Dream-pop duo Azure Ray celebrates its 20th anniversary next year and, while Maria Taylor isn’t giving much away, she does hint that there are awesome plans afoot. In the meantime, the musician has been kept busy with Sourced Oil, the CBD oil company that she started with best friend Adrienne Metz last year.
“Adrienne and I have been best friends forever, and her husband operates his family farm,” Taylor says. “They have a 200 acre nursery in Fallbrook. It’s gorgeous and amazing. Two years ago he started growing 40 acres of hemp. I guess their idea was to sell to other companies. But she said, ‘Why don’t we play around with it?’ So we started making our own CBD oil and giving it to friends.”
Those friends enjoyed the product and were knocking on the door for more, though Taylor and Metz kept things small for a few months. But when Taylor started putting the oil on her face “for the hell of it” and she noticed the healing benefits, a lightbulb burst on.
“That’s when my husband came in – he designed the website and all the products,” Taylor says. “We just got a little operation going. We have third parties testing it. We’re just getting going but the results have been amazing. So much of the stuff out there is just not effective. They don’t have as much CBD as they claim, but we don’t have the middle man. It’s from our farm directly to our products. It’s just clean. We give the absolute most CBD that by law we can put into every product and we’re pricing them reasonably because we don’t have the middle man. It’s going really well.”
Obviously, there’s been a learning curve from giving their product to friends to producing it on a larger scale for sale, but Taylor says nothing has felt insurmountable.
“My husband is a perfectionist so it’s been great to have him on the team just as far as doing everything by the book, that every single thing is tested and we know exactly what’s in it,” she says. “You can read on the label exactly what it is. He’ll know the law about, for example, the childproof caps, and every two weeks it’ll change. So he’s great at keeping us up to date on all the new laws and everything. We’re learning along the way, but nothing has been too stifling. We’re just on a roll, and it feels good.”
Sourced’s latest products are a face oil and a balm. The latter is for muscle aches and pains, and combines CBD with the essential oils that Taylor admits she was initially skeptical of.
“I just thought it was all a hoax,” she says. “But I’m sold on everything that we’re putting together. We’ve learned through our research that CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory, and also the essential oils that we put in the balm – peppermint and eucalyptus – they also help numb and cool. I’ve had friends with arthritis who cannot go on a two day road trip without this. It’s really helping people who have inflammation. I put it on my shoulders when I have neck pain, and it’s the only thing that has given me relief. With friends, you think that maybe they want to like it so much that they do. But since we started selling it, the repeat customers are really making me excited. People keep coming back, so I know we have something good.”
Meanwhile, while they can’t say that the face oil will for sure decrease fine lines for legal reasons, Taylor can say that of her own experiences.
“True story – my sister texted me to say that she saw mom’s face and thought she got fillers,” Taylor says. “My mom is one of my first testers, and she’s just been using the oil. I researched the essential oils that are safest for skin as far as reducing red. And yeah, the CBD is up to the limits so you’re getting a lot of CBD and nine different essential oils.”
Taylor says that the fact that their hemp plants are clones is a boost to the quality of the product – the consistency.
“Lots of CBD brands buy from different farms all over,” she says. “I think there’s a huge benefit that this is all coming from our farm, and it’s also full spectrum. Some people say they like it when it’s only CBD, others like full spectrum. For us, we just think you need all of the compounds that work together to get the best effect. There’s a tiny bit of THC but you don’t feel it. Having a little bit helps you get all the benefits from the CBD.”
Sourced is based in California (Taylor is here in Los Angeles), which she says is beneficial due to the law here. Not everyone is so lucky.
“One sad thing – we’ve had several customers in Nebraska,” she says. “I’m a musician and I lived there for a while, so I have a little fanbase there. When we first started, we marketed to my fans. Lots of customers in Nebraska. Then one day we checked, and suddenly it’s not legal to send to Nebraska anymore. That was a bummer. I feel sorry for all those people who are hooked and can’t get it. We’re able to have the farm here.”
Like most of us, Taylor will be watching the election closely and, due to national anxiety, she’s expecting a bump in sales. It might all be over by the time you read this, but chances are, stress will still be a concern.
“I think that business is going to ramp up considerably around the election,” she says. “CBD works for me like a Xanax. It really works for my anxiety, but it’s subtle. I can still be a mom, drive my car, but it calms me. We’re all gonna need that because it’s fucking crazy. These next two weeks are gonna be insane. If Trump wins, we’re gonna have to really boost our mass production because people are gonna need it.”
People might well need it, because 2020 has been a disaster of a year so far.
“I’m excited for 2021 for many reasons,” Taylor says in conclusion. “I think Trump is going to lose. Azure Ray has a lot of stuff on the horizon, and I feel like after this year no one’s going to take anything for granted. With Sourced Oil, people can go into 2021 with plumper skin and fewer aches and pains.”
Sourced Oil’s face oil and balm is available now at sourced-oil.myshopify.com.