Meet Rachael Rapinoe, founder of Mendi

February 22, 2023

rachael rapinoe from Mendi

Atta Girl Interview Series

We recently became connected with the ladies of Mendi and were immediately impressed. We love them, their products, and their passion. We asked their founder, Rachael Rapinoe, a few questions about her business and what keeps her motivated.

Rachael is a former professional soccer player who played as a midfielder and forward. She played for Stjarnan Women in Iceland and the United States women's national under-23 and under-21 soccer teams. She is also the founder of Mendi, a PNW-based company focused on plant-based CBD products to empower busy and active lifestyles with head-to-toe recovery. 

What or who got you into soccer?

My older brother got me and my twin sister, Megan, into soccer at a very young age. We honestly just wanted to be like him, so we followed him around to his practices and games, mimicking whatever he did on the field. He stopped playing at a young age, but we fell in love with the sport and realized in high school it was our vehicle out of the small town we grew up in and to completing an undergraduate degree.  

Why CBD?  What drew you to making these products?

My path to hemp and cannabis has been full circle, starting from a young age growing up with anxiety and panic attacks in a family with a long history of substance abuse. I grew up believing cannabis was a gateway drug to more harmful substances, so I stayed clear.  However, in order to deal with all that I was feeling as a young child, I started adopting 'wellness' practices into my daily life. It was all subconscious, of course, but I knew that staying active, being in nature, and recharging alone were a few tactics that helped me feel better. These routines carried with me through my adulthood. As I became more educated with plant-based wellness supplements, I learned in my early thirties that cannabinoids (plant compounds found in the hemp and marijuana plants-- such as CBD, THC, etc.) were a subtle but powerful way to help me manage pain, anxiety and get better sleep. I felt compelled to share these learnings with my community and to make these products more accessible to athletes and active consumers. 

What is a big myth about CBD products you would like to crush?

There are a few, but the biggest misconception is that CBD is only found in the hemp plant. CBD is one of over 113+ cannabinoids found in both hemp and marijuana plants. The hemp and cannabis plants have the same profiles of plant compounds or phytocannabinoids, but the hemp plant has significantly higher levels of CBD and 0.3% or less THC. CBD and THC are the two sexy cannabinoids that get the most spotlight, but all of them work wonderfully together and solve for different ailments. 

What has surprised you about your customer demographic?

I'm sure so many companies feel their community is special, but I truly believe ours is a unique mix of individuals from all walks of life. Primarily women, ages 35-55+, but highly active, health conscious, open-minded creatives looking at Mendi to solve very real ailments in their daily lives. The most humble learning during this process has been the wide-ranging discomforts our consumers feel.  Everything from insomnia to menopause, to severe depression and anxiety, to very intrusive back and joint surgeries causing tremendous pain.  Our products provide the relief people need to get through their days and tap into a better, more joyful version of themselves. This discovery has also been surprising and humbling.

What’s your best-selling product? 

The gummies are an industry-wide favorite; they're our best-selling product and will probably continue to be for the foreseeable future. They're a delicious, easy entry point for people to start trying CBD products. The effects are more immediate, particularly helping to balance daily stress and inflammation and to help with sleep. 

As a hard-working, multi-tasking woman, how do you relax or unwind?

Great question! It can be hard to turn my brain and passion antennas off, but I’ve become very aware of staying disciplined with my mindfulness meditation practice. My weekly wellness practice consists of regular exercise, walks with my dog, a well-balanced diet, quality sleep, hydration, morning meditations, and my absolute go-to is daily journaling. And Mendi every day, of course!  I take full spectrum gummies (morning and post-workout), stress drink tablets (afternoons), sleep tincture (nighttime), and rotate between bath salts, massage oil, and salve stick depending on my needs. 

For fun, what would be your dream concert?  (Artist can be dead or alive) 

Oh, this is a tough one! I've seen a lot of great artists, but I think at this moment in time, it's gotta be Elton John since he's not touring anymore. Adele and Dolly Parton are both very high on my list too. 

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