Jen Gotch is many things to many people. She’s the co-founder and chief creative officer of ban.do, the brand that basically reinvented stationery for chill millennial women who aren’t afraid of a little color (and lot of puns). She’s also an accidental, but highly impactful, mental health advocate. Her Instagram has become a safe haven for anyone struggling with their emotions and everyone unwilling to gloss over that fact with smiles and algorithm-friendly platitudes. Gotch is not that.
Now, she’s taken her honest view of life, her generous stories, and wickedly funny perspective, and put them into a book called The Upside of Being Down: How Mental Health Struggles Led To My Greatest Successes in Work and Life. And if the title wasn’t indication enough, this is the book you (and your best friend and sister) have been waiting for. It covers everything from living with bipolar disorder, to waitressing, to starting a business with zero experience or cash.
If you follow Gotch online, you may have caught a sneak peek of her using a Dosist pen or a CBD product before—we certainly did. So we thought it was high time (lol) we caught up with the multihyphenate creator to talk about cannabis, all the ways she uses weed, and how she does mornings. Take it away, Jen!
Jerico Mandybur: How did you and cannabis meet?
Jen Gotch: I met cannabis when a police officer came to my middle school and burned a joint so we could see what it smelled like so we could identify and report it if we ever smelled it on school property. I thought it smelled pretty good.
What time do you wake up and what’s the first thing you do?
I usually wake up around 6 a.m. I stretch, pet my dog, and check my phone—not necessarily in that order.
What does your daily cannabis (or CBD) routine look like?
I don’t have a daily cannabis routine, but I definitely have a lot of cannabis products I love. Everything from Lord Jones—especially their body lotion for sore muscles and cramps, CBD gumdrops, and Royal Oil (both amazing for sleep). Dosist’s Calm Pen really helped me when I was working to better maintain my generalized anxiety.
I use Dosist’s Relief Pen when I want my brain to feel awake, but my body to be completely relaxed. (I switched out the often needed end-of-the-day glass of wine for this). The Now Massage, one of my favorite massage spots in Los Angeles, offers a massage enhancement of CBD balm that is a total game changer! And I love Flower by Edie Parker. They sell beautifully designed, really fun cannabis accessories.
First product you reach for?
It’s not always the first, but it is my favorite thing; Palmer’s Coconut Body Oil. It’s an old-school drugstore product that makes me feel like I am on vacation, even just for five minutes it’s worth it.
Song that *actually* gets you up?
“I Like To Move It”—the will.i.am version.
Morning self-care ritual?
The four things I have been doing in the morning for the last couple years that have helped me feel really good are:
- Wake up at the same time every day. It’s not always possible, but I try—in addition to trying to go to bed at the same time every night. Keeping my circadian rhythm undisrupted helps with my mental health.
- I make my bed every morning. This sounds small, but it gives me a sense of accomplishment right out of the gate. Plus, I get to crawl into a made bed at night, which feels strangely luxurious.
- Drink Bulletproof Coffee. I have ADD and this helps me tremendously with that, plus it actually tastes really good.
- Exercise! I know, annoying! But finding an exercise I actually enjoy was a game changer.
The combination of all of these helps me feel effective at work, which in turn makes me feel at ease.
Favorite thing to eat in the AM?
Like I mentioned earlier, I usually wake up and have a Bulletproof Coffee, but my favorite thing to eat would be pancakes and crispy bacon!
Everyday comfy outfit?
Levi’s Wedgie Cut and a vintage t-shirt, because vintage tees are so soft and I like the idea of the history they carry. And Levi’s Wedgie Cut jeans make my butt look real good (or so I’ve been told, wink wink).
Vape, tincture, topical or edible?
Yes, yes, yes, and yes. They all have merit. I also think just a good old-fashioned joint is a good thing, too.
What are 5 emojis that describe mornings at your house?
Tell us about the products that keep you going all day long?
The Upside of Being Down: How Mental Health Struggles Led To My Greatest Successes in Work and Life drops March 24, 2020. Preorder now.