Feature: Shauna Levy – Madge and Mercer
A woman as accredited as you Shauna, understands the importance of brands looking towards the future in this new, legal cannabis industry. What steps have already been taken to set the foundation for Madge and Mercer Modern Apothecary to grow?
Thank you, that’s very kind. I don’t believe anyone would dispute that the Health Canada guidelines are fairly inflexible when it comes to design and branding of cannabis products. Having had 25 years in the design industry however, I’ve learned that design isn’t just about brand or appearance. Design isn’t an after-thought, it’s directly related to your business’ DNA; to quote Simon Sinek, to the “WHY of your brand”. At the very centre of MADGE AND MERCER sits an authentic desire to help women benefit from cannabis wellness (as I myself have). Truthfully, every single detail evolves from there – the team, our formulations, the ingredients we select (and don’t select), packaging, and of course the brand, product – and packaging – design. We call it “form and function” as we believe the two are equally as important and can’t exist without one another.
We included ‘MODERN APOTHECARY’ in our name as it allows us to integrate additional alternative wellness ingredients and products that complement cannabis; we have intentionally chosen to call ourselves a women’s wellness brand, rather than a cannabis brand. With this, we have created a natural way forward to design a robust collection of purposefully – formulated products for women 40 and over.
Madge and Mercer currently has three products on the market in Ontario with what seems like a lifetime of growth ahead. What new products or collaborations can you share with us?
From the moment we launched in early Fall 2021, we’ve been overwhelmed by the response. We’re seeing the growth of a community of women 40 and over benefitting from cannabis. In response to what we’ve heard from them, we’re launching 4 new SKUs in 2022. Authenticity is key and so we aren’t interested in dumping a bunch of products on the market that we know will be commercially viable but that would stray from our DNA. Rather, each and every product is purposefully chosen to reflect a particular need-state or occasion relevant to women in this age group. These new SKUs will focus on minor cannabinoids, unique terpene mixes and alternative wellness ingredients.
We expected a lot of our customers would be new users which has allowed us to prepare for what is to come next. This year (2022), we are launching collaborations with like minded businesses (within the fashion and lifestyle space) as well as hosting grassroots community and private events that provide an opportunity for women 40 and over to learn more about cannabis wellness.
What do you foresee the next five years to look like for both Madge + Mercer and the legal market?
The legal cannabis industry is still so young and new. We’ve barely skimmed the surface of product development or market potential. In 5 years, how cannabis products are made and positioned, consumed and purchased will look very different than they do today.
We will continue to roll-out wellness products across Canada and in the near future, within international markets. Our ultimate dream is to see a large number of women benefit from alternative wellness ingredients such as cannabis; and for MADGE AND MERCER to be recognized as a leading women’s wellness brand.
What products are you using right now?
I suffer from a chronic pain condition which is ultimately what led me to create MADGE AND MERCER. I use MM 001 LA CALMA (lemongrass ginger CBD oil) to get me through the day; MM 002 EL ALEVIO MENTA CBD Disposable Vape to provide instant relief from pain or anxiety; and if my husband and I want to have a fun evening, we love the Olli THC gummies; or we split a Collective Project (10 mg) beverage.
For skincare, I use the MM 004 EMOLLIENT CBD MEADOW FOAM SEED facial serum before I go to bed; and I also quite like using the CBD Clay Face Mask by Proofly on a weekly basis. (I guess you can say that I’m my best customer)