How Two Youtubers Sparked a CBD Renaissance in the 612
As the CBD craze continues, two young trailblazers are capitalizing right here in the Twin Cities.
In August of 2021, best friends Jonathan Seepersaud and Tyreese Daley launched Irie Wellness, a CBD supplement brand that doubles as a delivery service.
Set on normalizing cannabis culture in the Midwest, the Lakeville natives go back way before they ever sold their first pack of gummies…
At just 21 and 22 respectively, Daley and Seepersaud quickly realized the sheer demand for legal cannabis products in Minnesota.
So what sparked this joint effort to bring CBD to your front doorstep? Let’s hear from the hemp-hustling duo themselves…
How did you two first meet?
We've known each other for years, but it wasn't until high school that we really started tapping in with each other creatively. Whether it was music, YouTube, or a CBD brand, we’ve always been entrepreneurs at heart.
Of all the brands you could've started, why CBD?
Simple: The time was right. We always hustled in high school: Music, YouTube, performing, you name it. But Cannabis supplements are the new gold rush; a legal one at that. For us, we always knew we’d be in business together; it was just a matter of when and what; that's what really set IRIE into motion.
How did you decide on the name?
The name 'Irie' came from a brainstorming meeting we had at Starbucks. We wanted a name that combined our Caribbean and Jamaican heritages; eventually, we landed on "Irie' a Jamaican term for 'nice'. In anything we do, we're looking to spread positive vibes however we can. 'Irie' is the perfect term for our mission statement.
How did you go from the idea to the operation we see today?
After the name and vision were fleshed out, it came down to finding a supplier. Gummies were the first thing we launched. As soon as we opened the business, the demand was instant. People were hitting us up left and right to the point where we knew we had to grow our inventory. Our demographic started with college-aged kids, but as sales grew, so did our demo. Now we serve parents, grandparents, or anyone interested in effective, highly accessible wellness products. All of our bottles are ethically sourced with a QR code you can scan to see exactly what batch it was curated from. Though our delivery service makes things convenient as possible, product quality is our foundation.
How did you go about choosing your product line?
We started with the essentials: Joint cream, oil tinctures, and gummies. Through lots of experimenting with different mixtures and flavors, we curated the product slate you see today. We’re always shopping for new formulas and planning future products though; that’s really the fun of it.
But despite their chemistry-fueled hustle, IRIE's path has been anything but smooth...
Were there any obstacles to starting a CBD company in Minnesota?
The hardest obstacle we faced was definitely opening our company bank account: We had to go to 8 different banks before securing the go-ahead. Whether it was state CBD laws, our age, our first business account, etc., most of those meetings felt more like interrogations than conversations. In the end, it was a huge headache that ultimately paid off; shoutout BMO Bank!
As an entrepreneur, what skills do you think are the most vital for success?
Daley: Interpersonal skills for sure. Just prioritizing the customer over everything. One of the perks of us delivering the products ourselves is that you get to individually connect with clients face-to-face.
Seepersaud: Agreed: We’ve learned a lot through conversations with customers. For instance, THC is in high demand. Though CBD is our route right now, we're definitely looking to expand our cannabis inventory once the laws loosen up...
What's your vision for IRIE wellness going forward?
Seepersaud: We don’t want to say too much, but stay tuned this summer…
Daley: Long term, once we’ve made our mark on the CBD scene, we’d love to open up an actual dispensary. From there, we’re trying to normalize weed culture in the Midwest on the legal market. Eventually, Irie Wellness will be a blue-chip wellness brand with multiple chains across the country.
With Summer right around the corner, the grass looks mighty green for this rising CB-Duo.
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