Each week we highlight entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry for our viewers to learn more about the leading cannabis executives of our time.
This week, we highlight Windy Borman, founder of Green Mile Pictures, LLC. Windy Borman, MST, is a multi-award-winning film Director and Producer, as well as the founder of Green Mile Pictures.
Her recent projects include directing and producing the 10-time award-winning film, “The Eyes of Thailand” (narrated by Ashley Judd), and producing “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia”, which premiered at Sundance and on HBO. Other credits include producing performances for Dr. Maya Angelou and Margaret Cho, directing “The Vagina Monologues”, and writing for Takepart.com and Indiewire: Women and Hollywood.
In our interview with Windy, we asked a variety of questions to gain further insight into her mission, launching Green Mile Pictures, LLC and more!
DCN: First off Windy, congratulations on being featured as this week’s entrepreneur of the week! Can you please share with our readers about Green Mile Pictures?
Windy Borman: Green Mile Pictures has produced “Mary Janes: The Women of Weed”, a groundbreaking, feature-length documentary film that follows female ganjaprenuers (who we call “Puffragettes™”). The film premiered at film festivals in October 2017.
DCN: What ignited the spark in you to start to launch your business? Or how did your idea evolve?
Windy Borman: I’ve always been intrigued by social issues, especially gender equality, social justice, environmental protection, education, and empowerment. When I moved to Colorado in 2014—the same year recreational use of marijuana became legal—and started meeting successful women in the cannabis industry, I knew I was perfectly positioned to tell these female entrepreneurs’ stories and inspire domestic and global audiences about how gender parity, social justice, and environmental sustainability lead to greater success for all.
DCN: I would love for our readers get to know a little bit more about you. Who is someone that you look up to or would consider your role model?
Windy Borman: Anyone who is fighting for gender parity, social justice, and environmental sustainability.
DCN: How do you stay balanced?
Windy Borman: I love making and producing films, communicating with the fans on social media, and overseeing all aspects from interviewing, editing and marketing. To stay balanced I try to do yoga or exercise in the mornings, and reflect or meditate at night. Mid-afternoon dog walks are also a great excuse to get out in the sunshine for a few minutes.
DCN: If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?
Windy Borman: Dolores Huerta. She’s an organizer, activist, feminist, rebel, and mother of 11. I’d want to know how she did it all! I’d also want to tell her Thank You.
DCN: What book has inspired you the most?
Windy Borman: I re-read “The Alchemist” by Paolo Coelho every few years.
DCN: How are you helping the cannabis industry in a positive way?
Windy Borman: Women are changing the face of today’s fastest growing industry – cannabis. In “Mary Janes”, I share how they’re also changing the world.
DCN: On your journey as an entrepreneur, I am sure you have some great insight for our readers, what is the best piece of advice you can give others looking to launch a company in the cannabis industry?
Windy Borman: It’s the same advice I’d give an entrepreneur in any industry: stop waiting for permission. If you have a good idea, do your research and get started. If you wait to be invited, you could be waiting for a long time. The cannabis industry is big enough for everyone. Whatever skill set you to bring, there is room for it here.
DCN: Where did your organization’s funding come from and how did you go about getting it?
Windy Borman: We raised our funding through a combination of equity investments, donations, sponsorships and one (1) crowd-funding campaign.
DCN: What’s the hardest part of founding and running a startup?
Windy Borman: There are always peaks and valleys. Keeping yourself and your team motivated during the times when you feel the world is against you can be a challenge. I’ve learned it’s okay to take a break and do something you love to refocus and re-energize. Stepping away usually brings clarity to the situation and the way forward becomes clearer.
DCN: Is there anything that surprised you about being an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry?
Windy Borman: I thought the film industry was crazy until I learned about the cannabis industry. You have to have resilience and a sense of humor to get through the constant challenges the industry, the regulations and the government throw at you.
DCN: Being a founder, we are bound to make a mistake or two, what is one mistake you made that turned up being one of your biggest learning lessons?
Windy Borman: I have my timeline, and the Universe has its timeline. The Universe always wins. Whenever I push too hard and things don’t line up, I’ve learned to pause and ask, “Why is this so difficult right now?” Usually, it comes down to a timing issue. When you’re in sync with the Universe, you can flow with it. Accepting the Universe’s timeline has been my biggest lesson, and each film I produce reminds me to accept it.
DCN: Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Windy Borman: Companies that are committed to ethical business practices, gender parity, social justice and sustainability always get my vote.
DCN: How can we as an industry continue to make a positive difference in society?
Windy Borman: Cannabis already is making a positive difference in society. We are changing the conversations about environmental sustainability, ending the war on drugs, the prison-industrial complex, and the destructive domination of Big Pharma.
We are changing the business model toward corporate social responsibility and changing the face of entrepreneurship to include women, people of color, people from the LGBTQ community, veterans and people of different abilities. This will change the wealth disparity and put wealth in the hands of disenfranchised communities. We’re already doing this–and we need to keep doing it.
We can’t sacrifice these values as a new wave of funding comes into cannabis. They are going to want to do business under the Old World male paradigm and we must resist.
DCN: Thank you, Windy! It was so great being able to feature you as this week’s entrepreneur of the week. Do you have any final insights for our readers that you would like to share?
Windy Borman: You can’t talk about cannabis without including gender equality, social justice, and environmental sustainability. We’re at a critical point with women demanding more parity in all aspects of society, the Black Lives Matter movement, record-setting global temperatures for the second year in a row, and over half the states have legalized some form of marijuana.
These are the conversations we need to have as a country—and as a world—if we’re going to solve the major issues facing humans as a species. “Mary Janes: The Women of Weed” synthesizes them.
For those looking to learn more about Green Mile Productions LLC., click here.