Every Friday, we send out a weekly roundup of what’s new on Blood & Milk along with articles you may have missed from the archives. We also include an interview with an inspiring woman, and this week we’re excited to feature Carolyn Gray To get the newsletter, sign up here.
Carolyn Gray is the owner of Noirebud, a luxury CBD brand based out of Brooklyn, NY. With nearly 20 years of experience in luxury fashion and fitness, she is passionate about fostering a meaningful connection to her customers and community. Recently endorsed by Black Owned Everything and Beyonce’s Black Parade business director, Carolyn is working hard to provide products that are truly the botanical form of her heart to help others.
Can you share a bit more about why you started Noire Bud?
I wanted to create a product or service that could help people, but with my leadership and style. I always felt that I didn’t belong anywhere I worked, but I knew I was there to learn something to build my own brand. I always knew I wanted my brand to be a safe haven for people to feel calm without judgment. I wanted to show strength for my community by bravingly going out on a limb and starting a business within the cannabis industry that time and time again has shown us Black and Brown people weren’t meant to be successful in.
What was it like getting into the cannabis industry?
At first it was scary and intimidating, it still is to be honest. I did a lot of studying and virtual learning about cannabis and herbal remedies. I remember a few people telling me that I should just work for their parents’ cannabis company to make it easier for myself, which always made my stomach churn. I went through a lot of trial and error before sharing with the public that I had any interest in it, and I was scared to show my face with the brand because I’m a black woman.
There have been so many new cannabis companies coming into the market. What makes Noire Bud unique?
It’s all handcrafted from creation to packaging. Some products I created were inspired by ailments I or family members of mine have. There are some products clients have requested and have been a hit. The community that supports Noirebud is the same community that is the inspiration for our products. I’m proud that Noirebud can stand strong amongst other black-owned CBD brands, we all have something to offer our clients. There’s room for us all and that humbles me.
I love how open you are in sharing how you deal with anxiety on the Noirebud Instagram account and supporting your community. How has the ‘BudGang’ responded?
The BudGang inspired my sharing! Throughout this year, I’ve had so many connections with them and am blessed they feel comfortable to share with me. The BudGang tells me why they can’t sleep at night, their losses, and their wins. I see how they share with each other and uplift one another. In the conversations we have in emails, messages, and in person, I felt comfortable sharing one-on-one. When I dropped a video sharing my own anxiety at the beginning of July, I received so many DMs and comments of folks relating, sharing, and supporting. It’s definitely a family vibe.
Last but certainly not least, what are you doing to take care of yourself these days?
Prayer and therapy. Thank goodness for therapy. I do it every Monday and tuck away from the world that day to make products and plan for my week. I’m grateful for my training sessions and ability to move my body to get any stress out. Recently, I was given a bike by my boyfriend’s uncle, and I can’t wait to get rolling with it. I’ve been eating healthier, but I allow my snack vices in here and there during the week. And lastly, when the nail and hair salons reopened I praised the lord so hard! Getting my hair and nails done makes me feel like a queen.