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Meet Kaleigh Marks of Lez Get Baked, LLC in Mesa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kaleigh Marks.

Kaleigh, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Starting Lez get baked, LLC was a series of events timed perfectly. The first step in my decision was that I have many chronic health issues. Being under 30, I found myself frustrated going to physical therapy with no progress, tired of endless testing, new diagnosis, new prescriptions, and the whole thing was starting to become unmanageable. I was having to set alarms to keep track of all my medications totaling 22 pills per day; most of the prescriptions were there just to counteract the other. Keep in mind I was not even 30 yet and struggling to walk, sit, or stand for too long. Something had to give.

I started looking into alternatives such as cannabis, hemp, and CBD oil has given that they are more of a natural approach that allowed me to keep my appetite. However, working at a university it is not exactly socially acceptable to go to work after using cannabis. I started using CBD oil to help me get through work. I started finding myself functioning better, less irritable, and I was able to be more active. Given my love for running, sports, and hiking, it was hard for me to be so stuck and debilitated with all the pain I was living with. But progress was happening, and I stopped taking all prescriptions. Now, I won’t tell anyone to do what I did. It was a personal decision I made because I felt defeated. I needed to be able to take my power back, and my health and find a way that was going to work for me. Cannabis, hemp, and CBD oil were helping me more than the prescriptions and I had way fewer side effects.

The people that were closest to me started seeing the progress I was making and started asking me what I was doing. I started infusing little treats for myself to get me through the work day and one day, one of my friends asked me to try some. Going to work the next day and hearing myself talking to students about how they should follow their dreams, I realized I should do the same. Given that I have been working on my business degree, I knew some of the basics to start a business. I had also heard many times in my life I should open a restaurant and that idea seemed incomprehensible. I did not have the funds to open a restaurant. However, with further research starting a bakery is much easier in the state of Arizona. So, without hesitation, I decided to apply for my first LLC in January 2019. While waiting for the approval, I obtained all the certifications I needed to start a home bakery. The approval came first thing in February 2019, and I have been working my hardest to make this the best possible company I can.

February through May, I was working full time at the university. I was a full time honors business student and had started my first business. Something had to give, and I did not want to give up on my dreams. So, I left the university and got in contact with a local bakery in Mesa and started selling my products out of the bakery by June. In less than a year of starting Lez get baked, I have learned so much. I built the entire business from the ground up; from the menu to building my first website and doing all the photography myself. It has been quite the experience. I would say that starting a regular business outside of a newly developing market would have been a thousand times easier. I never take the easy route, especially with the passion I have to help others. I decided that this is where I am needed because I truly believe in our products.

One thing that I am super excited about in the upcoming months is that we will be teaching vets some basic hemp infusion courses! I have been trying for months to be able to do this and am super excited to start being able to give back to our community. After that, I will be working on opening a non-profit to help foster children.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I would say that starting a business will always have its struggles. I am a person that wants to clearly understand the rules and guidelines. With the hemp industry being so new the regulations are still being defined. With that being, said there is a lot more research that needs to be done to ensure I stay on top of things. I think one of the most challenging parts of opening my business has come from the decision to name my company Lez to get baked. I had gone back and forth with a few companies about the suggested change of the name. I have been advised that I’m limiting my market by promoting that I am a lesbian. My thought about all of that is that society is changing. The LGBT community is growing every day and I want to be the company that will take the risk. I come from a small town that doesn’t exactly embrace that I am a lesbian. Moving to the city has allowed me to embrace who I am. Through Lez get baked I believe I have made a stance in the community that I am proud of who I am. As a lesbian business owner and as a lover of cannabinoids.

Please tell us about your business.
Lez get baked is a hemp infused gourmet bakery in the Valley. We make an assortment of gourmet treats that are infused with a lab tested full spectrum hemp. We decided that we wanted to take a different approach. We decided to focus more on the flavor, quality, and sustainability of our packaging. We package our products in a 4 oz mason jar that can be reused. I personally do all the baking, most of the photography, editing, advertising, business planning, and built the website myself. I have managed to build and develop my business with the help of a few friends that have helped greatly helped along the way. If I was known for anything in this industry so far, it is that the passion I have for what I do. I not only provide a product, but I also provide knowledge about our products and bring forward clarity. On our website, we have information on cannabis, hemp, and CBD. We want to empower our customers to find out more about cannabis and the differences in hemp, CBD, and cannabis. We also provide a link to find out more information about the hemp that we use in each of our products. We know it is a new industry, and we want our customers to be able to find out everything they need to know about the products we make. As a company, I am most proud of the growth opportunities that we have had in such a short period of time. I look forward to what is to come in the new year.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
In the next few months, we are excited to start teaching basic hemp infusion courses to veterans! Another big move in the next few months is that we will be taking our company national! Growth is always exciting.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kaleigh Marks and Jakseni Olivares.

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