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Chica’s Year in Review

Happy New Year! Are you tired of answering questions about your resolutions? Frustrated with your 2017? Find your escape by reading about ours. We don’t have our 2018 planned yet either.

Cassidy: To My CEO Hivemind,

Happy 2018! Do you remember this time last year? We were gearing up for the Big Idea competition at Colorado College, heady with the possibility that this might actually be something. At that point, Chica was little more than a concept. In fact, it wasn’t even “Chica” yet. We were still calling our project Jade Moon Chocolates, and I had just led you on a highly unnecessary goose chase for the perfect logo. I had a very specific vision of a kung fu chick kicking her period problems in the goddamn jugular. Our only official meeting had been at Breadworks, over liberal doses of caffeine and a giant pretzel. We didn’t know how to pitch, or project our cash flow, or even identify our MVP–the startup lingo might as well have been a foreign language. But, even then, we knew what we wanted.

We envisioned a world where people could feel powerful on their period. Where natural remedies are universally accessible. Where menstruation isn’t stigmatized. We just didn’t know what to do with that vision; how to execute on an idea that just seemed like a pipe dream. The Big Idea was perfect for us; an abrupt yet sheltered introduction to the entrepreneurial landscape. We definitely didn’t register for the pitch competition with the conviction that we would walk away with 10k in seed funding–money was just the incentive and the extremely silver lining. The most important part of the Big Idea was the deadline: we didn’t know how to be our own bosses, but we did know deadlines. Like you’ve said, we’re academics. We’re motivated by pressure. And it made us sit our asses down and get shit done.

We learned how to talk about our idea with eloquence and expertise. We drafted plans to execute. We learned to freaking make truffles. Those first days were messy in the best way: in our parents’ kitchens, splattered in chocolate and watching a YouTube tutorial on how to temper. As it turns out, chocolate has a steep learning curve. Our first prototype of a physical product was, to be completely honest, a hot mess. But those truffles were damn tasty–at least that’s been consistent.

When I think about how far we’ve come, it blows my mind that it has only been a year. This period of time has contained multitudes. We have learned a lot, and we have a lot to celebrate. But this year has also been challenging. It is impossible to conceptualize the time, work, and stress that starting a business requires until you’re balls deep in the experience, and no amount of forewarning can prepare you for the gut-punch realization that people don’t believe in your or your idea. Our growth has been steady, but it has been slow, and I am always frustrated by the sensation that we’re wading through our launch.

As we begin our second year, and prepare for our second round at the Big Idea, I am both excited and exhausted. But mostly, I am terrified of letting you down. You have taken charge of our kitchen while I have been away at school, and I know that this burden has been corrosive. As we move forward, especially as I prepare to move to Latin America for four months, it will be of the utmost importance that I contribute my 200% so it doesn’t stay that way. We will continue to face challenges, and have to overcome them together, because a strong executive partnership will be our greatest challenge to come.

Thank you for everything you do. I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store!

Love,

Cass

P.S. Wish your Big Mama congratulations on her nuptials for me! I hope there was cake.

Elise: To my CEO Hivemind,

Let’s get one thing out of the way real quick: my 2017 would be NOTHING without you and Chica’s 2017 sure as hell would be nothing without you. I’m so proud of the amount of brainstorming we’ve shared together, but the feeling that keeps nagging at me is that Chica is still only a side project. I’ve spent the last nine months weary of launching, of growing without any solid ground. I sometimes beat myself up, telling myself that I’m afraid of hard work and rejection. Your description of wading is very apt, and it does make me feel young as I observe the start-up culture around us, which says to take a running leap into the deep end. However, I found comfort during my bus ride to the airport listening to Yvon Chouinard speak about founding Patagonia, and the importance of slow growth and company integrity (you can find it here). I identify with the idea of growing a “mission-driven” company, one that is actually working for some better good in everything from its product, to its advertising, to its hiring, to its charity work, to its community involvement.

There were a lot of moments when I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. Then I sat down with you either over the phone or a snack, and I felt the surge of energy return to me. I cherish our accomplishments when I think about 2017, but more than that I celebrate the trusting relationship that we have built. Yes, sometimes I do pick up more slack for now, but know that it is your support that makes me feel good every day. And I will call you out, as you should me ;). I’m very excited to make Chica my everything instead of just my sometimes and I’m very excited to visit you in Chile in March!

There is a glaring hole in this letter which is that we haven’t made any goals for 2018! Are you free for a Hivemind meeting tonight?

Love,

Elise

Poria

Fungus & Root

Scierotium Poriae Cocos / Fu Ling / 茯苓 Scierotium Pararadicis Poriae Cocos / Fu Shen / 茯神

Poria calms the heart and soothes nerves, helping with anxiety and insomnia. Additionally, Poria drains dampness, an excess of moisture that the body collects in the wrong places and makes us feel heavy and fatigued (hello moodiness).

Chinese Salvia

Root

Radix Salviae Miltiorrhizae / Dan Shen / 丹參

Salvia root nourishes the blood and heart, and calms the spirit. Salvia works with Schisandra and Zizyphus in Chica Chill to help relieve insomnia.

Rehmannia

Root

Radix Rehmanniae Preparata / Sheng Di Huang / 熟地黄

Rehmannia root is your Yin nourisher, supporting calm and cold in your system. With its additional ability to help cool blood, increase fluids, and clear heart fire; Rehmannia is a star herb for soothing and preventing heat flashes.

Polygala / Thin-Leaf Milkwort

Root

Radix Polygalae Tenuifoliae / Yuan Zhi / 元志

Polygala root nourishes the Heart, and helps soothe nerves and restlessness.

Schisandra / Chinese Magnolia

Berry

Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis / Wu Wei Zi / 五味子

Schisandra berry is famous for featuring all five flavors of Traditional Chinese Medicine: bitter, sweet, salty, sour, hot. This means that Schisandra is completely energetically balanced, promoting overall health and vitality. Schisandra helps relieve night sweats, insomnia, and hormonal imbalances. Schisandra is also rich in antioxidants that are thought to protect from free radicals and other toxins in the environment that may cause cellular damage. 

Platycodon / Balloon Flower

Root

Radix Platycodi / Jie Geng / 桔梗

Platycodon root is a neutral balancing herb, meaning it is not especially Yin or Yang. Platycodon is nourishing for the lungs, which in TCM, is the organ that supports Qi and fluid flow throughout the body.

Scrophularia / Figwort

Root

Radix Scrophulariae / Xuan Shen / 玄參

Scrophularia root nourishes Yin, drains fire, and cools the blood. Scrophularia is particularly soothing for irritability.

Ophiopogon / Dwarf Lilyturf

Tuber

Tuber Ophiopogonis Japonici / Mai Men Dong / 麦门冬

Ophiopogon tuber works with Asparagus to nourish Yin and clear heat throughout the system. These plants also provide moisture and relieve restlessness.

Stemona

Root

Radix Stemonae / Bai Bu / 百部

Stemona root is a balancing herb in the Chica Chill formula. Stemona is nourishing for the lungs, which in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is the organ that supports Qi and fluid flow throughout the body.

Licorice

Root

Radix Glycyrrhizae / Gan Cao / 甘草

Licorice acts as a unifier, balancing the formula and amplifying the properties of the other herbs.

Zizyphus / Sour Jujube

Seed

Semen Zizyphi Spinosae / Suan Zao Ren / 酸枣仁

Zizyphus seed nourishes the heart and calms the spirit. Zizyphus helps relieve insomnia, irritability, and anxiety.

Ginseng

Root

Radix Ginseng / Ren Shen / 人参

Ginseng root, one of the most famous herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is known for its ability to strengthen Qi and support life vitality. Ginseng nourishes the Heart and calms the spirit, helping reduce anxiety and insomnia.

Acorus / Grassleaf Sweetflag

Rhizome

Rhizoma Acori Tatarinowii / Shi Chang Pu / 石菖蒲

Acorus helps relieve internal heat and is a favorite herb for reducing frequent insomnia.

Eucommia / Chinese Rubber Tree

Bark

Cortex Eucommiae Ulmoidis / Du Zhong / 杜仲

Eucommia bark balances the Chica Chill formula by offering Yang properties. Eucommia is also nourishing for the heart, and has been featured in research in Western medicine for its ability to help lower blood pressure.

Angelica / Dong Quai

Root

Radix Angelicae Sinensis / Dong Quai / 当归

Angelica root is sometimes described as the “female ginseng,” due to its fame for supporting a healthy and regular menstrual cycle. Angelica root strengthens blood and energizes circulation. In Chica Chill, Angelica root balances the herbal formula with its Yang properties.

Biota / Arborvitae

Seed

Semen Platycladi / Bai Zi Ren / 柏子仁

Biota seed benefits memory and promotes restful sleep by nourishing the heart and calming the spirit.

Chinese Asparagus

Tuber

Tuber Asparagi Cochinensis / Tian Men Dong / 天门冬

Asparagus root works with Ophiopogon to nourish Yin and clear heat throughout the system. These plants also provide moisture and relieve restlessness.