Review by Naomi Rosenblatt
Business initiatives often evolve from personal experience—even crisis. “Three years ago, I fractured my skull,” Elana Frankel, the founder of Indigo and Haze, confides. “One second I was chatting with girlfriends; the next, I was having a CAT scan. My Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) left me bedridden with a swollen brain and loss of senses—smell and taste. The traditional solution for TBIs, bed rest in a dark room with no stimuli, did not work for my lifestyle. I am a wife and mother with a career as a creative director, and I teach yoga.”
Her husband brought to her attention research from Israel that highlighted how CBD oil was helping to heal the head injuries of soldiers. Elana, like many who have benefitted from medical marijuana, was initially put off by the suggestion: “I told him that I was not going to smoke pot. I could barely string a sentence together. He explained to me that CBD (short for Cannabidiol) is the non-psychoactive hemp plant extract that has anti-inflammatory properties. I changed my tune.”
As Elana’s TBI slowly healed with the help of CBD oil, she dreamed of sharing its healing properties with others. “I wanted to take the knowledge that I had gained and create a place for others to learn, have access to highly curated products, and get inspired. It needed to be a place that reflected a ‘high-thread-count hippie lifestyle,’ with product that has great packaging design and would be carried in places that reflect a strong design aesthetic. Thus, Indigo and Haze was born.”
Education and free choice made the difference for Elana, and Indigo and Haze carries forth her mission. Along with its artisanal line of soaps and moisturizers infused with CBD oil, Indigo and Haze offers Tub Tea Bags (a “soothing bath of hemp flowers, rose hip and clove oil”), Hemp Sugar Cube Body Scrubs (scented with lavender or rosemary), incense dishes, grass pillows, vintage ashtrays, pottery, stash bags, teas, indigo fabric, and a sensual enhancement oil—Foria Awaken—based on a proprietary blend of whole-plant extracts.
Indigo and Haze moisturizing body cream, “a delicate blend of watercress, cucumber and mint” with Vitamin E, shea butter, coconut and hemp seed oil, is a total treat; I savor the cool tingle as I spread it on my arms and legs. Elana adds, “I use it at night on my feet (and if I wear socks, the heat activates the CBD even more) and the calming, anti-anxiety properties instantly relaxes me.” I know I’m not imagining the plush texture that my winter-whipped skin has assumed after only a week of use.
I wondered whether this delicious body cream might be used medically, to treat arthritis or bruising. Elana observes: “The natural anti-inflammatory properties helps joint relief but also I have customers who use it post-bikini wax or during chemo for inflamed skin and for pain in hands from Lupus. The tea tub is a great soak for joint pain relief, too. I also have customers who are hardcore runners and they foot-soak after miles and love it.” In the absence of formal medical evaluation by the FDA, Elana encourages consumers to “share their experiences with our products and learn from each other. We are building a community. At this point, I rely on customer feedback and anecdotal evidence.”
For a company that’s been around for only a year and a half, Indigo and Haze has produced quite a range of offerings. It appears that their lines are distributed by exclusive boutiques such as One Mercantile in the Berkshires, as well as through their own online shopping cart. Who can argue with plant-based wellness, beauty and living or a ‘high-thread-count hippie lifestyle’? Not I. But of course, cannabis remains banned federally in the United States, and I would imagine, without knowing all the facts, that distribution presents a challenge.
Elana was asked on Instagram: “What is your advice for women in the cannabis industry?” She recommended, “Talk to as many people as you can, listen to your gut/inner voice, learn, unlearn and remember that what happens to one woman matters in the larger sense.” Like many cannabis businesses, Elana’s is woman-owned and operated. Her rare CBD-rich products promise to enhance our beauty on a level beyond skin-deep, and shouldn’t be missed.