Meet The Founders
Rather than bore you with our full bios,
we’ve listed a few of the things that
we hope make us interesting at parties.
- Is a Kiwi (New Zealander) by birth.
- Has a wicked sense of humor. Particularly loves to laugh at herself.
- Collects quirky, brilliant, devoted friends all over the world.
- Was a nerd (studied neurophysiology at University of Auckland).
- Worked for Vogue magazine. Failed miserably as a fashionista and was nearly fired.
- Discovered an obsession with far-flung adventure while on camelback in the Thar Desert in India for a week.
- Quit Vogue to become a travel writer and photographer.
- Spent 23 years living mostly out of a suitcase; 10 of those were dedicated to photographing tribes. Did not accept the paltry few chickens offered as dowry.
- Became a successful travel writer and has been published in magazines and newspapers worldwide.
- Loves to host big dinner parties and have other people cook. Is extremely adept at scattering the crowd with sympathetic gourmands.
- Co-founded (yep, with Jen) Cynthia’s Sisters, which raises money to put girls through law school in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Is married to an outstandingly supportive (and handsome) man who works in high tech.
- Is mother to two nearly perfect teenage daughters.
- Produced a beautiful book called Potentia on women’s rights. The proceeds go to Cynthia’s Sisters.
- Sits on the Silicon Valley Executive Committee for Human Rights Watch.
- Has a heart the size of Texas but firmly grounded in the politics of Northern California.
- Has been a successful entrepreneur in the technology, games and food industries.
- Is a certified life coach, which makes her even greater to work with.
- Was the only person ever to run for 10th grade class president with the tagline “How Do You Spell Relief?” (She lost.)
- Took a yearlong sabbatical at age 46 to volunteer with women in Nicaragua and Kenya.
- Worked at Club Med as a tennis coach and party starter in the late 80s.
- Is annoyingly fit and works out all the time.
- Is an inspired cook, which is of enormous benefit to Amanda.
- Is a beer and wine snob. Also of benefit.
- Throws impromptu dinner parties for 20 with great frequency and ludicrous ease.
- Drove a big-ass truck by herself from Seattle to Berkeley with our first tea machine in the back. Adopted the trucker handle “KikoMama.”
- Mentors many, is a superlative friend and a bountiful aunt.
- Co-founded Cynthia’s Sisters (with Amanda), an organization that puts girls through law school in the Democratic Republic of Congo (the world’s most violent place for women, according to the UN).
- Is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley with a degree in communications and business.
Launching Kikoko has been a lot of hard work, disproportionate amounts of laughter and a ton of love. We’ve been friends for over 20 years, but you never know how that will pan out in the workplace. Happily, it has gone swimmingly. And no, we are not high while working. Everyone wonders about that, so let’s just get that out of the way. We just like to laugh.
We are in the full bloom of middle age and that means we’ve had our fair share of asshole encounters by now. So we won’t do business with people who are rude, condescending, flakey, patronizing, amoral or who “mansplain.” We’ve turned down money and we’ve refused to sign contracts because of this rule. It’s a good one.
We love men. In fact, Amanda is married to one and Jen dates them. However, we really enjoy, and believe in, working with women. Our incredible science team is made up of mostly men, but so far almost everyone else we work with is female. Our products are unabashedly for women, although please note we encourage men to try them too. They also work wonderfully on the male brain.
This goes for product and people alike. No need to say much more than that. Other than it is really hard and expensive to take the high road in today’s world and we’re proud we have.
We started this business for a very good reason. We had a friend who battled cancer for years with such goodwill, optimism and grace it was hard to believe she was so sick. She didn’t like smoking cannabis, but needed to use it for pain, to stimulate her appetite and combat nausea. The problem was that she was always getting too high from the things she took. Starting a business to address these obstacles was her idea. Although we were both involved in different industries at the time, we picked up the baton when she became too ill to continue. So, in the name of the beautiful and vibrant Jan, who died in 2015, we raise a cup. Because of her we ventured down this new path.
Before our friend died, we decided we wanted to donate a percentage of profit to a canna cause. We asked Jan where she felt the money should go. Her response: to children with brain and central nervous system disorders, as cannabis has been proven to be the most effective and humane medicine for certain conditions. We are now thrilled to donate 5% of Kikoko’s profit to provide cannabis medicine to children with seizure disorders.