After an exhausting professional soccer season in 2010, Rachael Rapinoe had an epiphany. The ease in which players got dangerous and addictive sleeping aids, painkillers and high dosage anti-inflammatories without a lot of medical guidance was disturbing. Rachael was hit with a harsh reality first-hand–the status quo was for pain relief in the pros was messed up.
Mendi is the first cannabis brand built by athletes, for athletes to serve in their quest for a healthier solution to pain and recovery. The Mendi line of products include transdermal patches, salve sticks and capsules. Cofounded with industry experts, Mendi’s clean and honest product line is positioned to disrupt the current toxic mass-market of pain treatment by becoming the trusted cannabis brand amongst top performers.
Two other Mendi co-founders, Kendra Freeman and Britt Price, helped pave the way for cannabis legalization in Oregon. Their work as owners of the Rogue River, OR farm, Oso Verde, and past experience in Humboldt gave them hands-on experience building a supply chain business from seed-to-consumer. Having worked together overcoming obstacles and unforeseen challenges in the changing cannabis landscape, Price and Freeman have built businesses upon a magical chemistry of trust, creativity, intuition, grit, determination, humility, fairness, and humor.
Rounding out the robust team, Brett Schwager (VP of Marketing) and Madeleine Eiche (VP of Design) have built a dynamic approach towards collaborating, allowing the duo to quickly build creative campaigns and unique content. Schwager and Eiche are using their experience building design systems for Fortune 500 companies to strategically differentiate Mendi in a crowded marketplace. Their goal is to get a multisport team using the product line and being enthusiastic about the brand this summer.
The Mendi team is off to the races working through weekly sprints with help from The Initiative. Mendi’s Portland-based, athlete-empowered approach to innovation within the cannabis industry allows them to rapidly prototype products directly with their network of athletes in an active hub known for bringing pioneering ideas to an international market.
The Initiative — The Initiative is an accelerator program, business bootcamp and funding resource for female founded cannabis businesses.
Weed, J. (2019) ‘Women's Cannabis Business Accelerator 'The Initiative,' Launches In Portland, Forbes
Dorbian, I. (2019) Female-Focused Pot Accelerator The Initiative Picks Ten Businesses For Inaugural Session, Forbes
SCROLL FOR FOUNDER BIOS
The Founding Team
C.E.O. & Head Coach
Pro soccer player, trainer and coach advocating for her player network.
Rachael won a NCAA national championship with the University of Portland in 2005, played pro soccer in Europe in 2010, and eventually retired to pursue her passion in the health and fitness industry. Leveraging her Masters in Health Science from PSU, Rachael went on to build Rapinoe SC–a soccer performance training company & lifestyle apparel brand with her twin US Soccer star sister Megan. As current strength and conditioning coach for Women’s Soccer at UP, Rachael continues to apply her expertise in training, competition and recovery in an effort to better understand the role recovery has in performance and the human body. With her network of influential athletes and passion for competing, Rachael shapes Mendi’s products to meet the relevant demand in sports.
Chief Strategist & Offensive Coordinator
Cannabis expert leveling the playing field for equality in cutthroat Oregon market.
As a major agent for change for legalization and be taken seriously, Freeman built Oso Verde Farms with co-Founder Britt Price from scratch in an effort to advocate not just for the public benefit of cannabis, but to also champion her vision for social justice and equal opportunities. Having led operations for one of the largest farms in Humboldt, Kendra has deep expertise she brings to Mendi connecting market opportunities with the supply-chain know-how needed to ship products. She has the magic ability to comprehend the nuances of plants at a molecular level while keeping her perspective elevated to keep Mendi’s eyes and ears on the horizon of a rapidly shifting market.
C.O.O. & Team Captain
Native Oregonian and architect-
farmer of seed-to- consumer supply chain.
Britt has been a cannabis grower for nearly a decade with the same deep roots as Freeman as Oso Verde and Mendi Co-founders. He’s proud of his work at Oso Verde building Oregon’s first farm advocating for social justice, fair labor, equal opportunities and environmental sustainability. His successes and failures pulling off this tall order provided him with the expertise and creative problem solving he’s bringing to the Mendi team in an effort to carry forward the same principle-led ideas for athletes. Prior to his cannabis career, Britt worked as an architect for a for a multi-national firm and as a Marketing Manager for various startups in Silicon Valley.
VP of Sales & Marketing & Center Midfielder
Kiteboarder, outdoorsman and designer building stories to share around the campfire.
While earning his BFA in Visual Communication Design at the University of Washington he served as the lacrosse team captain and paddled his handmade kayak through the Inside Passage to Alaska. Brett’s fascination with building a healthy and active lifestyle, rethinking the status quo and helping others overcome challenges laid a foundation for the role he brings to the Mendi team. With experience designing for brands such as evo, Slingshot, Nimbus Independent, Keen and Modoc, Brett has built a trusted network of pro athletes and outdoor industry experts. From his home base in Hood River, Oregon he captures the invaluable first-hand insights needed to build great products for an active audience.