Bootstrapping your Business and avoiding the "shoulds" with Trinity Mouzon Wofford
ep 16

Bootstrapping your Business and avoiding the "shoulds" with Trinity Mouzon Wofford

Bootstrapping and avoiding the "shoulds" with Trinity Mouzon Wofford

Show Notes:

I am joined in this episode by Trinity Mouzon Wofford, Co-Founder and CEO of Golde, a health and beauty brand with the mission of bringing accessibility to the wellness industry. In this founder conversation, Trinity and I discuss her bootstrapping journey, what it's like being the face of a company, and the struggles, milestones, and “shoulds” that come up along the way. Trinity’s evolution of allowing spontaneity in her schedule to avoid the path of burnout — and not feeling shame about it — is inspiring. To show how she got there, Trinity and I delve into three phases of entrepreneurship.

The first is the finance piece, which many entrepreneurs find intimidating. At Golde, they were able to self-support and as a result, they created something that they were excited about, without investments pouring in. Focusing on finding alignment where the energy flowed, meant that even when the work was hard, they wanted to do more of it.

Secondly, Trinity shares her tactics for dealing with the “messy middle.” This is when you're no longer the newest brand with the newest perspective, and you have customers, partnerships, and visibility that can create outside perspectives and disrupt your flow with judgment and opinions.

Lastly, when you gain success, it can be easy to create false truths about who you are in the world, and how you operate. By doing so, you produce pain and friction. Listen in to hear how, now that Golde is established and continues to grow, they’re able to focus on creating for creation's sake and give to something they “can stand for until the day you die… or longer”.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or on your favorite podcast platform. 

Topics Covered:

  • The nourishment that comes with ignoring the “shoulds” and creating your own path
  • Decisions around bootstrapping our businesses
  • Learning the value of money and how far we can stretch it
  • Trusting your intuition in building your business
  • How to maintain a flow state in your true zone of genius
  • Overcoming the feeling of being overexposed as the face of your brand
  • The journey of self-awareness in entrepreneurship
  • Using psychedelic experiences to create play in your life

Resources Mentioned:

Guest Info: Trinity Mouzon Wofford

Trinity Mouzon Wofford is the Co-founder and CEO at Golde, a Brooklyn-born health and beauty brand. With her partner, Issey Kobori, she founded Golde in 2017 to bring accessibility to the wellness industry via approachable products powered by superfoods. Since launching the brand at age 23, Trinity has been named one of Forbes 30 under 30 and most recently landed Golde on the shelves of Target and Ulta stores across the country.

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Episode Transcript

Tonya Papanikolov  00:00

Hi, welcome to the Rainbo Podcast. I'm your host, Tonya Papanikolov. Rainbo  and I are on a mission to upgrade humanity with fungi and expand the collective conscious. This podcast builds a virtual mycelial network of bold, open minded thinkers and seekers. I chat with experts, thought leaders, healers, scientists, entrepreneurs, spiritual teachers, activists, and dreamers. These are stories of healing, human potential and expansion. Tune in root in expand and journey with us.


Tonya Papanikolov  00:41

Hi, welcome back to another episode of the  podcast. I am joined today by Trinity Musan Wofford a incredible woman. She's just a bright light very down to earth, approachable, super wise, and is an incredible force and businesswoman.


Tonya Papanikolov  01:04

She's the co founder and CEO at Golde, a Brooklyn born health and beauty brand. Her and her partner is eco Bari, who are actually high school sweethearts, very just absolutely, darling. They founded Golde together in 2017, with the mission of bringing accessibility to the wellness industry via approachable products powered by super foods. And since launching the brand at the age of 23, which is amazing. Trinity has been named one of Forbes 30, under 30. And most recently landed Golde on the shelves of target and Ulta stores across the US.


Tonya Papanikolov  01:43

So she's really just a powerhouse. So honest, really just genuine. And we have this awesome founder chat together, which is really exciting. I'm going to start to do more of these founder chats. I have some great, great people coming coming up to share with you all. And on today's episode Trinity and I get into bootstrapping, which is a question I get all the time.


Tonya Papanikolov  02:13

Whenever I'm doing, you know, an Instagram a ask me anything, you usually get a bootstrapping question. It's of course, you know, I think when you're thinking about starting a business, of course, there's a lot of expenses that you might envision going into something. What's interesting about trinity and I's approach is that we both really didn't have that much. But we made it work, we stretched our dollars. And we were quite tenacious in launching our businesses.


Tonya Papanikolov  02:45

So she tells us about her bootstrapping journey and how long she did that for, she kind of opens up about some of the challenges she's experienced in business, what it's like being the face of her company struggles along the way, milestones along the way. We talk about the shoulds. You know, anytime you're in that territory of I think I should do this, or this is what it looks like for other people, we have to kind of make our way back to center, we talk about making your business really work for you. She's a beautiful example of that.


Tonya Papanikolov  03:20

And you know, we just we talked about her relationship with fungi and mushrooms. And it's just a really honest and awesome conversation that we'll dive into right now. But before we do I have a quick edit and correction from Trinity. In the episode, you'll hear her speaking to this jazz artist, who she accidentally said was the awfulest London which we know is an American rapper. So that's not who she was referring to. She got it mixed up. But the jazz artist is Pharoah Sanders and the album that she mentions is linked in the show notes. So Pharoah Sanders, jazz artist, beautiful album, highly recommend listening to it.


Tonya Papanikolov  04:02

Okay, so this is just too good to not jump right into but high integrity. Hi, Tony, how are you?


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  04:09

I'm really great.


Tonya Papanikolov  04:10

I'm so thrilled to be connecting with you and grateful for your time. How are you?


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  04:11

I'm honestly really good. And I've been training myself a little bit not to


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  04:20

have that be my automatic response. Because that's definitely my disposition but I was just telling you, you know, I just got in from a walk with a family and you know, we've been my husband and my baby daughter and I we've been doing our long walks like ideally twice a day and now that springtime is here and there's just like, I'm feeling very grounded, very excited for spring and just very at peace with where everything is, which is feeling really really good. So happy for you. Yes. It's like that's so nice.


Tonya Papanikolov  05:00

stir relish in those seasons, periods. That's really wonderful. I share that disposition. I was on salt spring, we were just chatting about this little island that I've been living on. And I some walked into a store and somebody was, I think my automatic thing was like, how are you?


Tonya Papanikolov  05:20

And her response was I am. And I was like,


Tonya Papanikolov  05:24

I love that like, Thank you. Yes, yes. Like, that's all we really need to say.


Tonya Papanikolov  05:32

is powerful. Yeah, that's, that's so beautiful. I want to get into lots of things with you today, and hear about Golde and your journey. And I know, we share quite a few things in common with relation to bootstrapping, and, you know, reading our business.


Tonya Papanikolov  05:50

You know, actually, I don't know if we run our businesses in the same way Exactly. But I know that we share that beginning initial journey, which I think is an exciting thing to talk about. I've read and I've heard you speak on it before. And I just think it'd be really great to dive into that a little bit more. But yeah, I would love to just hear a bit about you're in upstate New York.


Tonya Papanikolov  06:10

How has that transition been out of the city, we also share that and that we're both more removed from our cities that we have been spending lots of time in.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  06:21

It feels so good. And I was just saying, we were like, Hey, we better start podcasts.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  06:29

I think that you'd have, you know, where you feel at home, and where you feel grounded and settled. So I grew up in upstate New York. So to my husband were highschool sweethearts, we we met in high school, and we were living in the city for a few years. And, you know, we're in all around Brooklyn, whatever. And that was really lovely. But as we made the transition back to Upstate, which was sort of a forceful one, because we ended up when the big pandemic hit, going to stay with family, and then kind of just never leaving, it just felt like it was the right place to be. And I did feel in 2021, as things were reopening kind of a scary pressure that there was this expectation of okay, that was fun. When are you getting back to New York City? And when are you getting back to work? When are you going to be serious again.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  07:27

And I remember at certain times, having like some real kind of self consciousness about my desire to stay planted where I was, and to do things my way, I wasn't sure if I should be ashamed of it. And I even felt, as things were opening up, like, it all felt like it was happening very quickly. And I was sort of mourning that phase of like everyone kind of huddling in together, considering what was really important to them, making the work stuff work, but looking at the bigger picture of their lives.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  08:04

That's not obviously to minimize the loss and trauma of going through a pandemic. But I think that what brought about for us culturally was really powerful, and I wasn't ready to let go of a lot of that. So staying here has felt really good, really, right, we still come down to the city probably once or twice a month for meetings or whatever. But there really hasn't been a moment yet that I've gone back and thought, Man, I gotta get out of the sticks. I gotta get back into city.


Tonya Papanikolov  08:37

Yeah, that's, that's very, very inspiring to hear. I think a lot of people can probably relate to, you know, it was like, yeah, it was, it was such a challenging time in so many ways. But it also brought about stimulated us to kind of think about some really important things that maybe we hadn't considered in relation to our environment and what was really supportive to work in life and that balance and I see a lot of that.


Tonya Papanikolov  09:03

And I felt I felt quite a bit of that as well. And I was telling you that you know, my partner and I spent most of last year in California and kind of thought that was where we were gonna want to be and then similarly, like, I think it was something about the seclusion and what that does to the sense like you're kind of set you get more sensitive like you really do it it just it changes you in a way and it's for the better I think that that sensitivity is truly a superpower you know, when utilized and really like strengthened and sharpened but we kind of were like oh like this doesn't this big city doesn't feel like what we like what nourishes us and came here and in similar I mean it's it's stunning I you know, I do it's so nice that you have your family nearby both you and Izzy. I'm sure I really miss mine and thinking about starting a family I'm like, oh, yeah, that's that's a hard decision. You


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  09:59

You mentioned something earlier, when you were talking to me about LA and you use the word should. And I think that that is something that whenever you're like, in the shoulds


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  10:13

that's like, you're off your path. And yeah, you have to make these hard decisions about, okay, if I want to start a family, where do I need to be whatever. But as soon as you're kind of in that place of like, I should want this, this should make me happy. This seems to be working for everyone else. Yeah. As soon as you're coming from that, like external point, I think that's where like, something feels really off, and you have to kind of reconnect it back to what it is that actually, to your point nourishes you. Yeah.


Tonya Papanikolov  10:44

And to share what I was saying was that I felt like I should be in California, like, this is a wellness brand. And everybody's there. And all those things that sound really icky when they come out of my mouth. Because none of that is is actually true. But there is this kind of like facade that exists, maybe within wellness. And it just didn't, I needed to try it out. And I still love it there for visiting. But yeah, it just it was it was a big, a big should.


Tonya Papanikolov  11:13

And eventually, like by fall of 2022, I really realized that. Yeah, we made the move, like everything was just kind of pointing us to try out living here. So.


Tonya Papanikolov  11:24

Okay, so I'm really excited to jump into some topics with you. Yeah, there's there's lots of things I want to touch on. The why don't we start with this, like the whole kind of decision around bootstrapping your business? I think that that is you know, it's there's it's everybody there's there's a handful of people that are wanting to start businesses that have questions around like the finance piece, like how do you actually, how do you actually do it? I think, I don't know, you know, what, what it took you to start up the business. But with me, it was very small amount that I was able to get things going with. So just love to hear about your journey with that.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  12:02

Yeah. So when you say and I started Golde, it was 2017 that we officially launched. So 2016 was when we were working on the brand, we had about a year ish of real professional work experience. And we were still pretty much broke college kids.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  12:23

I think we put together about $2,000 in savings to start the business. We had this idea of building something and wellness that was really easy and approachable and fun. And I can speak more to that for sure. But I think you know, as far as that journey of bootstrapping, specifically, we just did everything ourselves. And we tapped friends where we could, we couldn't afford to hire, you know, anyone to really like help us on the brand. So we had like a friend who was actually eBays coworker at his day job, who was the graphic designer at that company. And we said, hey, we're trying to make some packaging and branding for this company that we've started, or that we're starting. And he like helped us get like an Illustrator file setup, so that we could even like go in there and like keep tweaking and playing and getting our colors and our fonts and everything until like we had something that we were really excited about.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  13:24

So in the early days, like brand, photography, Issei taught himself how to be a product photographer, like everything, marketing, going door to door to different shops was all us. And at first it happened on the weekends. And you know, nights after we were, you know, done with with our usual work. And then I stopped working full time. And then eventually you say to two, but in order to afford to do that. This was actually the first time that we left Brooklyn. So we left Brooklyn, in 2017 and moved upstate into a house that my mom was getting ready to move out of my mom was getting ready to move in with her mother to take care of her she was going to sell her house. And I remember calling her and saying this is gonna sound a little crazy, but don't sell your house because I need to move in there to run my superfood business.


Tonya Papanikolov  14:21

I love that so much.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  14:24

I remember actually being really ashamed and stressed about the fact that of course, I've looked back on this and laugh but that within less than a year of starting my business, I couldn't afford to pay rent off of it and I had to move back home to keep running it. And something that stuck with me at that moment and that I've carried with me since then is that someone said that what they really liked about me was that I know what I'm lucky. And I think that what I was able to do there was to say okay, I'm just gonna go and move into this Little House in upstate New York, and just work on my business for free. And that's lucky, that's not an investor writing me a million dollar check. That's not my business blowing up overnight. But having that time and space for myself to continue to work on this and not be stressed about money is the opportunity that I need. So that was our first year.


Tonya Papanikolov  15:24

Wow, that's 2017. Wow. Yeah, that's, I think one of the things that it really teaches you, at least it really taught me is the value of $1, and how far you can stretch that. And I remember thinking and hearing about other friends, who would raise a lot of money. And it just sounded like they were wasting a lot of it. You know, it's just it's kind of like, not necessarily wasting, but a lot of relationships that didn't work out just like a lot. Yeah, just it's, it's, it's tricky to find whether it's the right hire, or you just end up spending what you have, you do.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  16:07

And, you know, I've been on both sides of it. Now, we bootstrapped for three years, and then I raised a teensy tiny bit of money. And then I raised more. And so I've been on the side of having money in the bank, and I've been on the side of having $0 in the bank, and, you know, every credit card maxed out. And it is very true that the challenge, I think about building a brand, something that's meant to stand the test of time. And the venture capital model, is that once you raise your million dollars, your investors want to know how you are going to spend it, the goal of the million dollars is not to sit in the bank account and cushion you in case anything goes wrong, the goal of the money is to grow. And I will say there were so many times in like the post raise business, that I felt like it was harder to make gut decisions. Because to your point, when you have no money to go around when your budget is $500, you know that the first of all, most of the things you can't even look at, you can't even think about, and the things that you can think about, you just have to make instinctual gut decisions about what feels right.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  17:30

But when you have budget, suddenly, there are all of these different agencies and VPS. And whatever that you can hire. And you have this sense of like, oh, like, this is what the business has been missing, like all this expensive stuff. And it's funny because like, you know, there are there are places where I can say like money really helped us. And then there are a lot of places where I can say that it could have, but it also creates an opportunity for spending. So now in our sixth year, having seen every side of it, the way that I approach decision making about budget and growing the business today is actually very similar and much more similar to the way I did in the early days. Because I think that's just what's what served me. Well.


Tonya Papanikolov  18:20

That's so cool to hear. So I'm like when you say that, what do you what do you mean, exactly? Is that like discernment and really tuning into like, the intuitive side of of like, Does this feel right? For my business? Is this the way I want to grow? Does this feel like it's an alignment? Or is it also kind of like, being picky with, I don't know, an agency or something along those lines?


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  18:44

It's definitely got decisions, and it's allowing yourself to make that decisions. It's trusting your intuition. Your intuition is probably what brought you to build your brand in the first place unless you built it because you did a bunch of market research and spreadsheets, which all the power to you if that's what you did, but you know, like, if you start with your gut, you have to keep going from that place. And yeah, it is it is being thoughtful and picky. Because you realize very quickly that a lot of things are just expensive because they can be. And the reality is that a lot of businesses have never operated without a surplus of investor capital. So they have to spend money on anything, because there's no foundational understanding of like how to operate the business from a place of total efficiency. And I really try to say that without judgment for the many different ways that you can build a business and build a brand. But I do think that without question, the right thing to do is to build it the way that you want to build it and to not become overly influenced by what seems to be working for someone else. What someone else told you was working for someone else? What should right should be? What is?


Tonya Papanikolov  20:07

Yeah, that's been a big lesson for me. I think as, as I've progressed along the journey to, there's advisors who come in, and they felt like they want your best, they're there to support you, Simon, he helps me a lot with the financial peace, which I'm very grateful for, because that's not my language, per se. But he would kind of catch me because I would be like, well, well, like, my business doesn't look like that. Like, that's not it's like, should I be doing it like this? Should it look like this? And he would just be like, your business is successful because of what you've been doing. And these are just guides. It's not, it doesn't need to be that title or that budget, or that any of that stuff.


Tonya Papanikolov  20:49

And I remember just getting like, it's hard not to, you know, like, there's so many influential kind of pieces that are coming at you and you you want your like thing to succeed and do well. But yeah, I'm not sure if you ever experienced that. But it's been.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  21:03

Oh, yeah. Yeah. Well, I was talking to another founder of a business that is way, way bigger than mine, and more well known. And she was talking to me about what she calls the messy middle. And I that resonated. Because I think that, you know, there is a lot of, there's a lot of talk, I think about the beginning. And I think we do hear those stories of like, what did it look like when this founder was starting out going door to door? I don't know, Sara Blakely, with Spanx like calling up every manufacturer like I've heard that story so many times, yeah. And then I've heard about how the company then becomes a billion dollar business.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  21:47

But like what happens in the middle? What happens when you're not the newest brand out there with like the newest perspective, you have this mass of customers, you have visibility, you have some retail partnerships, you have some learnings, you have some wins, you're in this place where you know where you want to be, but you're starting to operate from a place of having outside perspectives. Whereas when you're just getting started, I don't know if you have the same experience. But for me, you're kind of like building in a vacuum, which is really amazing. Because no one is commenting on your thing, yet. There is no data yet. You're just moving with your own. Yeah, you're just flowing.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  22:34

And then you get to that place where you've put your baby out into the world. And it's been judged, and it's been used, and it's been, you know, you don't have opinions about it. And then you see something else that's new and shiny, and you go well, should I be doing it that way? And then if you do allow yourself to get pulled and pulled and pulled, you're further from your center, from your point of creation, and you satisfy no one. Not and certainly not yourself.


Tonya Papanikolov  23:09

Yeah. Yeah, it's a slippery slope. It's an interesting place to be. I think you just have to, like stay so true. I mean, it's an act of self awareness. Before I started , I feel like probably similar to you. I don't know for sure. But like, I put this thing out and was like, we'll see. Like, yeah, we'll see. I have no idea. And when people started noticing, I was like, Oh, my gosh, like, this is so cool. But, but that I think that that is I feel so lucky to have had that first like year of incubation of like, exactly what you said, in a vacuum, just like creating something that really felt like, yeah, something that came from me like a baby, you know, this thing that you breathe into existence.


Tonya Papanikolov  23:56

I always like to remind people that peace, I think it's like, it's really nice to create for creation sake and to create something that you believe in that has like a mission and a y that you can stand for until the day you die potentially, or longer. You know what I mean? Like, it's an end to feel no pressure in the stage where you're researching, you're looking for manufacturers, you're just like, creating the thing.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  24:20

The creation is so important because that is where like the boundless energy comes from. And that, that extends across every industry. I was listening to like one of my favorite jazz artists the other day, and we were looking at his like discography and like he, we were like, Oh, he passed away last year, but he had an album come out like the year prior, like, this guy put out music for like, longer than my parents have been on this planet. And there's some artists by the way, Theopolis London, and it was so interesting.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  25:00

Yeah, because I was thinking about that. And I was thinking about my own work. And just and like work in general, that when you are in this sort of like heightened place of creative, like alignment, where you're just doing your flowing, like, it doesn't matter if you're 22, or 82, you can just keep going, there's nothing else to do. And I've found now being in year six of this business, that you really have to come back to those places, you have to find that place where there is no resistance to your output. And it's funny, because as I was just having this conversation this morning with my husband, there's the sense that we need to struggle in order to have success.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  25:55

And I think that there's a difference between putting in good work, and like creating the emotional pain for yourself. And so this time, you know, sitting in solidly in like the messy middle of, of entrepreneurship, I have really enjoyed this opportunity to like come back to be energy that I think can like, conserve me for another 50 years.


Tonya Papanikolov  26:24

I love that. So I think one of the things with with bootstrapping, and doing so many things in the business yourself is that it can, like, just take you so far down the wormhole that you kind of like as the leader and you know, a founder or co founder, it can be at least for me, it was like hard to zoom out sometimes. Because I was like, oh, like, whatever a fulfillment issue or whatever that would be. But were there times in that six years where you were like, wow, I'm feeling like, I'm kind of far away from my true zone of genius, where, like, I would really love to get back to doing more of this thing. And have you been able to navigate back to that? And, okay, question one, question two, messy middle. How do you just like find time to do the things that get you into that flow? State?


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  27:18

Oh, that's a great question. Yes. First of all, the first question, yeah, 100%, you get to a certain point where there's so much outside stuff. And I think that it's very easy to allow your center to come apart, and to kind of be fixated on trying to please, everyone sort of position around you and your brand. Yeah. And when I started Golde, I did not intend to be the face of the brand at all. It was really something that like Issei was pushing me for where he was like, You're not going to tell people who's behind this seriously, like, and I found that in 2020, where our business grew a ton. If you look at the numbers, it was by far our most successful year. I mean, we had, we were up like 10x, in certain months from like, the year prior, we had all these celebrities shout outs, and it was partly because of COVID.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  28:31

And then it was also you know, the movement support black owned brands. But I remember feeling in that moment, really overexposed and really stressed because suddenly there was I perceived a lot of weight being put on the brand and on me to be something for everyone else. And it kind of like it put me into like a place of just like wanting to shut down wanting to hide, wanting to crawl under a rock. I mean, I literally I had fantasies about like, how could I just like dig a hole and put myself in there and just like wait to come out until like until the coast was clear. Yeah.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  29:14

And so yeah, that I mean, when you're feeling that in the depths of your heart, that really impacts how you work. And you're not looking at things from a place of groundedness and clarity. You know, your ego is really kind of wrapped up in everything. And you're trying to figure out how you can make everyone happy. And it took me like years and therapy and business coaching to start to really see the other side of that, because I really got stuck in that feeling of my business used to be small. It used to just be me and my partner. Now it's this big, big thing I didn't necessarily I didn't ask for this, I didn't prepare for this. I don't know if I want to be public facing persona. It took a lot for me to say.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  30:12

Okay, how do I accept what is and ground myself back in who I know myself to be? And what I know my brand to be? And I guess that's my answer to your first question.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  30:27

The second question of making time for that those exercises, I think what's great about the things that bring you back to yourself and bring your business into focus is that they're very intuitive. They're exactly the things that you want to be doing whenever you have a spare moment. And so for me, that's going on walks, that's getting in the garden. So a lot of like, offline time. And it's like prioritizing that. I mean, I went for an hour long walk this morning, and I'm going to as long as it doesn't rain, I'm going to prioritize an hour long walk after work. And there will be emails that like I could have potentially answered with that time, but I'm carving out that time for me. And that's, I think that's like, the most important thing you can do is really understand who you are, what you need, and make space for that. Because if you just go around like answering like, everyone's like stupid email, oh, yeah, there will be nothing left of you.


Tonya Papanikolov  31:32

I got a marketing email last week. That said, like, mentioned you, I will have to find it. It was like, I was like, but she hasn't even come on the podcast. Like, anyways, there's like, truly, it's just so many random emails. But one thing I just want to backtrack to thank you for sharing that and just opening up about that experience for you is, I think, something that I see in you that you seem to do so beautifully. And that it's just like a part of your essence is, and it inspires me is like just being so true to you. And so true to your brand and having that story come across, and it looks like it comes across with ease. And I think that's a funny thing. Like, you laugh. And I laugh too. And like, I know, I know what you're mean, and in a lot of ways, but I guess all this is just to say that, like how you are running your business and showing up in the world and existing is so inspiring to I know, not only myself but to so many others.


Tonya Papanikolov  32:41

And it gives a lot of people permission to do a business your way and have it. Yeah, like be honest and authentic expression. And I know the ups and downs that that comes with.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  32:55

Thank you, that means a lot to hear. And I think that if I had heard that a year ago, I probably would have tuned it out, because I didn't believe that anymore. And I think that coming to the other side of that loop and seeing that I can give myself permission to build my life and my business exactly the way that I want to. It's so powerful. And I think that's, that's the most powerful thing that you can hopefully leave others with is the reality that it's like, I don't know how to say this without like getting so cheesy, but it's like, you've just got however many hours left on this planet in this moment, like you're in this present moment.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  33:40

There's no reason not to be living as truthfully as you can. And I think it's like, when you create these like fibs about who you are in the world, and how you operate. Like you create so much pain and tension and friction. And like suddenly, honestly, like bad things start to happen, like when you're not in that alignment. And so I think it like it's been like, it's felt like a miracle to me to like, swing back around and see that and feel it and to also know that like, from anyone else's perspective, it was always there.


Tonya Papanikolov  34:23

That's like the essence piece that you feel like you you just have, but I feel that I think it's so important to like it's a journey in self awareness. So, so much in being an entrepreneur I feel and the business coaching the therapy. It is quite the journey. And I do believe that founders, a lot of the time hold this soul that's really hard to replicate and, and that is really important to honor. But I want to shift gears a little bit into something that he said, which is just like scheduling and, you know, like prioritization. For me that now looks different than it looked in year one or two.


Tonya Papanikolov  35:10

But how has that journey evolved for you? And do you think that like, sometimes you just, for somebody that's just starting out, that's like, I do have to do everything? And that requires so much of like, we've both been there. So, you know, what do you say to that person? And then also kind of what's been the evolution for you?


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  35:32

Well, I think that it is a lot. But if you are creating from a place of alignment with your purpose, the energy will flow from you. And so, in early days of building Golde, I would spray out of bed at like, 530 in the morning and grab my computer was still dark and hunched over answering every email and, and then I wasn't, I kind of like put myself back in that moment. But I've never been a night person, I don't work well at night, I don't like, you know, the people who send emails at like, 11. Less them, I can't really, I'm asleep. So I think that you have to find the place, you have to work the way that works for you.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  36:21

And you can't create narratives of shame about not working the way that someone else works. Like sometimes I would receive a nice email from someone and go Chai like have been online at that hour. Should I have been like responding back? Yeah, no, I mean, like, only if that was the right time for you to be there doing that. So I think that, especially in the early days, you do have to find that alignment, wherein like the energy flows from you. And even when the work is hard, it's good, and you want to do more of it. And you can't wait to wake up the next morning and get into it again.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  37:01

That doesn't mean that like, it actually all feels easy. Or even that it all feels fun. But that like you just like you've got this charge and you even stuff that's like not really your stuff, the like the operations and stuff or like, like, let me get into that. Yeah. So I think that's it. And then as you move through the phases in your life that you will go through I mean, I'm in a very different place. Now as a new mother than I was six, seven years ago, when I was working on the brand and getting it getting it live. You do make adjustments, and you do reprioritize. And I think like allowing that shift, allowing that, like elasticity will help keep you in a place where you can keep bringing your best self to the work.


Tonya Papanikolov  37:53

Yeah, that's beautiful. Yeah, I really resonate with that. I think for me, too much of that, though, without much time off did kind of lead me to a path of burnout. So it's like, you know, it is I think you have to, even though it's so like, there's so much passion that it comes from, it can still, for me, it was just very hard to turn off.


Tonya Papanikolov  38:14

But yeah, and that's, you know, still the case, and probably always will be, and not that you really want to turn off. But there are moments where you're like, I'm supposed to be on vacation. And you just realize that like you'll never really ever be able to. It's like having a kid that you're just like, I imagine, you know.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  38:36

I can say this now it is you don't turn off entirely. You don't like disappear for three weeks and go I don't know, we'll see what happens.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  38:46

You're always checking in. But yeah, I do think it's important to like, take those vacations carve the timeout, you said I take took a couple of vacations in the first like couple of years of building Golde. I remember we went to like Mexico City for four days. And then like we went to Italy for a week. And both of those experiences. At the time, as we were planning the trip, we were thinking, we can't afford this. Like we don't have the money, we don't have the time. And yet each time that we did it, it was so nourishing, so powerful, such a great reset. And it allows you to create like putting you're taking yourself like out of your house or like wherever your workspace is and intentionally giving yourself an opportunity to explore and like challenging your brain with new stuff like suddenly. Okay, well now I have to speak this different language for the next seven days because I'm here. It enriches you as a person and it also gives you a better perspective from which to deal with whatever is going on with the work when you get back to it. So I actually I was just reminding myself this week that I need to do that again because it's been a while since I've left this space. And you know, as I'm trying to solve, like new problems for Golde, I'm realizing that I'm like missing that shift in perspective. And so I like I'm actively like, it's on my to do list. It's like buying a place to go and go there. And just, it doesn't matter. Just go.


Tonya Papanikolov  40:21

On a vacation, right?


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  40:23

Yes, yes.


Tonya Papanikolov  40:24

Yes. I'm excited for you. How has life Baby Ruben and balancing and she's six months or more?


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  40:31

Eight months now. Wow, she's getting close to a year, ah, it has been so joyful. It's been so good. I think that having a baby is another way to give yourself perspective and to force yourself, force yourself to also speak a different language. When I was pregnant, I asked my midwife who I'm obsessed with, and I never stopped talking about for somebody to bring up my midwife. I asked her what I should do to prepare for labor. And she said, to practice spontaneity. And she said, this will help you in labor. And it will also help you for the rest of your life as a parent, she said, different people have a different natural ability for this and have different amounts of practice.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  41:21

But there are certain types of folks in the world who are extremely, you know, they really follow a regimen and if things go out of place, there's challenges with with coping with that. And I was being told that, you know, in labor, like, you're going to have different experiences, you're going to have different sensations, like you're just going to have to roll with it. And that's even more true with with the baby. And I think that that is something that I keep coming back to, and that really serves me well. And I think that I actually had a lot of practice with from running a business, because it's just like any given moment, some shit breaks. And yeah, let's fix it. 


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  42:03

And so I think that it's been, it's been so rewarding. It's hard. Yeah. I mean, it's it's hard to balance at all, I definitely just literally, physically, mentally cannot do as much work as I could do before Ruby. But I also feel like I'm a better entrepreneur for it. So I am honestly, I'm very excited about this combination of doing both. And I'm excited to see like, where, what it unlocks for the business in the next five years.


Tonya Papanikolov  42:39

Yeah. Do you have moments where you just look back to six years ago, and the journey and you're like, wow, like, this is a dream? Yeah.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  42:50

Yeah. Yeah, we're not. But I mean, well, you know, I've had I've had moments of all of it, right. I mean, I've had the moments of like, no, no, this is going well, but yeah, I mean, I so much, has turned out more beautifully than I could have imagined. And I'm very fortunate to have a wonderful partner in life. And I think, you know, being able to go through the experiences of started dating in high school, like going through like going to college and exiting college and starting a business together, and then starting a family together. Having that person as your sort of like steady rock, through all of those shifts in those expansions is really incredible. And so, yeah, it's funny, actually, I was thinking about that the other day, because I was drinking out of these, like two ceramic mugs that ISA and I have, that we were using three Ruby for, like, whenever we would like do a little like, shroom trip.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  43:57

And I was meant to Yeah, I know. And so I was like, has taught me sounds like you know, it's funny, because one day in the not too distant future. Now, we're going to tell Ruby that like we used to take sure it was out of these apps. And she's like, Guys, you're so like, some embarrassing, and I'm funny because I was thinking back to myself, like the last time I use that cup for that. And I was like, I couldn't have imagined how much I was on the precipice of like, so much life change, that suddenly I was going to say, Oh, those are those cups that I used to use, or because now it's you know, once you have a baby, once you have a young person that you are directly responsible for, you can't, can't be an eBay created. And so it's just, it was funny, like you never know when you're in a moment that you're about to come into a totally different part of your life. And just like holding that cup and thinking about that was funny.


Tonya Papanikolov  45:00

Yeah, those moments are I mean, it's, it's all it's all a crazy trip sometimes. Maybe that's like too many mushroom trips that I've done that make me like really just like trip out on like existence and reality but yes, it's it is it's like it's real funky. Yeah, able to hold, like the memory of the past, like, you know these ideas projections for the future and like and then also just like being in this moment. So tell me about your if you would like to. Yeah, what's what's your relationship with fungi? Like how have those trips been for you? Both of you lessons, what have the mushrooms taught you?


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  45:43

Ah, I've only as far as like psilocybin, I've only used it maybe five times in my life. And the first couple of times, I was young, and they were not great experiences, just, you know, wrong headspace from a group of people. But then, and I kind of, like, swore them off and was like, Nope, you say, and I started using them, I don't know. And there was kind of just like, a nice moment, it must have been like, just before the pandemic, and then kind of like, in that like, early pandemic time of like, you're just stuck in your apartment. And I just remember, like, loving that opportunity to, to really, it felt like coming outside of myself and just at and it felt like, for me, I am. I'm a very goal oriented, rational, pragmatic person. And so I found that, like, I was able to find like, a more fun loving, kind of just unencumbered part of myself there. And so I love that.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  46:59

And it was really nice to do it like very intimately with just my partner, you know, like that felt? Yeah, really, really nice. And so, you know, that's my relationship to those sorts of mushrooms. And then, you know, outside of that, I mean, I've I've loved, you know, exploring other functional mushrooms, you know, through my work with Golde, and then outside of that, just like, eating all of the mushrooms that I can. So I just, I love all sorts of fungi plant life, like I just anything that is like bringing me closer to the dirt. I think that's why I love to garden so much. Yeah, just like feels like a good place to be. 


Tonya Papanikolov  47:45

Yeah. No, I want to I want to take a trip to your garden and kitchen. There's always like, really interesting food activities and things that are growing. Yeah, I mean, that's really cool. I think one of the beauties of at least like the psilocybin, specifically, that I feel, like you touched on was that sense of play, that they kind of elicit in us and that's, like, it's so therapeutic, you know, because life can get hard and hardens us in ways.


Tonya Papanikolov  48:17

And so, to come back to that, you know, playfulness that I'm sure you see so much in Ruby, and will continue to is just refreshing, like, just having a good time. Sometimes you're like, oh, yeah, like, yeah, yeah.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  48:32

I mean, it's funny, it's yeah, it's like, you know, you you can use a psychedelic experience to have that moment. And then there's also like, yeah, in this moment, going through labor and you know, I, I had Ruby at home and so just kind of going through that whole process was really transformative. Having now like a little person just around all the time. Yeah, it brings out different sides of you. And I think that's been one of the great joys of my life is seeing the other side of like any moment and just saying like, Oh, wow, there's actually there's actually so much playfulness right here in this present moment.


Tonya Papanikolov  49:13

And love that. So beautiful. Okay, garden wise, are you planting this year? Do you have plans?


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  49:19

Yes, yes. I'm a bit more involved this year than I was last year last year I was growing a person and so I said I'm not starting anything from seed and we're fortunate now that we we live near like a few like rate farm stands that like start really nice like heirloom seeds and so you can get instead of going to like a big box store and getting like a baby tomato plant that's been like sprayed with like God knows what you can get something that's great. And so that's what we did last year. pretty much entirely I did like I did still have I had like some leftover like turnip seeds and stuff that like I put in the dirt and so like we had some radishes, whatever.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  50:01

But this year, I've got some Cosmos flowers started, I'm growing a whole bunch of parsley, I still have a little over a month before our last frost date. So for the most part, I have to wait until then to really put anything out. But I did I'm experimenting this year with starting early with a few things that are frost tolerant. So I've got like some shelling peas in the dirt. I've got some more radishes and more turnips, and some spinach. So those things are like just starting to poke their their little heads out in the garden. And it's been like such a delight for me now to go like, every like morning and evening. I'm like going outside and like checking on them. I'm checking on like the the seedlings that we've got going indoors.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  50:51

Yeah, the funny thing too is, if you've ever grown up in a cold climate, like upstate New York, whatever, it's easy to feel like spring takes so long. But once you start gardening, and you start paying attention to all the processes, you start to see it coming as early as February. And if you're starting seeds from scratch, certain things like onions take that long. I'm just watching a family of deer.


Tonya Papanikolov  51:21

Oh, oh my gosh that's so cool.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  51:28

They're so sweet. But so if you want to grow onions, you have to start them in like January or February indoors so that they're ready to pop out in May. And in February and March, you start to hear certain birds coming back, you just if you have trees, like we have some fruit trees that require pruning, you prune them in January and February be while they're still dormant. And so this like, the swelling towards spring happens a lot earlier than like the first day that you can comfortably sit outside in a tank top, which has been like a real revelation for me.


Tonya Papanikolov  52:07

Yeah. So excited to have a garden one day like how do you Yeah, like what how did you learn? Where did you start?


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  52:14

So in hindsight, I should have known that this was gonna be my life's path. Because my favorite book Growing up as a kid was and I my mom still has it this like, like to inch thick, like Encyclopedia of gardening, like I just said, I would just look through. And I didn't really do a lot at that point. But I just love to plan it. And so I was like, Oh, we could grow like, this isn't our zone, we could grow these tomatoes, we could have, like, I've had this like long running fascination with a food forest. And I didn't know it at the time. But I even like connected it back recently. I was thinking about like, growing up and being really little and like there was a this is not the answer to your question, but I'll get there.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  52:59

There was like a there was a Bible and like one of the rooms of like my old house. And I would go and I would read it but I would just read like that first bit that like talks about like, the garden and and like the land of milk and honey and all like I just these images were like so attractive to me. And I think I've like that's something that has always been a long Yeah. But so then, as I then got kind of back into it, which is more recent. There's I mean, there's so much great content today. I love if you have a subscription to Brit box for BBC, you can watch gardeners world, which is like a weekly, a weekly program that's really lovely and very soothing. And shows you all different gardeners, I think pretty much just like across the UK.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  53:52

And so that's, that's really nice. Instagram has a lot of great content now you know, you can find you find and follow people. And then there are great books too. Margaret Roach is one of my favorite garden experts and writers. She has a book called a way to garden. It's also a podcast. So if you're a podcast person, she's fun to listen to. She used to work, Martha Stewart's Corporation, and so she's like, she's deep into the gardening world. There's a few people and so I think just like starting to find the voices that you love in that space. But I mean for me like a gardening book is like I will devour that.


Tonya Papanikolov  54:34

Like in your DNA. I love hearing those stories about what kids gravitate to. And I think there's such a magic in that whether it's like truly like some intergenerational cellular plan and wisdom and knowledge from ancestors lives, whatever but it's, it's so cool to hear I love I love the concept of what did you call it a The Food Forest.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  55:02

Oh, yeah, exactly. So that's my like, that's my life's work, I think is that at some point, I will create an orchard. And like, I'll fill it with all sorts of like biodynamic pairings of herbs and vegetables and things that just sort of grow freely.


Tonya Papanikolov  55:23

I see that. I see that. Yeah. That's so cool. Well, I love chatting with you and with founders. And it's just so it's so awesome to to connect with you. And I end every podcast with asking our guests to share a prayer and intention, a piece of a message with with the audience.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  55:48

I think that the thing that's like sitting really centrally for me right now is just go with your gut. Listen to your intuition. I know you've heard it a million times, but it just it will never steer you wrong.


Tonya Papanikolov  56:07

Yeah, thank you. It's so true. And you know, just on that, too, I'm always curious. What are some of the practices that help you tune in to that? Over the years, your intuition specifically? 


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  56:20

Getting offline. Yep, just removing the outside forces, reading certain books that helped me remind myself there's a great book from Deepak Chopra course, seven spiritual laws of success.


Tonya Papanikolov  56:37

One of my faves.


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  56:38

Oh, my gosh, I mean, I can come back to that every day. So you know, I think it can be literal meditation, or it can be any activity that quiets your mind, I think that's sometimes a lot less intimidating than telling someone that they need to, you know, sit and be quiet, if, you know, their circumstances don't don't necessarily align with that. So I think just like just finding that place where your mind feels quiet and you feel settled. That's that's how you get back to the gut and also just tuning out the ego. As soon as practice and it comes in, it's it's okay that it comes in. But exactly, that's that's a forever thing. 


Tonya Papanikolov  57:27

Yeah, totally. Yeah, same same time. Rest, you know, we're in that in that kind of group chat last week. We're all kind of like rest. No, like slowing down event is, is where those subtleties lie I feel sometimes.


Tonya Papanikolov  57:49

Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and journey and story and yeah, such a, I could chat with you for a very long time and hope we can do it again soon. But yeah, thank you. 


Trinity Mouzon Wofford  58:01

Thank you so much. It was my pleasure.


Tonya Papanikolov  58:04

With deep gratitude. Thanks for tuning into this episode. If you liked it, hit subscribe and leave us a review that is always very appreciate it. Mushrooms transformed my mind and body. And if you're interested in bringing medicinal mushrooms into your life and health journey, check out .com for our meticulously sourced Canadian fruiting body mushroom tinctures. Until next time, peace and peace out friends