Happy Summer Stashies!!! Our team continues to take meetings, plan for the future, connect with peers in the industry and also enjoy some well deserved summer fun! We want to share with you a little behind the business peek at our team’s process in building our business and remembering to pace ourselves on this marathon we are running!
This past week on Twitter, I came across a post from Amanda Herson who is a seed investor in Venture Capital specifically in the crypto space but she has also funded other enterprising teams and businesses like ours. We keep reminding ourselves that to be in an emerging industry takes a special courage specifically because the rules are still being formulated and there is a level of uncertainty and flexibility that you absolutely must learn to accept. Amanda had some really prescient advice for founders to remember and each point directly related to the Stash Queens journey in cannabis as we work together as a team. Below is Herson’s advice and how our team continues to adapt and grow to reach our goal of operating a retail dispensary:
Be Visionary But Start Practically
For our team, we started dreaming about Stash Queens while on a co-founder’s birthday trip in Aruba. Since the 5 of us have been friends and family since forever, we have been familiar with one another’s career trajectory and even a number of us within Stash Queens have created other small businesses with one another over the years. Cannabis was an industry though that none of us had direct experience in but it was like the light switch flipped on when we realized that we all had a passion, love and reverence for the plant AND could envision ourselves drawing from our deep experiences in retail, compliance, entrepreneurship, government and community affairs to build the type of retail dispensary we would LOVE to patron. Our dream felt very real and achievable for the start but we moved strategically and practically! Holding weekly meetings, evaluating our current personal and professional capacities to see how we could make this work was a beginning exercise. Originally we started with 7 team members and within the first few weeks it became a tight team of 5 that has remained committed to our vision. We developed a strategy that we continue to adjust and build on to get us to the finish line.
Be Confident But Have Humility
There is still so much we are learning and because us founders are leaders within our respective careers it has been daunting but very exciting to admit things we don’t know and to seek out answers from trusted sources. Starting a business from scratch requires a lot of mundane but very important steps like incorporating and trademarking our brand, opening up a bank account and discovering how to navigate and market ourselves in the cannabis space that has many restrictions in how we can market to potential customers. There is also a LOT of paperwork, discussions and sometimes not enough smoking because as much as we love vibing together, there are many tasks to tackle that aren’t always very exciting but absolutely crucial to making Stash Queens viable.
Be Decisive But Take Feedback
One of the first external conversations we initiated as we were birthing Stash Queens was with a close family friend of two of our co-founders who successfully created and grew a cannabis business from the ground up and who was excited to share his knowledge and experience with our team. His guidance has been immeasurable but it was very clear that we needed to assemble a support team to help get us in and stay in the game. None of us are shy and move through the world quite audaciously and so this made it vital for us to have a trusted group of people helping to support our vision. This includes a lawyer to help keep us on track legally, our key consultants advising us on the structure and development of our company and how we present ourselves to the world including future investors. Since we are self funded, every penny is accounted. We operate leanly and the investments we have made in ourselves with the right people providing us with critical feedback, redirection and encouragement has been incredibly helpful to our process.
Move Fast/Burn Slow
This point spoke so loudly to our current experience and it all starts and ends with us living in a city where time operates differently. Yes, NYC is on EST but time operates on just a completely different continuum in this town! A New York minute indeed! So because our city and my partners stay in perpetual motion it is very easy to burn out. Coupled with the fact that we remain in a global pandemic which has accelerated societal shifts that many of us are still figuring out its enough to make your head spin. Taking the plunge and constant leaps of faith are essential ingredients to starting something new and as we speak , the framework for operating a dispensary are still being crafted and we suspect will continue to have revisions and changes as new issues emerge. From the beginning, we decided to build a business to last and create legacy for us and our communities. This means putting our heads down and figuring out the best ways to work cohesively. Our methodical foundation building creates the conditions for us to strike with purpose when an opportunity comes our way that we know we are ready for because of our preparation.
Be Focused But Do Everything
I am always so proud of my fellow Stash Queens when I get to see them flexing a experience muscle that helps us accomplish a task. We and our business are in very safe hands with our assembled team. There are many benefits of being a 5 person team instead of the vaulted solo or duo founder models you see with a lot of startups. One of those immediate benefits include the team being able to tackle assignments based on best skillset and folks understanding their assigned roles and executing when called upon. As there is always something to do, we share responsibilities that ease the burden of work. Let me emphasize that there is ALWAYS something to do in a new business, always an avenue to explore, an assignment that needs completing that may not have a natural fit within our team’s experience. Sometimes that means a task that requires checking in to make sure it still aligns with our goals especially related to time management. This is where the time and work we have spent together as partners really shines through! We have been really effective at splitting up in smaller groups to tackle a project. We swap the working groups to give each of us a chance to work in different team configurations. It has allowed us the opportunity to grow into a new edge of leadership and collaboration and most importantly the tasks get done more efficiently.
Deep appreciation to Amanda Herson for her observations in how to be more effective founder while also giving our team the chance to reflect on how far Stash Queens has come and to continue to share our story. Until next time!