Meet Sarah McDaniel, model, influencer & founder of CBD oil line, Walagoot.
1 | Tell me about your background as an actor/model. How did you get started and what projects are you working on?
When I was seventeen, Instagram had just launched. There were really no such things as “Instagram Influencers” yet, since the platform was so new. So I started posting photos for fun, but of course posing like I was already a model, and I started to gain a following. Once I noticed there was actually something to this, I began working with professional photographers and videographers, including Theo Wenner. The professional shots really helped increase my following on social media, which led to the other amazing opportunities like modeling with Guess.
Because Theo is pretty well connected, he invited me to be a part of projects he was working on, including starring in the music video for “Summer Breaking” by Tame Impala’s Mark Ronson. The video was a huge success and Theo and I loved working together, so he contacted me to then do the first non-nude issue of Playboy Magazine, which was such an honor.
Although I still model on the side, I’ve transitioned to my true passions, stop-motion filmography and my CBD oil line, Walagoot. I created a fun short ani-mated series featuring a rabbit known as “The Professor” which I created in partnership with Movie Mountain Studios. We are now working on a cyclops character for our next series. In terms of my oil line, I used to struggle with acne as a teenager. After trying Accutane, over-the-counter medication and every fad on the market with no results, I knew there had to be something else. Something natural. Light bulb! Cannabis. I partnered with a friend in Colorado who recommended the proper mix of oils, and then I added some personal touches and Walagoot was born!
2 | You recently expanded from in front of the camera to behind the camera, with creating and directing a stop animation project. Tell us what inspired that project and where can we watch it.
Correct! Although I do love to be in front of the camera, behind the scenes is where I flourish. A couple years back I just envisioned this character of a menacing rabbit speaking some truths to the world below him. He’s always been in the back of my mind and I finally had a chance, thanks to Movie Mountain, to bring this character to life. Although I have to be honest, I had no idea how much work went in to stop-motion. I made one video before, featuring a rabbit that can be found on YouTube, and it took 6 months from beginning to end to create a 3 minute long video. It’s a very time intensive and expensive process, but I love it!
3 | Your latest role has been as a boss! You recently started a CBD skin line called Walagot. What inspired this?
I struggled with acne and eczema throughout my life. I literally tried everything there was to get rid of it but nothing seemed to work! Finally, I knew there had to be something better for me, personally.
I had smoked weed recreationally before but I was also aware that marijuana has certain health benefits that come along with it, hence why doctors prescribe it to patients in pain. I started doing a lot of research on this and eventually contacted a friend in Colorado who suggested I try CBD oil, which is derived from cannabis. It worked to an extent, but I wanted something stronger. This is why I began experimenting with the full spectrum of cannabis oil and adding my own personal touches. I added THC oil for an added boost, but no, the oil will not get you high, and some coconut oil to help make it spreadable. Within a matter of weeks my skin was completely clear! I swear by my oil and will one day soon be able to share it with the world. I’ve actually just partnered with another company to help produce my line, so as soon as the embargo lifts on that news I’ll be sure to share a sample with you!
4 | What are are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as an entrepreneur?
For one, I’m a young female in the cannabis and entertainment industry. I’ve noticed that it’s hard to get taken seriously, as ridiculous as that may sound in 2018, but it’s true. Here’s an example: I had a meeting with some executives and I went in with this idea. I thought it was a great idea, but I got no reaction from it. There were basically crickets in the room when I left. However, my friend who is a male works in movies and entertainment, so I asked him to pitch it. He received rave reviews for the exact same idea! My idea! I also contribute to Huffington Post and Futurism on occasion on various science topics. Again, as a young female, no one took me serious initially. I had to prove that I actually knew what I was talking about before people began to trust my work.
Also, everyone is always trying to give you advice. “You should make your oil this way. You shouldn’t do that photoshoot.” The list goes on.
I’ve learned that at the end of the day YOU know what’s best for yourself. Follow you own intuition! If something doesn’t feel right or you don’t feel passionate to-wards something, don’t do it because you won’t enjoy it.
5 | How much has social media impacted your business/career?
Social media has had a huge impact on my career and business. Instagram is basically where I got my start modeling. It’s the easiest and fastest way to connect with my artists as well. That’s what I love about it. I can easily connect with a artist in a different state, country or even continent and allow them a glimpse into my own world and combine the two.
6 | What makes you unique to other professionals in your space or skincare lines?
I would say what makes me unique is my honest love and passion for my products. I don’t take gigs that I know I won’t like because I know that will be reflected in my work. I’m extremely passionate about my CBD oil line because it’s my baby! I created it from scratch for my own personal needs, so I know if it helped me it will help others who may be struggling with similar skin problems.
7 | What advice can you give to millennial entrepreneurs?
As cliché as it may sound, my advice is to never, ever give up, and as mentioned, always follow your own intuition and gut. Everyone will have their opinions on what you should (or shouldn’t do), but at the end of the day it’s your life and your career. Lead it the way you want and feel comfortable with. Doing what others want will make them happy, but you can’t live to please everyone.
8 | Who is your biggest influence or inspiration?
There are too many to name! The most current would have to be a friend, Foster Huntington, who is basically doing everything I’m working for now. He’s an influencer hybrid with an amazing mind and film maker. He’s doing stop-motion animation at a much larger scale than I am so I find his work inspiring.
9 | What do you hope to achieve that you haven’t yet?
In terms of my filmmaking, I’m excited to see my cyclops come to life.
For my CBD line, I’d eventually like to expand from topicals to more medicinal tinctures for things like bone density, migraines, and eventually herbal chemo. I’d really like to use my knowledge of CBD oil to help people medically and work to-ward creating cancer preventatives.
10 | Anything else you want our fans to know about you?
A fun fact about me is that I play the violin. Not many people know that. I also ride horses and do so every chance I get.
I also just partnered with a big company for my CBD oils. Although I can’t share too much about this now, this partnership will help elevate my brand and help bring it to households around the world. Stay tuned for that news!