Today, we are fortunate to have 1933 Industries President Ester Vigil with us. As president, Ester oversees all sales and marketing initiatives at the company and brings years of experience from major corporations such as Sephora and Peter Thomas Roth.
- Before we dive into 1933 industries, can you tell our readers about your background and the expertise that you bring to the management team?
Thank you for this opportunity! It’s always important for me to discuss my background because the expertise I developed over 17 years in the cosmetic industry is where I continually draw from. Working for many cosmetics brands provided me the strong background in consumer-packaged goods that I have been able to apply to cannabis. During my years in the cosmetic industry, I was in charge of moving product, ensuring that employees and managers were educated on those products and were able to deliver the brand message. The same tenets I developed from sales in cosmetics can be transferred to our cannabis-focused company. In order to truly represent a brand, one needs to identify consumer behavior. Learning how to connect with consumers and being able to bring that professionalism of customer service and education to an immature industry is key.
- On a number of levels, the last year has been significant for 1933 Industries. From a brand standpoint, the company has increased the number of premium brands that fall under the company’s portfolio. Can you tell our readers about the company’s strategy with these premium brands and how this aspect of the business has evolved?
2019 was definitely a year of change for the company. We learned early on in this business that brand development is absolutely key in cannabis. Large retailer outlets such as Sephora and Amazon carry a variety of brand names in addition to their own house brands. Each brand brings a specialty to the table. 1933 Industries produces its own brands, but we pivoted mid-year to really focus on developing a house of brands to meet all consumers’ needs. It is important for consumers to have a variety of choices and delivery methods (i.e. flower, vapes, concentrates, edibles, etc.) when it comes to cannabis products. Many companies are eyeing an entry into the Nevada market and we are able to offer those brands a vertically-integrated concept. We offer representation in the state, cultivation, production, distribution into all dispensaries, marketing, sales and education programs. Our 67,000 sq. ft. indoor cultivation facility enables us to accommodate many brands, and we are proud to have been able to attract some of the best names in the industry. Our dispensary partners have been thrilled with our “one-stop-shop” model.
- 1933’s Canna Hemp™ brand is currently sold in 46 states. Can you elaborate on your sales and marketing strategy when it comes to CBD products?
When we first started the Canna Hemp™ line of CBD-infused products three years ago, we were one of the first brands to market and we opened our own accounts in dispensaries and CBD stores around the country. As the business and industry has evolved, we are supplementing our brick and mortar strategy with a strong focus on E-Commerce. We are witnessing a change in consumer behavior as consumers are becoming more comfortable purchasing CBD products online. We can reach a wider audience of consumers by delivering our premium Canna Hemp ™ products directly to their homes. In addition, we are also focusing our efforts on the mass market.
- During the last year, the 1933 Industries story has evolved in a number of ways. On the CBD side of the business, what has the company done to differentiate itself from the competition?
We take pride in the fact that we do our own manufacturing. This allows us to control the supply chain. Our internal processes and access to organic ingredients are important to our consumers as they know that when they purchase Canna Hemp™, they are getting the very best ingredients in the market. When we outsource bulk CBD isolate and CBD distillate, we test the input material which we purchase from licensed, certified CBD hemp handlers. Once the CBD goes into our products, we test it again and provide the information via a QR code that is available on every product. We know that a lot of CBD sold in the market contains THC, and some contains zero CBD. We believe in full spectrum CBD without THC. We take the cannabis terpenes and re-introduce them to each product for a specific effect. This is a better way to offer full-spectrum products and a key differentiator for our Canna Hemp™ brand. Consistency of product, premium ingredients and specific formulas that actually work are the reasons people trust our products.
- Congratulations on the company’s California operations getting up and running. How will the company’s growth strategy in this market defer from what we have seen in Nevada?
We are so excited to be in California! We are taking our same tried and true strategy in Nevada and applying it to our California operation. It is not necessarily different but rather adapted to this market. California is the biggest market for cannabis in the US with the highest overall revenues, and California sets trends for brands. We operate in two of America’s largest cannabis states with the strictest regulatory regimes. The dispensary market is limited in Nevada but in California, we will be able to build a larger portfolio of brands to supply that growing market.
- What is the company’s strategy for your THC brand portfolio? What is your approach to reach consumers across a broad spectrum of product categories?
The cannabis industry is largely based on relationships and as a wholesaler, I work closely with each dispensary in Las Vegas, analyzing their needs as an individual entity. I conduct market research with each dispensary, and we analyze their business together in order to deliver products that are targeted to their consumers. There is no one size fits all approach with regards to my clients in Nevada. My relationships with the purchasing managers are personal, and it is my goal to help them sell more product. We understand consumer preferences and offer products to meet the needs of most consumers, whether it’s flower, pre-rolls, concentrates, etc. We also bring licensing partners that have unique strains or products in order to offer a complete menu. Our strategy from inception has been to offer premium THC products that tick all the boxes, such as consistency and terpene profile and that are well-priced. Ultimately, we are creating and delivering medicine for many of our consumers.
- Can you tell us about the company’s growth strategy as it relates to your brand portfolio? Are you a fan of growing via acquisition or launching brands organically and are there any major US markets in the mid-west or east coast that you are currently evaluating for expansion?
In this new environment, we are focusing on the organic growth of our brand portfolio. We will continue to attract brands as partners to complement our portfolio where it makes sense. We work with partners who share a similar vision who are value-driven. Most importantly, we like to work with people who are good human beings! Besides focusing on the Nevada and California markets, we are eyeing expansion into the western states, and other opportunities across the value chain. We are just beginning to understand the medicinal power of the plant and it is very exciting to be at the forefront of this industry.
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