Podcast The Hemp Revolution

How to Build a Successful Cannaboutique with Martell Gollidah-Andrews

ep 72 Martell Gollidah

Martell Gollidah-Andrews is an African American with a wide reach in the industrial hemp industry. He owns the Hashtag Hemp Co. CannaBoutique in Bishop Arts District and is the first and only CBD company to be on the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce. 

Prior to the half market, he was the VP of sales in a solar company in Arizona, before resigning to start a digital marketing agency in the summer of 2018, he has parlayed that company into almost $100,000 in six months after marketing for an affiliate of one of the largest DVD franchises and affiliate franchises in the US and trying CBD himself, he repurposed and repositioned his life and hemp utilizing and applying the practice to become an expert in the industry. 

We can’t wait to share Martell’s peaks and valleys, how he jumped to the CBD industry with self-taught strategies and how he overcome the biggest challenges in this space.

Your key when you open your business shouldn’t be seen if I can go here make this amount of money. It should be seeing how many independent living facilities I can visit and give them free education. – Martell Gollidah-Andrews

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Some Topics We Discussed Include

3:23 – From grills to hemp success
6:38 – Transitioning to the CBD space
11:05 – Embracing the canna industry
16:58 – Four areas of the canna and hemp industry
19:18 – Key challenges of a budding entrepreneur
28:29 – Overcoming the challenges
33:55 – Words of Wisdom
39:24 – Where to find them

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Martell Gollidah-Andrews

Connect with Sonia Gomez


Sonia Gomez: What’s up, guys? Sonia Gomez coming to you from Denver, Colorado. This is another bad-ass rock star episode of The Hemp Revolution where we are diving deep into the people pushing the industry forward telling the stories that are transforming the way that we view and use hemp and cannabis-based products across America and actually around the world because we kind of got to go global reach thing happening here which is super cool. If you are a consumer looking for products that you can trust. Check us out at medicalsecrets.com if you are a business owner challenged with the many nuances of the industry. Check us out at theemeraldcircle.com happy to help however we can. 

In today’s episode, we are going to be talking to Martell, who is an African American male with a wide reach in the industrial hemp industry. Owning Hashtag Hemp Co. Canna-Boutique in Bishop Arts District and is the first and only CBD company to be on the Oak Cliff Chamber of Commerce. So super cool can’t wait to talk about that. Prior to the half market, he was the VP of sales in a solar company in Arizona, before resigning to start a digital marketing agency in the summer of 2018, he has parlayed that company into almost $100,000 in six months, super successful there for those of you who understand online marketing, after marketing for an affiliate of one of the largest DVD franchises and affiliate franchises in the US and trying CBD himself, he re-purposed and re-positioned his life and hemp utilizing and applying the practice to become an expert in the industry. 

So while he is running a wholesale distribution company is a hemp industry consultant for branding and marketing and a published author. All of this comes on the heels of him being in prison just seven years ago, so we’re talking to a bad-ass convict turned cannabis expert.

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: It’s crazy gangster right now.

Sonia Gomez: We’re talking to the crazy gangster who is now marketing and selling CBD. Congratulations, Martell. Good to meet you and nice to have you on the show.

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Pleasure be [inaudible]

 Sonia, I really do appreciate it. I look forward to my fun.

From Grills to Hemp Success

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, it’s gonna be good fun! Okay, so nothing like throwing that in there right at the very end say like, I’m a bad-ass, don’t worry about me. I’m handling my business as a minority in the cannabis space, which by the way is like we’re still fighting for our position in the front lines here. I’m Hispanics, my father’s from Argentina, my mom’s from Greece. So I’m definitely considered the other minority. So it’s incredible to be able to connect with you and from the perspective of an African American male who is pioneering and pushing this industry forward. Super excited to hear how you made your transition into this space. But let’s start back seven years ago, how did you land yourself in prison?

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: So I had– I guess, non-traditional upbringing, I guess it was fairly traditional. But, just me and my parents just don’t rock like that. And so, my mom to me out at 13 for actually smoking cannabis, which was hilarious. And so I was on the streets from pretty much 13 until I was an adult. And when you’re on the streets at that age, you got to do street stuff. And so that became part of my lifestyle is doing street stuff and street stuff, oftentimes is stuff, you’ll end up in jail. And so somewhere around, I guess, 23 or 24, so landed myself in prison with the senate after a violation of probation. And it was actually the best thing that could ever happen for me. 

I knew I had something inside of me that was different than everybody else, something that could definitely rely on, but I probably would have never utilized it. Like really captured it or looked into that potential, had I not went to prison and had two years to sit there to a dome and just think about everything, you know? So I taught myself a lot of stuff about finance was in there, I taught my stuff a lot of stuff about just reading positive mental health books and just building my own self equity up. So that when I got out I was in a mindset, not a victim mindset, but a mindset of a moving forward and that you know, something like that’s not gonna hold me back.

Sonia Gomez: I love that I absolutely love that I had my run-in with the legal system myself. And I have to just say that in a lot of cases, there’s, our prisons are overloaded with folks who have similar unfortunate stories where, as a consequence of their interest or influence, they test and try something out and don’t have the acceptance or support from their family and it’s instead of responding to a situation of a parent or leadership position will react and there’s a big difference between responding and reacting and the reaction puts people out. And then what happens naturally for the human is we get into survival mode. We’re like, what are we going to do to survive? So I completely understand. And it’s a beautiful thing to see that you know that time out, actually prepared you for the time that you’re putting in now. I think that that’s a really great way for you to put a spin on this and I’m excited to find out what you’ve been doing over the last couple of years and how you made your transition into CBD.

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Awesome! I appreciate the fact to appreciate this. I know for sure. It’s good to always have somebody that kind of knows what you’re talking about. That’s a good thing.

Transitioning to the CBD Space

Sonia Gomez: For sure. So tell me a little bit about– I read about your bio, I’ve been following you around. So many people are like, how did I end up on your podcasts? I’m like, well, I have minions and we find out who you are, what you’re up to. And then I go through and decide if I want to have you guys on the show. So I know you’re doing some really cool stuff. I know you have done some cool stuff digitally, but what were you doing before that made you make the transition into the CBD space.

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Like I said in the, in the bio, I was– I saw door to door for about 10 years and I was like one of the top three or 5% of salespeople in the US and in that given niche I used to sell those little medical alert buttons. You know what I’m talking about, like a former–

Sonia Gomez: Yeah life alert!

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Yeah. So I used to sell– I mean, my favorite demographic on this whole planet is old ladies, right? Like me an old lady to like this. Like they love me. I love them like it’s a thing. And we just get along off the rip. And so I was doing that for about 10 years and I kind of just mastered a– I studied under pretty much the Michael Jordan of that industry. And I master personality-based sales and what that kind of meant as far as psychics as I called your people pretty much. And so I was after 10 years of doing that I was just drained sick of it couldn’t do it anymore. And I just left wins got a position with the solar company that was the vice president of sales really my dream job and I forgot like I kind of earned it, but when I got there, I don’t know if you know Gary Vaynerchuk is.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, hell yeah, I know who Gary Vee is. He’s a boss.

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Yeah, the straight boss. Yeah. And I was listening to way too much Gary V, just, you know, he’ll make you quit your job quickly, like, no, he’ll make you quit your job fast. And I was like, oh, man, it’s my dream job that was like, next thing I know that my car like booking it back to Texas, from Arizona. 

Find that one little pain point as a reason to have the sale, and then we expand that pain point. - Martell Gollidah-Andrews Click To Tweet

So I got back here and started a digital marketing company. I didn’t even have a laptop at the time. So I had like an iPad. I had my cell phone, I wouldn’t even on Apple yet. Like I was just like, bad. But what I didn’t know is that I’ve been researching enough for this digital marketing space, that I kind of has a knack for finding out what’s wrong, and saying, Oh, I can fix that. You know, I don’t think you have to fix the whole wheel. I think you can just find out one little small part of that niche. And like, Oh, that’s what you know. We call it a pain point in sales, right? We find that one little pain point as a reason to have the sale and then we expand that pain point. And so that’s pretty much what I did with marketing. 

I just jumped in and saw that was nobody cares about your likes, nobody cares about you, about your engagement all they care about is converting customers and getting money. And so if you can figure out how to do that, then you’re ahead of all these kids that have college degrees in digital marketing and graphics and all that. And so that’s what I did. I ended up finding how to build funnels and converted to that. After that, I was marketing for a buddy of mine after doing pretty well. He was doing CBD. I didn’t know what the hell that was. I thought was a placebo. Go CBD. Right? I heard about that stuff, man. Way to get him–

Sonia Gomez: Diet weed!

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Yeah, like, why would you do that? And so I can’t be marketing anything unless I truly believe in it. That’s always been one of my main principles. So I told him I’m gonna try this stuff out for a week. You know if it worked for me that I market for you. If not, I can’t touch it. And I tried it out. And the first time I took it was water-soluble. The first time I took it I got from about 30 or 40 thoughts coz my ADHD is just really curious. Like it’s debilitating. You know, like, it’s bad. And so I’ve got from about 30 or 40 thoughts down to about like three or four. And I was like, Oh my god, like, this is three or four thoughts feels like I was like, Oh, I must be normal right now. 

And from that point on, I just re-purposed everything I changed my whole life. I was like, everybody needs to know about this. I’m flagship in it as many people as I can get it out to and decided to penetrate the market didn’t know where, but I just knew that I had to get out of Texas because people were getting arrested here. They’re shutting down stores. And so I went spent some time Colorado, I spent time in Oregon, just really just getting the information I needed, but solidifying the supply chain unknowingly to the back end. So when I got back here, I had a lower price point and everybody because I go to relationship direct with the manufacturer, that we were exclusive. So I had a lower price point, I had a far superior quality product and I wasn’t reselling anybody’s goods. And if that person is doing what I know, which is branding, it’s branded myself as opposed to somebody else.

Sonia Gomez: Love that. Okay. So in your research and development for somebody else, you decided to be like, let me go ahead and get in this myself.

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Yeah, she’s what it is.

Embracing the Canna Industry

Sonia Gomez: Yeah. Okay, you know what I don’t hate the player hate the game. So now you have your own product line, you’re running your own store. Where are you located? What are you up to? What do you love most about your business right now?

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: So I’m in a finite area of Dallas. It’s a suburb outside of Dallas called Bishop Arts District. It’s in a town called Oak Cliff which is it’s up and coming It’s a really hipster style area. And it’s expanding for a while clip was kind of rundown and then they just turned they kind of Brooklyn did you mean like the kind of Brooklyn, a little bit like a little bit of genocide here and some here and then yeah listen, I’m no pro I’m not pro genocide by any means whatsoever, but it’s, it doesn’t suck for business, right? And so, like, there’s a 50-50 level there that you got to kind of be on and so that’s what they’re kind of done here. But they’ve kept the culture so really strong Spanish culture here, and they’ve kept it intact to the T which I can get behind 120%. My next-door neighbors are in Korea. Then I have an acupuncture specialist on the left side of me.

Sonia Gomez: Hell yeah, that’s a good location! 

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: It’s pretty cool, I like it because we’ve established a brand I know when I got into retail, which I wasn’t planning on doing but I knew if I was going to get there, I wasn’t going to do what everybody else was doing. Right? Yeah, there’s too many smoke shops. 

I just want to build somebody that somewhere that was family safe, pet-friendly, and has a great shopping experience that you can feel relaxed - Martell Gollidah-Andrews Click To Tweet

There’s too many vape shops, gas stations, just bs places like that selling CBD. That is super, super low, great. They can be selling top-shelf CBD and still, nobody’s grandmother wants to go there and buy that. They don’t want to go somewhere with that type of aesthetic, that type of crowd. I’m pro-cannabis, but I don’t smoke pot personally. And so I just want to build somebody that somewhere that was family safe, pet-friendly, and has a great shopping experience that you can feel relaxed in and actually answer or ask the questions that you will want to ask and not feel rushed out of there? Feel like you’re getting not just generic information but you’re getting accurate information and place better than nothing a boutique. I mean, you’re almost ready to stop and boutiques all the time. If you do, what it feels like, inside a boutique, you know?

Sonia Gomez: Yeah. Well, it feels transformational versus transactional. I get a lot of places are like talk to you about the end the energy like I had a friend of mine say when he’s one of the tops like copywriters on the web for cannabis and hemp campaigns, multiple, seven figures for each one of his clients on a monthly basis. Incredible, incredible guy and one of his posts said people can smell desperation and it was like this whole explanation around like how one approaches the sale, and they say show up with value, but if you’re desperate, it’s hard to show up ready to give when you’re ready to get you know. So there’s a big difference when you walk into a retail setting where like you know you’re fixing to spend some money otherwise like your window shopping and just burning some time I’m not really a window shopper so but I will not buy something if I feel like that chick is like hanging something up over here like just because I’m standing I’m like girl you know you didn’t need to come over here with

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Yeah!

Sonia Gomez: Oh I just thought, I just so happened to have this jacket and I’m like a girl no you didn’t. That jacket on the other side of the–

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: You want to show me a jacket come over and say I got the jacket for you as opposed to like hanging this thing. Oh, look at this–I get it and —

It's transactional but like a transformational experience as somebody who's like really cares about you and where you're at and is interested in. - Sonia Gomez Click To Tweet

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, so it’s transactional but like a transformational experience as somebody who like really cares about you and where you’re at and is interested in what it is that you’re trying to accomplish and like whether you’re buying clothes or CBD, it doesn’t really matter. The experience is still the same where like the experience is designed for you and that’s transformational. You feel good about the money that you’re spending and you have confidence in what you’re picking up and you feel like you have some competence on how to wear the thing or how to use that thing. So I think that there’s a big difference like big box versus boutique shopping. I way prefer the boutique.

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Yeah. Is it difficult because what CBD and itself it’s been– when you’re the first kind of boutique-like in an area right? People assume that CBD right now the same there’s lack of education is a big problem on everybody’s in. It starts with the retailers and the people online product because either they’re out to get somebody or they’re just not that educated themselves. And so they’re passing on, bad information, but then there’s people just not doing their due diligence. They think if they pick something up at 711, they picked some hemp bombs up at 711. And then they can rock with that [inaudible] the exact same thing that you would get from somewhere else. And the level of CBD difference is, it’s just best in terms of quality of the product.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, I can’t agree with you more, although I am seeing a lot of my clients who go I run a high-level business mastery group with CBD and cannabis companies. And a lot of the things that we work on is like how to infiltrate mainstream distribution channels, right? So I’m seeing a lot of the brands that were otherwise created specifically for an online marketplace and have CBD written all over them, and so on and so forth. They’re starting to switch up their branding, and creating a second style brand to cater to the convenience store shopper, and my question has always been this.

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Why am I not in that group is my question.

Sonia Gomez: Oh, well, you can be, I’ll welcome you in.

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Like, come on now.

Four Areas of the Canna and Hemp Industry

Sonia Gomez: I’ll welcome you and it’s a really cool group we focus on really four areas of the industry number one is compliance and stabilize supply chain to marketing and advertising how to effectively, monetize both on and offline and all of the different ways you can do that diversify your revenue streams. The third is banking and merchant processing. 

And then finally, is distribution. So those are the areas that we focused in on. And we have folks that are like just getting started and folks who are like, have international distribution, and it’s a cool mix of people, that we’re all like collaboratively working together to self govern how this industry is growing because right now, we’re a self-governing industry. There’s nobody out there telling us what the rules are. So we gotta run each other accountable.

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Yeah. I’d love to be a part of that group. I feel like there’s some value I could take out of it as well. Somebody could put into it. I think it is there, for sure. And like I said, it’s retail zombies. You know, like for a guy that’s never done, done boutique retail before. Oh my gosh, I don’t know what I was thinking, you know, I knew what I was thinking but like, I don’t know why I was thinking

Sonia Gomez: Well, you know what you one of the things that are true all the time and nobody is free from it, there’s no right or wrong answer in this thing like everybody is just like there’s no new ideas. We’re only innovating and specializing. We’re innovating things that are already been existence for a long time. So you know, retail online-offline big box like it doesn’t matter it’s everybody’s just going at it and seeing where they can get in right now because we’re so brand new like you just gotta move you just got to make moves. 

If you're not building your personal brand right now and your brand isn't strong enough to make past these ginormous corporations, every corporation you fear now they're coming after you. - Martell Gollidah-Andrews Click To Tweet

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: And no Walmart, yeah. [inaudible]

 your camera for the FDA comes out and says everything’s cool because when they say everything’s cool, Starbucks is coming out with their stuff. You know, Nestle’s already got 50 farms across the US like, there’s gonna be CBD everything. If you’re not building your personal brand right now and your brand isn’t strong enough to make past these ginormous corporations, every corporation you fear now they’re coming after you. As soon as their kid says, Hey, we’re good. You put everything in food and drink to like, Ah, it’s a wrap. So–

Key Challenges of a Budding Entrepreneur

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, I know it’s never been truer. So it’s a really delicate timing right now because you know how your position and partner to elevate your brand and position in the marketplace is so super valuable right now. I’m watching clients of mine that I was in touch with you know, in their first year of business sell out for not– 90 plus million right now. So people are making these eight and nine-figure exits in their companies and what you do now is going to position you for what you’re able to do later. 

Dollar Shave Club is a really excellent example of that they started out conceptually and once they got their subscriber list built up where they could show the value of each customer which was at 33 bucks. They were able to hit that billion-dollar valuation and continue to raise the capital that they needed to grow and expand. So there are ways for you to position yourself both on and offline, but it’s all around building the brand. So let me ask you this question, we started to touch on it a little bit. But I’d love to hear your perspective from a retail owner. And then also with your knowledge and expertise in marketing online. What are some of the key challenges that entrepreneur faces when they’re looking at jumping into the CBD space? 

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: So from an entrepreneur and taking my remove myself from the marketing aspect of it, if I was just jumping in green, the challenge is always going to be obviously Facebook and Google censorship is a thing right now in the cannabis industry period, which due to my marketing background, I found some ways to get around it but you got to be an engine, you got to be able to do the research. I find that none of the people’s business plan is strong enough, right. They’re so happy that they get a distribution chain, right? They get a distributor that’s going to give them a mediocre price. And that the product doesn’t suck totally. 

They’re so happy then and then they want to get into the build-out and the build-out cost us net. And so they think that’s the only part of the business plan that needs to be developed. And if you’re not dumping 30% of your business plan into marketing right now, the days of being able to put a flag down somewhere and saying, Hey, I’m here, I don’t want to see beauty shop, everybody flooding into your store, those days are gone. It doesn’t exist anymore. Because now people are just educated enough, they’re not educated at all, but they’re just educated enough know, to stay away from places as opposed to going in there and check it out know what to ask. So, the public stigma is probably gonna be I say, the first one because I realized now there’s two stigmas, I thought there was just an older crowd that was just not sure if it’s gonna get them high or not sure if they’re gonna fail a drug test, but there’s a younger crowd stigma that is way thick, it might be thicker than that one of these people that you know, they smoke weed and suddenly like, oh, I smoke the other I don’t need that. It’s like weed doesn’t have any medical benefits whatsoever. It’s not a thing. It’s literally not a thing unless it has CBD inside of it. And so maybe you can get you hungry. 

Sonia Gomez: Well, let me, I want to speak to that really quick because I think that you’re hitting on something that’s super important but I want to make sure that the information is accurate. I’ve been in a space for a hot minute. And in the old heads call it diet weed for a long time everybody was calling hemp diet weed. And when you look at it, when like when it really comes down to like life-altering or life-threatening conditions, having the full plant like hemp is cannabis but with the CBD bread, or like the CBD beefed way up so it’s genetically modified in a lot of cases. 

There’s really three types. There’s the industrial hemp, which is super fibrous. There’s this new hybrid of hemp that’s being developed specifically for its CBD content. And then there’s cannabis which is the original form of any of these other things that in fact is extremely medicinal. But again is like in today’s generation is like alien weed. It’s been blown out genetically modified to have these crazy high THC levels. And so it’s increasing anxiety it’s increasing couch lock, it’s increasing appetite. We’re gonna have ourselves some fat stoners here in a minute. We got munchies on for it like it’s just, it’s just going next level. So I do think that you’re absolutely right though. Gone are the days where the miseducation or misunderstanding or lack of confidence in cannabis or hemp. It’s not just with the baby boomer crowd anymore there’s this whole side with the millennial crowd who are quite frankly know-it-alls. Okay, y’all are know-it-alls don’t lie when I say but like, I got my like 17-year-old kid trying to tell me some shit about some cannabis and CBD and I’m lying dog. Okay, I hear you and read this you know so you guys are like y’all are Millennials are confident man you’re cocky and you think you know everything.

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: There’s a lot there’s so much information out there but I found that this hipsters stuff is crazy, right? 

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, they will they pride themselves on all of the education and information that they have but they still have uncertainty like they have to pick one or the other. And what is in fact true is that using cannabis so heavily is actually blowing out your endocannabinoid system when you could use a hemp based derivative to nurture and nourish your endocannabinoid system which will actually make your central and peripheral nervous system function at a higher level, you can absorb and retain information better your memory is better your immune system will increase and be better. I mean all different types of things. So cannabis has its place and if you have a life altering condition or life threatening condition using cannabis derivatives are probably going to be better for you. Whereas a full spectrum hemp plant that allows for all of the essence of the plant to be represented in the panel of when you’re testing THC, chlorophyll, and all of these other cannabinoids. It is extremely beneficial for you to have the two but amongst the old heads, it’s weed versus diet weed. And amongst the millennials, it’s like oh, I use cannabis. I don’t need to use hemp.

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Yeah, I just don’t like that at all. It is good to see some of its– knowledgeable as far as the industry goes because it’s like. The benefits of what’s to be had and what’s not to be had or far misunderstood by a lot of people. It’s such a potent form. I like to think of it like radiation, right? If you go and get chemo, it’s effectively killing you like you must really unhealthy for you. It quote unquote gets rid of cancer which [inaudible]

  but it’s still healthy for you. Whereas if you haven’t sunlight, that radiation, that little bit of radiation, get you a nice little tan, you feel great about yourself and energizes you. 

That’s how I look at CBD. And so when you get to people that are shopping isolate like it’s an awesome superior product out there. And it’s the purest form. It’s like no get off that. It’s one of those things, we just need to have a proper proportion of everything like you said, you get to highs on your highs to lows on your lows. It’s funny because the same people that are out here saying that I smoked and I don’t need that or are still taking pills for ADHD, they’re taking pills for depression and anxiety and it’s like, well, you know, if you be treating those things–

Sonia Gomez: There’s a big contrast between people who are looking at it and using it medicinally versus recreationally. And I think that there’s a movement right now where recreational users are becoming more in tune with the benefits of using it medically. And so I definitely went through that transition. I used to– I’m ADD, I’m ADHD it compromised so much during my educational formative years, because I was unmedicated and undiagnosed, but I knew that there was something quote unquote wrong, that was not being managed properly. 

So I heavily medicated with cannabis to sort of do damage control around my ADD and ADHD. And as I have grown and matured the chemistry of my body with like you said, the high highs and the low lows, like the whole purpose of using cannabis and hemp-based products is to bring things into balance. And if you are still chemically throwing your body off with pharmaceuticals and all of these other chemical things, it’s going to be pretty difficult for you to achieve what you’re actually looking for which is a balanced even kill on you know your hormones, your emotions, your thoughts, your feelings, your sleep, your stress management, all of these different things. 

So the ultimate goal is like how do we bring things back into balance when you like had a long day at work and you come home and crack a beer or light a [inaudible] or whatever it is like you’re just looking to get back to normal. Like, everybody’s the same, everybody just wants to feel normal. But what is that? We’re so chemically infused right now. Like that. It’s hard to even know what normal feels like. 

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Whether– we’re naturally deficient, so–

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, absolutely!

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: We sound like each other a lot like a number about doing public speaking of branches right there. Like I just say, it’s the exact same stuff that I say. I like it a lot. So that’s good.

Overcoming the Challenges

Sonia Gomez: Thank you. Thanks! I appreciate it. It’s, it’s good fun and a lot of my focus has been in the education period. I think that’s the biggest hole in our industry. Everybody’s so concerned about products that we forget that there’s a people behind the products that have an incredible story that keep them on the mission to serve us in the first place. But secondarily, like, people don’t care about products they want to know is will this work for me? And why should I pick this over the Tylenol or the Aspirin that me and my mom and my grandmother have been using for generations? Like, I need a new mindset that will embrace this new method of self-care. You know, like, I focus a lot on education because I’m like, y’all don’t know shit. And let me find the people who do know something and talk to them about it. And let me find the people who do have competence and experience here because I’m tired of like walking around numb and I don’t need to have the answers to everything. But I do need to feel curious enough to search for the information I don’t have. 

So education is a huge, huge part of it. Because I believe with competence, one can establish confidence and confidence can properly represent or create a mission and create a movement from that position of power, purpose, passion, you know, and that will, in turn, create a profitable business. So let me ask you this, understanding the challenges both on and offline, how have you been This is your company to overcome some of those things and as you build and grow in your community,

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: So in my community, I’ve established a lot of b2b relationships. I was doing some brokering and things of that nature but I didn’t come back knowing that I was going to do have a distribution company right? I just came back knowing that I’ve been out there hanging out with doctors, scientists, manufacturers and top-end brokers for like six months or so. I didn’t know what they knew. When I got back I found out that everybody in Texas is like light years behind all that like they’ve been sitting here like calling people on the phone trying to get $30 to 50 tinctures. At that point time I was I opened up and– like said retail smack me in the face pretty hard. It means smacking me real hard. I almost had to shut down my first month you know, because it hit me just super heavy.

Sonia Gomez: What happened? Tell me about it because I’m asking–

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: I mean, retail is literally its own beast. Every business that I’ve owned, I’ve done very well at in a short amount of time, but they didn’t require the amount of detail, a high level of detail that goes into owning a physical space which you talked about boutiques, he’s talking about having to manage everything, as far as your marketing goes as far as this and that. And I opened up with pretty much 20 of my own capital, like 10 of another, or 15 of another investor. 50 and I had one of my investors drop out to me in my previous partner split up and he was slandering me. So they dropped out of 10. So I opened this place under budget, and I just kind of was fighting that the whole way through, you know–

Successful Cannaboutique

Sonia Gomez: It’s just a tough one being under-capitalized and not really knowing like exactly what you need to accomplish what it is that you’ve set out for.

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Yeah. And then the marketing was– I had to go back into a level of marketing that I hadn’t done before, because everything now is so digital, that you can get anything done you need to online, I had to go back to methods of marketing I had never done because I didn’t have the degree I didn’t have the — I was self-taught. And so I was pretty much doing you know, show the wall and watching it, try and make it stick and seeing what worked. But that all require a lot of capital when you start talking about physical print ads and going to different pop-up shops and things of that nature. 

It all requires a lot of bit of capital, that if you don’t have the traffic flow right off the top there, it’s in your pocket, you know. And so it was quite the learning experience. But I look at it now because I have an online course I’m getting ready to debut now, and kind of walks you step to step through that. And always appreciate the grind, because the grind is anytime you can go through something and had that experience is better than those people that sit around like talking heads. And so when you teach something, you learn it twice as well. And so the goal is always to have three of these shops and that goes by proof of concept and then start affiliating out. Not franchise to [inaudible] but tax burden. But the affiliate aspect of it was always very nice to me because the aesthetic here is perfect. People don’t know that I was hurting, you know, that first month. And so it was really cool. 

Always appreciate the grind, because the grind is anytime you can go through something and had that experience is better than those people that sit around like talking heads. - Martell Gollidah-Andrews Click To Tweet

And so I think what I did for myself as I didn’t assess yesterday’s building b2b relationships. I started looking for these personal trainers, a lot of yoga instructors around here, acupuncture chiropractors, all these companies that are going to have CBD in their stuff really soon, even if they don’t know it or not, you know, and I want to be the first one there, but I built it because there’s the local presence here in Bishop Arts they really support local type of area like you live here, you don’t really leave here. They are big on supporting local businesses. So I kind of parlayed that into some relationships where I can– histories pop up shops and see these women making these beautiful bath bombs and candles and this net, but they don’t have any CBD never heard of it before. I’m like, Okay, cool. Here’s my card. Let me turn you on this device real quick or whatever you’re going to use to craft your product and so cultivated and started building up some entrepreneurs but I’ve also and putting my implemented myself into some businesses that are going to help me with the distribution company. The whole thing is a transformation from– Yeah, what the boutique to be doing very well. And I want to have many of these, but the distributions can be my avenue, right? If I grow somebody from start to finish, it’s usually a thing. 

Words of Wisdom

Sonia Gomez: I love it. What are the three pieces of advice that you can offer a new entrepreneur what they’re considering their entry into the into the space.

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Don’t rush it, do your due diligence, do your work. 10 out of 10 people right now not doing the work, you know they get it they want to make one phone call they find somebody getting the product in there. Everything they have ceases in terms of information at that point, they just want to sell product and they’re giving out inaccurate information. While the sexy in the short run, long term you’re done right? 

When they start dropping these real regulations here next couple of weeks, you really have done because it can then manufacture this out there shopping for you he’s probably going to be done. And so you want to do your research, you want to focus more so on quality than anything. Right now, people don’t really know enough to know that the quality of the product is important. they’re okay with going to you know, these American shamans and just these garbage places that like are not all natural now. They advertised it’s temporary. All the Amazon stuff. It’s all temporary. It’s going to be gone really quickly. And then the quality is going to be the only thing that people care about is getting back to all this organic. Every grocery store now has an organic aisle. And then the last thing I would say is don’t focus on the money, like don’t try to get out there and sell people, if you give enough away for free you’re going to get it back for gold. 

Successful Cannaboutique

Your key when you open your business shouldn’t be seen if I can go here to make this amount of money. It should be seeing how many independent living facilities I can visit and give them free education. It should be trying to get on my chamber commerce so that can give more free information, it should be on my website being information based not just a bunch of pictures that show my product or just have your product on your online I’m not saying don’t. But make sure that people know, whether they know the education of CBD is important. Make sure that they know that you’re putting that effort in so when they do know to know what to respect and they’re like, oh, that guy’s always been doing that he’s always had his QR codes on his on his labels before you know he’s always had to see always hanging out. He’s always taught us about terpene blends, and then they’ll come back and know they respect you more for it says not sexy. Right now, but we’re playing a long term game here. A lot of people think it’s a short one, it’s not.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, love that. I think I would piggyback on there for today’s words of wisdom, I think I would throwback on there. And just to piggyback a little bit on what you were saying. Get in not to fit in, but to be different. And like I said, there’s no new ideas, your approach really has to be around innovating the existing infrastructure so that it becomes personalized and unique to you. If you get in trying to do a me-too product, you’re going to end up losing the race because you know, what is done is already done. And the only difference is that there’s CBD in it. 

Now, the second thing is I would recommend that you guys stop looking at CBD as the end all be all and start looking at it as one ingredient that is hosted in a medicinal plant. And once you start to recognize that there are also CBG and THCA and CBN and all of these other buzzword cannabinoids, you’re going to start to be able to innovate and future pace with the industry rather than just diving into a fad. Don’t get into business to be a part of a trend, set the trend that you want to be a part of. 

And then the final thing is, collaborations and partnerships, although are a delicate start, are the strongest way to finish. How you align yourself in your business and in your industry right now and this is transferable no matter what kind of business or industry that you’re a part of. There’s an opinion that says more partner more problems. But there’s also a side of this where you have to learn how to partner up instead of partnering down, do your due diligence and find out who is doing the what that you want to be a part of and the perhaps you don’t offer right now and find a way to marry the two so that you have a better, higher-value more well-rounded company and organization and team of people so that you can really play to your genius. There is no sense and doing the things that deplete your energy. Everything that you do on a daily basis has to be a source of nourishment and excitement for you as a person otherwise, you’ll experience entrepreneurial burnout way faster than you should. Everything that you do has to be in alignment with your natural strengths, your natural talents, you know who you are, and what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life. 

Everything that you do on a daily basis has to be a source of nourishment and excitement for you as a person otherwise, you'll experience entrepreneurial burnout way faster than you should. - Sonia Gomez Click To Tweet

If you are making the corporate cannabis jump, it’s an opportunity for you to do things differently than you ever taught to be done. And you have to re-learn and re-educate yourself a really powerful resource for that as The Millionaire Master Plan excellent book by Roger James Hamilton talks about how to leverage the power of the universe to be in the flow so you’re working with the grain and not against the grain. Those are my goals and I get to spread the day. I hope you enjoyed any final words of wisdom before we end today’s interview.

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: No, I guess some shameless plug I guess a word to follow me. I’m really huge on it, but I’m almost the worst one. Like I never take pictures I go anywhere. Like I always forget my business cards places by–

Sonia Gomez: Yeah don’t people that before you telling them to follow you.

Where to Find Them

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: My advice, that’s cool. And so it’s definitely worth thinking and so follow us at Hashtag Hemp Co. If you’re getting into the industry and you are looking for a viable, well conditioned and responsible socially and environmentally responsible distributor, take a look at a set of Green Brothers distribution for sure. And by all means, just do what you’re going to do. Don’t let anybody else control what you’re going to do. Just do what you’re going to do, whether you fail or not as relevant, you can fail a thousand times just to get to the one that you need to and you’re gonna you’re gonna rock it for sure. Everything’s big and keep your shockers in line for sure.

Sonia Gomez: Get up to stay up! I love it! Thank you so much for that. I really appreciate being on our show today. I can’t wait to follow your journey. What an exciting time this is. Congratulations on all of your success! 

Martell Gollidah-Andrews: Thank you for having me on for sure. Make sure to put me in that group too. Let’s talk too often. 

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, for sure. Stick with me for one second while we’re saying a ciao to all of you guys who are tuning in today. Thanks so much for your time and attention and for being a part of this amazing community. We hope you enjoyed today’s episode of The Hemp Revolution podcast I’m your hostess with the most is Sonia Gomez, and we’ll check you on our next episode. Peace out for now.

Thanks for listening to another rockstar episode of The Hemp Revolution podcast. I’m your host Sonia Gomez. And just for you, we took notes on this episode along with the links and other resources mentioned inside of today’s show. Get For free right now by going to theemeraldcircle.com. Now if you want more on this, please subscribe to the show on Apple podcast or wherever you like to listen and you will be automatically entered into our monthly giveaway where you can get swag bags, all kinds of cool gifts and discounts from our guests and exclusive offers that are only mentioned right here in The Hemp Revolution podcast. 

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