We've known Claudia Mata since her days as the accessories director for W magazine in New York City. At the time, we'd field her calls for magnificent jewels for cover shoots and glamorous fashion spreads. Fast forward a few years, and we meet again, both on our own entrepreneur journeys.
After a move across the country to sunny Northern California, Claudia has made a successful leap from editor to CBD entrepreneur. But before you make any assumptions, read on. You'll discover that Claudia and her family were there before the gold rush started. Claudia's husband and in-laws have been in the cannabis industry for years, and combined with her interest in herbalism and their forever clean, green and healthy lifestyle, they've created a gorgeous line of CBD-infused self-care products we didn't know we needed. Today, Vertly counts four luxurious products, including a delicious lip butter and refreshing body spray. All are produced in Northern California, using ingredients sourced from local farming collectives and handcrafted in the brand's own laboratory. Pairing CBD with complementary healing plant extracts, these products fit perfectly into anyone's clean beauty routine. And, they're perfect for travel.
Claudia is now part of that elusive group of women shaping the future of CBD, and we're so proud to count her among our friends. Oh and did we mention she's a mother of two?! As a Latina, she claims her quest for sunshine runs in her genes. Well, she now lives in a constant state of sunshine, gardening and dreaming up the next gen of garden-to-bottle skincare, harnessing the power of CBD. Claudia, we're rooting for you!
Three years ago, you moved from New York City to Northern California. Talk about a change in lifestyle! What was that like?
My husband grew up in Marin County, and he always knew he wanted to raise our family there. When I became pregnant with my second baby, he was like "time to go!" Having lived in New York City for almost fourteen years, I was definitely nervous to leave the life and career I knew and loved – and I'd never lived in California before. But of course life always surprises you and moving here was instant love. California life definitely moves at a slower pace, but I'm embracing this! Marin County is just the most beautiful place surrounded by greenery, mountains, beautiful hiking trails, warm but cool weather, so it's hard not to feel grateful every day. It's also opened the part of my life I was missing in New York City – my connection to nature.
You went from editing the pages of W magazine to CBD entrepreneur... Tell us about that journey.
Going from fashion to cannabis is definitely a leap, but not as far for me as it seems! My husband has brothers who have been involved in the cannabis industry for over a decade – from farming to owning manufacturing plants, to investing in new brands – so this was definitely the topic of many family vacations and dinner conversations. Before I left New York, I knew I was going to get into the business but it wasn't until I started studying herbalism that the concept for Vertly came together. Starting any new business takes a lot of work, but getting into the CBD space has a lot more hurdles than the average business, so everyday brings a new adventure!
How does Vertly fit into your way of life?
It's really a convergence of my family's lifestyle and interests. My husband and business partner, Zander's background is in yoga, nutrition and health coaching, so we've always had a clean, green and healthy family lifestyle. Because of his family farms, he has been treating his injuries with CBD and THC for almost a decade, way before it was trendy. Combined with my herbalism background, we went all in with using plants for healing and wellness prevention. For instance, I make my own teas every day, made from different herbs to keep a cold at bay, help my skin glow, or whatever my need is. With Vertly, we pair CBD with complementary healing plant extracts in everything we make and we really stand behind the products because we use them ourselves every day and have seen the benefits firsthand!
There's a lot of talk about CBD when it comes to self-care at the moment. What is your stand on it all?
Rather than treat CBD as a cure-all, we approach it like a vitamin, inviting smaller amounts to be absorbed into the skin through daily use. I'm a big advocate of micro-dosing – using a small amount of CBD in my daily routine because CBD is fat soluble and can stay bound to your cells. Ultimately, you can build up a reserve and just use a smaller amount daily for maintenance. For body care, we have CBD-infused Relief Lotion, Workout Recovery Body Spray and Bath Salts that are all great for achy muscles, body soreness, and overall soothing. After a day of chasing my kids, I either rub the Relief Lotion or mist the Body Spray on any sore spots. We have a Lip Butter that I keep in my purse, car, on the dresser – it's always within reach! I've also been using our face skincare products religiously, and we're planning to launch them later this year!
You call yourself a "budding herbalist". How does that affect what you create for Vertly?
I did a career pivot when I moved here and began an herbalism education, training with a local master herbalist. I was very interested in how plants can help us thrive and heal, especially as a parent to two little ones. Because we felt the same way about CBD usage, pairing it with complementary healing plants in products to use every day made sense. One of the biggest differences between our brand and almost every CBD brand currently on the market is our process. We work with local herbalists and farming collectives to grow fresh herbs, and then we do a slow extraction process in-house at our Northern California facilities and use these oils in our products. We handcraft everything in our own laboratory and make small batches daily to ensure you get the freshest product. We are a true garden-to-bottle skincare brand!