Jen has spent her time at Extract Labs wearing many hats, and has helped define many of our current departments as the company has grown. She was hired into our online sales department in early 2018. At the time, this meant she would spend her days answering phone calls, monitoring our Facebook page, doing live chats with customers, bottling products for that day’s online orders, and handwriting labels for the orders she packed and shipped. While all of this was doable at the time, the work she did every day is now a full time job for around a dozen people across 3 separate departments and several pieces of software that help us keep up with today’s demand.
Jennifer Leonard was born in New Orleans. Her parents split when she was young. She moved to Mobile Alabama to live with her dad, but visited her mom in The Big Easy on a regular basis. After graduating from McGill Toolen High School, she went on to get a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from University of Alabama. Proud of her southern roots, Jen marks off days on the calendar leading up to Mardi Gras and Saints football games. She is also the reason why Extract Labs employees know what a King Cake is.
Health and Hemp
After college, Jen worked at Virginia’s Healthfoods for about 5 years. During her time there, she began diving down the rabbit hole of holistic medicine and everything it has to offer. Virginia’s was also the first place Jen encountered CBD. She was surprised to see cannabis-based products for sale on an over-the-counter basis, especially in her particularly conservative part of the world. At first, she wrote it off as a specialty product. Something that kids would come in to buy for the novelty of buying cannabis at a health store. She quickly found out how wrong she was.
“When my regular customers started coming back and saying the CBD had helped them more than they thought was possible, I knew I wanted to be a part of the industry” Jen recalls. “If my stubborn southern customers believed in hemp, I knew it was a way to help everyone from all walks of life. Hearing stories about it helping kids with epilepsy and the elderly with arthritis made me curious about what else it could do.”
The opportunity to start in the hemp industry came when she moved to Colorado. Savannah was her roommate at the time, and Jen watched as Savannah spent time harassing Craig for a job. About two months after Savannah was hired, a spot in the front of Extract Labs opened up. Savannah said she knew the perfect person for the job. Jen came in for her interview and killed it. The rest, as they say, is history.
Q&A With Jennifer
Q: Name a book you’ve read that had a major impact on you.
A: Still life with woodpecker by Tom Robbins. Hilarious, weird and thought provoking
Q: What’s the best thing you’ve ever watched on Netflix?
A: Schitt’s Creek. Dry, witty and all about family. Freaking love it.
Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to start working in the hemp industry?
A: Do your research and get into it for the right reasons. If getting rich is your only goal, you’re not made to last in an industry that’s producing medicine and helping all walks of life.