Cannabis Podcast The Hemp Revolution

The Importance of Collaboration in Starting a New Cannabis Business with Elizabeth Robinson and Cory Moore

Here to share a little about their story, the trials, tribulations, and the tremendous successes that one can experience as a business owner in this industry are the couplepreneur, Cory Moore, and Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Robinson

Cory and Liz are the owners of The Gift, a natural health and wellness company based in Washington, DC.

Tune in to this episode and learn about their collaborations, marketing strategies, and most importantly, how they’re changing people’s lives. 


Sometimes the trailblazers set it up for a long period of time for other people’s success. But if you are trailblazing, that means you’re classic. You have a chance to always have that good reputation, good bond with the right people. – Cory Moore


Download The Episode Companion For This Episode

 

Some Topics We Discussed Include

4:15 – How Cory and Liz met, and how their bonding over cannabis brought them to the cannabis space
9:20 – The problems they’re trying to solve
24:02 – Some of the collaborations they make
26:54 – The success stories that fueled Cory and Liz passion for the plant
37:59 – Some of the marketing strategies to stay ahead of the competition
45:16 – How the Coronavirus is affecting their business

People Mentioned / Resources

Connect with Elizabeth Robinson and Cory Moore

Connect with Sonia Gomez

Transcript

Sonia Gomez: What’s up, guys, Sonia Gomez coming to you from Denver, Colorado on another rock your socks episode of The Hemp Revolution Podcast, where we are sharing and telling the real story of cannabis and hemp through the eyes of the entrepreneurs who are pushing this incredible industry forward.

Folks from all different walks of life have come here to share and tell their story, talk about the things that make them most unique, and the change that they are creating in their communities and their families and ultimately in this industry. As you know, it is our mission to empower you guys with the truth about cannabis and hemp. Whether we’re talking about products or industry, we want you to make educated decisions about how you get involved with this incredible movement, but more importantly, how you select and utilize your products.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the results that you’re getting. So if you’re looking for products that you can depend on to deliver the results you’re looking for, check us out at medicalsecrets.com and if you’re a budding entrepreneur or established business owner I’d love to hear your story shoot me an email sonia@medicalsecrets.com and I will be looking forward to connecting.

For some reason my lips and my face. My lib is on the [unintelligible] right now, I can’t [laughter] Anyways, guys, you know that I work super hard to pull some of the best of the best of the industry folks who are really doing unique things in their unique communities and today is no different. 

Similar to my husband and myself, I have a couple who’s both partners in life and business. Cory Moore and Elizabeth or better known as Liz to her friends Robinson, co-owners of The Gift and natural health and wellness company based out of the Washington DC area. They are passionate entrepreneurs who believe in wellness and educating consumers about cannabis hemp and plant-based health, which is why they’re here because as you guys know, this is a huge passion of mine as well. 

Cory and Liz met in April 2018 at a friend’s house on Liz’s birthday. They bonded over cannabis like so many couples do. And Cory invited Liz to a business meeting the following day to talk about investing in a cannabis business. They later decided that investing in another person’s business wasn’t the move and they decided to create something of their own. 

They opened a 420 friendly creative space in Washington DC called The Gift. They had an art gallery live jobs on Fridays yoga and wellness events featuring education on cannabis, mental health, and cooking, among other things. That business has since closed and they have focused all of their attention to their products and being able to reach a broader audience online. 

And here to share a little about their story, no matter how messy or how spectacular it became, they are here to talk a little bit about the trials and tribulations and also tremendous successes that one can experience as a business owner and change-maker in this industry. Put your hands together and help me welcome my good friends Liz and Cory. How’s it going, guys?

Elizabeth Robinson: Good. Thank you so much for that introduction. 

Cory Moore: How are you doing? 

Sonia Gomez: I’m doing good. It’s nice to see you. Glad to have you guys all here. I gotta be honest with you. I have invaded your personal And professional privacy and done extensive research on you both but not everybody’s had the great pleasure. Why don’t you quick and dirty, give us a little bit about who you are, what your backgrounds are, and how you ended up in the cannabis craze? 

How Cory and Liz Met, and How Their Bonding Over Cannabis Brought Them to the Cannabis Space

Elizabeth Robinson: Sure, thanks. So I’ll go first. Myself, I came from the accounting and finance world working in corporate situations, I worked for Marriott, worked as an auditor. So I have a lot of business experience and later came into the cannabis experience, but I’ve always kind of been into natural health and wellness and holistic lifestyle. So it was a really nice transition for me. Cory was in the fitness industry. He’s been in wellness for well over 20 years. He’s trained people, he’s open gyms all over the country. He’s just always had a passion for really, you know, taking care of yourself and, you know, taking care of the body that you live in and helping people. 

Cory Moore: Bottom line I’m just a life changer. That’s what I strive to be like, that’s my purpose. 

Elizabeth Robinson: My life has definitely changed.

Cory Moore: So, I just been blessed to be with some great companies in the past. They taught me a lot. They taught me how to grow up. There was some good and some bad times in corporations, but at the end of the day, they trusted me on a lot of great projects across the whole country, to open their franchises and then staff facilities, and hopefully, we brought a lot of love and life-changing experience to each community that we’ve opened the fitness facility for the three major companies that I was blessed to work for LA boxingGold’s gymsLA Fitnesses

So for my time, being in it, also being outside consulting with my partner, Jeremy, where we had our own consulting and franchising. Consultant just us to help franchises sustain their facility to wellness so and be productive. So we both come from corporate backgrounds and we know how to play with the big boys. We’ve been blessed to be around and the thought of the big boys. And it’s very hard to do what we do. So you got to have a lot of faith got to have a lot of patience.

Sonia Gomez: A lot of purpose.

Cory Moore: A lot of purpose, you got to really believe in what you’re doing and then all of a sudden, wow, [inaudible] government starting to bless us with the opportunity to be hemp enthusiast and marijuana enthusiasts and something that’s been taboo for 17 years. So it’s still the wild wild west to me, but you still got to find it, believe in your purposes. You know, everything’s gonna work out in the future of this business [unintelligible]

Sonia Gomez: Man Yeah, you’re not kidding. It is probably one of the most challenging things in the world to be a pioneer of anything but certainly a scheduled 1 narcotic. That is not an easy thing. And so I have so much admiration and respect for the folks who are just laying it on the line. We’ve peeled back the exoskeleton and really are seeing what folks are made of. And more than ever, this industry continues to separate the weak from the strong, right? There’s like the Spartan 300s, and then there’s everybody else.

Elizabeth Robinson: [crosstalk] versus those who really have a deep connection to their purpose and to the plant and to, you know, their mission of what they’re doing.

Cory Moore: I really appreciate Jaiden and don’t look at it as the spot 300 but that’s what’s going to boil down to.

Sonia Gomez: I’m Greek, so.

Cory Moore: That’s for indigenous salad, one of our best friends cuz is a [unintelligible] So he’s a Greek boy.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, my friends are from Kalamata or my family’s from Kalamata.

Cory Moore: My mom’s been there for the Olympics. So it was very beautiful place. I haven’t been able to bus to go yet, but it is very beautiful. 

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, it is. [speaking Greek]

Nice, nice to meet you. And so, I’m always really thrilled to meet new entrepreneurs in this space. We all come from different walks of life. All of us have selected a different facet of the business. It’s a pretty crowded marketplace right now. So companies who are still in business, still playing the game, still out there to go for the win. Everybody has to have their own unique differentiator. And there was a couple of things that stood out to me about you guys, but I would love to hear from you first before I share what caught my attention. 

What was it about, first of all, this industry, and what was it that you guys jumped into to solve? Like every company has a mission or purpose, something that they’re setting out to do for you? What was the problem that you guys wanted to solve when you decided to come into space? 

The Problems They’re Trying to Solve

Cory Moore: Well, [crosstalk] that’s the word out [unintelligible] being in marketing, being in business, and being around a lot of big corporations. I never could do anything I could. I can’t tell a person sitting across from me a lie. Even though they look at us a sales consultant. I hate that word sales. 

I’m a life changer. So I’m here to give you something that is true. It’s real. So our mission was I wanted us to have like a timeless product that is about wellness. Liz does that as far as her passion for the plant, my job is to make sure that we come across as a timeless company. a timeless company, classic. We don’t want to be. We’re part of the Wild Wild West we’ll be working on this making sure that we make the true quality products. And classic is classic designs. Classic packaging is giving people the truth and wants to be very, very, very informed. 

I want to be clear on that. Very, very informed because this industry has been taboo. Most of our lives as some in a demon way with a lot of other serious narcotics when it has so many values to our body. And we have to give people that but right now, everybody, yeah, yes. We go get a car. In, we can do something that when it’s 10 times more than that going into the future. It’s a lot of healing qualities in the industry that we’re gonna branch off from this one plant. And we’re excited to have the opportunity. But we also know we have to be patient. It’s going to be some dark days, which a purpose can never– that’s where we are.

Elizabeth Robinson: We were really fortunate to start out, by interacting with our core clients. So because we had a physical location. we have, you know, a great art gallery where a lot of events we didn’t have the products when we first started the products evolved out of our purpose and just out of our personal situation, but we got to interact with people, educate on cannabis or people’s experience. 

We work with, you know, some survivors we’ve worked with, we had women’s groups where you know, sexual assault survivors so we saw the plant how it would help and interact with people across all different walks of life, old, young, sick, well, people that were using it for a lot of different reasons. So we got to that interaction really brought the purpose home for us so much more before we even have products. And that’s just been infused in everything that we’ve done since. 

So we don’t follow trends, we don’t say, well, we think that the next thing is going to be Islip based now, we’ve always just done what we felt was best for us and for the clients that you know, do work with us. We’re one of the few companies that’s done, you know, the whole plant extracts on all of our products. We don’t use any zero THC products, no shades anybody that does, we just know based on our research that we like that with the plant using as much of what the plant provides natural. So that really, you know, we stay true to that through all the different trends and through all the challenges that that brings. And I think that’s what’s given A lot of success and why our products work a little bit differently than a lot of others.

Cory Moore: Bottom line, we’re gonna walk down the hill, we’re not gonna run down the hill, we jumped into, we jumped into the business, from the beginning the story of how we met within 30 days of being served off of choco product prior opportunity, that business opportunity had come together in Oregon. But that fell through, they go the way we wanted it to go. And then all of a sudden sitting on the couch, four of us at that time. Now it’s down to four of us sitting on a couch. Bam, you know, the energy was good. We started coming up with stuff when the [unintelligible] met the road, financial. Certain things then take place, [unintelligible], but we were already jumped. We are relieved off the cliff.

We're gonna walk down the hill, we're not gonna run down the hill. - Cory Moore Click To Tweet

Sonia Gomez: So got to build the plane on the way down.

Cory Moore: Yeah, so that’s exactly what happened. So at the end of the day as people fall off, we kept going and then all of a sudden it’s full of financial people [unintelligible], too. Now all of a sudden, it’s the bills have really high.

Elizabeth Robinson: Not everyone has [crosstalk]

Cory Moore: Yeah, yeah so everybody started dropping off, you know we let the. We could have helped but we let them. and we just kept fighting and fighting and fighting and like I said this was created with the house making sure that it was for 20 friendly, had great events that great people we’ve met from all walks of life coming in and out of town. So we have two people that help get us through you know, we have some bumps in the road we have some shady dealings, but so what it is, sit in a city. What we learned from it, and we still here, man, we just bless and that’s all I got. Basically about where we are.

Sonia Gomez: There’s like an underlining gangster vibe to everything that you just said, right? I was like, that was like the cliff notes to a power episode minus all the cursing, you know what I’m saying? You’re like, we had this. But then they got scared.

Cory Moore: I’m glad you [unintelligible], I like that.

Sonia Gomez: Man, you know, game recognizes game, I guess

Cory Moore: Absolutely.

Sonia Gomez: You know, everybody has their story around this and I think it’s an important subject to talk about because a lot of people you know, when I reach out to folks, and I’m like, Hey, this is who I am. This is what I’ve done. This is what I got. Yeah, I would love to invite you onto my show. Like immediately they’re like, Okay, let me get on this show real quick. And, you know, like they come ready to promote themselves and talk about everything that’s glorious. 

When in fact like, the real deal of this industry no matter how attractive it looks or how exciting it is, like people believe that the industry that was 10 or 15 years ago when people were showing up at your house and buying pounds and like doing my suitcases full of money, like all this kind of stuff. This whole like a glorified version of the cannabis industry is still the image that people have in their minds, when in fact, that’s not the case like cannabis has gone corporate. Cannabis has gone mainstream. There are department heads. There is this whole hierarchy now that you have to deal with. 

And in order to play the game with the big boys like you have got to be ready with some serious capital or a sick team with unique skill sets. There’s real, real challenges that come along with starting any business. Forbes says 8 out of 10 businesses are going to fail in their first three years anyways. Slap a few extra nuances onto the industry like, you can’t market you, you know. And if you do market, it’s going to cost you three times the amount because you can’t do or say any of these things. 

Don’t forget about getting a bank account, try getting a merchant processor and even collecting money, you know, try to get a bank that will even take your money if somebody wants to give it to you like these things that feels second nature to you, as a business owner or being a part of the corporate world or even having a job and wanting to transition into this space, you feel like these things should just be easy to come by. But in fact, they’re not. And they try your patience. They try your faith. They push your boundaries, they push your limits, they get fray your nerves, and by the end of it, you’re just like scraping and cloying at the reason why you stay in this industry in the first place. 

And both fortunately and unfortunately, this plant will show you pretty quickly who you’re dealing with, you know, and pretty quickly, you can see whether or not the person you want to do business with is equally yoked. It’s the same thing in relationships, right? Like when you’re measuring up this girl that you see at a party, you’re like, cool, we can kick it. Right? And then once you kick it, you’re like, yeah, we can chill, like, let’s do this, right? And then after that, you’re like, yeah, let’s get married. Right? Because you find things that make you feel like you’re equally yoked. The same thing happens with cannabis and with the business but at some point, and most often, you don’t make it past the kick it phase like it’s all romance and it’s all cool until it’s not and then people dip out and all of a sudden can’t be integrity. So I totally feel you. 

Cory Moore: Absolutely. I’m very difficult sometimes to deal with because I don’t like putting anything out that’s not ready. I don’t like reading unprepared. So, you know if I feel like certain things are not right, I’m getting Miss Liz more hell than you [crosstalk]

said many times she’s come to me saying, I’m done. I said, Well, I’m done, too. Well, we both done. Well forget it. I get it. Hang the phone up, bam. All of a sudden we call back, you know, three or four hours later. I see you tomorrow, right? Yeah, I’ll see you tomorrow

Unknown Speaker  [crosstalk]

Cory Moore: Not to be saying them verbally abusive. That wasn’t it. It’s just that–

Sonia Gomez: Hey, you said that. Not me. I’m just saying.

Cory Moore: I just want to be clear that partners fighting. Got me. You know, directions. Certainly. When we dropped the ball, we shouldn’t drop the ball with 20 fingers. But at the end of the day, I’m more angry at myself than I’m angry at her.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, it’s easy for things to feel like they’re out of control, because we don’t really have much control, and the things that we have control over require a lot of resources, and generally the resources are a team [crosstalk] and money.

Unknown Speaker  [crosstalk].

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, so if you don’t have anyone of those things, it’s difficult to execute a brand the way that you would want to, or execute a product the way that you would want to, or execute a marketing strategy the way that you would want to. And sometimes your knowledge and expertise cannot be applied to an industry that doesn’t allow you to utilize it, right. Like there’s just there’s so much tape still. And I think that it’s important, Cory how you read cognize this industry is still very brand new. I think a lot of folks who are in the business and they have their face this close to the whole thing, they feel like oh, everything saturated and everyone’s trying to do this you know, but the fact is, is that we’re still a brand new industry. We haven’t even barely scratched the surface yet, let alone crack the whole egg. You know what I mean? 

Cory Moore: Well everybody’s running downhill, Sonia. We’re just at this convention in Boston. Everybody’s running downhill. [crosstalk] Everybody’s coming down–

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, I know, Gary. 

Cory Moore: Yeah. 

Sonia Gomez: Now you guys are out there. You and one of my friends Matt Seibert talked at that event as well.

Cory Moore: Yeah, yeah.

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, cool that. It’s good to get in the mix. It’s good to stay in the mix. It’s also really important to keep your cards close to your chest. I’m finding out more and more that like, you know, this industry is really put to the challenges and we have an opportunity to decide right now whether we want to operate in a competitive or collaborative way. And as an industry you know it’s pretty important to make those key differentiations. What does it mean to be you know competitive? What does the healthy competition look like? And what does it look like or feel like to truly collaborate on behalf of an industry rather than just your business? Your business is just another business, right?

Some of the Collaborations They Make

Cory Moore: When an industry is new, you can take it from film rock and roll when it’s spawned out of the jazz and blues and it’s something uncomfortable. They all come together in the beginning, in some way, shape, or form. It draws us together because we an industry that we’re passionate about, so the passionate people will come together. Greedy people would always try to overthrow the past. That’s just the bottom line. And those passionate people will just like hip hop industry, that’s my background and that’s what I came up, it wasn’t even on the radio, but we will listen, we will bond we will use it to breakdance. And we will do certain things that never get this never get that. Okay. Okay. 

Sometimes the trailblazers set it up for a long period of time for other people’s success. But if you are trailblazing, that means you classic, you have a chance to always have that good reputation, good bond with the right people. I’m not selfish and I’m not greedy. I don’t need anything from somebody else. I don’t care about really about competition. I’m just want to be on the board and let the chips fall where they may, but we’re going to give you a quality product helps. Else, we’re not going to do it at all.

Elizabeth Robinson: The creative space again, you know, like we really started this with the intention to be collaborative, that was really [unintelligible] for work. We provided spaces for other people’s platforms for them to, you know, do their events, we provided educational opportunities, or provided business information to others because we do come from that business background. 

I would tell people how to prepare for your taxes, so an accountant as well. So, you know, we always work collaboratively and because we bootstrap everything from the beginning, everything was our own way. 

Cory Moore: Our own money.

Elizabeth Robinson: Our equity, our experiences, our friends, our family, everything was just all coming from us. We knew we didn’t have every piece that we would possibly need in business, we needed others. So you know, we might provide space for somebody to do photoshoot and then they might in return say well, let me shoot your products. 

Or we might, you know, hang somebody pieces in our gallery without a commission. And then they might decide, well, let me do the graphic design for you. So it’s always been collaborative with us from the start. And even with the, you know, with the cannabis industry, there were so many, you know, great people in our space that gave us opportunities that had stores, Shara and Tanya at Local Meditations and Barbara at Districts Hemp, you know, those are people that have their own brands, but they choose to be collaborative, because they know that, you know, being a wealth of resources for the community is good for everyone. 

And in order to be a wealth of resources, you need to collaborate with other people in your industry, and not everybody’s gonna know everything. So not everybody’s products or services are going to be similar. We’re all very unique people. So we bring different things to the industry into the business. So collaboration has been really, really, really key for us. I think when you’re still small and starting out and medium, even medium businesses. I mean, it’s so critical, being overly competitive.

Collaboration has been really, really, really key for us. - Elizabeth Robinson Click To Tweet

It’s okay to be competitive sometimes because we’re all passionate and we want to win. But sometimes the competitiveness really needs to take a backseat to and your ego sometimes needs to take a backseat. And you just need to listen to other people. And you know, keep providing opportunities because that putting that good energy out and you know, helping others really does. It does good things for yourself and for your brand.

Cory Moore: I’m about no competition. I’m about a lot about once a kid changing lives and healing people. But we can’t use the word heal. 

Sonia Gomez: Yeah. 

Cory Moore: So this change in the change a life change. That’s all I care about. If somebody else got advice, product or shopping, we did congratulate that person product was a lot of hard work behind the scenes for people to even produce any type of product. 

Sonia Gomez: Let’s talk about that for a second. Let’s talk about what it actually takes to do it. And you guys similar to myself and many other folks in the space accidentally came up with a rocking product because you were laid upon the floor with a busted back and Liz decided to you know mix in some RSO and save you. No, I’m just kidding.

The Success Stories That Fueled Cory and Liz Passion for the Plant

Cory Moore: Well, I’m gonna be honest with you. I really wasn’t a fan, Sonia. Heard this come in she’s trying to tell me she put something together and put it together. But I’ve been dealing with this pains since playing football back in the 90s but when you get older injury certain things catch up with and slipping and falling underneath the car in ice twisted my background but I couldn’t train my class like three weeks I was laying on my own living room floor and use a big seven-pound bags of ice in my back. I don’t believe you take a lot of Percocet and over the counter drugs. I don’t believe in so I deal with pain stretch and still keeping ice and do things I know as a fitness consultant to do. So she comes over one day said hey, you know, I got a concoction to make for you was so in it in turmeric. Just let me try it out.

Unknown Speaker  

[crosstalk]

Sonia Gomez: Get out of here with your turmeric. [crosstalk] Nobody wants your hippie ginger.

Cory Moore: I had blankets and things laid out everywhere. So I could have been comfortable because I couldn’t walk up the steps to go in my own bedroom and then get up on my bed and my solid nerves and my legs were firing so bad. It’s no medicine that can handle it. No medicine, no Percocet. They’re muscle things. They’re not for nerves. 

Sonia Gomez: Yeah

Cory Moore: She so she puts this stuff on my hamstrings and all on my back. And I did it for two days. My shorts were all messed up, stained up everywhere. So in the middle of the night, You know how I barely could get up every time I get up with some pain but that’s like a joke right up like instinctively went to the bathroom. And I noticed I was standing no pain. Oh, my. Okay

Sonia Gomez: [unintelligible] little church walk.

Cory Moore: I take another day off of work. I said the best checks out to all my clients, let them know that I’ll be back in the gym the next day. They were excited, but I kept this concoction for months. I don’t want to test it out. See If it would mold if it would go bad.

[crosstalk]

Elizabeth Robinson: it was the original homeopathic recipe.

Cory Moore: This was a recipe she made on the glass? Oh, and six months afterward and it still is the same and it was still the same concoction that she had made up and I didn’t cover it anything I went right into product testing right after that. I was like okay, all right. We got something. I go ahead and start ordering the [unintelligible] and don’t get me [unintelligible]. And she put together new products for this.

Sonia Gomez: You’re lucky to have the money mind on your team. Not everybody does. 

Elizabeth Robinson: Yes, I originally figured out how to take the rods out and exchange it from essential oils and figure it out. Well, the turmeric still isn’t as feasible on a large scale because it’s going to stay in and you know, things we could put warnings on the bottle But that wasn’t as feasible. So we just slowly develop the product a little more and so it was more useful for like everybody to be able to grab it and go and we swapped out some essential oils, everything is just all-natural. It’s all essential oils and you know, hemp extracts and butter and things like that.

Cory Moore: And the dog has a tumor and then she puts the drops to the tumor. The dog wasn’t doing good and [crosstalk] thought we might need to put it down. Then I say, Okay, this for a week, you know, she’s not getting any better, we’ll put it down. So I didn’t come back to The Gift for a week because I couldn’t stand seeing the dog, you know, just deteriorate in front of me. So when I got there, the dog runs down the stairs. The code is back. The tumor was gone down, down. Couldn’t see it. Look again I said this product is and that’s those two things right there. At the end of the day, this told me all right, we got to go all-in now. we’re going to have to make this.

And I knew we’re gonna have to get the gift up because we don’t need money. And the gift was very expensive to keep going in the heart a DC and wonder no problem, you know, no business district so we kept on high-end classy facility. The owner of the house No, we did a lot of refurbishment 1906. we had a beautiful nice space and guess where I got that idea from? I got it little islands Park Highlands, Highlands Ranch in Denver, Colorado. Live in a roar doing a job for Anytime Fitness. 

Sonia Gomez: Oh, nice. 

Cory Moore: So I used to go to these little breakfast spots with my friend Lisa. And Lisa would take me to– I look like I was going around. regular house unless you know we’re going to have for most of you haven’t [crosstalk] This is Wow. So you know, the Colorado Denver colorado scene taught me two things on how to deal with when I want to go open The Gift. I got that whole philosophy from them. [crosstalk]

I got that whole claim. Being out there for 11 months on the job. From some great young ladies took me some great spots. I was like, Wow, this is great in the regular neighborhood. Walking right into a country-style house. 

Sonia Gomez: Yeah, I think I know like all the spots you’re talking about because I used to live down there. It’s so awesome. Like I fell in love with Denver too. After being here for just a couple months, I actually had been invited to come and participate on the voluntary committee with the Department of Revenue to support the legalization of cannabis, and sharing and telling my story of how my rights had been violated in California as a patient and how I had to go through three years of battling the legal system for my rights to safe access.

They treat me like a narcotics, you know, offender rather than a patient and it was really, really challenging. So I came here to advocate for patient’s rights to safe access. And that’s how I got into I mean, I’m a girl who barely graduated high school. I don’t have any like a college degree. I don’t have any experience in corp. I mean, I have some experience in corporate because I was the African American haircare specialist for this white girl. I was, you’re laughing because you know, but I was working in an all-white salon doing all the braids and weaves for like, you know, the rich black girls like, you know, that it’s just nobody knew how to do a press and I’m like, watch out, let me get this finger wave gone.

Cory Moore: Bloom, it just feels

Sonia Gomez: Yeah. So that I got, you know, pulled into the Paul Mitchell organization and one other company called Euphoria and that’s so that’s like my corporate experience working as a hairdresser. And then when my rights were violated as a patient that put me on this whole other trajectory. And so I’ll say to you guys who are listening and you just never know, just never know where you’re going to end up or where your life is going to take you or what’s going to inspire you enough. You just kind of got to pick up your feet and go with the flow and fight to find the path of least resistance right?

Cory Moore: [crosstalk] stop worrying about what everybody else thinks, calm the noise down in your own mind, and find out about you. That’s how you want to be a blessing to others. When you start finding out about you. 

Stop worrying about what everybody else thinks, calm the noise down in your own mind and find out about you. That's how you want to be a blessing to others. - Cory Moore Click To Tweet

Sonia Gomez: Yeah.

Cory Moore: Negative people and negative things will fall away because they can’t stay around positive people.

Sonia Gomez: Let me ask you guys a different question. I’m gonna ask you guys a quick question because I think there’s a lot of businesses out there who are struggling with the idea of marketing and the ones that it’s pretty polarizing, right? Like on one hand, there’s the ones who have tons of money and they’re just blowing up the market and they’re just, you know, spending $5 to acquire a customer so that they can sell to them for the next year. 

However, not everybody’s in that situation, and when you are bootstrapping it, and self-funding and all of that stuff, like, unless you’re a gates kid, a kid of the Gates Foundation, like, you know, bootstrapping, it can mean a lot of different things. I bootstrapped my business I know what it feels like to drop multiple six figures into my company and you know, and break-even lose money, make money, I understand all of those highs and lows. 

We’ve talked a lot about marketing in this space or finding Unique Selling propositions that help you stand apart in a crowded marketplace. I do believe that the product part of this industry is relatively crowded right now. It’s tough to stand apart. When everybody says my product is the best and you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It’s how do you know as a consumer who you’re buying from, and more importantly, what their belief system, what their commitment is to excellence. 

A lot of the reason and inspiration for me starting this podcast was trying to help solve the problem of marketing and giving business owners like yourself a platform to talk about what they do who you are, and really start to like, showcase the people behind the products that are making such an incredible difference in these communities. It turned into something completely different. And now it’s just like one of my favorite things to do. However, the subject of marketing always comes up. So I’d love to hear from you guys. 

What is one or two of the things that you guys are doing to market your business right now and to stand apart or stay competitive within a crowded marketplace?

Some of the Marketing Strategies to Stay Ahead of the Competition

Elizabeth Robinson: Well, a couple of things. Going back to what Cory said, education is key, interacting with our clients on a one on one basis. We may not have the largest market share, but the customers that we do have are extremely loyal. And they tell all of their friends Oh, this worked for me or Oh, we really liked this person. They’re very informative. Um, you know, so the people who have been rocking with us from day one are still around and they still tell all their friends and their people. So word of mouth is huge for us. 

Another thing we’re working on right now is something called Project 545. It’s an educational campaign about the 545 different chemical compounds that are in cannabis like flavonoids and lipids and teaching people of relating the plant back to food, you know, helping to break that stigma helping to educate why, you know, we use the whole plant extracts only and what that means for the body and how it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. 

We do a lot of face to face marketing We try and get out there and just talk to people at events. You know, make sure that we’re on-site to answer questions, we go to the stores frequently, where our products are at, and make sure we help the business owners however we can if they need something, or we make introductions to other business owners. 

So, you know, we basically allow people to be our own ambassadors, you know, and we make sure that we’re available for that and we’re there to answer questions as much as possible to a lot on our Instagram and our website and Cory is our resident marketing person with his background and you know, marketing and wellness. So he’s got his own strategies that he employs my– let me talk about that.

Cory Moore: Well coming from conferences Boston I’ve already said last year, once we came out with the product, the way we had it, I knew it was gonna have to make changes. That’s right. So we say what we need to change this bottle? This guy? No, we got to make changes. So I’d say more timeless, classic. 

So grassroots is always the best marketing that I’ve always been taught. However, we want to start branching out to do more things if you can afford to do it. Some things I like, like, like I said, like he just told me to keep things to myself right now, or how I want to check the market, because nobody’s doing it. And I know they’re not doing it because I’m watching every day. Make sure they got it. 

Putting stuff down in the store’s posters. We’ve been blessed. Now to get into a couple stores where we’re going to be able to be overtop of gas stations now topper, they call it pocket promotions that we can put on top of each one the gas pumps because we have a couple of countries gas stations that want us to stop promoting products.

Elizabeth Robinson: places that don’t have those hemp [unintelligible]

Cory Moore: So we’ll be stretching out putting my posters out having out acrylic displays with locals in several gas stations, a couple of places. Northern Virginia. We just got blessed with that opportunity but with the Coronavirus, that’s the satisfaction now getting set up in those stores that we posted go into.

Sonia Gomez: This Coronavirus is bull shit.

Cory Moore: yes. We definitely like knowing you know, a lot of people not doing it but we’re going to do it out of fact, as soon as we get a chance to get this Coronavirus, going to direct mail, its influence to people direct mails, information about our business who we are what we are. this all nice little bit by going make little business you know, we’ll move on would you call the postcards A 15% off coupon and things of that nature. Like I said, the more we are informing the public about who we are, there’s some make them one day just tap into their computer go into their phone. Hey, let me see I keep getting these emails. What is this company all about? 

Elizabeth Robinson: [crosstalk]

Sonia Gomez: So I cannot wait for my T-shirt. You guys I’m a–

Cory Moore: thing that I want to make sure that we do. I want to put the brand in the subconscious mind of every person that they might not buy us today. When I have seen that logo, I’ve seen that [crosstalk]

Sonia Gomez: Looks like somebody is [unintelliglble]

Cory Moore: pick me to lose. And I illustrated No, he did a great job. He’s in Australia but he did a great job on taking something mean, the former said put together at that time, you know, from an odd the concept of the painting that I had on my wall [crosstalk] I got that as a housewarming gift from a very dear friend. We know I’m in the wellness. And then I said, hey, let’s make this into a [unintelligible] type of situation. And I took from my Gold’s Gym companies mindset. I say, okay, it’s one of the top five brands in the country, you know, McDonald’s, I say, Hi, we have to have an international logo. And that was the go-to go for international local, none of this a trendy logo wanted something that would be timeless and classic that can go through any generation. 

So this one we came up with this beautiful logo here. And our job is to make sure in the subconscious mindset of everybody that you really, truly represent the truth in You know, health and wellness and that’s the key. So that’s what we do on farms with marketing right now, we’re going to try to change far as the package of packaging with going more to 10 when we get away from the plastic.

Elizabeth Robinson: We want sustainable packaging, so that can be reused, ideally, beyond just recyclable, we want to be in somebody’s memory. So our 10 You know, we’re coming up with different campaigns that allow people to reuse the tins and, you know, we were our logo is going to be front and center on it and

Cory Moore: It’s going to be beautiful. It’s a wonderful thing. But once again, last week, we posted last Tuesday, we posted take a trip to the company and in fact, we get things done that, you know, we get a call saying coronaviruses they’re shutting down the operation. So how is it affecting

Sonia Gomez: your guys’ business you know, businesses of all different sizes are you know being affected in different ways here? Yeah,

Cory Moore: absolutely. 

Sonia Gomez: So I’d love to hear from you guys. What are you how are you being affected number one and what are you most afraid of?

How the Coronavirus Is Affecting Their Business

Cory Moore: We’re not afraid of anything because God is gonna do what he’s got to do. When clean people anyway. You know I’m in the fitness industry like I said, I still train clients gym. I train Liz. I’ve been around germs for 21 years. You know hygiene isn’t–

Sonia Gomez: Around germs [crosstalk] Boogers been on me for a minute.

Cory Moore:  Gems. It’s unfortunate, a lot of good people around the world of getting sick. Or you can go stay prayed up, stay positive that uh, you know

Elizabeth Robinson: Keep your immune system is [crosstalk]

Cory Moore: pray for people’s families play, you know, make sure everybody can stay safe. But with this little uncomfortable rain down there wants to get when chaos comes, you have to stay calm. You cannot get chaotic. Okay, we do what we can do. We can read up on more information, we should be thinking about how we want to re-strategize chance. So when we do get to this place, we ready to go by ready to go. But at the end of the day, Satan paces us all we have right now. All we can do, right?

Sonia Gomez: Yeah.

Elizabeth Robinson: It does impact our supply chain of it, you know, essential oils and things like that. We try and get as much as we possibly can from local businesses, things that are in the US. We’re moving towards supporting you know, women, and minority-owned businesses for our ingredients. So we’re bringing a lot of that home, but the truth is. Some of the things that we use, like some of the essential oils, are the plants are grown overseas, you know, some of that stuff just grows better in tropical places. 

We try and you know, bring as much back as we can, but does this you know, affect our supply chain a little bit our packaging labeling, a lot of those companies are going to, you know, essentials only, um, you know, like said that the tin factory, they’re essential only I believe that they’re still producing, but some of our plastic packaging stuff that’s currently on the shelves, a lot of them back ordered most of those companies are switching towards making more hand sanitizers. They’re deprioritizing other orders and things like that. But there’s also a lot of opportunities there too. 

We certainly don’t want to take advantage of a situation where people are getting sick, but there’s also you know, aid that’s coming out for small businesses. So we’re going to be taking advantage of as much as we can with the Small Business Administration loans, you know, getting the word out to other businesses. zoners to do the same, that’ll you know, help you get through to the next level and be prepared for when things do you know start to change in turn, but the fact is, we’re in the wellness industry and people need us. You know this. 

There’s a lot of anxiety, a lot of fear, a lot of pain. Everyone wants to keep their immune system working. So you know, we feed our endocannabinoid system every single day. And most of our clients want to do the same. So we’re just making sure that we’re in a position to keep providing services to them.

Cory Moore: And I feel some some some of the power companies in our industry in the cannabis industry now that go along with packaging and things going out that’s supposed to go out that they didn’t you know, some of the people that are ahead of us right now in the cannabis and hemp industry that their stuff. Companies are suffering, and they just get gone to another man. You’re still small enough where you don’t have to worry about my office rent right now. Have a cup of staff. So, you know when somebody else, unfortunately, feels a little blessed, you know? So that’s why I said yeah, so being small right now, like I said this, you got to look at some of the positives, but you also got to look at, wow, what if we would have had, you know, 20,000 units ready to go out and we can’t push? You know, that’s the city net. That’s not doing us any good, you know? Yeah,

Sonia Gomez: totally.

Cory Moore: We also at the end of the day, we just like I said, Sunday is blessed. I don’t have fear, no. Fear muscles pack up and go home. So now we’re scared that the fear is gone. You know, we had all the steel he had, you know, once she quit her job, I was like, Are you ready?

Unknown Speaker  

ever really ready?

Cory Moore: I said, Oh, come on. I said, I’m already out, she’s gonna jump out. I’m like now moving on y’all. And then everybody else started late. So we’ve been through chaos already, you know, so

[crosstalk]

Sonia Gomez: get out of it. So he guys have an incredible story here. And I’m really excited to be a part of being able to share it. And, you know, offline, we should definitely talk about some of the strategies and how you can work collaboratively with some platforms to share, you know, the message and your mission. I love your concept around the education piece. I’m huge in education. We’ve impacted over 200 million people in the last three years with how we’re educating folks. So and we bootstrap the whole thing. So I can certainly add some value around that. As a matter of fact, I’d love to hear you guys share where folks can find you if they want to follow the journey and know what’s up with the gift.

Elizabeth Robinson: Absolutely. We’re on our website is www.gifted friends.com or Instagram is completely gifted. Those are the two platforms that we use the most you could find us there again we’re working on now that we have some extra time we’re going to be working on our educational platforms more and more projects. Bye for now. 45 is going to be releasing soon we’re just building up that momentum on it. I’m busy writing a lot. I’m educating myself so I can educate others. I read a lot of medical studies. So I’m working on paring down that information and making it more bite-sized, you know, for others. So people can find us on either platform you can reach out to us on either, you know, we check everything if anybody has any questions, they can reach out to us, again through Instagram, or our website. And we definitely want to start coming with you though with the gift. The good news, you know, I own YouTube, three minutes, you know, in full A free minute 25-second phone.

Cory Moore: But I guess so whatever. We definitely have two young man, we love to have you coming down the road, you know, but uh, we call the gift news looking forward in 2020. So we definitely want to branch out with these days, but we also get with another company called lm D that’s only in their marketing company. I’m bringing friends with the owners and we’re looking to partner with them to do a lot of business with them to reorganize our strategies to with our marketing because we definitely use outside help. Yeah, because we were

[crosstalk]

Cory Moore: a lot of free support, even financially, when we’ve been in some jams about some things we ask great people shout out to all them. Yeah, they know who they are. Cuz I surplus small. We’ve definitely been blessed with her mom, my mom I can’t say enough is that a weed going away? So I’m basically gonna say that the gift is not going anywhere.

And that’s all I can say about it.

Sonia Gomez: I love it. Well, thank you guys so much for being on the show today. I really enjoyed our conversation so much exciting stuff coming up here for you guys and really excited to see the education piece come out and definitely want to continue to be a support system for you guys as you are growing. And for those of you guys who are tuning in, thank you so much for being a part of the hemp revolution community as well as the Medical Secrets family. 

We live to serve you guys with the truth about cannabis so that you can make empowered decisions about how you want to participate in this incredible movement, or otherwise utilize these incredible products in the most effective manner. 

Check us out at medicalsecrets.com if you’re looking for the products that you can depend on to deliver the results you’re looking for. And if you’re a budding entrepreneur or business owner in this space, I’d love to hear your story. shoot me an email sonia@medicalsecrets.com and I’ll be excited to connect. I’m your host with the most Sonia Gomez. And this is the hemp revolution. We’ll see you on our next show, guys.

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