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Bootstrapping a Cannabis Startup with Ben Starmer


June 11, 2024

"With Meta not being an option for advertising, we focused on collaborations, earned media, and community building. It forced us to be more creative and connect with our audience in authentic ways."

In this episode, your host Krystina Rubino chats with Ben Starmer, CEO and co-founder of Dad Grass, a Hemp and CBD brand. Ben shares his journey from being the Global Marketing Director at Levi Strauss to founding a bootstrapped e-commerce business in the challenging cannabis industry. 

Discover what inspired Ben to start Dad Grass, how he navigated the transition from corporate marketing to entrepreneurship, and the innovative strategies that have driven Dad Grass’s growth despite the challenges of marketing in the cannabis space.

⏰ Timestamps:

00:00:00 Introduction to Ben Starmer and Dad Grass

00:04:10 Transitioning from Corporate to Startup: Ben’s journey from Levi Strauss to Dad Grass

00:07:00 The Genesis of Dad Grass: Ben’s personal experiences with cannabis

00:10:00 Building a Brand: The importance of branding in differentiating Dad Grass

00:14:00 Growth Strategies and Challenges: Overcoming the inability to use traditional advertising platforms like Meta

00:19:00 Bootstrapping the Business: The decision to bootstrap rather than seek venture capital

00:24:00 Lessons Learned and Future Plans: The importance of balancing intuition with data-driven decisions

00:31:00 A/B Test: Personal Insights and Reflections

00:37:00 Creating a memorable customer experience

00:46:00 Outro

🔗 Mentioned in this episode

Dad Grass: www.dadgrass.com

Levi’s: www.levis.com

George Harrison: www.georgeharrison.com

Margo Price: www.margoprice.net/

Truffleman: www.truffleman.com

GQ: https://www.gq.com

Vice: https://www.vice.com

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Let's talk growth

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