Written By: Warren Bobrow
Warren Bobrow=WB: How did you discover cannabis? Why cannabis? Why now?
Dr. Jenelle Kim: The truth is that the first time my phone rang (back in 2012 when CBD was still unknown to the general public) and I was asked to create formulations using CBD, I hung up the phone. This is due to the fact that I was not certain of the intention that this potential client had for incorporating Cannabis into their products. I was very aware of the healing benefits of Cannabis seeing that it has been part of Chinese medicine for 4000 years, and the properties that were known 4000 years ago are the same as they are known today. I was simply not interested in working with individuals who potentially wanted to utilize this powerful herbal ingredient for reasons that were outside of the powerful benefits that it contained. I quickly realized that I was incorrect and that this company, who is one of the pioneers of the industry, had very good intentions of utilizing the beneficial properties of the herb as they were intended through history. At this point I committed to the fact that I would do everything possible to educate the world on the proper usage of this herbal ingredient; in the same way that I had dedicated myself to the quest of spreading the understanding of Traditional Oriental Medicine and how it can be integrated into our lives to help achieve our most optimal condition – mind & body.
WB: Please tell me about your company. What are your six and twelve-month goals?
Dr. Jenelle Kim: JBK Wellness Labs is a respected contract and white label manufacturer that helps companies develop and manufacture topical personal care and beauty products and dietary supplement formulations, from concept through finished product. JBK Wellness Labs is also a leader in CBD and hemp-based formulations, and for the first time, now offers a white label program with stock formulations and low minimum order quantities.
JBK Wellness Labs has helped companies develop formulas that can be found on the shelves of Neiman Marcus, Whole Foods Market, Urban Outfitters, CVS, Kroger, Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Four Seasons Hotels, and multinational direct-selling companies.
Unlike a typical manufacturer, JBK specializes in creating unique wellness formulations, containing natural, proprietary herbal formulas, which have been handed down from generation-to-generation, and are only available from JBK. Therefore, JBK’s clients are able to have truly special products that cannot be duplicated by competitor brand formulas produced by other manufacturers.
We are constantly working on new and exciting projects from skin care to body care formulations, dietary supplements, and muscle and joint health formulas. At the moment, we are working with some truly incredible and very renowned people and companies to bring CBD and herbal medicine into the mainstream world. Right now, we are in a spectacular moment in time where I clearly see the minds of so many expanding and wanting to integrate the brilliant medical systems of both the east and west. This has always been my wish, as it is my belief that the best doctor/practitioner will always utilize whatever possible to make sure that their patient is truly taken care of to the best of our ability. I see our world heading into a state where people are truly educated and aware of their minds and bodies and are therefore able to know what is good for them. Nothing is more empowering than this, because nothing is more important than our health. We only have one mind and body in this life, we do not have spare lives.
I am also working on my book, which discusses Living Meditation™ a concept and practice that represents a meeting place between Tao philosophy and mindfulness. It offers a way of being that is calm, decisive, and harmonious. The goal is to be able to resolve conflict, walk through stress, and accomplish our life goals. Living Meditation is a powerful and effective way to achieve a life of balance and happiness, a way to resolve conflict, walk through stress, and accomplish our life goals.
When we think of meditation, we think of taking time out closing the door on the phone calls we have to make, the bills we have to pay, the meal we have to prepare, the report we have to write. For all of us, it can be hard sometimes to close that door and find some stillness. Living Meditation is the opposite of stepping away from our daily activities. It is active and dynamic and constant, an integral part of our everyday life. It is in action from the moment we wake up in the morning to the moment we go to sleep. And quite frankly, I think it happens even as you’re sleeping. It never stops.
Because life doesn’t stop. Life doesn’t hit the pause button so we can step back and meditate, and that’s why Living Meditation—which happens right here and now, in the moment, in our hearts and minds—is so powerful.
Ultimately, life becomes more peaceful when we are grounded in universal truths. Through this we are all connected to the universe and to each other as one dynamic and ever-evolving unit.
WB: What about stigmas? Obstacles?
Dr. Jenelle Kim: When I started formulating and manufacturing herbal products I was ahead of my time, and when I started developing CBD products in 2012, I was ahead of my time. Being at the forefront of industries in their infancy can pose many challenges in terms of consumer perception and education. However, knowing that I was were on the right path sustained us, and once these industries caught up we were established and reputable.
WB: Favorite food memory?
Dr. Jenelle Kim: My father is Korean, and my mother is American, so my life has always been filled with many different traditions, which is one of the things I am most grateful for in my life and in my children’s lives. I have always been able to experience a combination of ancient traditions with modern life. At times it was a balancing act, because this was not the norm amongst my friends growing up, but when I became a young adult, and certainly now, I am so appreciative of this experience as it adds so much fulfillment, purpose and connection to my life. One of my most favorite food memories, and memories in general, is an East Asian tradition that happens twice a year. The first is celebrated on the lunar new year and the other is celebrated in the fall and is the Autumn Festival, which can be likened to our Thanksgiving. During these festivals we give thanks to our ancestors and make our wishes for health and prosperity for the coming year. In my family, we do so by cooking and cleaning for three days. It is beautiful time in that we all come together as a family, turn down our phones and let our emails rest, and we put our minds and hearts into the food that we are preparing. Not only is it the most delicious feast – a spectacular spread of vegetables of every kind, fish, meat, fruit and sweet rice desserts – but it is a time of reflection and gratitude for all who came before us and for all of the generations to come. It is the perfect example of traditional meets modern day and east meets west.
WB: What is your passion?
Dr. Jenelle Kim: My passion lies in the medicine and philosophy that has been handed down to me from my lineage. It is my wish to continue to build a solid foundation for the generations ahead, just as those in my lineage have done for centuries. I am the first woman of my lineage to be the guardian of the herbal formulas that the doctors and herbalists in my lineage dedicated their lives to understanding and creating for our health and wellbeing – both mind and body. This is one of the reasons why I am so grateful for this opportunity to be able to make a positive difference in the lives of so many people, because the formulas and philosophy are rooted in ways to enhance life. At times, it can be exhausting and challenging trying to balance everything, but my gratitude increases my threshold for stress and work. All I need to do is to look at the little faces of my children, think of all the people that can benefit from the medicine and philosophy, and think of everything my parents went through for me to be standing where I am, and I find the energy to complete whatever I need to do!
My lab, JBK Wellness Labs (named after my great grandfather), truly sticks to this root and purpose. Every product created by JBK is rooted in the rare formulas that have been handed down in my lineage. These formulas have been closely guarded and handed down from generation to generation for their ability to help people achieve their most optimal condition. I have always felt compelled to share this knowledge so that all people are aware of the ways in which Eastern Medicine, philosophy and movement can help us to improve our daily lives. At JBK, we are committed to advising the integration of Eastern and Western philosophy and medicine in ways that are simple to apply within your daily life. After all, I am a walking representation of East and West, as the daughter of a Korean father and an American mother.