In this episode we welcome Holly Alberti-Evans, co-founder of Healthy Headie Lifestyle to CannaInsider. Healy Headie is the Mary Kay of Mary J and they bring the cannabis market to you with in-home shopping and education.
Learn more at: http://www.healthyheadie.com/
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[1:37] – Holly talks about her background
[3:17] – What is Healthy Headie
[5:21] – Holly talks about the stigma between the different ways to ingest cannabis
[5:53] – How customers are responding
[6:33] – Is there a specific demographic that asks for Healthy Headie services
[8:18] – Holly discusses what products get the most attention and questions about
[9:32] – What is the Magical Butter Machine
[12:17] – Holly explains the dynamic for an in-home session
[15:35] – Initiating an in-home presentation
[19:48] – Where is Healthy Headie available
[20:35] – Investment opportunities in Healthy Headie
[20:58] – Contact details for Healthy Headie
Matthew: Hi I’m Matthew Kind. Every Monday look for a fresh new episode where I will take you behind the scenes and interview the insiders that are shaping the rapidly evolving cannabis industry. Learn more at www.cannainsider.com. That’s www.cannainsider.com. Are you an accredited investor looking to get access to the best cannabis investing opportunities? Join me at the next ArcView Group event. The ArcView Group is the premier angel investor network focused exclusively on the cannabis industry. There is simply no other place where you can find this quality and diversity of cannabis industry investment opportunities months or even years before the general public. If that’s not enough, you will also be networking with the top investors, entrepreneurs and thought leaders in the cannabis space. I have personally made many of my best connections and lifelong friendships at ArcView events. If you an accredited investor and would like to join me as an ArcView member, please email me at feedback at cannainsider.com to get started. Now here’s your program.
As part of an ongoing series to chronicle the innovation that is occurring in the cannabis industry I will be profiling entrepreneurs from Canopy Boulder, the first cannabis accelerator here in Boulder, Colorado. I’m pleased to welcome Holly Alberti-Evans co-founder of Healthy Headie Lifestyle to CannaInsider today. Welcome Holly.
Holly: Thank you so much for having me Matt. I appreciate it.
Matthew: Sure. Before we get into Healthy Headie can you tell us a little bit about who you are and how you got into this industry, your background and so forth?
Holly: Sure. You know at heart I’m an activist and advocate and business creator. I worked in corporate for a while, but I knew that it wasn’t the right environment for what I was looking to do. And I actually started my first consulting company while at the same time becoming a flight attendant. There was great flexibility there.
Matthew: Oh wow.
Holly: We had a successful commercial, residential painting company as well that I started with my husband. So that’s two businesses under the belt I guess. Moved onto an executive board position for the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce. I received an award Forty Under Forty Award there. And then I got to this tipping point in Massachusetts where I started the petition for Question 3 which is the medical law there. And I knew the first hand I had seen the effects, the positive results that cannabis had brought, and too many people were afraid to speak up or they couldn’t speak up. And I couldn’t sit by any longer so that’s when I really started getting involved and did what I could to move along the process in the community. And of course, you know, there’s a little bit of politics that come with that. And after the law passed in Massachusetts we become more of a resource of friends and families and even strangers that wanted more information about the medical community. And that’s when my husband and I decided it was time to put everything we had behind something we felt so strongly about, and took that leap into the cannabis industry.
Matthew: All right I like to hear that. You pushed all the chips into the middle of the table, and you said we’re all in.
Holly: Yes, yeah absolutely.
Matthew: And you created Healthy Headie, and what is Healthy Headie?
Holly: Yeah so the easiest way to describe it, if you have any knowledge of the direct sales world, is we’re kind of like the Mary Kay for Mary J, but we don’t sell cannabis. It’s been a tag that we’ve gotten some great reception out of and people really seem to understand that model. So what that means is that Healthy Headie is an in-home, direct to consumer network of independent distributers that actually provide education and a hands-on demonstration as well as the sale of cannabis ancillary products.
Holly: And in layman’s terms kind of what that means is we actually bring the smoke store to the customer’s door. So in the comfort of the consumer’s home our independent distributer would provide an overview of cannabis and the many ways that you might consume your cannabis. We talk about methods of ingestion a lot and the different forms or how you might be able to ingest it. Our primary focus does land on the vaporizers which is a device that you can use to consume the cannabis itself.
Matthew: Yeah. I kind of liken it to the Genius Bar at Apple stores where they take something that there’s a lot of questions around and answer them in an easy and digestible way. Is that a fair comparison?
Holly: Yeah it is. We get a lot of questions, and of course everybody’s knowledge base is different. So we try to answer, you know, what is a vaporizer? What’s a transdermal? What are sublinguals? What are tinctures? And kind of give them a level playing field to then start their education base off of.
Matthew: This is just my opinion, but I feel like that there is still a stigma around the smoking but less so towards the vaporizer and then even less around tinctures and edibles is that the feedback you’re getting.
Holly: Yeah. I think that there is, you know, smoking is just unhealthy so people understand that. But they’re really confused about these other terms. What’s transdermal? What’s sublingual? What is a tincture? So that there’s less of a stigma, however, there’s still this fear associated with cannabis as a whole, and it probably comes with that federal legality.
Matthew: Yes that would be it, and what’s the response been so far from the people that had the in-home education?
Holly: You know it’s actually… the response has been really great. Our customers actually seek us out, and we have a lot of interest from people that are looking for that level of hands-on training, and as well as becoming part of the team. So they’re interested in becoming part of the community with Healthy Headie Lifestyle.
Matthew: Okay. Is there a certain demographic to the people that want the in home education and want to look at the vaporizers and the different things and talk about this, or is it really just a very broad spectrum.
Holly: You know there is a specific demographic that we tend to see a lot more of. My husband and I started this business in Massachusetts. Again that was a restricted medical market. We were surprised to find that the majority of people we were speaking with were my parent’s age. They were Baby Boomers, new retirees that maybe were looking for alternative healing. So we found that a lot of these individuals may have had previous knowledge or one time way back when had potentially tried it, but now they were more hesitant to just kind of go out on their own and experiment. They really had lots of questions and didn’t know where to turn to answer those.
Matthew: Do you feel like women in general are less likely to step into a dispensary? Is there a stigma there that seems to keep women away in particular?
Holly: Yeah I think as a whole, you know, I think women are still scared to really come out and talk about this. They’re absolutely fearful. They hear these stories about other parents losing their children, and that’s absolutely frightening in itself. So I think that most females are very cautious and hesitant when it comes to their consumption or even the discussion of a potential consumption.
Matthew: So in-home shopping, bring the store to your door, we talked a little about vaporizers and tinctures and so forth, but what are the one or two things that seem to get the most attention and the questions around that? How does a vaporizer work? Show me, you know, put it in my hand and show me?
Holly: Yeah so I mean aside from the vaporizers they really do like to try the device before they buy it, and that’s one of the benefits of having Healthy Headie provide that service is you can take it for a test drive, and it doesn’t happen online, clearly, and a traditional retail store. There isn’t that option. But we find that once we get through our in-home demonstration we talk about other devices such as like botanical extractors or a storage container. So we find, on in particular we carry a device. It’s a botanical extractor. It’s called the Magical Butter Machine. We find as soon as we show that device people are absolutely intrigued. They want to know more. It’s a really fun device, but they want to know more about the potential that they can create their own edibles, and this is really kind of an easy device to be able to use and have those edibles be created. So they get really excited about, you know, different items like that as well as accessories that we bring in for them to experience.
Matthew: How does the Magical Butter Machine work? I seem to see that here and there, but I don’t know myself. It extracts it into an oil of some sort? How does that work?
Holly: Yes, absolutely. So we will have to get Garin on the phone for you. So the Magical Butter Machine it’s a got a microprocessor and a computer built into it. So it’s actually regulating the temperature at which the cannabis is extracted. So there’s a process called decarboxylization , most people want it to be decarbed. Some people do not and that will create a psychotropic effect. So you really have the ability to take your cannabis and then infuse into a medium that works best for you.
So we talked about tincture. You can do a vegetable based glycerin tincture, or you can do an alcohol based tincture. You can also do butter or coconut oil which is great because it’s shelf stable and really easy to use. So depending on what you’re looking to treat and the medium that you want to infuse, you have the ability to do so in a very easy machine. It’s looks similar to a Cuisinart. You can put it right onto your counter. And there is cycles, you push the regulation for the temperature, and then you select what mode you would like. So if you’re making a butter, an oil or a tincture. And super, super easy. Yeah it’s got a built in light show as well. So you can actually turn the lights off and get super creative while you’re making your infused oils and butters.
Matthew: So the market for the Magical Butter Machine is for someone that wants to make a concentrate or extraction very easily, but then wants to customize their experience a little bit more, but they don’t want to become a scientist to do it.
Holly: Yeah the double boil method or the crockpot method is what’s been used in the past, and that is just time consuming. So you know going along the lines of that we don’t have a ton of time on our hands, this device really just makes it very easy for people to be able to make those edibles which can then be turned into other recipes or creations as well as the tinctures or suppositories if that’s something that you need for your treatment. So it really allows the consumer to put their health and healing in their own hands and decide what’s better for them. Of course here in Colorado the dispensaries have a wonderful selection of edibles, tinctures, different sublinguals and transdermals that in some areas you don’t have access to. So this allows the consumer to really have a broad approach for their healing.
Matthew: What’s the dynamic like for an in-home session?
Holly: So typically the in-home, it starts off, you know, people aren’t really sure what to expect. There’s different layers of knowledge. So you know there might be four people in the room and they all might have a different gauge or level of knowledge with cannabis itself. And so what we do is we try to take their nerves and you know uncertainly out of the equation. And we just have a quick overview to be able to get everybody on the same page of Cannabis 101. They’re very timid when we start out about asking questions. They feel very lost, but we provide just a quick summary at the beginning of our session. What we’re going to be covering, kind of a top-level overview, and in minutes you can see the consumer start to begin to relax. They feel more comfortable. They start asking questions, and then they frantically start taking notes. They get very excited and they know that the knowledge that they just received it really provides them with more empowerment for them to move forward. So we see that quickly change throughout the in-home session.
Matthew: So it starts maybe being a little timid to okay I’m getting some good education here with the Cannabis 101, then they’re kind of moved to ask questions and then does it kind of open up into a more social atmosphere by the end of it?
Holly: Yeah so when we’re actually letting them try the devices, you know, you’re getting them to relax and unwind even more. They really get a feel or a sense of how these different devices operate. So we let them open it, close it. How hard is it to grind the product and put it in to the device. They get to literally touch and feel and go through each of the components and how it’s going to work. I mean even simple questions such as maintenance. That’s a big deal for a lot of people. Many folks don’t want to have to maintain the device on a regular basis, and that’s something that you won’t have that hands-on training when it comes to an in-store experience. And that’s when you really start to see them get excited because now they’re touching it, they’re playing with it.
Matthew: Right and a vaporizer, the smell is much more contained compared to say a bong or something else, and that’s probably something they’re wondering about. Like hey am I going to stink up my whole neighborhood here if I take one hit off this thing.
Holly: It’s so true. I mean a lot of people don’t understand vaporizing and how it’s going to be different. So then they realize it’s a lower odor that’s really helpful for a lot of people who maybe sneak away and into the garage quickly. You know it allows them to have more flexibility when and where they can medicate. And again portable versus tabletop. I mean if you talk to somebody who doesn’t know what a vaporizer is, that doesn’t mean anything for them. So we have different devices for whatever the need may be. If they need something that is battery operated that they can take camping with them for several days when they won’t have access to electricity, we really can customize it depending on what the customer’s needs are.
Matthew: How does a in-home presentation get initiated? Who starts it?
Holly: That’s a great question. In Massachusetts we worked a lot with the doctors who were providing letters of recommendation. And so they were looking for an additional service and our information was actually given to the patients. So that’s something we’re going to be doing in every state that we roll out into, but for the most part we get phone calls from interested parties that would like to find out more information. So we give them the option to do a very private one on one in-home session or they can invite their friends, family, some other folks together and do a group party or setting. And it is similar to a Tupperware even where you would schedule the party. The host has the ability to make that as flexible as possible whether that’s nights, weekends. And we ask some specific questions to the host to customize it to their needs specifically. Then from there we’re off and running and in their home providing this great service.
Matthew: Now people may hear this and say is this multilevel marketing. What’s your answer to that?
Holly: That’s another great question. So when we designed this platform we actually took a boutique hybrid direct sales model. So we adapted some of the tride and true aspects of traditional network marketing, but our focus is on helping people and creating jobs in this budding industry. So our motives come from a place where we want to see people get the resources that they need and then we also have an opportunity to create many jobs in the cannabis industry. So we chose the direct sales model as it allows us to really provide that discreet, comfortable environment in the home that these consumers are looking for. That fear of being seen at the head shop or the dispensary, and of course the level of customer service was conducive for what we were trying to put together. And it became the perfect model for exactly what we were providing.
Matthew: Now the multilevel marketing thing, people get compensated if they bring people onboard who are selling. So that dynamic doesn’t exist at all here. This is a straight commission type sale.
Holly: Yeah and thank you for asking these questions because it’s really important for us to differentiate ourselves from the traditional multilevel marketing. So our independent distributers really are strictly sales commission based. They have the potential to unlock additional bonuses to increase their incentives. Think of it as a Mario game. If you collect certain amounts of point, you get a 1up. So there is a potential for them to have more incentive power, however it’s not about recruiting new team members. It really is about helping other people by providing this service and making a sales commission that’s attractive to somebody who wants to look at this as a sales opportunity.
Matthew: Okay. And so the host of the part in addition to helping friends and family, they get some little perks and gifts and possibly some sales commission type arrangement.
Holly: Yeah they do. They get some free gifts just for hosting the party, and then the way it works is that for every $100 of sales that are generated at that unique party, they would get $10 off of their purchase. So it really works for them to of course invite a few additional people. If those people are interested in purchasing, they’re clearly going to get a benefit from that sale. So it really comes down to fulfilling the educational side and then that quick, easy sale in the comfort and privacy of the customer’s home. And we bring all this together for them and be able to give them some incentive to holding it or hosting it at their home.
Matthew: Okay. So you’re here in Colorado now. You’re from Massachusetts. How is this going to roll out and which geographies?
Holly: So we are choosing to take a very strategic rollout. We do have traction and we began the company, as you mentioned, in Massachusetts. And we launched in Colorado a little bit over a month ago. And we’ll then expand into Arizona, California and Washington State. Ultimately our goal is to provide the service in every medical and retail state there is. So we’re going to do this in a very methodical way, but we will be coming to a town or city near you.
Matthew: Yeah. As soon as you legalize you’ll go out to them, okay. Are you still looking for investors for Healthy Headie?
Holly: Yes we just launched our seed round. We just opened that last week and we’re currently raising $500,000 for our program and the strategic rollout. And that’s been a great experience so far.
Matthew: And if there’s any listeners out there that are interested in becoming an investor how can they find you?
Holly: Oh of course they’re more than welcome. They can reach out to me directly. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. And we also have a founders email, that’s email@example.com. Our main line, you can always get us through our direct corporate number, and the number for our corporate line is (617) 231-6363.
Matthew: Okay and for listeners that want to find you online can you say your URL one more time?
Holly: Of course. For anybody who wants to look at our website as well as anybody who may be interested in becoming an independent distributer, head over to www.healthyheadie.com. So it’s www.healthyheadie.com and right on the homepage actually there’s a great segment. CBS This Morning did a video on us and you can check that out. And right below there there’s a link that says “Click here to take the pilot program survey”, that will connect you to one of our team members. And if you’re interested in becoming an independent distributer, we’re happy to give more information.
Matthew: I feel like in every friend and family circle there’s someone that’s already kind of doing this. They kind of assume the educator role and demystify all these things about cannabis. So I feel like there’s natural sales force for you out there, and if you’re someone that’s listening that has those characteristic where you’re saying hey I’m already telling my friends and family about this stuff and they’re coming to me and asking me these questions anyway, this could be a great opportunity for you. So Holly thank you so much for being on CannaInsider today and telling us about Healthy Headie.
Holly: Thank you so much Matt. I really appreciate this opportunity.
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