We recently enjoyed speaking with the founders of FeelCBD, a company located in Canada. Read more below about their story and the CBD products they offer.
We are thrilled to speak with you today about your company and its remarkable success. Let’s start with an introduction so our readers can get to know you better. Can you tell us a bit about you and your company?
Absolutely! We are FeelCBD, a local startup based in Vancouver, BC. We believe in bringing together the benefits of hemp-derived full spectrum CBD and plant-based essential oils to create life-enhancing wellness experiences.
What experiences, of elements of your backstory, helped to motivate or inspire you in your endeavor to start your business?
Being involved in the industry prior and learning more about CBD and how much value there was in Full Spectrum CBD, we were always puzzled with the majority of the products in the market being isolate based, and the synthetic flavors being used. We felt it was just common sense to bring these two elements together, and so that is what we set out to create!
I imagine it takes an enormous amount of effort to build a “hemp-empire”. Can you shed light on some of the obstacles you encountered as you grew and scaled your business and how you navigate those successfully?
It definitely has been tough, but more so because we did not realize how big the gap in the market was for products like ours. The launch was explosive and we had to quickly adjust our expectations to scale up our brand and keep up with the demand. It is still an ongoing battle and takes a lot of 12-14 hour days, but it is completely worth it to hear the feedback we get from our consumers!
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product. What did that look like?
With our ingredients in our products being simple and straightforward, we wanted to create a brand that reflected that. Vaporizing can be an intimidating experience for many, and there is still a lot of stigma in this industry. But research is showing that vaporizing has the highest bioavailability and quickest onset when it comes to CBD, so tried to be mindful of that when designing our products and packaging.
What makes your brand or product unique in this emerging industry of CBD?
In the Canadian market, the majority of products are still isolate based, have unnatural flavorings and unnecessary additives like propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. What makes us unique is using Full Spectrum CBD with plant-based essential oils for flavoring, and not using PG or VG.
Have you ever felt like you had to come up against any stigma around CBD? If so, how were you able to address that?
Stigma definitely exists, and will exist for some time. Many people are still learning what CBD is, and others still are learning that it should be dissociated from marijuana and/or THC. That is why it is important for all brands to be proactive with educating the consumer, as it can really add a lot of benefit to many peoples lives without a lot of the side effects experienced from alternatives (eg. Pain relief or anxiety medication).
In terms of the market for your product, what would you say is your target demographic?
What really excites us is being the safe space new consumers gravity towards when wanting to try out CBD for the first time. No matter what demographic they fit into, we just want more people to try out CBD and see if it can add value to their wellness routines.
What do you do to attract and retain customers?
The majority of our growth has been just through word of mouth or through our organic social media progression. We have developed a strong following for our products, and our consumers really appreciate the love and care we put into the products we create.
Have there been any helpful resources, tools, or platforms that you’ve relied on to get your business off the ground and keep it running smoothly?
Social media has been the biggest driver of our growth and is an amazing medium you can use to get a message out. Not only has it helped us reach out to and educate consumers about CBD, it has also helped us find amazing retail partners to work with and spread the word further.
What has the general reception of your product been, in terms of the feedback you receive most frequently from consumers?
One of the decisions we made when we launched was to start with disposable pens. We felt a disposable would be the best way to reach a new consumer, as batteries + cartridges can be an intimidating delivery method for someone just curious about CBD. This has helped us reach a demographic of new users, but it is also not the most sustainable delivery method, and many of our users have let us know how they feel about this. That is why we are currently finishing up the development of a battery and cartridge version for all of our current experiences, and we hope to move in that direction with the growth of FeelCBD!
As a follow up to that last question, can you tell us about some of your best-selling products and the benefits they provide?
Our currently best selling product is the calm pen. It is infused with Lavender, Peppermint and Vanilla and many of our consumers have told us it has helped them replace Ativan in their lives!
Are your products third party lab tested by batch? If so, are you willing to attach and share your lab results?
We third party test our source oil whenever we receive a new batch to ensure it matches the COA we were provided, and to test for heavy metals and any impurities. We then provide the original COA’s on our product pages at feelcbd.ca
We all know that the political environment and legal regulation on hemp is ever-evolving and often somewhat ambiguous. How do you navigate those regulations and how do they impact your business?
It is definitely tough dealing with the political and legal environment, especially in Canada. It is very unfortunate a product that does not intoxicate you is being treated the same as marijuana and not separate. This is arguably what creates a lot of the stigma perceived with CBD, and keeps people who could really benefit away from giving it a chance. We do believe in time the perception of hemp will not be the same as it is now, and in time that view will result in better policy.
In terms of advice, what would you say to someone who was wanting to break into the burgeoning CBD industry?
If you are diving into the unregulated market like we have, take every step you can to self-regulate. Careless brands who don’t are what results in policy makers lump CBD in the same boat as marijuana. Taking the steps to create a quality product will push the growth of this industry forward, and give policymakers the confidence to open up the regulations a bit more.
What do you think is the key to staying relevant and becoming successful in one of the most competitive industries?
It is important to realize we are just getting started, and as product development continues, the quality of the products will just get better and better. We don’t ever want to settle, and we are always thinking about what else we can do to improve our already existing products. Continually investing into research and development to keep pushing existing products forward and becoming innovative with new products is what will keep us relevant.
What do you foresee in the future for the landscape of CBD-related products and services?
As the industry continues to develop, we believe there will be a lot of innovation when it comes to delivery methods, especially with the advancements we are seeing with nanoemulsion. Now that we know CBD has many benefits for consumers, the next step is working to increase absorption rates and learning more about the different benefits various genetics can offer.
So, what are some of the exciting next steps for your company? What does the future look like for your business?
We will shortly be releasing our first topical which we are super excited for! We developed the formulation in house and it brings together a lot of key ingredients to create a soothing and cooling effect to trouble areas. We are using a lot of exciting ingredients such as lemongrass, menthol and lemon eucalyptus, and we really think our users will love it!