Shayda Torabi has been voted best Texas Hemp Educator, Advocate, and Influencer, and she’s one of the women leading the cannabis reformation conversation building one of Texas’ premier CBD brands. She’s currently the CEO and Co-Founder of RESTART CBD, a female and family-run education first CBD wellness brand. Shayda is the host of a podcast for cannabis marketers called To Be Blunt, where she interviews top cannabis brands on their most successful marketing initiatives. When Shayda’s not building her cannabiz in Texas, you can find her on the road exploring the best hikes and spots for vegan ice cream. Follow Shayda at @theshaydatorabi.
What part of the world do you wake up in the morning? What’s it like where you live?
I was born and raised Texan, and I’ve called Austin home my whole life. So getting a front-row seat to watching the city grow and the legal cannabis market open up in my home state has been nothing short of a wild ride. For those who may be less familiar with Texas’ cannabis laws, hemp is state legal however marijuana is not, and we have a very immature medical marijuana program. Luckily growing up in Austin, we’ve had more leniency on cannabis, but as a state, we are just opening up to the discussion and it’s definitely been an interesting one to have to see Texan’s perspectives changed and stigmas eroded about this plant in my lifetime.
In addition to that, Austin is a very active city. Lots of hike and bike trails. We are either scorching hot (temps JUST hit the high 80s this week) or we’re neutral. And somehow despite living here my whole life, I’m never prepared for the weather.
What Is Your Morning Routine? What do you think about in the morning? What do you eat and drink?
I am a creature of habit and I believe in prioritizing movement daily, so whether I’m on the road or at home, fitness is how I start my day.
It’s a way to clear my mind before I have to jump into work. When you’re a business owner there is no “9-5” so I have to actively create boundaries for me to disconnect with my devices and connect with myself.
On top of being an entrepreneur, being one in cannabis also tends to be a bit more tricky to navigate. So I also allow myself time after my workout and during breakfast to tune into industry news and content that can help set my day up for success.
I’ll turn on a Gary V podcast or catch up on Ganjaprenuer while I make my breakfast. Again a creature of habit when it comes to my food too, lately I’ve been making a protein pitaya smoothie bowl every day. And fun fact, I’m caffeine-free. No reason in particular, I just have other vices :).
How do you work? How do you plan your day? What’s your job?
For all intents and purposes, I am the CEO and Co-Founder of RESTART CBD, and the host of the To Be Blunt podcast, and I create content at @theshaydatorabi.
However, truthfully I am an entrepreneur and creative at heart and lucky enough to be self-employed, so yes I have a structure in the sense that I work during business hours working on business operations, customer experiences, creating and shooting content, publishing and promoting content, recording episodes for my podcast, and contributing to events by public speaking, etc. But I also do those tasks after hours too.
I operate a retail and e-commerce business on behalf of RESTART and still work retail some days, and still manage and update our website and manage all our press.
In cannabis there’s always something to pay attention to regarding the laws and regulations, in Texas, for example, we’re in the middle of a smokable ban that if it goes into effect could pull those products from my shelves in retail.
Those are sometimes known and unknown challenges that no amount of preparation can prepare for. My favorite word is “pivot,” I can’t get mad I can only control how I react. So I always have to stay agile when it comes to what to expect in any one day-to-day.
I also make sure to bake in self-care, I go to acupuncture once a week, see a chiropractor once a week, try to do a jojoba oil and coconut oil hair mask once a week. I like to work hard, but I also like to play hard too. And taking care of myself is integral to taking care of business.
How does your cannabis job compare to previous jobs outside of the industry?
Nothing compares to being your own boss. The good, the bad, the ugly!
I am appreciative of my previous roles because I do believe they set me up for as best of success as possible. I started my career in technology and platforms, so I definitely have some familiarity with digital platforms that would make navigating the cannabis industry’s world of e-commerce, banking, payment merchants, and social media that much more navigable for me.
My first professional job was with a WordPress company and I joined them as employee 13 and scaled with the company for 6 years to over 600 employees, so I had a front-row seat to watching a startup grow while also getting to wear many different marketing hats. I did product marketing, brand marketing, event and partnership marketing, and many other roles in between.
It was empowering to help build someone else’s dream, but it’s been the most rewarding taking what I learned and applying it to my own business and the cannabis industry. It’s a challenge daily but if you look at it as an opportunity to get better, you’ll always find a way to grow and succeed.
Do you exercise or meditate? What do you think about when exercising, meditating?
Exercise daily! With COVID I stopped going to my gym and ended up building out a gym in my garage. I have a full set of weights and a spin bike so every other day I rotate between the two.
Working out is integral to my mental health. This industry is extremely stressful, and finding healthy ways to cope and disconnect is very important.
I also believe in meditation, but can’t say I practice it daily. I’m an advocate for doing what is ultimately best for you, maybe you prefer to run. Do that! Maybe you prefer to read and journal. Do that!
I honestly use my time during my exercises to just connect with my body. To feel the movements, and to challenge myself. If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. And I believe what we do in the “gym” prepares us for how we show up in the world. Discipline and development, so change isn’t going to happen until you do.
What do you wear these days?
You may have noticed if you scroll through my social media that I have a favorite color. Spoiler alert, it’s black.
I made the decision about 7 years ago to only wear black clothes. A few influences, Steve Jobs pretty much wore the same thing daily to eliminate a small decision daily, so he could focus on the bigger decisions.
I’m driven by that thought, and additionally, I had a boss and mentor who also only wore black, and during my career as his employee, I did a significant amount of traveling. I learned a solid color made packing, laundry, and even shopping that much easier.
Plus it’s a power color and an iconic look. Dare to be bold!
What’s for lunch and describe the rest of your day like up to dinner time?
I eat a predominantly paleo diet. Meaning I focus on animal protein, veggies, and fruits, and avoid things like dairy, processed foods and refined sugars, and grains.
Lately, I’ve been doing 85/15 allowing for grains in my diet occasionally. But I made this decision a few years ago and learned my body just feels best when I eat a clean diet. So I love a fresh salad with veggies and chicken for lunch and then usually salmon and quinoa for dinner.
My days are generally really focused on work, luckily for me I absolutely love what I do and it doesn’t feel like work (all the time), but depending on the day I might be working on pitching myself to different media and press outlets, or editing a caption for an Instagram post.
Sometimes it’s less glamorous stuff like checking emails and updating our POS (point of sale) system. But it all makes the wheels turn so I just try to get done as much as I can when I can and take necessary breaks when needed.
What’s your evening routine like after work? What’s your commute like if you have one?
My commute is short. I live in East Austin and my retail shop is in North Austin so not even 15 min away from A to B. And because I am self-employed I can really work from anywhere.
But once home I love disconnecting and have guilty pleasures of skincare and pop culture. I have a pretty consistent nightly routine of unwinding. I light a candle, do my skincare routine full of face oils and gua sha, and turn on something funny. I recently rewatched Schitt’s Creek and nothing beats eating an edible and curling up in your bed with a freshly moisturized face!
Plus as I age, I realize the importance of taking care of my well-being. Check-in with my body for the day, stretch, go to bed early, or stay up late finishing a project. I allow myself to have shorter or longer days based on what I accomplished or what I need to accomplish.
I have a routine where it counts, like my workouts or my diet, but knowing that time is money, but money doesn’t make more time allows me to balance what I need to get done vs what I want to get done and I act accordingly to the best of my ability.
What is your typical cannabis consumption routine? When do you like to consume and how?
I feel like I’m always on cannabis. And I love to consume it in so many ways! My typical routine is a 20mg dose of CBD oil upon wakeup, a puff or two of my full spectrum vape pen after my workout before my day really kicks off. I may eat a CBD edible right around 4 pm, talk about a pick me up with benefits– lately loving our 25mg taffys.
After work it’s prime time for smokables, vape, bong, joint, you name it and I’m going there. I pop a Delta 8 edible before bed, drop 100mg of CBD sublingual under my tongue, slosh on some full-spectrum topical salve, and it lights out. I love exploring different consumption methods, cannabinoids, and doses, so it’s of course fun to test things out on my own body. I am truly canna-curious and not afraid to overdose and see what a particular product’s effects are on me.
What publications do you recommend to read in cannabis?
Big fan of Ganjaprenuer and MJ Biz daily because I feel it’s important to stay on top of the news at a national level. I also like to pay attention to our local Texas NORML accounts, to stay up to date on what’s happening in Texas cannabis.
Knowledge is power and Cannabis is truly Powerful, but we need to stay sharp and stay educated. With varying laws state to state and even city to city, it’s integral to stay on top as best I can of what’s happening in our industry to guide me in how I navigate moving forward.
And I’ll plug my podcast, I usually have anywhere from 2-4 interviews a week and my guests span different states and roles in the industry, and they help keep me sharp on what’s going on– so tune into To Be Blunt if you want the download on that. Also LinkedIn- I can’t recommend that platform enough for Cannabis B2B networking and information sharing.
What’s your bedtime routine? What are your thoughts when you drift off to sleep?
I already shared my cannabis bedtime routine. But in addition to that, I try to go to sleep at a reasonable time. I’m a morning person vs a night person and since I work generally around the clock so some nights it involves research, finishing a presentation, or it’s literally me being so exhausted from the day that I just want to take a break and zone out.
I think it’s important to highlight that every day is a new chance to show up for the day. It can easily get overwhelming in this industry so I just try not to let it. I soak up as much as I can for the day and do as much as I can, try to prepare for the next day, but ultimately I have to be at peace with how I showed up and try again and again the next day.