1. Can you tell us about your background and what made you want to create a CBD Line?
Windward is based in California and our founding team has 25+ years of combined experience in the outdoor industry and beyond, hailing from brands such as Patagonia, Burton, Red Wing Shoes and more. The CBD market can feel pretty saturated and misleading these days. We saw an opportunity to create truly pure and effective products that people can trust—products that combine the benefits of CBD with therapeutic botanicals, but that are also environmentally sustainable and responsibly sourced.
2. Jenny, Dawn, Joey and Matt (sound like character names out of a Friends episode), as co-founders can you tell us about each of your individual roles and any fun facts about one another?
Dawn - I lead the product development and brand marketing for Windward. With my background in herbalism and Ayurveda, I understand the power of plants and how they can be integrated into healthy living. I provide the vision for our product line and work closely with our advising Ph.D. Chemist and master herbalist to determine our formulations. Having worked in marketing for leading outdoor and lifestyle brands, I’m also committed to building brands with a strong purpose. Fun fact: I’ve attended the Olympic Games and worked with athletes like Shaun White and Hannah Teter.
Jenny - As the VP of Operations, I try to be the omniscient thread throughout the company, listening and supporting across all areas of the business. With my career past as an Executive Producer or Project Manager, it’s a muscle I can’t help but use. I bring the Environmental Stewardship instilled during my time at Patagonia into the DNA of Windward. Fun fact: I’ve known Matt since age 12 and Dawn and Joey each for over 10 years. I am the hub of our partnership and our organization.
Joey - My primary focus is sales, however I’m happy to jump in wherever help is needed. I am not short on opinions so long as they come with ideas for solutions. I have run a sales agency within the channels of outdoor, footwear and action sports for the last 22 years and understand that at the end of the day selling quality products is the most important. Fun fact: I’m the elder of the team but still suffer from a bad case of FOMO when it comes to surfing.
Matt - As the CEO, I focus on our financials, strategy and working with investors, but because we are a new company, I am also hands-on with our operations and solidifying our company culture. Fun fact: I have a Master’s Degree in Environmental Sciences from Duke University and used to work in climate science.
3. Where does the name Windward come from and why do you say “adventurers, athletes and Earth enthusiasts” in your messaging?
We take our name from the freedom we find in the mountains, oceans and wild places, where the wind blows strong and the birds soar in the sky—like the redtail hawk that serves as our symbol. Windward, in geographic terms, means facing head-on into the wind, just as our adventures outdoors and lives can feel.
4. As there are many amazing CBD companies (and a few bad players), can you tell us what makes your company stand apart from the rest?
We believe that if you’re going to do things right, you should do them right from the start. Windward is founded on the principles of bettering your health, planet and adventures—we’re fully committed to creating the highest-quality Hemp CBD wellness products while protecting the natural world we love.
Our USDA certified organic Hemp comes from a family-owned farm in Colorado and we partner with farms and foragers around the world that utilize organic and sustainable practices to source our botanical ingredients. With the use of organic cane alcohol, our non-toxic extraction method yields the highest amount of safe, pure and potent plant actives available. We absolutely do not use toxic solvents like butane, propane or hexane, which are commonly used in the industry.
Though we’re a young company, we’re on the path to B Corp certification. Balancing profit and purpose, being a B Corp means we must embody the change we seek in the world, using our business to create positive change for our employees, our communities and our environment. We’re one of the first B Corporations in the hemp industry and we’re also a proud member of 1% for the Planet.
5. We appreciate your very focused product line—what makes Windward products unique?
We combine the benefits of organic Full-Spectrum Hemp with therapeutic botanicals and adaptogens (plants that help the mind and body cope with stress). While CBD has many physical and mental benefits—and can provide immense amounts of support—it’s not a cure-all for all ailments. The synergy between plants and their active compounds is what truly enhances the entourage effect when taken in combination, creating a greater effect than CBD alone.
Our products are custom-formulated to provide reliable support for sleep, stress, stamina and recovery. They were designed to work together. And we package our goods in Miron Violetglass, a sturdy, high-quality glass that extends the effective lifespan of a product while protecting ingredients from damaging light.
6. Why was it important for you to align with 1% for the Planet?
We know very clearly that there is a crisis. We care deeply about the Earth and its resources so our company made a financial commitment to organizations and nonprofits that are supporting environmental solutions. Through 1% for the Planet a portion of our proceeds are donated to grass roots organizations that further sustainable farming, protection of public lands, and conservation of our coasts and oceans.
7. We are all itching to travel once the pandemic is over – where is the 1st place you want to go (pick one).
Part II – Who are you traveling with? What ONE song do you have on repeat? What are you reading?
Dawn - My favorite type of travel is adventure travel and I’m always in search of natural hot springs.
I’ve always wanted to snowboard the mountains of Japan and soak in the onsens. I also have plans to return to India to take a motorcycle trip through the Himalayas.
Travel Companion: my ride or die, Ian.
Song on Repeat: Anything by Poolside.
Currently Reading: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Jenny - Once it is safe to travel again, Ireland. The mountains and ocean along the southwestern coast gave me an overwhelming feeling of home when I travelled there years ago.
Travel Companion(s): My husband, Peter and our 3yo son, Forest and 1yo Daughter, Willow.
Song on Repeat: Khruangbin's recent recording at The Current
Currently Reading: How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi and Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings by Dr Laura Markham
Joey - New Zealand would be the first place that I would like to visit post pandemic. I love the idea of hiking and surfing in such beautiful locations.
Travel Companion: I would be traveling with my best friend, my wife Emily.
Song on Repeat: Ruby by Dave Rawlings Machine
Currently Reading: The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Matt - It depends. If it’s winter, we’re going up to the mountains to ski—probably Big Sky, MO or Jackson Hole, WY. If it’s summer, we’re going to Glacier National Park. I was on the Trail Crew in Glacier for two years after college, and it’s my favorite place in the world.
Travel Companion(s): My wife and Kids.
Song on Repeat: I’ve been listening to a lot of Duckwrth lately. Probably I’m Dead or Michuul.
Currently Reading: I just finished The Stand by Stephen King. I remember the TV series from when I was a kid and, well, we’re in a pandemic.
Lovely interview and epic new brand!