She got quoted on articles as the Texas Cannabis Queen, Texas Cannabis Trailblazer, and Women in Weed.
This bigtime marijuana consumer discovered CBD while recovering from the excruciating pain caused by a car accident about three and a half years ago.
In this episode, Shayda shares how she discovered CBD and what really catapulted her into entrepreneurship, the skillsets that she is bringing into the marketplace as a social media influencer and with her experience in digital tech marketing plus some tips on how to attract brands to work with you.
I love cannabis. I love it. It helped change my life. It helped heal my life. It gave me a new perspective, a new opportunity and now we’re here just representing this conversation and telling everybody and everybody who will listen to the great powers of this plant. – Shayda Torabi
Some Topics We Discussed Include
3:38 – The accident that changed her life for the better8:18 – Starting her CBD business
14:00 – The skillsets that she is bringing into the marketplace
22:22 – Some of the challenges that they are facing as a brick and mortar business in the CBD industry
31:20 – How to attract brands or businesses that you want to work with
36:24 – What keeps her motivated
40:38 – Where to find them
People Mentioned / Resources
Connect with Shayda Torabi
Connect with Sonia Gomez
Sonia Gomez: What’s up guys? I’m Sonia Gomez coming to you from Denver, Colorado. Super excited to be here on another rock your socks episode of The Hemp Revolution Podcast where we are sharing and telling the story of the entrepreneurs and pioneers who are bleeding on the concrete pushing this industry forward. No, I’m just kidding. We are here because we are super passionate and helping you guys understand the truth about cannabis and hemp so that you can make empowered decisions about how you’re going to get involved in this crazy and cool, super challenging industry.
But also, we want to make sure that you understand exactly what products you can use to transform the way that you feel and function every single day. If you’re a person looking for products check us out on medicalsecrets.com for our favorite picks, and if you are a budding entrepreneur or established business owner trying to break through the glass ceilings and brick walls of the green rush, check us out at theemeraldcircle.com. We are happy to help with resources, relationships, tips, tricks and key connections that you need to succeed in this space.
Guys I am, drum roll, so excited to have another boss babe in the industry, a young fox who is traveling the nation sharing and telling her story knowledge and expertise with the cannabis and hemp community as it is growing and flourishing. I’m so stoked. I love boss babes, but this boss babe is especially special. Miss Shayda Torabi has been called one of the most influential women in WordPress and now she’s one of the women leading the cannabis reformation, conservation, building one of Texas’s premier CBD brands. She currently is the CEO and co-founder of the RESTART CBD and education first CBD wellness brand and has formally held marketing positions at WordPress engine and web dev studios.
Additionally, she runs an Austin based travel and lifestyle account called @withshayda is afforded her opportunities to work with brands ranging from Texas Monthly and SoulCycle to the Westin when she’s not busy looking for the best vegan ice cream on the road. You can find her in her hometown of Austin, Texas pursuing her passion for fitness, wellness, self-care, and now, Sonia, No, I’m just kidding. Put your hands together and help me welcome Miss Shayda Torabi. How’s it going?
Shayda Torabi: It is so good Sunday thank you so much for having me and what a warm welcome to your show. I appreciate it.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, of course, I literally no introduction can do you justice. You’re a national speaker. You’re a brand owner. You’re a pioneer. You’re a boss babe on the internet. I didn’t even know you were an influencer. And now I’m gonna have to pick your brain. So why don’t you quick and dirty tell from your own words, who you are, what you’re up to and how you ended up in the CBD mess.
The Accident That Changed Her Life for the Better
Shayda Torabi: Oh my gosh, question. of the century so yeah, so I got into my current role as CEO of RESTART CBD. Really, I mean, we were talking before the show you’re talking about your accident kind of what introduced you into this whole cannabis world. I have a very similar story so confession big-time cannabis consumer, love marijuana, I love smoking pot have done so for the past decade-plus, and luckily have a very, very supportive family in that sense.
So about three and a half years ago, I was in a car accident, I was hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian, and I fractured my pelvis in two places. It was very painful. I would obviously wish that upon not even my worst enemy. And so like anybody going through recovery, I was doing steroid injections. I was in physical therapy. I was on a lot of pain medication, and it helped but you know, like most things, it either zonked me out or the pain will just kind of kept creeping back and there wasn’t anything that really made me feel like I had control over my body again.
And so that accident is really what I like to say is the impetus for the life that I’m presently living. It wasn’t in my life before that was bad. I mean, I worked in tech, I was creating this influencer brand that I currently still operate. I was, you know, traveling the country for my previous tech job. So I had a fun exciting lifestyle, obviously consuming cannabis but the accident really put me in a position to want to get exposed to CBD and to begin my fitness and wellness journey.
And I think so much of that is converge that, you know, there’s a lot of people talking about CBD and wellness and recovery and pain management. And so for me, while I didn’t know at the time how those actions were going to lead to this, it certainly, was something that I’m very grateful for now.
So the accident happened three and a half years ago, I had no idea what CBD was, I knew what pot was, knew what smoking joints was. I am based in Texas. So I always like to say I smoke responsibly in states that were legal. So took a lot of trips to Colorado to Denver. But had this corporate job was very public-facing for them couldn’t really come forward and say that I was consuming marijuana.
And so my mom, while I was going through recovery, was like, hey, do you know what CBD is? And so just in the timeline of things, I mean, CBD went federally legal in October of last year. So three years ago, it wasn’t illegal, but it also wasn’t legal. And so my family really was sourcing hemp from Europe and Asia. And my mom, like a good mother, was just trying to look for alternative ways for her child to have pain relief, really.
And so I was really skeptical just because I had smoked so much pot, I mean, in the course of my recovery, and for me, marijuana wasn’t really doing all of the things that I was expecting it to do, right. I mean, it was calming me down and you feel better, but from a pain management perspective, it wasn’t all of it. And so that’s really when I got into CBD super skeptically I was like okay mom was my mom telling me about this cannabinoid?
I didn’t even necessarily know what cannabinoids were I didn’t really know what an endocannabinoid system was. And so I got educated and so for me, I took I say overdosing, but I really couldn’t tell you how much I was taking. I couldn’t tell you if it was full spectrum isolate any of those things, because again, the industry wasn’t really there. So there’s information wasn’t really present. I didn’t know where to get access to any of it. But I think because I’m a recreational cannabis consumer, I’ll try anything. I’m like, Oh, this is from a plant. Okay, let’s go for it.
So my mom was making me get this my mom was making me homemade baked parts. My mom was making me topicals and she was giving me a sublingual oil that she was crafting and I just started consuming it and within three weeks, basically, from the accident, I was impacted on my left side of my body, I could not lay lean sleep on that side of my body comfortably. And I woke up one morning after consuming CBD for that three week period. And it was just like night and day, I felt relief in my body for the first time in months. And I became a believer, I started consuming CBD pretty much consistently from that point, and I haven’t stopped. And so that was three years ago, it certainly took some time for us to launch the business.
Shayda Torabi: So we officially launched RESTART in August of last year. So 2018 and it really came at a point, you know, a lot of people look at me and they’re like, Oh, this girl so, so exciting, so powerful. She’s an entrepreneur, she started her own business. The real talk is yes, I did start my own business with my sister but it was kind of a hobby when we started. The market wasn’t there, we didn’t really know what we were getting into. It was kind of more of, I guess let’s talk about CBD and see if something comes of it. And so there were, I like to say three points that really pushed us to starting the brand.
One, I saw a local juice company in our neighborhood had added CBD to the menu and so it was kinda like the first thing at the time. You’re like, Oh, I see. CBD is being added into juices and smoothies and things like that. And then I had a friend who’s a non-cannabis consumer who had no idea about my cannabis consumption because I started didn’t know about my CBD consumption knew about my marijuana consumption. So she started asking me, do you know what CBD is? I was like, why is Kristin asking me about CBD? How does Kristin know about CBD? She doesn’t even consume marijuana.
And then I think I had heard it on some, you know, medical podcast, and it was like a Dr. Oz show or something like that something where it was like a little bit becoming public, like, oh, people are talking about this. But when you went online, there were national brands, but there weren’t really people that I felt like I could relate to that I could talk to.
There certainly weren’t retail shops in my city that I could go to and talk to and have a conversation with somebody who was educated. And honestly, I was educated. I was consuming the product. I was becoming more and more familiar with hemp with cannabis with CBD with the endocannabinoid system.
Just understanding the differences between hemp and marijuana and we decided over a weekend to launch our brand so to kind of interject part of my history I used to work at a WordPress company. So my background is digital tech marketing so I knew how to make a website. I’m also a social media influencer. So I know how to do marketing online. And we just kind of built a website and created a brand and my sister now and co-founder is also a star her own regard. She is a former University of Texas swimmer. She is a current Under Armour sponsored athlete and she is the Yin to my Yang. So your homegirl loves marijuana.
My sister, she’s not anti it. She’s just not a fan for her body. Yeah, so she saw me really getting better with CBD and started being curious. And once we started doing more research as a family realizing the different dynamics between the two plants, she got curious from a wellness and recovery from an athletic perspective. And so that’s really We started to come together to tell this story of recreation, pain management and also recovery by, you know, just understanding all the different ways that people are enjoying this plant.
And so we launched over, you know, holiday weekend and the real story as we launched and then two months later, I got laid off from my full-time job. So that’s really what catapulted me into entrepreneurship. So again, people like you started the CBD brand. You were so smart. You went into this, I was like, Look, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I didn’t really know how the industry was going to grow. I’m just a really passionate person who just really really cares about this plant and saw an opportunity to tell our story and to create a space where people could come ask questions and have access to high-quality products.
I didn’t know it was going to blow up in America. I didn’t know Texas was going to be so receptive to the product. We’ve now just in the short span of a year plus, being in business has grown to become one of the top brands in Texas where the number one CBD brand in Austin and that’s just a testament to how Texans are changing their perspective on this plant. And that really excites me that we have an opportunity to help tell that story. So I think it was a very long-winded way of kind of expressing my very windy, curvy journey to get here, but I just love cannabis. I love it. It helped change my life. It helped heal my life. It gave me a new perspective, a new opportunity and now we’re here just representing this conversation and telling everybody and everybody who will listen to the great powers of this plant.
Sonia Gomez: Fucking a right girl, I have a–. Like literally, what do you even say so. No, I absolutely love your story. It’s so good. That’s why you’re here because I think that you’re advocating for the right things. I just wanted the opportunity to be like, whoop, doggy that like Texas. He was like putting people in jail.
And like, you know, folks’ lives for their involvement with this like I remember last Black Friday, not 2019 but to 2018 like stores were getting raided by was like women on the street, you know, like this shit was getting crazy down there I’m like y’all need to just take it down a notch Bush is not president anymore.
So it’s pretty significant now I’m like talking to pharmacies who are integrating it into their pharmacy in Texas and like all kinds of really cool things are happening. So it’s one of the things that’s really unique about you. And I think about me too, is the fact that we are young, like, this isn’t our like tier two opportunity like we’re in the thick of when we are supposed to be performing and creating an impact and, you know, generating the income that’s supposed to carry us through the rest of our lives and all of this stuff.
And I think that that’s a little bit daunting and slightly intimidating. Whilst it’s also quite sexy. Like the first time, a porn video was ever shown publicly. It’s like all the young kids are like, well, I want to get into the green rush and grow me forever. And I’m like, Oh, yeah, let’s take it down a notch. Okay, look there’s some nuances in here that you got to understand so many have done is right in the sense that you are incorporating all you know, your skill sets your current skill sets and influence and bringing it into a new marketplace.
Talk to me a little bit about how important those foundational skills were for you a) getting started but now b) being able to run full steam ahead as an influencer and a brick and mortar business owner.
Shayda Torabi: Yeah, I think it definitely helped cement us I mean, just by being able to be women I mean, I didn’t get to pick this I was born like this and so I embrace that for all that it is and I’m very proud female and a very proud Texan female at that. I think it’s really exciting because I get to help change people’s perspectives on what a cannabis user looks like. Not that I’m ashamed by any means. You know, like I love a good smoke shop scenario. I love a sense of incense. I love you know, the shady Rastafari and posters in the background like I am totally that consumer also.
I'm a very proud female and a very proud Texan female at that. I think it's really exciting because I get to help change people's perspectives on what a cannabis user looks like. - Shayda Torabi Click To Tweet
Well, I also love a good upscale like Neiman Marcus experience, you know, with some white walls like a friendly face like somebody who knows what they’re talking about. And so I think it was merging those two worlds together that was really the dream behind us going to market with this brand. It was like, Hey, we know how to communicate to people. And we know what communication we like to be communicated to. And it’s like, how do you go bridge the gap between the consumer and the brand.
And so when you shop in my store, the first thing I tell people is, look, I’m a consumer first, I’m a business owner second. I will not put things in my products, I will not put things in my store. I will not put things on my shelves that do not represent something of quality. And I think it’s a really simple message. But just by being able to like, say that and stand by it and repeat it has really proven to service us really well. So as a marketer by trade by profession, one of the things I’ve learned and one of the things I like to practice is you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
As a marketer by trade, by profession, one of the things I've learned and one of the things I like to practice is you don't have to reinvent the wheel. - Shayda Torabi Click To Tweet
People are very, very limited in their brain capacity, myself included, the amount of advertisements that swirl the amount of social platforms, the amount of conversations that are happening on a daily basis. Like, if I can just dumb it down, make it easy for people to have access to that information. Like then it’s a home run. And so I don’t think anything that we’re doing is really wild and crazy. It’s just kind of like you alluded to or acknowledged, I’m using my strengths.
And so I love to communicate, I love to be social, I love to educate people. And on those three pillars, that’s really how our brand has been able to go to market we just love to connect to people and connect them to the information and so yeah, taking advantage of social media. By being an influencer, I do have some recognition in town and building that kind of beyond Austin and into Texas and nationally, certainly by speaking on the national hemp and cannabis circuits. But really, it’s not anything that anybody else can attain. It’s just You know, do you?
What I always like to also remind people to is this is maybe my wisdom of nugget for the hour. You know, don’t look at what I’m doing and try to imitate so much as try to hear what I’m saying and figure out what your unique strengths are. Because there’s a lot of things that I can’t do, that you might be able to do. And that’s where you’re going to flourish and find success. Like I love that your passion is about creating this online. democratized publishing platform for people to have access to our show has been democratized and democratized where people have access to being able to create and tell their story in a way that is accessible to anybody who’s looking for it. Like I like creating content, but I don’t know if I have the skills to go put all this stuff together. It’s like that’s where that’s your sweet spot and you found magic in that.
For us. I’m just like to say you know, we’re regular people who really care like I said about this plant. Just like to Educate. And so that’s really how we’ve been able to take advantage of these different strengths that we have and go to market. We’ve marketed ourselves lovingly, I should say, as the CBD sisters of Austin, Texas. And so I mean, like little things like that. I think it really given us a hook to hang our hat on in terms of being relatable, like people are like, Oh, I talked to the CBD sisters, and they’re so knowledgeable and they’re so friendly, and they know what they’re talking about.
And it’s like, all I do is just read articles and talk to people and become educated. I never pretend that I’m the keeper of the information. I’m just say conduit of resources. We created a Facebook group for our customers that’s open to anybody. It’s called RESTART CBD Secret Facebook group. And it’s really just a place for me to deposit information. I come across news articles, videos, my whole goal is just to share to make you as the consumer feel more comfortable. And I think when there is such a green rush, you know, there’s simple things like going to someone’s website can you find who the person is? Do you see a picture of them? Do you see contact information? Looking at their labels? Do you see what their labels say? What are the ingredients in their products? Those are just like really simple, basic things I think that most people take for granted, realizing as this industry continues to grow and flourish, and not that big national crazy you know, pharmaceutical brands are relevant and great and have their place in the market.
I just think we’ve gotten success by being a craft brand that people felt they can relate to us they understand who my sister and I are. They resonate with some aspect of our story whether they’re like me and they’re recreational here using cannabis which you know, obviously for me has transitioned more into more of the wellness but or like my sister who now she stepped into some, you know, dispensaries because of me, but three years ago, my sister would never step in a dispensary. That’s definitely not who she is or who she would, you know, necessarily was at that time and, you know, luckily I have a retail store and I see that every day. I see people walking Anyway, like, I was expecting this to be a pop shop and you’re like. It’s not, we’re friendly. we want to talk to you and answer your questions. And you know, like I said, just being relatable, I think has been really, really powerful for us. So it’s a really simple concept but people like a human connection.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, people love a human connection which is a lot of the reason why we started what we started the way that we started it because when we kicked off, there were so many people who were whispering about CBD or whispering about cannabis. There wasn’t any like real conviction around. This is what we know. This is what we love. They were just all sort of being like, hey, selling my stuff over here, like, you know, this is kind of the shady McGrady situation. And I wanted real people to see a real person who had a real story and being able to connect with them, which is why we started to Legalise It, Don’t Criticise it as opposed to running our retail store which was really focused on cannabis.
And you know, it’s so polarised And we had so much more to offer. I loved what you said about really playing to your strengths. I think that a lot of the challenge in the industry right now is the fact that folks are trying to be everything to everyone. And they are not hyper-focused on being the one thing to the one person. And if it’s a pairing of education and products or a specific product, say, I was talking to a brand the other day, he was like, Oh, well, we really need, you know, some more advertising, we needed more distribution.
And I was like, Okay, great. What does your product suite look like? He’s like, Well, I’m not really ready for advertising. Like he talked himself out of it. I’m not ready for advertising because I want to add more to my products. And I was speaking to one of my mentors who said, Listen, I can make millions of dollars off of one product, I can make a few thousand dollars off of many products.
So it was pretty interesting to hear those contrasting opinions to folks who create more trouble than it’s necessary. When they’re trying to do something and I always like to say keep it stupid, simple or keep it simple, stupid, however, you want to interpret that we don’t have to overcomplicate it really when it comes down to it, it’s just a person to person connection, who so that they feel like as a human being, they can connect to another human being who has a solution that they’re looking for.
I want to know from you, Shayda, what are some of the key challenges that you are encountering in today’s current landscape of the industry? I know that it looks a little bit different depending on one’s business model. And some people are really struggling with, you know, core things that should be really super easy for a business like merchant processing, for instance, there’s other folks who are challenged with more complicated issues like funding to even stay alive or stay afloat. What would you say for you and running a brick and mortar business beyond besides the fact that your sister owns the business and I have four sisters so I can speak to that. What are some of the challenges that you are facing as a brick and mortar business in the CBD industry?
Shayda Torabi: Yeah, that’s a really powerful question, because I think that you just highlighted a handful of really big challenges that a lot of us face and that we’ve certainly faced over the course of being in business. I would say honestly, it’s the skepticism, it’s people who just don’t really believe or trust and so kind of dovetail into what you just kind of mentioned before you asked me this question. I find so much of it as a one to one conversation.
So while I would love to be communicating to the masses, obviously, advertising is really difficult just online digitally, there’s definitely things that we take advantage of as a local retail shop. Like there’s local mailers or sponsoring local events, which we certainly take advantage of. But I think we’re trying to get in front of consumers, it’s just being able to help them have that Clear, cleared understand conversation because they’re just skeptical and I kind of hate talking about it.
But Texas is really, you know, scared still. There was an article that was written about us by our Austin, It’s called The Austin Chronicle. And they had a picture of like all the other states around Texas, like, I mean, you know, I’m not gonna say did you, Oklahoma’s recreational, I mean, medicinal, Oklahoma is medicinal. Arizona is the recreational, states around us are becoming more in tune with cannabis. And yet Texas still sits in this position of discomfort with it.
And as a Texan. I mean, the fact that we’re this far is really a huge testament. Like I mentioned, we launched the brand I didn’t necessarily have huge high hopes there were definitely not dollar signs in my eyes. Like there’s a green rush. It was like, I like CBD. And I have a story to tell and maybe I’ll sell to some friends at my lemonade stand. You know, it was very, like, modest. It was like, I don’t know what we’re getting into in the state. Like, I I don’t know.
And so the fact that it’s gone this far is really great because I want to say the majority of the state is changing their perspective. But you still meet people who just like, they don’t believe it. They think it’s going to make you high. They think it’s the devil’s plant and getting into this industry. From a professional perspective. I definitely gotten more into the education and research just so that I, like I said, can be more educated and pass on that research to my consumers.
I came across this documentary on Netflix. In fact, I watched at least like a dozen documentaries on Netflix and YouTube, there’s so many good ones, but I almost like didn’t believe it. When I was watching it. They were talking about why marijuana became outlawed in the beginning. And it was because the timber and the cotton industries were blowing up and the people who were controlling those didn’t want us to be using hemp for paper or fuel or fiber.
And so the people who were controlling the paper? owned the newspapers. were writing these stories about how negative it was. And then literally, the reefer madness, again I just I think in my naivety, my youngness whatever it was, I was like, Oh, that’s not the reason that people think this, you know, the plant is the devil. And it’s like, no, literally, that movie really scared people.
And it opened my eyes to how much people believe the propaganda. And, you know, I’m not a conspiracy theorist by any means, but I’ve certainly, okay, so full disclosure, I’m totally conspiracy theorists. I just think that we believe so much bullshit. And like, as a marketer, it blows my mind. Like, why we believe what we believe. And so I’m just faced with it every day somebody comes in and they’re like, well, I don’t know about this, or I heard that or I had one guy literally, in my face. I’m telling him all this stuff. I’m like, by the way, don’t take my word for it. Go do the research for yourself. He’s like, this is going to get me high. I’m going to fail my drug test. I was like,
It’s not going to get you high. Now there might be a chance, depending on how much THC you’re consuming and full-spectrum products could have that effect on you not going to get you high by any means. And he’s just like, Nope, I’m convinced, and I don’t want to put it in my body. Meanwhile, his girlfriend was like, oh, you’ll be fine, just have it. But you know, you have people who’ve heard something, they heard it from a friend and they saw it on TV, they watch it on a podcast or on a movie, and then that becomes their world. And then you think about who those people that influence.
And so going back to that one to one, it is a big job to try to think that I’m going to convince everybody to have a positive experience with cannabis. But what I can do is try to have some sort of influence on my circle. So the people who walk into my store, that’s why it’s so important. People walk into my store, that they become educated, they walk out with more information, even if you don’t buy from me but you want to come to learn about CBD. Come talk to me. I’m here every day.
The biggest challenge it's just changing people's perspectives. Getting them to believe in the power of this plant. - Shayda Torabi Click To Tweet
And so I think going back to the question of what is the biggest challenge it’s just changing people’s perspectives. Getting them to believe in the power of this plant. And again, as somebody who represents Austin, who represents Texas, a state that is not recreational or medically legal for cannabis and marijuana and all of its totality, you know, I rely on those people who come through my door to have a positive experience, because those are the voters. And it’s those people who are going to have a big say, and how this plays out in my state.
And so yeah, it’s just like, come on Texas, let’s rally together, let’s have a positive experience. And so, yeah, it’s a challenge but also something that I love being able to have a position to influence. so you know, lifetimes work.
Come on Texas, let's rally together, let's have a positive experience. - Shayda Torabi Click To Tweet
Sonia Gomez: And a lifetime all in a day’s work, for sure. One of the things that I can absolutely appreciate is the feeling of being a pioneer and then also how you stay true to yourself as you know as a brand and I personally don’t recognize myself as an influencer. Although with my following I am an influencer. And I think because I never took myself seriously as an influencer, I didn’t seriously influence what people were doing and nonchalantly sort of accidentally I started to, you know, recognize the impact that I was making.
And what I hear a lot from influencers is even though they have these giant followings and they have or what feels giant, you know, 10 15,000 followers, whatever, I have a million followers so like it’s for me it’s a little overwhelming and yet I’m still challenged with this because I don’t think I necessarily represented but you, you, I was just looking at your Instagram page. You have done a really great job of staying true to who you are representing that visually on your social channels and for that reason, you’ve been able to attract higher Level sponsorships, which has generated an additional revenue stream for you.
And I work with a network of influencers right now. And I’m always asking, you know, always wanting to bring them a tremendous amount of value, because they look to me as a mentor to say, How can we do what you have done? You know, at the push of a button, we’ve generated $10,000 in sales, you know, in 24 hours for a CBD brand, for instance, or 500 new customers or whatever it is at the push of a button. So they’re like, tell me everything. Yeah, tell me everything.
So, I want to hear from you though, because one of the things that I have not done is attracted mainstream day to day brands like the Westin or SoulCycle, or something like that, to act as an ambassador for. So I would love to hear you talk a little bit about how and I’ll just add a little bit more to that. A lot of the brands that I consult with, I can move them into creating their own channel so that they have a moat around their business and an internal traffic source to test and share offers with. And then that way they can attract other influencers to be able because that’s your main method of advertising right now.
Shayda Torabi: A lot of people are hiring on influencers to help be brand ambassadors like you said,
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, exactly
Shayda Torabi: kind of a loop around digital advertising.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah. So my question for you is to diversify their revenue streams beyond just CBD. What are some pieces of advice that you could offer an influencer when they’re trying to attract, you know, the ideal sponsors, whether it’s a CBD brand or a mainstream business? You know, I think folks who are building communities and are starting to recognize the value in building a community want to understand how they can best maximize that as a revenue stream, what are some key pieces of advice that you could offer in attracting, you know, brands or businesses that you want to work with?
Shayda Torabi: Absolutely. So gosh, there’s so many things I want to say first, the first disclosure is I support the brands that I like with or without a sponsorship deal. So if there are brands that you want to work with, you should absolutely be intentional about creating content for those brands, genuinely in a way that showcases that brand’s value and offering in a way that obviously is is relevant to your platform. So you’ve already kind of acknowledged the way that I’ve streamlined all my content, I have a certain aesthetic, I have certain color palettes that I’m working with, I have certain ways that I’m portraying things.
It’s a high value for a brand who wants to work with me because they see that when they hire me, or they bring me on that output is going to be something of value. So for example, I’m not taking photos in the dark. I’m not editing them. I’m not, you know, hiding my face. They’re very clear pictures of myself. They’re very clear pictures of the brand. They’re very descriptive comments. I think those are really kind of like basic things that I would make sure you’re absolutely doing on your social platforms just to kind of check those boxes like support the brands that you want to ultimately be supported by because that’s a great way to get in front of them.
Another thing that I really practice I think it is a part of so much of my ethos as a person. And it’s a blessing that I now get to take advantage of my influencer platform and my brand and bleed them together because I am me. I don’t have a wall that separates who I am from the morning to the night time. It’s me all the time. And so from that perspective, I play locally to play nationally.
And so getting involved locally understanding who are the local brands that you’re working with, who are the local publicists, who are the local movers and shakers following other influencers, getting connected to them, building your community at home is what’s going to allow you to ultimately build your community out wide.
So, for example, my background is WordPress. So I actually became really well known in the WordPress community, like you said and you made a beautiful intro, I am actually one of the top WordPress influencers. I did that by getting involved in that community. And then from that community, I built my influence that allowed me to expand beyond so for example, when I started speaking in the cannabis space to them, I was not a cannabis influencer I get quoted now in articles as Texas Cannabis Queen as Texas cannabis Trailblazer as Women in Weed.
You know, these are all titles that people now say about me, that’s beautiful. I love that I am those things. But I wasn’t necessarily those things on paper, if that makes sense when I first got into the industry, and so I was able to take that influence I built in WordPress and say, hey, look, I’ve spoken at conferences. Hey, look, I’m influential by creating content in these places.
And then that transfer over into me being able to speak and create content in the cannabis space, which now I’ve spoken at over 15 conferences and meetups and podcasts and things like that over the past year that I now have a foundation that allows me to continue to level up when it comes towards that type of influencer opportunity and relationship and so I just see everything as a building block.
Don’t take anything what’s the right word. Don’t take anything for granted, [inaudible] be a good steward. Be Good community player like I certainly didn’t launch my Instagram and be like, I’m making Instagram so that I’m going to go work with SoulCycle No, I love working out. I love creating content. I love fitness. Fitness is so much a part of my journey.
But that was an opportunity because I’m known locally that the local SoulCycle in Austin, Texas, because I work with their publicist on other related projects was like, hey, let’s bring Shayda on for this. And so you acknowledge you have a million followers. I only I say this only because I’m just a regular gal from Austin. I only have 18,000. So I don’t have a whole lot.
But I have really engaged people who follow me for a specific reason. And that’s another tip that I’ll kind of leave you with. It’s like, understand who you are and what you’re doing. And so again with my story, I love cannabis. I love fitness. I love recovery. I love taking care of myself. I love eating clean. I love vegan ice cream, those are me so when you follow me, you’re gonna get we’re Hey, we’re in Phoenix, where’s the best place to get vegan ice cream and then you’re also Going to maybe get, hey, they just opened a new dispensary. And I’m going to go check out some of the products.
Do the things that you would want to do without somebody watching you. And then when people start to watch you, then you can start to build on that. - Shayda Torabi Click To Tweet
And so I’m able to kind of bleed some of those things. Because people like to follow the person, right. It’s that human aspect. And so, yeah, I just think it’s really important to, like do the things that you would want to do without somebody watching you. And then when people start to watch you, then you can start to build on that if that makes sense.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, that completely makes sense. With all of your success in speaking and in your local community and all of that stuff. What is one thing that you and your sister talk about, like what is the pie in the sky, the dream that you guys are working towards together but also independently that keeps you motivated and inspired and like on the treadmill, you know, when compliance comes in or, you know, this piece comes in and it feels like there’s no room to move, like what keeps you getting up and coming back? Back to work?
Shayda Torabi: I think just our passion for this plant it sounds– again I always feel slightly bad when people interview me they’re like, what’s the big secret Shayda and I’m like, I just really love cannabis. I just really love it and I really believe in it and I think it is really exciting to be doing business with my sister, my family in my hometown in my home state representing this plant like that is it stacked in you know, pillar it is just, it’s hard. I’m not going to pretend that it’s hard not gonna pretend that working with your family is hard.
I’m not going to pretend that working in cannabis in a state like Texas isn’t hard compliance regulations. I mean, nationally, the FDA, as I said is like slapping these people for saying, here’s a little tidbit that I also will share because we didn’t really get into this another way that I market my brand, incorporating CBD into food. So I used to be before the accident. I little to me, I was a food blogger. That’s how I first got started.
I love food I ate everything It was very fun and cheese and I had a great relationship, unfortunately, cheese I know her no longer friends that’s why eat vegan ice cream and dairy and I are no longer friends but I know a lot of brands and Austin for being a food blogger and so you betcha when people are like CBD and smoothies, CBD and this CBD and that, Who do they think of me because I’m they’re friendly CBD gal from you know down the street that they work with and who likes to create content.
And so that’s another value I when brands work with my brand, I have another platform that I can then go create content on. So for example, we had a very famous pie company here in Austin called Tiny Pies. And they heard through one of their mutual friends we did a collaboration with about incorporating CBD into stuff.
And they were like, Hey, we really want to make pies for a very large event and we want to put CBD and it’ll we can’t tell you the event. It’s going to be 8000 pies and we were like, okay, what’s the event and then they ended up to telling us it was for Austin City Limits Music Festival which is a huge 50,000 person music festival that happens in October over the course of two separate weekends.
And they asked us to make CBD pies. How freaking cool. And then going off without a hitch, it was perfect. We got a lot of publicity out of it. The brand had a lot of great responses. Obviously, it drove a lot of people to their business because they were able to incorporate CBD.
We do partnerships like that Not because it’s trendy to put CBD in private because it’s an opportunity for us to help educate people with a quality CBD product to introduce CBD that I’m going away. This may be a little bit more comfortable by eating a pie full of CBD that maybe makes them feel a little bit more chilled out while they’re experiencing life music.
And so those are fun ways for us to help educating consumers in our city and our backyard, and then bringing the FDA regulations and they’re slapping the wrist on some of these brands because they’re incorporating it into food. And it’s like, Is that true? Where does the line get drawn? Is that really the line or is that a great area and where do we exist and what’s happening and so, you know, I just think there’s a lot of ambiguity that we’re fighting right now.
And I, while it’s challenging, I look forward to the challenge because it’s fun, it’s fun to help educate people and convince them that this isn’t a scary plant. This isn’t a plan that’s going to make you lose your mind. This is a plant that’s going to help connect you to a greater sense of yourself, and ultimately provide a better, we like to say, CBD helps you age gracefully. It’s not going to stop you from aging, it’s gonna help you age gracefully, your pains are going to maybe be a little bit more tolerable, your mood is going to be a little bit more sweeter. Like it just helps take the edge off of life and who doesn’t want that. So that is what keeps me going when the going gets tough.
Sonia Gomez: Well, I love that and I could literally sit here and talk to you for hours and I probably will post interview but for the sake of this interview, I have to bring it to an end. Where can people find you if they want to follow you if they want to get your product? If they just want to see where you’re at and what you’re up to where can folks find you
Shayda Torabi: Yes, so if you want to follow me the Shayda, you can follow @withshada on Instagram that’s my primary place to hang out online. If you’d like to follow my business RESTART CBD, you can follow us on Instagram @restartCBD. And then if you’d like to check out our products or shop us online we’re www.restartCBD.com and then if you ever happen to be in Austin, Texas, come hang out with us our brick and mortar is located in North Austin. But thank you so much.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, I’m so excited to meet you. I am like How old are you? By the way?
Shayda Torabi: I’m 29 .
Sonia Gomez: Shut the front–
Shayda Torabi: Say it girl. Say it.
Sonia Gomez: That shut it down. Okay, girl looks good. I love it. I love it and Big hugs to your sister. I love a good sister own business, love family businesses, happy to support in any way that we can raise awareness around what you guys are doing and where you’re going to be.
So please let us know when you’re going to be speaking and where so we can shout some announcements out for you. Yes, absolutely. And thank you so much for giving us the pleasure of having you on the show. It was just so much good fun to hear from you. And I just felt like totally at ease. I’m like, Yes, girl preach and again and get it. So that’s it’s just amazing. And I feel really, really enthusiastic about the future of this industry to have representatives like yourself, you know, coming to the forefront and so awesome.
Shayda Torabi: That means so much coming from you. I know that you are a pioneer in this space. And it’s a privilege to get to have a conversation with you and help represent you know, our corner of this conversation on your podcast with your followers. So sincerely and truly, thank you so much, Sonia, for having me on your show.
Sonia Gomez: Yeah, of course, and it will happen again, for sure. Hey, for those of you guys who are tuning in with us, thank you so much for being a part of this incredible community. And I want you to know that because you like and share content just like this. We’ve been able to impact hundreds of millions of people’s lives around the world helping them understand the truth about cannabis and, and the fact that this is an incredible place to find holistic and natural alternatives to the way that you feel and function every single day. But it’s also providing some pretty unique opportunities for folks just like yourself to jump in and get involved with what will be the fastest-growing cash-rich industry in the world but also one of the most exciting opportunities of our lifetime as we see our entire economy shift and evolve around this incredible plant. So I welcome you to join us at theemeraldcircle.com if you’re a budding entrepreneur or business owner, who needs to break through some glass ceilings or brick walls in order to capitalize on these incredible opportunities. And if you’re a person looking for products that you can trust, check us out at medicalsecrets.com for our favorite pics, on products you can depend on to deliver the results you’re looking for. I’m your hostess with the mostess Sonia Gomez and this is The Hemp Revolution. We’ll see you on the next show, guys.
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