By Charndré Emma Kippie
Port Elizabeth and Cape Town-based entrepreneur, Michelle Campbell, is the owner of Green Cat Health Organic Health products– a female-owned business that focuses on mind, body and soul healing. In 2017, Michelle Campbell started the business with R4 000 in her pocket. Within 4 years the Port Elizabeth-born businesswoman, opened 4 stores across South Africa, with over 80 agents around the country. The Cape Town-based store is based in Kuilsriver.
Michelle Campbell is also a qualified herbalist. She travels all over the country, giving talks on green health and the use of CBD oil in health and wellness. Green Cat produces CBD based medicinal products, currently treating hundreds of humans and animals countrywide. Green Cat Organic Health provides cannabis-based products which are locally produced (and sourced) and that are of top quality. These products are pure, natural, organic, vegan, cruelty-free, chemical and toxin free and focused on gut health. Michelle Campbell believes it is imperative to treat any condition by getting to the root of the problem.
Michelle Campbell has been in green health for 23 years. She qualified in Ayurveda (Indian medicine and the oldest in the world at 5 000 years old and herbalism) – which is why she decided to focus on helping others, hence establishing Green Cat Organic Health. During the pandemic, Michelle’s business has expanded due to the demand for these products. Her business has become a forerunner of the medical cannabis industry in SA, and Michelle plans to export in the not too distant future
What are your thoughts on CBD Oil and the benefits in treating people with ailments and conditions?
The body is made up of various systems such as the muscular system, immune system, central nervous system etc. The body then also has an all important system called the Endocannabinoid system, comprising thousands of small node-like receptors throughout the body. The Endocannabinoid system is responsible for controlling the other systems in the body. The endocannabinoid system is kept healthy by way of a chemical compound called cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are found in various plants and herbs but are most abundant in the cannabis plant. When we ingest and take in the cannabis plant, the cannabinoids will seek out the receptors in the body and when the two come together, healing will occur. The main function of a healthy cannabinoid system is to promote and maintain “homeostasis” in the body. Homeostasis is the state where the body and all of its systems are in perfect alignment and the person finds themselves in perfect health.
We will receive traces of cannabinoids in our mothers breastmilk, enough to fire up our system. However, the idea is that we ingest small amounts of cannabinoids throughout our lives. Cannabinoids have been kept from us, carrying harsh consequences. As a request, the human race is “cannabinoid deficient” just as one can be deficient in Vitamin D, for instance.
Cannabinoid deficiency has a very negative knock on effect on our health. Both humans and animals have an endocannabinoid system, wth animals in fact carrying twice the amount of receptors as humans, making them respond even better to treatment. It is imperative to homeostasis that we all receive cannabinoids in our diets.
What entrepreneurial lessons can you share with us?
- Do not be afraid to fail. See failing as part of the success cycle. How do you increase your sales? By making the right decisions. How do you make the right decisions? By experience. How do you gain experience? By making mistakes of course!
- Alignment is the new hustle. Align yourself with like-minded people, service providers and opportunities. You will know when you are aligned as it will feel right and it will feel good.
- Always, always give back. When you create an energy exchange around your business, showing that you are a business who cares, that you are a business who puts its customers first, that is the very sort of energy which will be returned to you and your brand.
- Your time is your most precious commodity. Choose wisely where you invest it. and who you give it to. Some will drain it and others will honour it. Learn to discern the difference.
- I have said this before and I will say it again. There are always going to be people, and people are always going to have needs. To be a great entrepreneur, you need to closely watch global trends and pre-empt what people’s needs are going to be. Fulfil their needs before they even know they have it. Get yourself ahead of the curve and ahead of the pack, and stay there!
What challenges were involved in starting the business and what have you learned thus far?
In the health and wellness industry, there is a lot of misinformation out there. One of our biggest ongoing challenges is to educate our market on natural products versus chemicals, and this is often very difficult as the narrative is very controlled. Cannabis products still remain illegal in many parts of the world and most social media platforms still block you when you try to advertise. We have had to come up with many inventive ways to get around this. Our industry is also relatively easy to get into, and tends to attract many “fly by nights” and it has taken us a long time to establish our credibility in the market. However, I have learned that if you believe in what you are selling, and you believe in your cause, you should keep going. Eventually your brand integrity will shine through.
How has your business survived the pandemic?
We have actually been thriving to the point where we’ve opened up more stores. We very quickly applied for our essential services provider certificate so that we could continue to operate. We’ve also lowered our prices knowing people were in for a rough time. We offered bundles and specials based on what people were searching online for. We placed resources and revenue into our online store knowing online shopping would greatly increase, and also offered free home delivery.
In addition, we managed to gpw our resellers programme knowing that many would find themselves without jobs and incomes, and this department grew exponentially during this time.
We quickly pre-empted the needs of consumers based on what they were thinking, feeling and experiencing and developed new products accordingly such as rescue drops, anxiety, stress and insomnia medication, diet solutions etc. and these products proved invaluable
We then expanded our offerings from just products to additional alternative complementary treatments, such as reiki, rife treatments, body scanning etc. Our retail model changed from a retail outlet to a healing centre.
Michelle Campbell’s Outlook for 2021:
- I want to open more healing centres
- Expand the resellers programme as many households have been saved through the revenue they generated through our programme
- I’d like to create a docu-series of our case studies
- Interested in obtaining a trade agreement for export
What advice do you have for other women entrepreneurs?
You are a giver of life. A manifestor. A goddess. Create a conscious business whose function is to help humanity in some way. Follow your calling and the heavens will aspire to make it happen. Dream big!!
How have your products helped kids with Autism?
In order to treat Autism, as with most autoimmune diseases, there is a layered approach to a treatment protocol. We look at all of the factors at play such as diet, lifestyle, challenges, current medication, symptoms, and of course the all important emotional matrix. Our treatment protocols focus on empowering the patient or caregiver/s to become a part of the healing journey. We have many, many already successful Autism case studies, where we have seen a shift in not only the patient, but the entire family. When we treat and heal, we do this for all concerned and not just the patient.
What makes Green Cat Health stand out from its competitors?
We are true to our mantra and that is to “First do no further harm”. We believe in mind, body and soul healing and that all three are connected. At Green Cat Organic Health (GCH), we seek to treat underlying root problems. Energy is everything and everything is energy. When too much “unchecked” energy is trapped in the body, it has no option but to manifest itself into a physical ailment. At GCH we understand the delicate connection between mind, body and soul, and that in order to bring you to homeostasis, we must treat and address all three.
All of our products are made from scratch, inspired from nature, chemical free, cruelty free, organic, pure and natural. We are proudly South African and support local growers in Pondoland.
*Interested in discovering more inspiring stores about Top Women? Check out the 16th edition of the Standard Bank Top Women Leaders publication on Issuu – Digital Publishing Platform – here.