started. I wanted to do it and take a real effort. I know in the CBD world people focus heavily on the medical benefits and that’s awesome. It does have a lot of medical benefits, but we wanted to talk about the mental health side and the importance of being aware of one’s self, being mindful and all those things of taking care of yourself. That’s our angle and with that kind of passion of wanting everyone to be in a good space mentally, that really promoted us to want the get the message out in a more serious way, so here we are.
Brande: The thing that we’re honestly promoting is a lifestyle. A lot of us weren’t raised in this lifestyle of teaching mindfulness and meditation, taking walks, and things like that. When we talk about those things, they’re foreign to so many people, which is why I incorporate CBD in everyday life with your tea, coffee or food. It’s quite easy. We just want people to know that it’s not as difficult as they think it may be to get into it. A huge piece of that is educating people on what CBD is, and this lifestyle brand that we’re trying to turn them on to. We’ve found other brands is that [they lack], educate their customers and people that they train to sell their products. It’s so beneficial especially what we are going through as for the climate, and our world. People are losing their job and they aren’t really having income coming in like that so we’re planning on bringing on a whole education platform. We’re going to educate certified beautiful thinkers to sell our products almost like the Mary Kay platform.
Danielle: Our whole this is, we are looking at where we are, and that’s what we are talking about, the adaption piece. We know so many people that are in the entertainment industry, people that are hurting from this [pandemic]. So, how could we all win together? That’s how we’re putting together this independent consultant style of business, network and marketing so that people can that don’t have a way to make income right now, can, and they can ongoing because it’s something that people can get paid for every month as long as the subscription lives. It’s a way for all of use to live.
CBD is a large market like you said—how were you able to set yourselves apart and build a star-studded clientele list that prefer your brand over the other markets that’s out?
Danielle: A lot of people want to push the product, and that’s cool, but you don’t get a connection in loyalty in build trust within that. So, we’re putting ourselves out there like, “I, Danielle Gray, am a beautiful thinker and I use CBD—especially coming from a corporate environment, that was scary for me for a minute to be open about that. I think that’s one big thing.
Who was the mad scientist, who created the product?
Brande: You should’ve seen me trying to get this going. Dani would look at me like, “I think you did it,” and I’m like, “I think I did it too, but I’m scared.” Getting the dosing right and making sure that levels are safe. The cool thing about CBD is you can’t overdose on it and you can’t have too much of it. If anything, it just works out of your system. You just go to bed. High doses of CBD are safe, and that’s incredible for a product. It makes me feel good. If someone has too much, I would be worried. We keep our dosing at 15 milligrams which is have the dosing size of 30. We found that it’s nice for it to be buildable, because if we’re presenting this to people like medicine or presenting this in place of their medicine, and multi-vitamin, we must show them, and we must ween them into it. Sometimes, if you have too much of it you go to sleep. You’re super calm and you’re super relaxed, and that’s what we want to teach people. It’s not about what you feel, it’s what you don’t feel.
How is CBD beneficial for someone that’s doing intense training for a sport or exercise?
Danielle: It’s helpful with inflammation. I would say that doing it before your workouts really relaxes you, but after [the workout] you’ll feel the effects as far as helping with inflammation in that pain and chronic pain that you may have. We’re adding within the next two weeks a muscle release salt that you can actually apply topically so it’s not just that you have your tea before your smoothie with your agave before your workout, but you can have muscle relief as well. It helps with everything, your mind and your body, and that’s where we are with the whole mindfulness anyway.
Here’s a weird question: Is it safe for pets?
Brande: I give it to my puppies too, and just like for us, there’s so many benefits to CBD like anxiety for us, just like with dogs. They have separation anxiety as well. It can help with joints and arthritis. It can make their life a bit more comfortable rather than putting them on heavier medication from the vet that may not be necessary. It’s holistic and it’s safe.
How does CBD differ from the components that’s in marijuana?
Danielle: The big thing between THC and CBD is that THC has that psychoactive piece, and that’s the part that gets you high. You’re floating, and that’s not bad, to each its own wherever you are. For people that don’t want to be in that place, you get all the benefits for what that marijuana plant can do without being high. It relaxes you and keeps you at one. If you have issues trying to go to sleep, and you have issues with anxiety, all these things are helpful. It’s not all that crap that they put into medicines that people get addicted to, and there’s no addictive component to this. This is not something that you’re craving. It’s a more holistic way of going about taking care of yourself.
Let’s talk about the pandemic, health, wellness and love? How has business boomed since the announcement of the pandemic?
Danielle: I think we’re in a middle space. It’s going well because the more we talk about it, people realize that they really do need something for anxiety. People are going to the liquor store and buying up all the liquor. This is a way that you can ease the anxiety without being liquored up, and that ease from anxiety of not knowing what’s coming next.
They say you should never mix business with pleasure, but you did. You’re mixing and matching, and you’re doing great. How has that worked for you?
Brandi: We’re good at doing this together.
Danielle: It’s not like it’s perfect and it’s not like we don’t have disagreements, but we always talk about clear communication like, “Where are you at, and where am I?” I think the cool thing is that we don’t step on each other’s toes. We have vastly different roles, and that with our relationship as well. We’re clear on who’s doing what, and there’s trust and respect with that as well, and it works. It’s not as if it’s easy. It’s worth it. We have to watch ourselves with cutting it off [boundaries], and saying, “Hey, this is just relationship time. We don’t mention the excitement about the business.
Brandi: It’s hard to turn it off because we don’t turn off. We’re constantly trying to get the word out about CBD. How can we share this wealth of information, knowledge and our product with people? Now, it’s almost like we have peoples undivided attention because everyone has slowed down a bit.
Danielle: We’re just fast and everybody is fast. Everybody is just facing themselves and their family. It’s like, how do we really deal with it, and how do we maintain or mental health? That’s really where we’re coming from. It’s like, “Hey, give this a try because if you’re about to lose it, which a lot of people are, it could be worth it.
It’s interesting that you said that because in the news, it says domestic violence is up while they are in quarantine. What do you recommend for couples that are in quarantine that might be getting stir crazy and how should they liven up their relationships or marriages while staying in place with CBD?
Danielle: We were talking about this, about being a couple in quarantine. This [answer] is with and without CBD. Make sure that you guys have your own space, and don’t be offended when someone wants to take their own space. If you can separate, I think that’s important as well. The fact that we can have an experience of having the CBD with strawberries—we were watching a movie where we are having some tea or whatever the case is. It’s just helps us both relax so that we can really enjoy each other and be in the moment. I think the thing that’s bringing so much tension [in relationships], is the fact that we don’t know what the future holds. It’s so much uncertainty. If we don’t have the future and the past is gone, we might as well be present and mindful with this moment that we have, and man, I’m so grateful to have you here with me because a lot of people don’t have that, people that are losing people. I think its important to stay in that gratitude and mindfulness overall. That’s the only way we’re going to make it through this.
Brande: People should be honest with each other, and that’s the communication part. If you feel like you’re too far in anger, you might as well just speak on it. A lot of people aren’t willing to deal with it. They don’t know how to express themselves and anger comes out. Just try to be more expressive with your words and actions.
Danielle: Take some CBD before you have that full-on conversation—have a cup of tea and give them some tea. Just relax.
How should people us it? In what ways are you selling it?
Brande: You can use it in many ways orally and topically. We have endocannabinoid systems inside of our bodies that really help with the homeostasis imbalance. You can use it topically, which is why they have things like hand salt and foot salt, and bath bombs. We’ll be selling oral drops outside of the salt, honey and agave CBD.
Danielle: We’re putting a full product line for people depending on where they are.