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Community Highlights: Meet Dominique & Luis Sanchez of Flor de Luna Apothecary

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dominique & Luis Sanchez.

Nikki & Luis, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Luis and I started on this journey back in 2015. I was a little over five months pregnant when I lost my balance in a huge pothole resulting in me breaking both of my ankles. After surgery, I felt very uncomfortable with the idea of taking the prescription drugs the doctors gave me. Our midwife introduced us to CBD as an alternative. What a relief!! Not only did CBD help manage my pain, it also helped during postpartum and the several months of physical therapy. The more we learned about the medical benefits of CBD and the positive impact it can have on our overall well-being, we knew we wanted to share plant medicine with more people. 

In 2018, unfortunately both our mothers were diagnosed with cancer. We encouraged them to try CBD, and they both said that it helped relieve the horrible symptoms of their chemotherapy. It also helped my mom have a better quality of life in her final days. This was proof to us that we were on the right path and we needed to move ahead and open up a community CBD shop. I had a vision of colors, sounds, and even smells of a brick & mortar serving as a bridge to cannawellness. We decided to trust that vision and Flor de Luna Apothecary was born! 

When we thought about where to open up shop, we knew that this one neighborhood made the most sense. Establishing our family business in Boyle Heights is personal and special to us. Luis and my mom grew up here, and Luis and I met in Boyle Heights as community organizers in 2004. Opening Flor de Luna in Boyle Heights and being a part of this community makes us feel as though our vision is a part of something greater than ourselves. 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Yes, I’d say that it was generally a smooth road to opening up the Apothecary. Fortunately, Nikki and I have a lot of support from our family and close friends. This made it easier for us to move forward, even in the middle of a global pandemic. We thought, “what better time for our community to learn more about CBD and have access to plant medicine.”

The challenge now is figuring out how to build community, provide the services we’d like to, and stay open while keeping ourselves and our community safe and well. Once it’s safe to do so, we intend to use our space to offer healing services and host gatherings, like restorative yoga, meditation circles, reiki sessions, and more. Also, in the effort of challenging the negative view and stigma of cannabis, we plan to present a series of CBD 101 workshops; both in English and Spanish, to encourage understanding and dialogue. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Flor de Luna Apothecary is a family-owned retail store and space bringing quality CBD products, holistic accessories, and healing services to the community of Boyle Heights. We believe taking care of our body, mind and general well-being is key to our collective healing journey. Our mission is to ensure that our community has access to the healing benefits of plant medicine like CBD for our bodies and our mental health.  

Flor de Luna Apothecary is also a safe place for folks to shop for their plant medicine and learn more about the magic and benefits of cannabis. 

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
For those who are just starting out, we say to be clear on your why. Knowing your why will keep you motivated when it gets a little tough. Another piece of advice is to build relationships and surround yourself with people who are going to be your cheerleaders, advisors, and honest thought partners. But perhaps the best piece of advice we can share is to be okay with asking for help!  As parents of a 4-year-old and new business owners, we learned how important is it to lean on your people and get the support you need, when you need it. Like many other small businesses, we are getting creative on how to roll with the bumps during this pandemic to survive. It can be very discouraging and extremely overwhelming, but it helps to be surrounded by people who believe in what you’re doing. 

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