Chehalis CBD American Shaman owner Shanna Hoyt-Siler summed up the impact of COVID-19 on her business pretty simply — sales are down because people are staying home.
She’s able to remain open as an essential business, though, for more than just her CBD-based products. An effort spearheaded by the CBD American Shaman company factory in Kansas City, Missouri has helped diversify the products Hoyt-Siler is able to offer and also provided her with a way to help the community.
She explained that her company is now offering Shaman Cleansing Wash, a hand sanitizer made with hypochlorous acid, or HOCI, which is highly effective against viruses and bacteria.
“Our company is about helping and creating quality products to better the health of people,” Hoyt-Siler said. “The founder was able to get his hands on the product to be able to transform our CBD production line into bottling hand sanitizer. In an effort to get it to us at the lowest price he can, and for us to be able to do what we want, the idea is for us to be able to give it out to as many people as we can.”
Hoyt-Siler said she’s already reached out to the Centralia and Chehalis Police Departments to try and supply each officer with their own bottle of the Shaman Cleansing Wash. Ultimately, she says, Chehalis CBD American Shaman could end up selling bottles as well.
“The idea is to be able to give it out to as many people as we can and or at least make it available to sell,” Hoyt-Siler said. “The idea is at least to try and take care of the community needs first and then offer it to the public.”
She continued by saying the main ingredient in the Shaman Cleaning Wash — the HOCI — is used by medical professionals to clean hospital rooms. According to Pure & Clean, a company that manufactures HOCI-based disinfectant sprays, the compound is used by white blood cells to “fight bacteria and inflammation after infection or trauma.”
The wash comes in spray bottles and can also be used in humidifiers, according to Hoyt-Siler.
“It’s not just a virus germ killer, it kills viruses,” Hoyt-Siler said. “There’s many uses for it, so, I’d say it’s a step above your average hand sanitizer.”
While no official decision has been made on whether or not the bottles will be sold, Hoyt-Siler said the product is likely going to become available for purchase. For now, though, she said she’s currently focused on handing bottles out to whoever needs them most.
“I have a lot to give away,” Hoyt-Siler said. “So I said (I’d give it to) first-responders. The (Centralia-Chehalis) Chamber (of Commerce) came over and said they have the crews that clean up after accidents and stuff like that, they’re in desperate need of sanitizer, so give it where it’s most needed first and then probably offer it to sell at a reasonable price.”
Hoyt-Siler does acknowledge the logistic hurdles that come with supplying the product in her store. The Shaman Cleansing Wash is imported from Kansas City and is already expensive to produce.
Still, she knows it’s how she can help and is committed to giving back to the community.
“I will give away what I have bottled,” Hoyt-Siler said. “Then probably offer, if people want to bring in their bottles (of Shaman Cleansing Wash), because bottles are hard to come by right now, too, then people can come in, if they have their own bottles and just fill them.”
The CBD American Shaman factory in Kansas City donated over 3,000 bottles of the wash to the Kansas City Police Department. Beyond that, every other CBD American Shaman franchise in the country has been donating their supply of the wash to “first responders, police departments, hospitals, senior centers” and wherever else they feel has a need in their respective communities, according to Hoyt-Siler.
It’s a precedent she wants to follow with her store in Chehalis.
“It’s a response just to be able to help wherever,” Hoyt-Siler said.
The position she’s in with Chehalis CBD American Shaman likely isn’t unfamiliar to any small business owner in the state of Washington. In her own words, trying to keep the doors open is a “day-by-day” process. She’s supplemented her income with night-shifts at Safeway, while offering curbside pick-up — which she says no one has used — and promotions sent to customers via email. She’s sanitizing her store regularly and has humidifiers on the way.
CBD American Shaman also offers online shopping, through which Hoyt-Siler gets proceeds from purchases made locally. Those purchases have seen a bump and she says her regulars are still coming into the store.
“Right now, it’s just touch and go,” Hoyt-Siler said. “It’s day-by-day, hoping that we can make it through this and still be able to keep the doors open.”