Interviews

Published on June 11th, 2019 | by Darren Paltrowitz

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Tess Melody Taylor On The Success Of TAYLOR + Tess, CBD Benefits, Company Goals & More

In an effortless marriage of CBD and gender-neutrality comes a skincare line for “Women, Men, Neither and Both” by TAYLOR + tess. Breaking the binary beauty box from its traditional male:female mold, TAYLOR + tess announces the release of their plant-based, CBD skincare products absent of marketing towards race, gender, sexuality or other common industry trappings.

May 18th of this year brought the launch of TAYLOR + tess’s already-acclaimed 3-piece facial cleansing set, as featuring a CBD facial soap entitled ‘in the Buff.’ This self-described “ménage à trois for the face” includes the TAYLOR + tess ‘in the Buff’ facial cleansing bar, an exfoliating sponge made from industrial hemp for an organic scrub down experience and bamboo soap box for travel-friendly, hygienic storing of the complete set. Next up for the brand is ‘the Quickie,’ a hydrating facial freshening spray which ought to provide you with that “just out of the shower” feeling on-the-go.

In a modernized effort to perpetuate the free-spirited cannabis culture and its deep connection to Mother Nature, all of TAYLOR + tess’ products are plant-based and contain non-intoxicating hemp derived CBD. In turn, TAYLOR + tess is wholly committed to clean products that are primarily organic and vegan without toxic ingredients to provide holistic, natural healing and preventative skincare that can be comfortably accessed by all. Furthermore, CBD-based products are known to provide pain relief, in addition to a plethora of other beneficial healing and nutritional “side effects.”

TAYLOR + tess founder Tess Melody Taylor is a collector of degrees, an active voice in the cannabis community, and a military brat of two veteran parents who have observed and experienced the power of the plant firsthand. I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Taylor herself on behalf of The Hype Magazine and highlights from that interview are posted below for your reading pleasure.

More on TAYLOR + tess can be found online via the brand’s official website at www.taylorandtess.com, while the brand also keeps an Instagram account as @taylorandtess.

Where did the brand name TAYLOR + tess come from? Sure, it’s your name, but not in that order!

Tess Taylor: You’re right! TAYLOR is my last name, and my brand is inspired by my family who have all encouraged me to be a bold go-getter since I was a child. Family is everything, which is why it is first and capitalized. My mother and sister raised me to respect and to be kind to everyone regardless of their color, shape, size, gender, ethnicity, sexual identity, or socioeconomic status; they are also my business partners.

Where did your interest within the CBD world first come from?

Tess Taylor: My Marine Corps and Army veteran parents started using cannabis products for chronic and severe pain, and I saw just how powerful this plant is. I have smoked since my teens, but watching my Vietnam veteran father get over the stigma and find healing gave me so much hope and inspired me. As a family, we collectively became interested in cannabis and CBD as a business. In 2018, my mom enrolled us all in online programs for a “master’s degree in cannabis” and bought over 15 books on Kindle because she was so eager for us to learn more. She’s over-the-top in the best way.

To you, what separates your brand from other CBD-related brands?

Tess Taylor: Our intentions are to destigmatize cannabis use and to fill a gap in the beauty/skincare market by providing a product line that represents and caters to everyone. I want to spread more love and kindness and humanity and empathy and understanding with our platform. We are purpose-driven, not profit-driven.

Where do you source your products from?

Tess Taylor: All of our products are manufactured in labs in Texas and California, and our “in the Buff” cleansing bar is handmade in Texas. We donate our cleansing bar to women’s shelters and trans organizations in Dallas and Los Angeles. We use the highest-quality cannabidiol on the market from hemp grown in California, Kentucky and Colorado. Our products include CBD in isolate and full-spectrum form to cater to the specific needs of each T+t product.

Do you have a favorite of the TAYLOR + tess products available?

Tess Taylor: This is such a hard question! Of course, I want to say all of them, but I think I’ll have to go with our ‘in the Buff’ cleansing bar. I travel pretty often, so it is nice having one product to use on my face and body; and I don’t have to worry about spills occurring in my bag!

I really enjoyed formulating this with our soap-maker in Texas who produces everything by hand. It features African Black Soap, a unique blend of nourishing oils, and it is vegan, toxic-free and cruelty-free. And it smells amazing! TAYLOR + tess offers a 3-piece facial cleansing set featuring a CBD facial soap entitled ‘in the Buff,’ along with two other products in our new gender-neutral skincare collection, perfect for travel. This ménage à trois for the face includes the TAYLOR + tess ‘in the Buff’ cleansing bar that can be used on face + body, an exfoliating sponge made from industrial hemp for an organic scrub down experience, and bamboo soap box for travel-friendly, hygienic storing of the complete set.

We’re finalizing the customization of our hemp facial sponge, so be on the lookout for those! All proceeds will go to human rights organizations. Next is ‘the Quickie,’ a hydrating facial freshening spray for the “just out of the shower” feeling on-the-go. And finally, ‘the Nightcap’ is a CBD-infused night cream that can potentially benefit inflamed and irritated skin after exposure to the elements and long airplane rides.

Those products aside, what does the rest of 2019 look like for your brand?

Tess Taylor: Learning and growth! I am excited to delve into digital marketing and sales, but mostly because I want to continue developing new products that help people feel confident in their skin. I also want to travel to more cities to introduce the brand to new spaces and faces with pop-up events about cannabis policy.

Is there a career accomplishment you are most proud of?

Tess Taylor: I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and I have been self-employed since 2016. My only “corporate” job after undergrad and graduate school lasted eight months, and I never looked back. Being able to live and work on your own terms is an accomplishment in and of itself, so I applaud any entrepreneur.

When not busy with TAYLOR + tess, how do you like to spend your free time?

Tess Taylor: I am very active: I love cycling, pilates, yoga, and aerial silks. I am also a private tutor for college athletes, high school, and middle school students. My subjects are sports law and ethics, sports management and current issues, English, ACT/SAT prep and college applications.

What was the last concert you attended for fun?

Tess Taylor: Pharrell’s Something in the Water music festival hosted in he and my mom’s hometown, Virginia Beach! It was awesome to see a legend on stage being revered by his peers who are also legends in their own right. Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Rosalia, Kaytranada, Anderson Paak — I was in heaven!

Finally, Tess, any last words for the kids?

Tess Taylor: Keep everything rooted in your purpose, and don’t be an asshole.

Bouquet Goals💐 ⠀#flowerpower #cannabisheals

Posted by Taylor + tess on Monday, June 10, 2019


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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident (and Long Island native) with over 15 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his favorite band Superdrag. In the years following, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer.Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Format Magazine, Businessweek, The Improper, the L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. He is a member of the SATW and the IFWTWA organizations as a food and travel writer.Darren is also the host the recently-launched "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with PureGrainAudio.



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