Every year the streets of Downtown Austin Texas are filled with hundreds-of-thousands of people attending South by Southwest (SXSW), an annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, music festivals and conferences that take place in mid-March.
Ignite was invited to take part in a SXSW discussion focused on the importance of businesswomen collaborating with one another instead of competing against each other. The panel was made up of five influential businesswomen from all over the U.S, including Ignite Health & Fitness Manager, Stacy McCloud. “We want to make sure we have eco-systems to support each other,” says Tiffanie Standard, the Founder and CEO of Stimulus, the company hosting the discussion. “We hope to help all companies compete but we have a focus on women and people of color because it is hard to build relationships,” adds Standard.
One vision that each woman shared was the importance of having a positive impact on other women, especially those in male dominated work-places. “I hope that people see the raw and honest person I am as I speak about my personal brand and Athena and that they want to start a conversation with me,” says guest speaker Alessandra Brown, Director of Community Engagement and Corporate Social Responsibility at Athena.
The women discussed everything from how to create systems that support each other, to establishing friendships with age, self-love, and the male-dominated industries where they would like to see more women take charge. “Cannabis is a male-driven industry, especially when you look at things like cultivation. I would love to see more women taking on those roles. The industry is still so new but I am really excited to see where it goes,” adds McCloud.
Another hot topic was how female leaders present themselves both on social media and in the workplace to hopefully influence younger up-and-coming female leaders. “I’m proof that it’s possible. My parents were immigrants,” says guest speaker Marie Rosecrans, SVP of SMB marketing at Salesforce. “Hard work, grit and asking and being assertive will get you places. That is a responsibility I have that I need to share,” says Rosecrans.
Guest speaker Carin Van Vuuren, SMO of Greenhouse Talent Acquisition Suite chimed in: “I would like to be seen as a leader that helps women find their voice. I want to help younger women actually understand how you think about how you come into a room, how you make your point in a meeting, how you assert yourself, how you can be the person that others look to in a room that says she has a point of view and I want to hear what that is.”
When the floor opened up for attendees to ask further questions, McCloud was asked how she handles working for a company where many (especially women) may not approve of the owners’ image on social media and how she is bringing the values she spoke about to the company.
“Dan Bilzerian is known as sort of the Hugh Hefner of our day but his image never crossed my mind when it came to taking a position at Ignite, because I am passionate about CBD and what it has done for my life. I saw the potential of what I could do to educate the public about CBD and Cannabis. We are Lifestyle Branding Company that believes in the benefits of CBD and Cannabis, not just a Dan Bilzarian company,” says McCloud. “For those that don’t know Dan, he is a genius. He is a smart businessman. You may not see much of that on socials but I get to see it behind the scenes. I think you will get to see more and more of that side of Dan as Ignite continues to grow,” adds McCloud.
Following the event, Ignite employees handed out swag bags filled with Ignite gear including an Ignite x Bō CBD Vape Pen and CBD Vape Pod. ”They were a huge hit,” says Briana Elzey, Director of Business & Legal Affairs at Ignite. “Everyone wanted one of the black bags with CBD.”
Many SXSW attendees were quick to open up the box and start puffing! “I talked with one lady who used our Ignite CBD Vape before her speech. She told me that she gets nervous speaking in public and hitting her new Ignite Vape Pen several times before facing the crowd gave her the calm she needed to conquer,” says McCloud.