A new indie beauty brand in Denver is powered by cannabis connections.
hether you’re scrolling your digital feed or strolling into an analog convenience store (or into a department store, grocery store, beauty store—almost any store these days), you’re likely to see the three-letter combo denoting the “It” cannabinoid with staying power: C-B-D. Everybody knows about it, everybody’s heard about all the things it can do, everybody wants a taste. And once they get one, they tell their friends, who get with their friends, and suddenly all the friends are doing it every weekend—and weekdays too.
Hey, it’s not like it gets you high. It just does your body good. But … in what way? And how? How much does it take to do good things? How often do you need to take it to do said body the aforementioned good? How much CBD is in a product you’re trying, how much in the recommended dose? Is that enough? Too much? What else is in it? Does it come from hemp, is it locally grown, did the growers use pesticides? Where was it made? How was it made? Has it been tested by a third-party lab? Do those tests look for the presence of heavy metals and pesticides or just CBD potency? Are the test results available for review?
“These are important questions but people don’t know to ask them,” says Shannon Kaygi, a CU Boulder alum who radiates all sorts of good energy. She’s a hemp and CBD entrepreneur who knows a thing or two about how, why, and where to go for high-quality info and higher-quality hemp-derived CBD—and she wants to share that with the world.
“I see new CBD brands coming to market every day. I stare at their bottles and their websites, and it’s not always clear to me what amount of CBD is in the products,” Kaygi tells me during a recent video interview for this article. “But even if it is clear, the bigger question is do you as a consumer know or understand what it means?”
In the other corner of my screen, Kaygi’s business partner, Rochonne Sanchez, is smiling and nodding her perfectly styled blond head in agreement. There’s a lot of vibes of love and support bouncing around my screen, which is fitting. Sanchez and Kaygi are the co-founders of the hot boutique CBD beauty brand Eossi— pronounced ee-oh-see, a made-up verb that means, according to the company’s website, “to release your inner goddess.” The site also says that “every day, our founders Sanchez and Kaygi are living the Eossi Beauty ethos: create your own dynamic energy, cultivate love, and let your beauty shine.”
“CBD is a thing of beauty,” Sanchez says. “Beauty lovers deserve products that they can believe in, products they can trust. And despite CBD’s raging popularity, there was a need not just for luxury plant-based products that people can afford, but for information. People are hungry for education about CBD, and they demand transparency about the products they use.”
Sanchez and Kaygi are hoping those beautiful people will give Eossi’s signature line a try—and then they’ll be hooked. Eossi dropped its first product in July, and the reviews for the new facial oil are … glowing, as are the co-founders’ dewy faces.
Maybe they’re born with it, or maybe it’s Eossi. The aptly named Facial Glow Oil #8 was created with an organic Moroccan argan oil base and paired with other skin-loving oils like grapeseed, vitamin E, rosehip, and CBD commingled with frankincense, myrrh, and jasmine in a formula that absorbs into the skin without residue. That means the hydrating #8 won’t leave your forehead shining like a disco ball over an oil slick. The beneficial combo of natural ingredients, which includes a whopping 1,000mg of broad-spectrum CBD in each 50ml bottle, packs a potent beauty punch—and all for just $50 a bottle.
An affordable luxe product made from sustainably sourced and thoroughly vetted clean pure botanicals from a local company founded by two women? Check, check, and check go all the conscientious-consumer boxes. Along with the Facial Glow Oil, Eossi has a full line of plant-based products in the works, with Sanchez supporting the development as well as brand marketing initiatives and Kaygi playing a central role in it all.
A gregarious networker by nature, Kaygi is a lifelong Coloradan and a well-known and pretty universally adored figure in the state’s cannabis industry. She worked on the business development, cannabis compliance, and technology services side of things before founding a hemp wholesale network in 2018. In less than a year, she had turned it into a million-dollar business. At Eossi, Kaygi’s wears the cheeky title of chief brilliance officer (Sanchez is her chief glow officer counterpart), guiding product development and overseeing the rollout (and coming expansion) of Eossi’s product line. Simultaneously laid-back yet totally focused and driven, she’s got a whole vibe that draws people in. At least that’s how Sanchez sees it, and she should know: she’s got a vibe of her own—she’s a 10-step-sometimes-more-beauty-routine type of woman to Kaygi’s “sometimes I put on mascara if I’m feeling fancy,” a dressed-to-the-nines-at-all-times type who feels her best when she looks her best to her co-founder fashionably casual style. She’s polished. Like a badass banker, which she is. She brings more than a decade of experience in banking finance managing high-risk liquidity assets for the burgeoning hemp industry to her Eossi role—plus a lifetime of passion about all things related to health, wellness, and beauty.
“When I went through my divorce four years ago, I swore I would never legally tie myself to another person again,” Sanchez says. “Then one day I met this spunky blond with a black eye from a pole in a hemp facility she had walked into and strong opinions on all sorts of subjects. [Kaygi] was—is—passionate about cannabis and the industry, and she wanted to share that passion with people. She told me a little about her dream of creating a cannabis lifestyle brand that would bring joy to people’s lives, that would educate people about how incredible cannabis is and how to bring it into their lives. To make luxury attainable through amazing products. As she spoke, I knew I had met someone special—someone who shared my same dreams.”
It took Sanchez a little while to work up the courage to ask Kaygi to be a part of the lifestyle brand she had in development, “to help her grow the dream, to stand beside her as we offered something that we created to the world, and to be her business partner.” Kaygi proved to be more than receptive, and the duo joined forces driven by one purpose: to make life brighter—because, as they both said during our convo, “we all deserve to feel as good as we look, naturally.”