$120K/Month Building a Successful Online Smoke Shop (Cannabis Accessories)- Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits

INTERVIEW VIDEO (Length – 49:40)


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Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits shares the story of building a successful online smoke shop and navigating the challenging landscape of Cannabis Commerce. Fortin shares his insights on product sourcing, the shift from retail to e-commerce, and maintaining a unique product range.

Episode Summary

Matthieu Fortin, CEO of Upper Limits, discusses his journey in the cannabis industry, including how they got started in the business, the products they sell, and the challenges they face as a cannabis business owner. He explains the company’s sources of products, retail versus e-commerce focus, and the need for customer service and having unique products. Additionally, he talks about his relationship with his merchant processor, fulfillment and shipping, team management, and the importance of constant learning. Fortin recommends productivity tools such as Notion and Trello and advises businesses to focus on one thing and not be afraid to fail.

  • 00:00:00 In this section, the interviewer asks Matthew Fortin, CEO of Upper Limits, how he got started in the cannabis industry and why he chose this product category. Fortin explains that the idea came about when he and his friends were considering opening a shop for gemstones and rocks. However, his friend had to step away, and Fortin decided to pursue their initial idea of opening a shop selling smoke shop products and custom glass pipes. Fortin also shares that the cannabis industry was still not fully legal at the time, and they had to be careful with the terminology they used and with whom they worked. However, their business picked up when they began working with medical cannabis patients, and Fortin fell in love with the industry.
  • 00:05:00 In this section, Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits talks about the products they sell, which mainly include hemp-derived accessories. They also touch on the challenges of navigating marketing channels that are not traditionally available to most businesses, and the fluidity of the CBD market. Fortin shares that he used to be a cannabis user and got into the e-cig industry at the right time, which changed his life and motivated him to educate others on the technology’s benefits. However, the e-cig industry has gotten a bad rep, and they’ve diversified their offerings to include cannabis accessories and custom pipe services. Additionally, he speaks about his interest in e-commerce and his belief that it’s the future. They started as a retail business and eventually made the leap to Magento, a powerful platform, which was a challenge, but he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
  • 00:10:00 In this section, Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits discusses the challenges of being a cannabis business owner, particularly in regards to payment processors and marketing platforms. Despite selling mostly accessories and legal products, the industry’s federal illegal status means that it is too risky for banks and other mainstream businesses to work with them. Fortin notes that once cannabis is legal federally, there will be a federal standard which should make the situation better. Fortin also explains that Upper Limits creates its own products such as a vaporizer line and glass pipes, and they have even ventured into custom medical devices and promotional items.
  • 00:15:00 In this section, the co-founder of Upper Limits, Matthieu Fortin, discusses the company’s sources of products. Fortin explains that while some products come from vendors and distributors, a majority come from their own glass line and working with glass artists. The company also does wholesale and aims to grow its business-to-business offerings, including dropshipping and a marketplace. When asked about risks, Fortin states that he is always learning and improving the team’s operations, adding that the industry is a passion for them. In terms of retail versus e-commerce, the company does more business in retail, with a focus on e-commerce in recent times. However, the team is stretched and thus has dabbled in platforms like Amazon with plans to prioritize selling products that fit its terms in the future. Finally, Fortin notes that profit margins vary based on the product, but cost competitiveness is a consideration when purchasing products, including possibly from China.
  • 00:20:00 In this section, Matthieu Fortin discusses the business model for Upper Limits and why he believes the cannabis industry is a good business to be in. He explains that as cannabis becomes legal in more states, there will be more people in need of their products and services, and he has seen the keywords related to their business receive a lot of traffic. Fortin also talks about the types of products they sell and the need they satisfy for their customers, primarily offering a healthier alternative to combustion. While there are some replacement parts for their products, the repeat business opportunities are not as significant as some other industries. In terms of competition, Fortin acknowledges that there are many other e-commerce businesses and local stores in the industry, but he believes customer service and offering unique devices sets them apart from the competition.
  • 00:25:00 In this section, Matthieu Fortin highlights the importance of customer service and having unique products in his retail business. He emphasizes well-trained staff who can answer questions and point customers in the right direction, treating customers like family, and providing a professional yet welcoming environment for people of all ages and backgrounds. The retail location relies heavily on word of mouth marketing, as well as organic SEO and social media posting since online advertising is limited in this industry. They use Clavio’s platform for email marketing and have done some local advertising in the past. They also offer the convenience of a drive-through for online orders. Fortin shares that they use Authorize.net for payment processing to avoid any issues related to non-mainstream processors.
  • 00:30:00 In this section, Matthieu Fortin talks about his relationship with his merchant processor and how they have worked together through crucial times. He also discusses how he pivoted his business during COVID-19 by introducing a drive-thru service to stay afloat. He further explains how they manage their fulfillment and shipping in-house while maintaining a focus on package presentation. Moreover, he talks about how they handle product returns with their 30-day return policy and their willingness to work with customers to ensure their satisfaction. As for their expansion plans, they are currently only operating in the US, but Matthieu would like to expand into Canada and South America in the near future.
  • 00:35:00 In this section, Matthieu Fortin talks about his team at Upper Limits, which has downsized from 15 employees to nine due to their focus on efficiency. They have an admin team of three, an accountant, a purchasing department, a sales team, a glass production team, and two developers, one in Sri Lanka and another in the US. He admits there are many things he would have done differently, but constant learning has been the key to his success. He didn’t expect to run this business for over ten years and wishes he had a technology background, but he’s still proud of how far they’ve come and has many ideas for the future. He also discusses the dilemma of working in the business versus working on the business, but he believes that constant learning is the key to staying successful.
  • 00:40:00 In this section, Matthieu Fortin talks about frustrations he faces when trying to fix issues in the system and not knowing how to do it. He suggests outsourcing to a freelancer found on sites like Upwork to solve the issue rather than trying to learn a new skill. Fortin also recommends the book “The One Thing” by Gary Keller, which stresses the importance of cutting out noise and focusing on the one thing to achieve the greatest results. He also mentions headless CSS and AI as innovative products that excite him in the current e-commerce landscape. Finally, Fortin recommends productivity tools like Notion and Trello to help with business processes.
  • 00:45:00 In this section, Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits recommends finding a task management tool that works best for each individual’s needs and using it consistently. When asked about a startup or business doing great things, Fortin mentions Notion, Open AI, and Adept AI. He looks up to Sam Walton and Steve Jobs for their business acumen and creativity, respectively. For business advice, Fortin suggests not being afraid to fail and not hiring friends or family. He also advises focusing on one thing and not taking on too much. Those interested in learning more about Upper Limits can visit their website, upperlimitsinc.com, or reach out to Fortin directly.

People & Resources Mentioned in the Episode

Book: The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results By Gary Keller

What You’ll Learn

Interview with Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits

[00:00:08] Introduction to Trep Talks
[00:00:31] Introduction of Matthew Fortin and Upper Limits
[00:01:03] Matthew’s Journey into the Cannabis Industry
[00:01:51] How Upper Limits Was Started
[00:02:53] The Early Challenges of Starting Upper Limits
[00:03:34] Transition from Gemstones to Cannabis Industry
[00:04:05] Navigating the Legal Landscape of the Cannabis Industry
[00:04:44] Overview of Upper Limit’s Products
[00:05:42] Challenges of Marketing in the Cannabis Industry
[00:06:24] Matthew’s Personal Motivation in the Cannabis Industry
[00:07:50] Diversification and Adaptation in Business
[00:08:36] The Journey into E-commerce
[00:10:06] Challenges with Hosted Platforms Like Shopify and BigCommerce
[00:11:04] The Legal Status of Cannabis and Its Impact on Business
[00:12:12] The Inevitability of Legal Change and Its Potential Impact
[00:13:07] Initial Investment and Business Model of Upper Limits
[00:14:21] Evolving Business: Retailing and Manufacturing
[00:16:04] The Ongoing Risk and Passion for the Industry
[00:17:54] Comparison of E-Commerce and Retail Business
[00:18:17] SEO and Dabbling in Amazon
[00:19:38] Profit Margins and Purchasing Strategy in the Cannabis Industry
[00:19:38] Profit Margin and Sourcing for Products
[00:20:08] Business Opportunities in Cannabis
[00:21:10] Purchasing and Supply Chain Strategy
[00:21:42] Understanding the Customer and Their Needs
[00:23:12] Product Lifecycles and Repeat Business
[00:24:12] Competing in a Saturated Market
[00:25:00] Standing Out Through Customer Service and Unique Products
[00:26:27] Offering Convenience: The Drive-through Model
[00:27:09] Online Marketing and Customer Acquisition Strategy
[00:28:11] Importance of Organic SEO and Social Media
[00:28:53] Limitations on Advertising and How to Overcome Them
[00:29:36] Payment Processing and Relationships with Merchant Processors
[00:30:33] Adapting to Covid and the Introduction of Drive-through Service
[00:32:00] Fulfillment, Shipping, and Returns at Upper Limits
[00:34:00] Expansion Plans
[00:35:02] Matthieu Fortin discusses his team at Upper Limits
[00:35:34] Discussion on the company’s departments and structure
[00:35:48] Breakdown of company roles and tasks
[00:36:00] Discussion about the developer’s role
[00:36:16] Question about the location of developers
[00:36:51] Reflections on running the business for nearly 10 years
[00:37:32] Looking back: Lessons learned and things that could have been done differently
[00:38:00] Discussing the lack of mentors and the impact
[00:38:30] Insights on business growth and expansion
[00:39:00] Discussion on learning and growth in technology
[00:39:39] Talking about the balance between working in and on the business
[00:40:00] Discussion on learning coding versus outsourcing
[00:41:00] Experiences with outsourcing to coders
[00:41:43] Start of Rapid Fire Segment
[00:41:59] Book recommendation for entrepreneurs
[00:42:46] Exciting innovative ideas in the current e-commerce landscape
[00:43:10] Thoughts on the future of e-commerce and AI
[00:43:57] Excitement for the application of AI in business
[00:44:37] Recommended Business and Productivity Tools
[00:45:13] Noteworthy Startups in E-commerce, Retail, and Tech
[00:45:56] Thoughts on Future AI Technologies
[00:46:23] Entrepreneurial Inspirations
[00:46:50] Best Business Advice
[00:47:33] Hiring Friends and Family in Business
[00:48:26] Balancing Friendship and Money in Business
[00:48:50] The Importance of Focus in Business
[00:49:09] How to Reach Upper Limits and Matthieu Fortin
[00:49:33] Wrap Up and Goodbyes

Rapid Fire

In this segment, the guest will answer a few questions quickly in one or two sentences.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits

  1. Book recommendation that you would make to entrepreneurs or business professionals (Response: The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results By Gary Keller)
  2. An innovative product or idea in the current e-commerce retail or tech landscape that you feel excited about (Response: Headless CSS and AI like Chat GPT)
  3. A business or productivity tool that you would recommend (Response: Trello, Asana, Notion)
  4. Another startup or business that you think is currently doing great things: (Response: Notion)
  5. A peer entrepreneur or business person whom you look up to or someone who inspires you (Response: Sam Walton, Walmart Founder)
  6. Best business advice you ever received (Response: Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t hire friends and family as it usually doesn’t work out.)

Interview Transcript

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: hey there, entrepreneurs. My name is Sushant, and welcome to Trep Talks. This is a show where I interview successful e-commerce entrepreneurs, business executives, and thought leaders, and ask them questions about their business story, and also dive deep into some of the strategies and tactics that they have used to start and grow their businesses.

And today I’m really excited to welcome Matthew Fortin to the show. Matthew is the CEO of Upper Limit. Upper limits is a hybrid brick and mortar, e-commerce retailer and B2B wholesaler for dispensary shop, uh, smoke shop products and custom G glass pipes. And today I’m going to ask Matthew a few questions about his entrepreneur journey and some of the strategies and tactics that he has used to start and grow his business.

So Matthew, thank you so much for joining me today at Trip. I really appreciate

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: it. Oh, thanks for having me. [00:01:00] Um, oops, sorry, I’m gonna kick this off real quick. It’s

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: okay. There. So interesting. Interesting. Interesting business. So to me it seems like it’s very focused around the cannabis industry. Uh, can you share a little bit about when you got started, how you got the idea and why Specific specifically this, this product or this category?

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Sure. Um, well, you know, honestly it kind of fell into okay. We kind of fell into it. Um, I, you know, I, I think timing has a lot to do. With, with everything, with the whole story. Um, it was just, you know, the timing was right. Um, I’ll kind of, you know, start, um, you know, was, uh, me and a couple friends were, uh, I think we were barbecuing and, um, we, you know, one of my friends has been always talking about opening up a shop and he always wanted to open up this, you know, the shop.

I think it was like, you know, like jams, stones, and, um, rocks and things like that. And, You know, me and my other buddy would joke that, Hey [00:02:00] man, if you don’t open up this shop, you’ve been talking about it for a few years now, you know, if you’re not gonna do it, we’re gonna do it. And so, um, yeah, we actually did.

And, um, we, we acquired the space, um, some investment and, um, right as we were getting ready, uh, to, you know, acquire all the products and open up, um, he was a, he had to step away. And, um, so I was at the time going to school and working a full-time job. And so I had a choice. It would a scary choice to someone I kind of walk away from this or do I want to, uh, continue to, you know, do, do I wanna see, you know, if I, if you know what happens And, um, I’m a risk taker, so, so I went ahead and, um, you know, I just gave, went all in on it and, um, you know, I, so those.

That’s about 2013,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: 2000. So the friend who had the original idea, he walked away and you were stuck or with the idea, I guess you were more [00:03:00] committed to it and, and like, did you have the other friend also who were joining with you or.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Nope. Nope. He, uh, I think he opened up his own shop. Okay. He ended up, he finally ended up, uh, opening it up.

So, um, that was, you know, that was, that was great. And, um, yeah, I mean, it, you know, it, it was tough. It was tough because I wasn’t really planning to start this business. You know, we, I, I helped, you know, we both picked out the name and, and everything. And, um, you know, it was, it was, I was kind of disappointed that he wasn’t gonna be, um, joining me, you know, in this venture, but,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So you said that his, his idea was around like this gemstones and stuff, but your shop is cannabis.

How did you come to this and was that like still a, a legal cannabis was legal in, in your, uh, part of the country, or, uh, it

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: ha it wasn’t, it wasn’t legal yet. Um, and it’s, it’s been a weird journey with that. Um, you know, uh, [00:04:00] it wasn’t too long ago that we had. Watch what terminology we used for our glass pipes.

Um, you know, we couldn’t, you know, there were certain like slang that we could not, that customers couldn’t use. And it was just very, it was very, you know, and I don’t know if there was a, um, you know, what happened to Tommy Chung, you know, uh, the Operation Pipe dreams and, you know, it was kind of a very. Uh, you know, unsure time, you know, am I doing, you know, what are we doing?

You know, but, um, you know, it really, really started picking up when we started working with medical cannabis patients. And, um, I, I mean, it just really, I, I knew that this is, I, I, I kind of fell in love with the industry.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. And in terms of the, your products themselves, I see on your website you have different categories.

So you have a c, b, D category, eex, e-liquid web rises, glass pipes, grow and harvest, uh, accessories and so forth. So you’re not, [00:05:00] uh, seems like you’re not actually selling cannabis or cannabis related product. You’re selling mostly the accessories around that. Is that what

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: your. That’s correct. Yeah. We don’t, we don’t, uh, you know, touch the cannabis plan or anything like that, but we do sell, um, hemp, you know, hemp drive.

Products. Um, and those are, those go very, very well. Uh, our customers, we have a huge customer base for those. Um, you know, they’re great products. Um, you know, it’s just a very fluid, uh, time even with CBD products and, um, you know, a lot of, there’s a lot of services we can’t use, you know, uh, marketing channels that are traditionally available to most businesses.

Uh, very important channels. And, uh, so just having to navigate all that has been. A challenge. Um, you know, it’s just, it keeps me on my toes.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. Uh, yeah, I mean I’ve, I’ve, I’ve interviewed a couple of CB one cbd, one more cannabis accessories kind a business, and, and I’ve definitely [00:06:00] heard from, and love to hear from your experience as well.

Um, I guess what I’m interested to know is, um, was were you like, why, why specifically this industry like were. Were you interested in this, uh, yourself? Like were you a user of cannabis or, uh, what motivated you to actually get into this?

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Sure. Um, I was a user of cannabis, uh, back then. I am, I’m not now. I’m just, I’m too busy to partake.

But, um, you know, back then I think we were really trying to find our, you know, what, what category we really fell in. And, um, we really hit EICs at the right time. Um, you know, I was a smoker of 15 years, um, and I’ve tried to quit so, Different times in e-cigs. They, it worked and it got me to quit smoking. Um, and that just really changed my life.

Um, I was like, man, other people need to know [00:07:00] about this technology. You know, I, and I got my friends to quit smoking and so many people, and I mean, I, you know, I’d hear. You know, I’d have customers coming in that were like, you know, it’s this a 50 year old guy, a 55 year old guy, and he’s, he’s tried everything.

His wife’s like, I, he’s like, I’m just gonna buy this to, you know, so my wife will, you know, be quiet. And, uh, um, and he ended up quitting. Um, like, it was like, he was smoking like three packs a day. I mean, he, you know, his doctors were like, you gotta quit, man. You know? And, um, you know, it worked for him and like that just, Uh, changed me because there’s, you know, 500,000 Americans every year die just in this country, not let imagine the world, you know, I mean, It really is a, um, an opportunity, um, you know, for public health, you know, to, to be able to, you know, finally get rid of tobacco.

And so that’s been kind of my, uh, my champion cause. Um, but unfortunately, you know, as I’m sure you are aware, you know, the isic industry has [00:08:00] really got a bad wrap. And, um, there’s a lot of regulations that have taken place, uh, hence why we. Diversified and continue to diversify, uh, with cannabis accessories even, you know, dabbling in the, in the grow, um, and some of our custom pipe, uh, services.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Hmm. So when you, when you got started as, as a new business person, uh, I think you said you first started with a retail store and then so, and then you got into e-commerce. Can you share a little bit about Sure. You know, what motivated you to. Uh, start your e-commerce business and, and how did that happen?

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Yeah, yeah. Um, well we, we were a retail business, um, for, for, uh, definitely a few years before we had a website. Um, you know, back then I, I’ve always been a believer in e-commerce. Um, I de I, it’s the future. Um, so I’ve always been very, very interested in it. I don’t have the technical background. I mean, I played around with some, some web, you know, some html, [00:09:00] um, I think in high school and a little bit in college.

But, um, you know, I just, I always believed in that that’s where everything’s gonna go. And if you’re, if we don’t. Adapt to that, we’re going to be left behind. Um, so I, that, that’s just always been really, really important. And, um, so we started, I think we started, uh, with, in, we were on WooCommerce originally, and then we made the leap to Magento.

And, um, that’s been a journey. Um, Magento’s tough, you know, we are not a big, we are not a large company. Um, so having to figure out Magento, uh, has. It, it’s been a lot, but it’s a very, very powerful, it’s a very powerful platform. Um, I wouldn’t be anywhere else. Uh, you know, and, and on top of that, having somebody, um, you know, that could seal our fate being on like Shopify, I just can’t, uh, you know, I it’s very risky, uh, right now with, with the [00:10:00] industry and, um, you know, so that’s, that’s, that’s why we’re on Magen.

I, I guess


Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: that’s probably the big challenge with like, uh, what is it called? The, uh, the hosted platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce, et cetera. Because I think they’re not very cannabis industry friendly. I think they allow you to use their payment processor and so forth. And, you know, I, I think that definitely a risk

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: that, that’s correct.

And there’s, um, it’s even cbd, um, we’ve. Our payroll’s been shut down by QuickBooks. Um, for, because we saw CBD products, and I mean, that was before it was even online. It was just in store. Um, you know, I’ve, I’ve been shut down from so many plat marketing platforms. Um, you know, it, it’s, it, you know, even like the pay the, you know, pay later services, it’s, I get told no a lot.

But, um, so that’s [00:11:00] okay. Um, you know, and these things, these things will take. And they will change.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So what is it about this, because I mean, you’re not, you’re selling most, most of your products are like accessories, right? You’re not, uh, I mean, you are selling like e-liquid and so forth. Like, what is it about, I mean, the, it is legal, right?

It’s, it’s not illegal. So what, what is, what is the, the big, um, challenge that, um, that mainstream businesses have with this industry?

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: I think it’s, You know, cannabis still is federally illegal. Um, And until that changes, I, you know, the banks are, it’s too risky for the banks and I understand that. Um, you know, you can’t risk all of your shareholders and all of your customers, you know, funds.

If the Fed at a whim decides to change, you know, decides to go after it, after, you know, and you know, you have administrations that change [00:12:00] and it’s, um, you know, I’m just, I’m kind of shocked that it hasn’t, it’s already. Nothing’s happened federally. Um, but it is, it’s inevitable. Um, so, um,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: but I think that’s inevitable that it’ll change in a positive way or like, uh, you know,

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: I think it’ll change in a positive way.

I do, I think once it’s federally, um, you know, there’s a federal standard, um, I think it will be better. Uh, cuz I mean, I’m stuck here. I’m, we’re stuck in. And, um, you know, this state is very, very, it, it’s hard to get cannabis license licenses. Um, or I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s tough. Um, you know, it’s, it’s not like a, you know, a mature market like, um, Nevada, uh, which has a great market.

Um, you know, the state just still has a long ways to go with its, with its, um, cannabis industries and their, and the programs that they have. Um, so.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay, so when you started, you said that, you know, you [00:13:00] initially had planned to start with a friend, but then he left to start his own thing, and then you were left with like, with the whole risk with yourself.

Can you share a little bit like what kind of investment went into this, starting this business? Like to me, it seems like most of these products are really, you’re really, um, uh, buying it from manufacturers or. And, and, and selling it. So you’re, you’re kind of like just a retailer rather than, so you’re not really creating any of these items yourself.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: We, we are. We are, um, the, the items that we create are, we had a vaporizer line for a while. Um, and we’ve kind of, um, we’re trying to kind of minimize, you know, we are, we’re doing too much, um, with a small team and, uh, you know, so we’ve had to really kind of decide what we wanna focus on and where our strong, what’s, what’s our strong suits.

Um, but we had a vaporizer line that was, that was pretty, [00:14:00] pretty good. We’ve also, we do our custom glass pipes. Um, we actually have a glass production facility. Um, and that’s, that’s, that’s, that’s great because we, you know, it gives us kind of a, we can do a lot of creative things there. Um, we also do, uh, uh, pro, we call ’em promo pipes, uh, for dispensaries where we etch logos into the.

Glass pipes. Um, and that’s been very, very successful. Um, so that means, so that we would do manufacturing, you know, if you’d consider that manufacturing. It is, I guess. So we do, uh, we do the glass pipes and, uh, we’ve done like things like hummingbird feeders too and some interesting medical, uh, devices that, uh, people couldn’t find replacements for.

So it’s, uh, it’s interesting. It’s, we.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So, so your business has evolved over time. So, you know, some of it is you create yourself, some of it is like you purchase it from other places, and you’re kinda a retailer for that, right?

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Most, most places, [00:15:00] uh, or I’m sorry, most products we, uh, purchase from other vendors or distributors, or glass artists as well.

Um, we work with, uh, well, you know, a lot of glass artists and, um, you know, that’s what, you know, I would say majority of the stuff comes from. Um, we do wholesale, we have our own, uh, glass line, and so we do some wholesaling and some wholesaling, some other products as well. Um, that’s one of the areas we’re, we’re wanting to grow.

Um, so it’s kind of on the plate right now. It’s gotta grow in our, our business to business. And, um, you know, even job shipping and things like that. Marketplace, uh, type, type.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So in terms of risk, when you had started this item, and I’m, I’m assuming you put some of your own money or investment into it, um, at what point did you know, uh, that this is going to be something successful?

Like when you started your retail store, there were people who started coming and purchasing items and, and you knew that this, yeah, this, this is a, uh, [00:16:00] this is a business that, that can run, uh, run, uh, profit.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Sure. Um, yeah, I mean, I, I, you know, that can change at any time. Um, so I, you know, I don’t feel that we are in the clear yet to have that.

Oh, we’ve made it, you know, I mean, it’s always. Uh, we, you know, my team here works really, really, really hard. Uh, they’re a great team. Um, it’s taken me a long time to build the team that we have today. Um, I’d be a lot farther if I had the team, this team back then. But, um, you know, there’s things that I needed to learn as well that I’m still learning.

Um, so, you know, it’s been a, we’re still on, still still on our way. We haven’t, we haven’t got there yet, but, um, that, I dunno if I answered your question about the initial investment. I don’t think I

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: did. Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s about the risk, right? So you took a risk as, as a, you know, starting a business and at what point, I mean, you’re saying that it’s, it’s always nothing is confirmed, which is true.

No, no. You know, no, no. [00:17:00] Business is always, you know, uh, at the top of the, the game. But, uh, at a certain point you knew that this was kind of like, um, you know, I, I want to stick with this business or this project.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Right. Yeah, we do. I, I love the industry. Um, my, my employees, they love the industry. I mean, we’re really, really passionate about what we do.

And, um, I mean, that’s everybody’s, everybody’s goal, right? Is to be passionate about what they do. And, um, so that’s, that’s why, that’s why we’re where we are.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Uh, in terms of your, like e-commerce business versus your. Um, is one a bigger driver of the business versus the other? Like with e-commerce helping you reach a bigger audience versus like, you know, your retail store, it’s more, can you share a little bit about, you know, which one is doing better and are you selling on like, other channels like Amazon, other places, I’m sure.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Uh, yeah, that, yeah, that’s a great question. Um, we are, we do more business in our retail. [00:18:00] Um, you know, we’ve really just started focusing on our e-commerce not that long ago. I mean, we have had the magenta. But, um, you know, we have recent, I mean, somewhat recently, like within the past, you know, year and a half really been like, okay, we’re doing, we’re gonna do this.

Um, you know, I’ve learned so much about SEO and ERP and, um, You know, it, it’s, I actually enjoy it. Hmm. I was scared of it for so long. So I mean, I guess if anybody’s listening and, you know, they’re a little intimidated by seo. Um, you know, there, there’s some really great ways, there’s so much information out there.

Um, some, and, uh, you know, it don’t be intimidated by it. It’s, it’s not rocket science. Um, it’s fun. I, I feel, but, um, you know, we haven’t. We’ve dabbled on Amazon a little bit, but again, we have to watch what products, you know, are, are we’re able to, uh, or what products we’re, we’re uploading there. [00:19:00] Um, you know, I think they’re okay with glass pipes now.

Um, or maybe, maybe it’s eBay, uh, off the shot. I’m not quite sure. But, um, yeah, you know, and that’s something that we do. We, we, um, do have the eye on that. We, we really want to get back to. You know, maybe putting some of the things that are okay that are within their terms. Um, you know, things like, we got rolling trays and, you know, some of the sub, some of the stuff that’s totally fine for Amazon.

Um, you know, it’s just kind of one of those things where, you know, our team’s doing so everybody’s doing like four or five jobs. Mm-hmm. So, you know, is there,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: is there, is there a good profit margin in this kind of product? Like some of this product? Is it easier to buy it? And, and I don’t know where, where you purchase it from, like, um, is it easier to buy it from like China or something?

Um, you know, because I would assume like, like little glass, uh, based items would be probably [00:20:00] much cheaper to, to buy in China and then sell here. Can you share a little bit about, you know, your business model and, you know Sure. Is it a good

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: business to. Sure. Um, I think it, I think it is, um, I, I think that as cannabis comes on, um, comes online in more states, uh, that’s just more, um, you know, there’s gonna be more, so many more people that are in need of, you know, our products and our services.

Um, so I think that, you know, we haven’t even seen it, you know, peak yet. And, um, I just think it’s gonna continue to grow. Um, you know, and I’ve, I’ve seen the traffic for the keywords. You know that some of the keywords we use, and I mean it’s, you know, there, there’s a lot, there’s a lot of opportunity, um, out there.

Um, but some of the products, uh, you know, we don’t do as much import as we used to. Um, a lot of times it, you can honestly get it, you know, we can work deals out in the states for, for that [00:21:00] and it’s just a lot less can get it faster. And, uh, we’re around the same. Um, and that’s, I have, uh, John in my purchasing department is, um, he’s just a guru with that.

So he, he’s, you know, he rocks it and, um, so he’s really, really good. Uh, with that, you know, we, there are still some, some glass items that we do like we just did. Um, uh, we have a cheaper option in our, uh, for our glass, uh, etching, uh, for our glass bats. And it’s, uh, like dollar bats and those actually kind of are from India.

And then, Yeah, we’ve, we’ve dealt with, we’ve bought some tubing from China before, but, um, we usually stick with the German, German tube.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Cool. Um, what have you learned about your customers? You know, who are the people who actually buy from you? And I’m assuming there’s, there’s probably a component, like, do these products require, uh, repurchase?

Like, you know, once you have a customer, are they [00:22:00] likely to buy. An item in a different category or so, is there an opportunity for like resale? Uh, recurring sales to the same customer in this industry. And what do you think about the, the, the people who use these kind of products? Like, what is the need that they’re trying to satisfy?

Is it, is it, you know, why, why would, I mean, I don’t smoke this, but why, why would a, a person want to use, uh, a vaporizer or, you know, is it more like to, is it kinda like, uh, scratching a niche? Like are they anxious or is it kind of like fashion?

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: No, what is it? Um, I, I, I would say like 95% of the time it is they’re looking for a, um, a healthier alternative to combustion.

Um, okay. That’s, that’s why people use vaporizers because you can get all the goodness that, or all the cannabinoids you want to get from the plant. Without ha taking in that, [00:23:00] that, you know, stall that yuck. Okay. It’s just, it’s just a lot healthier for you. Um, and that’s, and especially with the medical cannabis, pa cannabis patients, um, you know, they tend to be a little bit older.

Um, and, and, you know, their, their lungs aren’t as good as, you know, as they used to be. And, um, you know, combustion really, really affects them and. You know, that that’s really what I, what we, what we see the most. Um, and then jumping back to your first question, um, you know, we, we like the products where, you know, if you buy, uh, You know, a vaporizer, you know, there’s gonna be coils that you will have to replace, you know, uh, maybe once a month or once every five months.

Um, there are replaceable parts, so you do get some of that, uh, repeat business. It’s not as, not as much as like the eig e-liquid type, uh, products, but, um, you know, in the cannabis with the, like vaporizers, um, there are some replacement parts. Um, that, and you’re [00:24:00] always gonna have like different attachments too.

That people are in need of, um, you know, there’s a lot of accessories. It, it’s a, it’s a very accessorized industry for sure. Mm-hmm.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: And like in terms of competition, I’m sure there’s other e-commerce businesses, other businesses even locally that are selling because, I mean, I’m, I’m assuming this is not.

This is not, this is not a business that’s probably difficult to get into. Right? It’s, that’s not like a huge barrier to entry. Um, how do you, how, why, why would a customer come to your store versus like a competitor? Is it really that you have some, you know, customized designs that, that they like? Or is it more of a customer service or, you know, they like, you know, the way you, you do business.

So can you share a little bit about the competitive landscape and, and how do you maintain your. Your presence in the wider community of all the businesses are doing? Sure. This, [00:25:00] this kinda

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: business. Yeah. There are smoke shops everywhere. Um, you know what really stand? Why? Um, I guess what what we really pride ourselves on is customer service, customer experience.

Um, not only that, but having those unique product. When people are looking for them when they’re hot, um, you know, when they’re trending, um, you know, having that staff that is well trained, uh, that can answer legitimately answer questions and point people in the right direction, um, because you know that that’s, you know, that’s everything.

You know, making sure that you. When people, when customers come to you, you can, if you don’t have the answer, get it for them. Um, and just treating customers like family, you know, I mean, that’s, you know, the whole customer journey with us is very, very important. The in-store experience is very, very important.

And bringing that professional is just environment and an environment where people of [00:26:00] all ages, of all walks of life can feel, uh, Is, is really, really important. And I think we also have a drive-through, so Okay. Um, you can order online and pick up in the drive-through. Uh, whoa. And that was something we did during Covid and, um, you know, the covid lockdowns and uh, that just pit so.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, that’s, that’s, uh, I guess that’s very convenient. Like, you don’t even have to get, get outta

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: your car. Um, well, you think you have, you know, you have, you have families, you know, that can’t, they don’t wanna bring their kids in the store or, you know, they’re, you know, somebody’s in a, in a hurry ru, you know, rushing home from work or, you know, or somebody’s not feeling well, they don’t want to go in the store.

You know, it’s, it’s, it’s been really, uh, successful. So I’m glad that we,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: we. Awesome. Uh, now I know you mentioned a little bit around online marketing and, and, you know, um, bringing customer into your, uh, business. [00:27:00] Uh, can you share a little bit about, you know, uh, what kind of marketing you do specifically for your, like retail business versus e-commerce?

Uh, what’s working, what has, what has worked well for you in terms of customer acquisition and also keeping those customer.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Yeah. Um, word of mouth number one. Uh, you know, especially for a retail location, um, word of mouth is just, you know, every, I mean, it’s so important. Um, you know, making sure even if you get a bad review.

Cause you can’t, I mean, you can’t make, you know, some people are gonna get mad even though my employees did the right thing. And, um, you know, you can’t win everybody. But, um, you know, making sure that you respond to those reviews and making sure that. You know, you, they, that customer feels heard, um, whether they, you know, they want to talk or not.

Um, I always try to reach out to the customers and, and see if I can, you know, step in there to, you know, if they felt wronged or something like [00:28:00] that, which is very, very, very rare. But you know, it as anybody that owns a business knows that happens. Um, you know, I think one of the best, uh, marketing channels.

We have is organic, um, you know, organic SEO and so, and social media, and again, we can’t use the advertising, but organic social media posting, um, is, is really one of the biggest things between that and, um, seo. Um, That’s, that’s really, we do some Clavio stuff as well, and I really like Clavio’s platform.

They’ve been really, really great to work with. Um, I, I love Clavio. So, you know, we, we, uh, we do a lot with Clavio too, so you’re very

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: limited in terms of advertising, like online advertising. You’re not, you can’t really do it because a lot of the platforms don’t allow it. Right.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Yeah. There’s some ways to do, um, to do some, some advertising.

I’m just, I’m. [00:29:00] I think it’s kind of gray area, so I don’t wanna make, I don’t wanna make any of these platforms upset. I mean, this is just a waiting game. It’s gonna be, you know, but, um, I, I, I’m willing to do it with, with just SEO and, uh, the social and social media. Um, that, uh, I mean I, that’s really got us to this point.

We’ve done some local stuff too. Um, some local advertising as well. Uh, when there’s something that really fits, fits. You know, what, what we’re doing, uh, I’ll, I’ll do that as well. Okay.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, and I do see that you on your website, like in terms of payment processing, because I think that’s another area where, um, where businesses, you know, this, uh, in this industry, uh, you know, get, uh, cornered, I guess you’re using authorized net, so there’s no, so you were able to find like a.

Traditional or mainstream payment processor. Um, [00:30:00] so you haven’t experienced any issues.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: No, no, I, we have a great relationship with our, uh, merchant processor, and I get offers all the time, and sometimes it’s even better and I will not leave them because we have such a, they’ve really worked with me in such crucial times.

Um, but it’s taken me a long time. I mean, to get to that point, um, you know, and get, and get the rates that we have. Um, I, you know, I’ve really had to pay my dues with that. But, uh, yeah, yeah, they’ve been great. I don’t know if I. Give ’em a shot out or not,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: but, okay. Uh, now you, you, you did mention that, you know, you have a drive-through and you started that during Covid time.

Can you share a little bit, what was that like? Did, did you see a significant increase in business during Covid? Because everybody was, you know, at home and, you know, they didn’t really have much to do with them, you know, so they were using more of these kind of

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: items. Well, it was very interesting. Um, the state kept, the state’s [00:31:00] attorney kept calling us and telling us to, you know, they wanted, they were shutting all the businesses down and, but, you know, not the drive-throughs.

And we had the drive-through. We were at the same time, we just purchased the building that we, um, we purchased our building and we were renovating the entire building. So there was construction workers coming in and, um, you know, the, the state’s attorney kind of was sending me letters and he’s like, you know, you guys need to close your doors.

And I’m like, they’re closed. So, um, but I don’t think that, um, I, we, we were just able to stay afloat. Um, I wouldn’t, the business wasn’t better, but, um, I was very, very thankful that we were able to have business because scary time in a lot of businesses were not as lucky. And, you know, I, I feel for them, you know, it’s very, very sad times for a small.


Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: No, it’s great. I mean, you were able to pivot it and, and because if, if you hadn’t thought about the drive-through idea that you had to close down your right. So, yeah. Um, [00:32:00] um, in terms of your fulfillment and shipping, um, I know you have several offers on your website. You know, all orders over 25 with free shipping.

Uh, 30 day return policy, you’re using route, which is also, I think, uh, on the returns insurance kinda a thing. Can you share a little bit about, you know, are you doing all the fulfillment in house? Do you work with the third party logistics? Uh, how do you manage the shipping costs and so

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: forth? Sure. Um, well, we’re currently using ship station, uh, integrated with Magento.

Um, so when an order comes in, um, it are my, we will get a Slack notification, um, and that, and then through Slack, that order will get picked, taken to shipping. And then from there it gets shipped out, uh, via ship station. Um, I’m really big on prac, uh, Package presentation. Um, I think that’s one of the biggest overlooked things in retail and I mean congress.

Um, so I mean, as you would know, if you get a package that is just [00:33:00] accurately packed, you’re like, man, those people care. You know, and we do. And um, so I’m, I, I really push that with my employees and, um, they, you know, they do great.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, and, and, but, but everything is managed in.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: It, it is managed in-house?

Correct. Um, now we do do some drop shipping and those Okay. Those type of items are shipped from the vendor or the manufacturer.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. And in, in this industry, like do you see a lot of returns or, uh, or is this like a lower, lower return kind of a thing? Um,

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: I, yeah, I don’t see, we don’t see a lot of returns, but, um, it does happen from time to time.

And if it is a, you know, it’s, it’s kind of hard because if it’s a used product, You know, it’s just. It gets kind of tricky sometimes. Um, you know, but, but you know, if it’s a manufacturer defect, that’s a hundred percent always gonna be taken care of. Um, and, you know, we try to take care of everybody. If, you know, um, as you can see our on the return policy, [00:34:00] um, on our website, um, we, we try to work with everybody’s best we can.

Um, you know, we don’t wanna ever do anybody wrong or, um, we just want people to be happy with their purchases, mainly. I mean, that’s just, that’s important. We’ll do anything within reason to make sure that happens.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Cool. Uh, do you sell in Canada or is it in the us? Because Canada, I mean, everything is, cannabis is legalized, right?


Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: right. Yep. Uh, we’re currently just in the us um, but I would like to start expanding, uh, in the near future Canada and even South America. Honestly, I think that, that the markets down there have been. Getting a lot larger for especially just glass items and, and things like that. Um, so, so I think that that’s a, that’s an opportunity there as well.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. Uh, I know you mentioned a little bit about your team and you have like a really great group of people. Can you share a little bit about, you know, uh, what your team looks like right now? What kind of things you, ma you [00:35:00] manage versus, uh, your.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Sure, sure. Um, over the past couple years, we’ve actually shrunk down a little bit.

Um, we’re, you know, we’re trying to be more efficient. Um, and, uh, so our team currently, I wanna say we have eight or nine, employ, I think eight employees. Is that right? No, I’m sorry. Nine. We’re nine employees. We down from 15. Before. Um, but uh, we have an admin, uh, team, um, which consists of three people, which we also, uh, one of those people does, uh, do the book, keep bookkeeping.

Um, we actually have an accountant as well, um, who handles the complicated stuff. Um, we have our purchasing department, um, you know, we have our sales team upstairs and then our glass production.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Wow. So, so eight, eight or nine people are doing so many different things, production, sales. Okay.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Wow. Yeah. Yeah.

It’s, uh, it’s, it’s a lot. And especially you, I also have a dev, [00:36:00] uh, don’t wanna leave my developer out. I have a, I have a, I have a, um, uh, a backend server, uh, Developer and then I have a full-time, uh, full stack developer as well, so I don’t wanna look. Those are my

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: guys. Is that a local developer or is that like a remote outside of us

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: or something?

No, uh, well, my server guy is, uh, Sirri Lanka and then, um, um, and I’ve been with him, we’ve been working together for seven years, so. Okay. He’s an, he’s a great guy. Um, And then our, my, our full stack developer, um, was in Chicago. We’re in, we’re in Springfield, Illinois, and he’s was in Chicago. And uh, I think he just moved down to Kentucky, but still, well still on board.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay, so I mean, you, you’ve had your business, I think, I believe you said, since 2013 is almost like 10 years now, and you started it [00:37:00] with, uh, you know, with, with an idea, and now you are, uh, you know, uh, reasonably developed, uh, business. Um, had you ever thought that, you know, your business will run for this long and, you know, All the experiences that you’ve had so far, you know, looking back, what, what do you think about, you know, that you’ve spent growing this business, uh, in this industry?

Are you proud? Are you, you know, do you ever think that this was, do you always think this was a good idea or, you know, you thought maybe you should have done something else?

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Uh, yes, there’s many things that, um, I, I should have done differently. Um, you know, it’s, it’s constantly a learning experience. Um, I’m constantly learning.

I don’t, you know, I don’t claim to know. I don’t have, um, you know, I don’t have instructors or people I can bounce, you know, ideas off of. Not thinking of the term, but, uh, what is the, they’re mentors, um, really don’t have any mentors or anything like that. So if you know [00:38:00] anybody, I’m definitely in the market, but, uh, there’s, you know, there are some things that I would’ve done differently.

Um, you know, I think that sometimes we just need to simplify and just focus on what we’re good at. Uh, that’s one of the biggest big things I’ve learned. Um, you know, I’ve just, sometimes you, you try to expand and take on too much. And you drive yourself insane and then, you know, you’re spread thin and um, that takes away from the things that really are going well for you.

So that was definitely a lesson, um, that I have learned. Um, trying to think of, uh, there’s, um, there’s been a few,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: but Albert, are you proud? Like if you look at your entire journey for the last 10 years, Do you ha had you ever thought that you would be running this business 10 years down the road, like when you started, or was it like, I did not one, one day at a time.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: You know, it, it is one day at a time. Um, I never thought, you know, we would get [00:39:00] this, this far and, um, we still have a long ways to go. Um, there’s still so many ideas and things we want to do. Um, you know, I don’t come from the, the technology background, so having to learn a lot of this is, uh, it takes a lot of.

And it kind of slows me down. And I think sometimes I, uh, in the e-commerce world, you know, that’s a, that’s a disadvantage, uh, you know, is that I, I wish I would’ve went to school for coding. I really do. But, um, but you know, it’s never too late, never too late to learn. And, uh, that’s kind of what I’ve been doing in my spare time, which I don’t have much spare time, but I do.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: I mean, that’s an interesting point, like, um, you know, working in the business versus, versus working on the business because, you know, that’s, that’s kind of like the dilemma, right? An entrepreneur and sub spending 95% of their time working in the business, um, rather than working on the business. Uh, What are your thoughts on that?

Uh, do you, [00:40:00] do you carve out time where you’re thinking more around the strategy, you know, how to grow the business, uh, in the long term, or, you know, medium term versus, you know, some of the things that you mentioned, like learning, coding and things like that, because that, that can kind of gets you involved working, like working in the business rather than thinking more long.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Well, thanks. I think some of the biggest frustrations that I have is my, I, I just, I, I want to, I want to fix something in our system, and I don’t know how to do that, and that’s very, very, very frustrating for me. Um, so that’s, that’s something that I’ve been learning. Um, okay. It’s.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah, but, but, but, but there’s, but there’s like, I mean, I would, I would, uh, to, to answer that question, I would say, you know, I’m sure if you go on like a site like Upwork or something, you can find so many developers, you could probably solve your problem at a low, low, low cost.

So do, is it even worth, Trying to learn a skill that you’re [00:41:00] probably not going to be, uh, an expert at rather than

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: outsourcing it. Sure, sure. And, and that’s, and mainly, I mean, I, um, you know, that I have used Upwork before. Um, you know, it’s, it’s hit or miss sometimes though. Um, you know, so I, you have to give somebody that you don’t know access to some, you know?

Yeah. Some server access that, you know, I’ve had, I’ve had worked with great. Um, free. Uh, coders and I’ve worked with some that have not been so great. And, um, you know, it’s just, it’s, it’s really, really, it’s, it’s hard finding the right, the right ones, but when you find the right one, it, it, you’re right, it may makes it, uh, much better.


Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, well, Now I’m going to move on to our right rapid fire segment. And in this segment I’m going to ask you a few quick questions and you have to answer them maybe in a word or a sentence or so. So the first one I’ll ask you, I know you mentioned you read books, uh, a book recommendation for entrepreneurs

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: and [00:42:00] why?

Uh, the Magenta Manual, Adobe. Now, um, I’ve been, I, I started reading and I’m not finished with it yet. Um, the one thing by Gary Ke. Uh, it’s really, really interesting. Um, and I have a D H D so, uh, it, it kind of really hits with me, but, uh, you know, pretty much the gist of it so far is cutting out the noise.

Focus on the one thing that you are good at, um, it to achieve the greatest results. And I. Uh, it’s a really, really good book and I need to get back to finishing it, but, um, I, I do recommend it. It’s, uh, it’s a phenomenal book, so.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. Uh, an innovative product or idea in the current e-commerce retail or tech landscape that you’ve been excited about?

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Yeah. Uh, two things. Um, c headless CSS that I think is gonna be huge or sdk. Um, and I think, uh, AI like chat, G p t, uh, copy ai, just. Ai, ai, artificial [00:43:00] intelligence that will help us speed up product listings and cr and content, uh, is there’s a lot of potential for that with automations, uh, for our business processes.


Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: yeah, I mean, I just think it’s the future of e-commerce. It’s going to be like if, let’s say AI takes over Google, like you don’t even have to. Go to Google. Let’s say, you know, you have Alexa or your, you know, voice, uh, device, and you say, you know, I want to buy, you know, a vaporizer for certain kind. Get me this web browser.

You don’t even have to say, basically you say, get me the best vaporizer that has this features within this price range. And that’s, that’s all you have to do. And AI does the rest. It basically, you know, orders, it ships it for you and you just receive it. So, I mean, the future I think looks very different.

Like you don’t even have to do all this search engine optimization and things like this.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s amazing. [00:44:00] Um, you know, I, I’m, it’s an exciting time, uh, for sure. And, you know, being, uh, is, is incorporating chat, chat G B T now, um, supposedly there was a leak on that, but I was reading about it last night, so, um, yeah, it’s an exciting time.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. They’re doing some things like, I think they’re, including Microsoft is integrating charge into their teams. Um, so teams, products, so it’s, it’s, it’s, they’re doing a lot of things and I’m sure they’re going to integrate into the search product also. Um, a business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend or a productivity tip?

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Sure. Um, uh, number I, it would have to be notion. Um, I actually use tr I’ve been using more Trello lately. That’s a good one too, but I think notion. Well, does whatever you want to do, it’s the best. Um, okay. I, I’ve used Asana, uh, I’ve used quite a few of them. Uh, mems pretty good too. Uh, a little bit different, but, um, yeah, those [00:45:00] all, all of them are really, really great and I highly recommend, you know, if somebody doesn’t have to task management, find the, the one that works best for them.

And, um, you, you have to use it way too much.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Um, a startup or business in e-commerce, retail or tech that you think is currently doing great things?

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: So, um, notion, uh, so we’ve talked about a few of ’em. I think Notion is a, is great. Um, open AI is, you know, what they’re doing right now.

There was another one too, I’ve ran across, I think it’s called AEP ai. Um Okay. Which is very, very interesting. It’s ar, it’s AI that. Like it’s in your browser, I believe, and it’ll, uh, if you have tasks that you need to do on like other websites and it will like, log into those websites and do all that, do it, all that automation for you.

It’s pretty wild.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: It’s, uh, I, I’m looking forward to that time, but at the same time, [00:46:00] I mean, I don’t know then like, are we just going to go to the beach and just chill or,

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: I dunno. I, I enjoy it. So, I mean, I, I’ll probably still find, I’ll find some way to, maybe I can be, you know, just take the photographer, you know, taking pictures of the products and, um, yeah. We’ll find something to do. Cool.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Um, a peer entrepreneur or business person whom you look up to or someone who inspires you?

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Uh, I’d have to say, you know, Sam Walton built a, built a great empire. Um, so I have a lot of respect for how, you know, his business and, and, uh, his thinking. Um, and also Steve Jobs too, can’t leave Steve out. Um, just like the creativity, uh, you know, I mean, just great.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: And final question, best business advice you ever received or you would give to other entrepreneurs?

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Oh, man.[00:47:00]

Uh, I, I feel like everybody says this, you know, uh, don’t be afraid to fail. Um, that’s, that’s, you know, that’s definitely up there, um, up there. You know, you just can’t, you can’t be held back by because you’re gonna fail. Everybody’s gonna fail. And you, that’s, those are those, that’s how you learn. Um, you know, that’s, that.

I would say that. And, um, don’t hire your friends.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Okay. That’s, that’s interesting. Okay. Do, do hire What about.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Uh, I mean, you may, if you don’t wanna talk to that family member, if you have to fire ’em, you know, for, uh, it gets really, really tricky. Um, you know, when you, when you do, if that, you know, has to happen, you know?

Cause sometimes you, it’s not, sometimes it just doesn’t work out and you love the person and Yeah. You know, it, it, you know, it kills you on the inside, but you know, it’s what’s best for the business. And at the end of the day, I mean, we’re here to. You know, we’re here for business and, uh, [00:48:00] you know, it just, it gets, it gets tough.

So that was one I learned, learned, uh, pretty early.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: So, so, so it’s probably like, it probably impacts the friendship also, right? Like it kind of puts a.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: I, every friend that I’ve hired, I we, that we was pretty good friend. They do, I do not talk to them anymore. Yeah. They don’t talk to me anymore anyway, so I try to be a good, you know, I try to be a really, really nice boss.


Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Yeah. No, it’s, uh, I mean, when money gets in in friendship, I think it definitely affects it.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Yeah. It, it embodies it quite a bit. So, um, that’s definitely, uh, you know, that and I, I guess, you know, don’t take on too much, um, you know, Kind of like the one thing, just really, really focus at what you’re good at and, um, yeah, that’s, that.

It’s always gonna be better

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: that way. Okay. Awesome. Well, Matthew, really, really appreciated your time today. Thank you so much for joining me today. Um, and for [00:49:00] anyone watching the, uh, podcast wants to, um, go check out your website or buy your products, how, what is the best way they can do.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: Uh, sure. It’s upper limits i nnc.com and, um, yeah, yeah.

Or they can reach out to me. Um, you know, if it’s somebody that’s in the area, I mean, stop on by, uh, you know, if you’re ever coming across Springfield in Illinois, you know, stop on by and I’ll give you a tour.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks: Awesome. Well, thank you. Uh, thank you again, Matthew. Really appreciate your time today and, and sharing your, uh, business story.

So yeah, thank you again for, uh, joining me today at Trip.

Matthieu Fortin of Upper Limits: It was a pleasure. I really appreci. Thank you.

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