Interview with our Founders- by Mona Samaan-Ockenden

This year has been rough for everyone. During this difficult time, one of the greatest joys has been making connections and friendships across the globe with entrepreneurs in the clean beauty space. For the most part, they are like-minded women who started out with careers in something totally different and ended up here. Like Mona Moon Naturals, their brands started out of necessity, filling in gaps in the industry for their loved ones.  Sooner or later, they grew to help others. These friendships are gifts and I now have a tribe of women to learn from, share with and celebrate – a 2020 win for me!

Today we are thrilled to introduce you to a brand and its creators that we admire and love –  Plant Juice Oils, a female-owned brand that creates essential oil blends infused with CBD oil. But the best thing is their ‘Products have a Purpose’! With our hashtag #pastewithpurpose, it was meant to be!

Among other requests, our customers have asked if we would create a lotion with CBD. With no idea where to begin, our search brought us to Plant Juice Oils. What a line-up of carefully created oils, creams and sprays with amazing wellness benefits – simply the best!  Incredibly intrigued, I reached out to Amber and Marci last spring to learn more and introduce them to MMN.  

For The Moonlight, I had a chance to Zoom with both Amber and Marci. We had a lot of laughs and I really appreciate their time and genuine interest in helping and supporting others with insight on growing their business.

Read about their how, why and the creative pivot they took below!

1. Tell us about Plant Juice Oils. What was your inspiration to create your company?

Plant Juice Oils are “Products With A Purpose”  We blend essential oils with CBD in most of our products.  In search to find a holistic approach to our loved ones health struggles, we both fell in love with essential oils.  My partner Robin Roberts of Good Morning America was recovering from her life saving bone marrow transplant and Marci’s daughter Alexa was experiencing high levels of anxiety.  

2. How did you both meet? 

We met in the dog run on the Upper West Side of NYC.  We were on the same daily schedule and I was always talking about essential oils and how much I loved them.  That’s when Marci started to pay attention and I like to say – her ears perked up.

3. And at what point did you decide to create Plant Juice Oils? And when did the company launch?

When we found ourselves making products for friends and family we knew we were on to something!

4. Is Plant Juice Oils your side hustle? What kind of work do you or did you do prior to launching?

When we created the line I was a full time massage therapist with a private practice and Marci owned two Paint studios.  So a side hustle knowing we HAD to make this work!

5. How long did you have the idea for Plant Juice Oils before creating it?

Thank goodness Marci likes to move QUICK!!!  I am more ‘let’s marinate the idea and see what happens’.  We launched relatively quick.  I remember being in Los Angeles for the Oscars and doing research on other essential oil companies to launching that November – WHILE I WAS OUT OF THE COUNTRY!!  Crazy!  When we first launched we were two lines.  A line for Menopause and the other for breast cancer treatment.

6. Knowing you created a brand that came as a result taking care of loved ones, what advice would you share with others who may be thinking of launching a brand for similar reasons? 

You will not get it right the first go around.  We have a fictional box call “The Box Of Mistakes” and let us tell you – she fills up real quick!  Everything takes time.  Products may change; ingredients, packaging, adding to the line, taking off the line.  Always stick to what you believe in but keep an open mind to change.  

7. Tell us about your products and how you came about creating them.

When we first launched we were two separate lines – Menopause and Breast Cancer treatment.  As we moved along we found that both lines could actually marry each other and that we can broaden the line to not only cater for our beloved women in recovery and going through menopause, but we can embrace all women.  The truth is, we are all sleep deprived, stressed out, while experiencing low energy.  We are also in a lot of pain, headaches are frequent, and menstrual cramps are stronger than ever.  That’s when we created our “Wheel of Wellness”.

8. What makes Plant Juice Oils different from other brands?

We are BOLD!  Where most apothecary brands are neutral and minimalistic, we decided to go bold and not hide what it is we are addressing.  You will find our packaging bright with a play on words with our product names.  We like to address a symptom with each product –  sleep, stress, headaches, etc and do so through essential oils + CBD.  We also have a very strong and loyal customer base that we refer to as our ‘Peeps’.

9. Has COVID had an impact on your business? Did it create a pivot?

We are very fortunate to be busy during COVID when so many others are struggling to stay alive.  This goes back to our loyal Peeps.  They stood next to us and actually leaned on us to help them through some of their darker days.  Then, once masks became mandatory in NYC we found ourselves making a pivot away from essential oils + CBD to only using essential oils and created the “Original Mask Spray” – MASK IT!

10. What brings you JOY?

We love to see others succeed and women supporting other women in our industry.  Just like you! =)

11. Where can we shop?

You can find all of our products on our website

www.plantjuiceoils.com

12. Is there anything else you would like to share? Please feel free to add whatever you would like.

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn about Plant Juice Oils!

You can visit Mona Moon and check out her incredible products at: https://www.monamoonnaturals.com

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Marci Freede

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