We had the good fortune of connecting with Shelly and Desi Phegley and McKinnon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shelly and Desi, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
We began Cordial Organics because it seemed like a great idea that we felt inspired by. Essentially, California was about to legalize marijuana in November of 2016. We noticed that most of the marijuana related brands were marketing to the stoner culture or, the branding was on the pure medicinal as in on the sterile side of things. We saw a large group of people with discretionary income being left behind. We started growing plants and processing the THC into medicinal tinctures. Moms across the state were really loving our tinctures especially around dinner time when the kids were cranky. When we started stepping into dispensaries to pitch our product, we were asked where the CBD tincture was. CBD? CBD? We had heard a little bit about the molecule CBD derived and decided to do some more research. We fast started falling in love with CBD and the growing evidence supporting claims that CBD had helped everything from epileptic seizures to arthritis to pimples. It became very clear to us that we wanted to shift our emphasis from THC to CBD and focus on creating products for non-psychoactive well-being. CBD is also legal thanks to the Farm Bill signed into effect by former President Obama so it made sense because it opened our market up.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Desi- I studied Pre-Med and switched to Anthropology at university, only to go back and graduate with a Graphic Design certificate. My husband and I were founders of three startups. 2 of them getting 2nd and 3rd round funding. I’ve worked at a hospital as a phlebotomist, and owned my own retail store. That is all to say I’m a true Jack of all Trades (just a refresher on that saying – Jack of all trades, master of none,: though oftentimes better than master of one). My long time side hustle has been making and selling jewelry. I have an etsy shop (etsy.com/shopmodernist) and I sell wholesale. I also make bitters seasonally and have taught workshops on how to diy your own bitters. Shelly- I have hustled many a hustle over the years. Some of the most interesting and fun: I imported Saris from India and sewed them into luscious body pillows, While living in Costa Rica I offered welcome dinners waiting in vacation rentals for weary arriving travelers (the upside-down pineapple cake soaked with local rum was always a hit), I wrote a book and self published it (The Book of Questions for New Parents) and I bought a kiln as if it were a furniture piece and from my living room made ceramic wind chimes to sell at street fairs.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Our favorite spots in San Diego: Hiking Torrey Pines, Sunset Cliffs, lunch at Indian Chaat House, Hillcrest Farmer’s Market, Queen Califia’s Magical Circle, swimming in the ocean, coffee in Little Italy and strong cocktail at Bali Hai.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Cordial Organics has been supported and inspired by many along the way including our family members, our friends, the San Diego community at large, the Podcast How I Built This, the magazine Bon Appetit, our social media community and everyone that came before us that has believed in starting a business and doing the work.
Nominate someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.