Hanna Yi is 1/2 of the dynamic founder duo of "Two Cranes Botanicals". She is also an important partner, ever present cheerleader and friend to CURA. (The other 1/2 fyi, is her equally stunning twin sister Susun).
We are so grateful to her for agreeing to model for us for one, to be interviewed for our "Women We Love" series and for contributing to CURA's in-store wellness product assortment. Truth be told, we never imagined that Two Cranes ATTUNE CBD oil would align with our mission at CURA and it was Hanna who taught us how misinformed we were.
It is a privilege to share our conversation with this compassionate determined, mother, sister, wife, friend, yoga instructor and all around loving entrepreneur about her journey, the power of CBD and her opinions on wellness in this still somewhat skeptical space.
KW. Hanna, I was so intrigued and touched when you connected with CURA initially. I knew nothing about CBD, but you knew from CURAs social comms and mission statement that we would align. Can you explain why you knew we would be a good fit?
HY. I found Cura just scrolling through Insta one day. The beautiful images of women and children and the artisanal work first caught my attention, all of what I was seeing and reading resonated with me. Learning about your heart and passion for your work, I knew I had to meet you. When we did meet, you said “every item in this store has a story.” That stuck with me. Stories are powerful, stories heal. Your desire to give voice to those that are underrepresented, misrepresented or overlooked and create truly sustainable ways of consuming and bringing awareness is beautiful. It’s evident that it wasn’t simply about showing off pretty pieces, although all the items are so gorgeous and unique. Our purpose at Two Cranes is to do what we can within our power to help heal the earth and those in it with the gifts and privileges we’ve been afforded. We are passionate about partnering with other women who are running in their own lanes and are always looking to encourage and uplift others. It is evident you do as well. Our quality in terms of product and brand aesthetic are vital, however, the impact beyond the bottle is where the magic lies.
KW. What is CBD? And was there one moment that you knew this was your business future?
HY. In a nutshell, Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannbinoid that is in the Cannabis plant and abundant in the hemp plant which is a subspecies of the Cannabis (Sativa). CBD is one of the most abundant (40+%) therapeutic cannabinoids in the hemp plant that does not make you “high”. CBD is the safe, non-addictive and non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid that works with your Endocannabinoid system to help regulate your body systems to achieve homeostasis and overall well being. It’s proven to have high levels of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties and medical studies have shown it can aid in the relief of anxiety, stress, sleep issues, pain, and inflammatory disorders. Used topically it has shown to help remedy eczema, acne, psoriasis, and other skin issues.
My twin sister and Co-founder, Susun and I were both introduced to CBD when we were faced with our own health crisis. Pain and suffering is usually a catalyst to change and a profound teacher. CBD was a powerful tool that helped us get through some tough times when we needed more support. When we found CBD it was similar to when we found yoga together, it changed our lives. We’ve been teaching yoga for almost a decade and have always had a passion for sharing it with others, it was no different with CBD. Susun and I would go back and forth about how difficult it was to find a good, consistent product with trustworthy quality. There weren’t many companies we could feel good about referring our friends to. We realized there was a demand for high-quality CBD and wanted to create a business from the ground up that would be truly honest, sustainable and transparent.
KW. What about the perception around hemp vs weed?
HY. There is still a lot of confusion about hemp, marijuana, and cannabis. Hemp is cannabis, cannabis is weed and weed is Marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are both subspecies of weed or cannabis. The main difference is Marijuana has more of the psychoactive compound (THC) than the other. Unfortunately, there are negative associations and perceptions in our culture about weed or cannabis in general due to the recreational aspect of it. There’s a lot to be said about the political motivation that has further impacted these perceptions as well.
Has this been a challenge for you when discussing your business?
HY. Like many, it didn’t occur to us that hemp-based CBD could be medicinal without the high. Even when we learned that was possible I was still nervous to the idea of taking CBD oil. It sounds silly, but we know we’re not the only ones. Many of our Attune CBD lovers initially asked us if they can drive, work or function normally when taking our products. Hemp and CBD is definitely having a moment so in that respect people are more open and receptive about learning more. Again, it really comes down to education when breaking the negative stigma that is associated with this plant and CBD. This is something we are very passionate about.
KW. You started Two Cranes with your twin sister who lives in Colorado! It’s hard enough to launch a business, it must be harder to do it when your partner is out of state and is also immediate family. Is it and how do you do it?
HY.What a packed question!
In some ways, it’s hard being apart from Susun both personally and professionally, however it actually works out great that Susun is in Colorado. Our farmer, supply and distribution are out there. Susun and I have always dreamed of working in the space of wellness together. It’s a passion we've shared living close and apart. We are in such different places in life today - I'm married with kids and Susun is unattached without kids. Through the years there has been loss of intimacy between us in some sense since we've been living such different lifestyles, but the love is always deep. We share the same values and even some strengths however, our perspectives and communication styles are different. That said, we are constantly learning how to be more efficient and effective in the ways we work as a team. Ultimately we’re grateful we get to create something together and that we aren’t in this alone. When we’re feeling like we’re not enough or deficient, we have each other as cheerleaders to help each other process. It’s yin and yang and we’re reminded that through the good or bad God is always teaching us something valuable.
KW. Wellness and mindfulness is such big business and in fact is getting some blowback these days. How do you balance the nay-sayers and the commercialization?
HY. Western medicine has been commercialized and has benefited from government help and commercialization for quite sometime. The western medicine approach treat symptoms and diseases using drugs, radiation, or surgery. I’m not opposed to modern western medicine, however the public is getting savvier. Perhaps mindfulness and wellness is big business because we live in a culture where we’re overstimulated with demands beyond our capacities. We're recognizing we can’t simply remedy the symptoms and that our performance culture isn’t sustainable without interventions and mindfulness. I love that ‘wellness’ and ‘selfcare’ is getting more attention. It is important to get the message across that your health really does come first. However, I can’t help but wonder how many of us feel overwhelmed or even discouraged in keeping up with wellness trends and things we must do or buy to achieve a better sense of ‘wellbeing.’
KW. How do you feel about accessibility?
HY. I think that accessibility is a real issue and that it’s important to do what is in our power to address it. We need better access to tools for preventative care, organic and high quality foods, better access to mental and psychological care. We need accessibility to places that nurture physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing. There needs to be a systemic change at the federal, state and local levels. We are working with organizations that gives voice to those underrepresented and we give a portion of our proceeds to organizations that advocate for accessibility and support underprivileged communities. We are currently at work on ways to make Two Cranes more accessible to those in need as well.
Can you share who you hope your talents, experience and mission will positively impact?
HY. We are committed to helping anyone who we cross paths with, people looking for relief. We are intentionally partnering with organizations that help heal the earth and help women and children gain access to basic needs and compassion. We hope to facilitate real-life connections between women for positive change, whether that be through this platform in business, yoga or fitness.
KW. You’ve accomplished so much with 2 CRANES it hasn't even been 6 months since you've launched, what do you see a your greatest success in building this biz so far?
HY. Leaning into uncertainty and launching something public that you’ve poured your heart and soul into is scary, however if you don’t go for it you’ll never know what your capable of. My greatest success thus far is getting out in the world and hearing how quickly our product has positively impacted others. We're so incredibly thankful that we’ve been well received. In the infancy of Two Cranes we envisioned creating a way to connect with women that have the same passion in guiding others towards the path of healing. Since launching we've been able to partner with wonderful women entrepreneurs like you and others who desire the same.
KW. What about failures?
HY. Trying to do it all and getting overwhelmed. The irony is that I’ve entered into wellness industry in a new way and am trying to figure out how to manage the added stress of running a business. I’m still learning how to make time for things that nurture my physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing. My sister and I are always assessing how we can set better boundaries as we grow this business so our default choices are still able to support putting health first.
KW. How are you doing it all or are you faking it till you make it?
HY. Fake it till you make it! I don’t think that there is such a thing as perfect balance and the ability to do it all, at least all at once anyway. I’m learning to pace myself, it’s not a sprint, it’s marathon.
KW. What are some things that most people don’t know about you? I love playing music, specifically playing cello. I don’t have as much time to play these days but it fills my soul!
What things or practices can’t you live without?
HY. Praying, yoga, playing with my sons, and spending time with family.
What is a great piece of advice you’ve received and think everyone should practice or consider?
HY. One day at a time. It won’t happen overnight so be patient.
As part of our month-of-matriarchy, we invited two sets of our favorite mom-and-daughter pairs into the studio for a photo series and interview. We're sharing the images and more on Instagram all month long but meanwhile, here's a slightly deeper dive into who these phenomenal women are.