Jess, Winged Co-Founder sat down with Thrive Market to share her most proud moments with Winged, how she aims to empower other women, and her favorite self-care rituals.
Article by Melinda Gross, Thrive Market.
Jessica Mulligan is a founder of Winged, which aims to support women with a line of hemp extract gummies, oils, and softgels that are formulated for women’s needs. But it doesn’t stop there. Mulligan shares how Winged is helping women find balance, achieve their dreams, and eventually, experience true gender equality.
When you reflect on your business, what are you most proud of?
This is a great question because I really am proud of so much. It’s wild to me how far we’ve come in the 8 months since our launch.
One thing I am really proud of is how Winged has encouraged women to be more open in talking about their struggles and triumphs—and in just being human! The veil of “perfection” drops to the ground during these conversations and so many women get so real with one another. I see this happen every day with Winged and it affirms so much of what we are trying to do.
The second thing I am incredibly proud of is our work with a Los Angeles-based organization called MOSTe that mentors and empowers girls in underserved areas of the city. We are giving $25,000 in Winged Woman scholarships through MOSTe to help these amazing young women go to college. We define a Winged Woman as someone who, by lifting herself up to fly, allows us all to soar along with her. They are the women who throughout history have been courageous, who have paved the way for us, who have served as inspiration for us. They are the women who changed the world in ways we read about: those who stood up, didn’t give up their seat, and fought to change equal rights laws. And they are also the women we don’t read about: those whose everyday acts of kindness and courage make their families, communities, and everyone around them better. These are the women we celebrate at Winged, and that is why we want to help the young women of MOSTe (who have displayed this kind of leadership) realize their collegiate dreams.
Which product would you recommend to people who are unfamiliar with your brand?
The great thing about Winged is that we have a product for every woman. We don’t only focus on CBD, but also craft a comprehensive formula, with female-specific supporting nutrients, around a benefit that she’s looking for. Feeling overwhelmed or need stress support? Relaxation Gummies would be best. Want help with mood support or anxiety? Happiness can help. Feeling tired or have trouble sleeping? Sleepy Gummies would be the way to go. Our Balance products, available in great-tasting peppermint oil or convenient softgels, could be used for physical discomfort or any number of the other benefits of CBD. Most women can start with the recommended dosage on the label and see how their body reacts, then adjust the dosage accordingly. The Balance Oils are especially great for getting an exact dosage of CBD because they have measured droppers and a woman can customize their dosage to the “sweet spot” that benefits her body the most.
How do you unwind after a tough day?
Anything to turn my brain off. Sometimes it’s a walk with my dog by the water, and sometimes it’s a streaming marathon and couch veg. Decompression and quiet time help me get back to base. Of course, I have a nightly Winged routine, too! Right before bed, I love to take our Sleepy Gummies. It’s a little sweet treat that I look forward to and I get the best night’s sleep. I feel fresh in the morning and am ready to tackle the day.
Describe a favorite self-care or wellness ritual that helps you feel your best.
My favorite self-care ritual is the gratitude practice I committed to a couple years ago. I started with a five-minute journal, which was awesome for starting out. Now I keep my own journal that allows me more space to write and be flexible with entries. I highly recommend setting aside at least five minutes a day to do it. It is without a doubt one of the healthiest things I have ever done for myself.
For my gratitude practice, I write down three things every day to help me reflect on the important things in my life. They are:
1. One thing I am grateful for
2. One thing I want to manifest
3. One kind thing that I did, or plan on doing, that day
What advice would you give your younger self?
I wish I could tell her she is enough and to be confident in her abilities. I think back to my twenties and early thirties and I was so hard on myself. I’ve focused on the practice of self-care and self-love a lot lately. Instead of obsessing on my failures and beating myself up, I try to recognize when I get into negative thought cycles and push them out of my mind. I was given a great tip to handle these thoughts once. A friend told me to close my eyes and focus on whatever negativity is repeating in my head. I imagine writing it down on a piece of paper, sealing it in an envelope, then putting it into a tiny boat and pushing it out to sea and watching it disappear on the horizon. I force myself to think about the opposite side of the situation. How can I learn from that situation and turn it into a positive? How can that experience help my growth as a woman? It sounds simple, but it really works.
What social, political, or environmental issue are you most passionate about?
I am passionate about how to use Winged as a platform to contribute to building future generations of women up so that they can experience true gender equality. I want to break the belief that women shouldn’t be leaders so that when young women are at the table, they aren’t afraid to use their voices. We are certainly outnumbered when it comes to those seats at the table. Women are also grossly underrepresented in STEM studies, the natural and organic products industry, and many other places. I think we are still fighting for everyday equality. Understanding the implications of that is something we are trying to educate young women about—and, importantly—young men, too.