Building A CBD (Hemp) Personal and Pet Products Business – Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors

INTERVIEW VIDEO (Length – 50:55)

PODCAST AUDIO

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Intro

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors shares how she discovered the health benefits of CBD and decided to start a CBD business after getting out of her military work as a helicopter mechanic

People & Resources Mentioned in the Episode

Book: (All work) of Brene Brown

What You’ll Learn

Interview with Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors

00:00Introduction
01:03What is CBD
03:24What problem is the business solving
04:53Medical research behind CBD
06:35Manufacturing
09:33Testing the market
10:53Educating customers
12:21Initial Investment
14:51Target Market
16:18Selling Cannabis
17:42Competition
19:19Seasonality
20:18Sales Channels
20:49New Customer Acquisition
22:30Market
23:11Social Media
23:44Warehousing & Fulfillment
26:09Transition out of military
28:31Team
30:44Future Vision
31:51Mentors and Advisors
33:04Mistakes made, Lessons Learned
35:05Effect of Pandemic
36:14Rapid Fire Round

Rapid Fire

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

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors

  1. One book that you would recommend to entrepreneurs/business professionals in 2021 and why? (Response: Any book by Brene Brown)
  2. An innovative product or idea and the current eCommerce, retail, or tech landscape that you feel excited about (Response: WooCommerce)
  3. A business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend (Response: Square)
  4. A startup or business in E-commerce retail or tech that you think is currently doing great things (Response: Healing Rose)
  5. A peer entrepreneur or business person whom you look up to or someone who inspires you (Response: Cynthia from CIA)
  6. Best business advice you ever received (Response: Make sure that you do your homework first, make sure that you come up with a business plan)

Interview Transcript

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Hey there entrepreneurs My name is Chantel Welcome to Trep talks. This is the show where I interview successful ecommerce 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 use to start and grow their businesses. And today, I’m really excited to welcome Stacy mold to the show. Stacy is the founder of healing harbors. Healing harbor specializes in selling personal care and pet products made with CBD, from hemp. And today I’m going to ask Stacy a few questions about her entrepreneurial journey, and some of the strategies and tactics that she has used to start and grow her business. So thank you so much for joining me today. Trep talks.

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Thanks for having me.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So anyone who doesn’t know what CBD is, can you explain what that is? And how did you come to use that into your products?

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Yeah, so what’s really cool about CBD is it’s from cannabis, the cannabis plant. And so it’s the non intoxicating element. That’s one of the most prevalent compounds found in the hemp plant. So a lot of people are finding different uses for it. And so how I sort of stumbled on it was I was doing home health care after getting out of the military for six years, I was a helicopter mechanic out of Kodiak, Alaska, and got out and I just really enjoyed taking care of people. So I had leading geriatric consultant I was taking care of who’d had a stroke. And so she was paralyzed on the right hand side. And so I noticed she was using a cannabis cream and it was able to loosen up her her hand and all the way up to her shoulder, and then her leg all the way down to her feet. And so I was really interested into like, why this was helping her. So I started taking classes through medical marijuana caregivers of me. And I learned as much as I could about the endocannabinoid system, and cannabinoids and why this might be working and I started doing my own formulations of things. And I ended up stumbling onto a product that was made her able to open up her hand and find a release relief and I could do range of motion exercises with her. And then a year into using the cream, all of a sudden, she picked up her arm and moved it after neurologists told her you’re as good as you’re gonna get, you’re not gonna get any better, you just you’re gonna have to accept this. So because of this, she was able to be more independent. And so she said, You know what, Stacy, you really need to start up a company, you need to let people know in the community that this is an option for you. And so that’s how I started healing harbors to just educate and that’s the biggest thing that we were really trying to do is to educate them and let them know that they’re taking a safe product. And I wouldn’t give this you know, I’d give this to loved ones and so I want them to really trust what what they’re putting into their body or on their body. And so we really tried to encompass, you know, a high end quality with also the education that needs to come along with a lot of this because I know how confusing it can be for so many people

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

and your product line so you’re selling products for personal for people for their portfolios, and also perfect Can you describe your product line a little bit and what what problems it is solving?

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Yeah, so one of our number one sellers is our body butter and that’s the one that really you know, the for those those arthritic cans and joints for you know, for many, you know, they seem to really find relief for that, you know, from all the testimonials that we’ve gotten back and they were they really liked that one. We also had tinctures that people take to and and for pets as well. So those you know anxiety, you know, pets or arthritic pets, older pets, you know, they’re able to find relief that way. And then we also do like massage oil, we’ve got Bab soaks, you know a whole array of different stuff. And capsules too, because not everyone likes the flavor of it. So and we have things that are also THC free as well. So you know, because some people are really really sensitive to the THC or they’re not comfortable taking any form of amount of THC. So, you know, that gives them an option. And then you know, we’re constantly trying to innovate and coming up with new products that we’ll be able to help people in our community as well.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So CBD is this? I mean, from what I’ve read limited knowledge about CBD, and I think I can it came to my consciousness maybe about like two or three years ago, I started hearing about more and more about you know, CBD and I came across like different websites, you know, that had CBD products. Is this really something that is like medically approved there some medical research that supports all the medical benefits of this?

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence of how much it’s helped. And they’re constantly doing research. I mean, Israel’s On a lot of research to and there’s so many cannabinoids that they’re identifying and flavonoids and in everything, and you know how it all works together, it’s like a symphony, when you have all these flavonoids and cannabinoids all together, and so you’re gonna see more of like, you know, the CBG, the CBC, the CBN, all those different things that are going to come out to with these brands that, you know, a lot of times they say, the CB and helps with sleep, you know, but each person is different. And that’s one thing that we really try to educate people about was, like, how it may affect one person might affect someone differently. So it just depends. And some people have a really high tolerance, and other people have a really low tolerance. So that’s why we suggest just starting out low and slow, working your way up and journaling through it in writing little notes of like, Hey, this is, you know, this helped me sleep, I went to sleep in no time, you know, what, I took this amount, or, you know, I was having a lot of anxiety, and I took this moment, I just, I felt better. And so just being able to, like, you know, just be self aware, and, and some people will take it, you know, they’ll take a tincture or something, and they’ll use it for the month. And then like, Oh, it didn’t really work. And then after that months up, and they haven’t had it for a few days, they actually feel a big difference. They might be more sore, more anxious, or, you know, more aggravated, you know, it just it’s so different, how it affects every, every person.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So it seems like you are manufacturing your own product, can you share a little bit about that, like you have your own manufacturing facility, and, you know, what kind of work goes into creating these products?

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Yeah, so we’ve got some stuff that we don’t don’t do in house. And those are just the capsules, just because, you know, they’re we’ve got such a great company that we work with, that does such a great job, but everything else is made in house, the body butter, you know, I was able to take it to a manufacturer and I was like, Okay, this is, you know, what I’ve got, I want to finesse it a little bit more. And so, you know, we worked with a co packer and he, you know, he worked hard with it. And that was you know, an a, you know, a lot of expensive lessons, you know, learning through that. But yeah, we do have our own facility, we have MOFGA certified hemp, so we’ve we’ve done to hemp grows two years in a row. And it’s really been educational, just see like how the plants grow, and the different terpenes that they give off, and the different smells and how the plants grow differently. It was really nice and see, like ladybugs on them. And, you know, it was just, it was really nice and therapeutic and seeing all the work that goes into it. And we were blessed with a whole bunch of like volunteers that just wanted to come help us to support us, other business owners, you know, just friends of friends and, you know, family. So, you know, so it was a learning curve, the first couple of years, just trying to, you know, figure out what to do, and like finding insurance and making sure that we have a payment processor, you know, making sure that our website wouldn’t get shut down. You know, there was a lot of ins and outs, you know, there’s no advertising on Facebook, or Instagram unless you have a lot of money. So being a small business is really difficult for us to be able to do things like that. But you know, yeah, we’re a small company, but you know, we’re strong, you know, work for women strong. And, you know, everyone has an integral part of the company, and I’m so blessed of like, where it’s come today to like really, you know, be able to do almost everything in house. And it’s a good feeling to know that like, you know, the company is employing and they’re also giving back to the community.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

And how long proven when Which year did you start? Did you start during the pandemic, or before

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

I started in 2016. And, and, you know, I started healing harbors and, and then started like perfecting the formulations and everything like that launched in 2017. And, you know, where I felt confident in the products, you know, that we had, and then we gradually added on and taken some away because some you know, may not sell well or, you know, or there’s too much education to it that’s needed. So

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So initially when you started because you’re doing your own manufacturing, I guess you didn’t have to worry about you know, buying too much, you know, too many, you know, back back suffered or you know, however you you sell them were you able to control the inventory and basically test the market. So you put your product out there on your website and see, you know, what kind of demand we are getting, and then focus on the products that are selling and not on the ones that are not filming because that was the approach that you took.

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Yeah, yeah, that’s pretty much how we did it in a you know, we started off like word of mouth and you know, people would buy then we got the website launched. And then we found the SEO was really important for us to have because there are we had a company but they they stopped working on our website, I guess and so we noticed a huge dip at the most crucial time. And so so it took us about six months to recover from that to get sales back up. Oh Um, so then we pivoted and did a whole bunch of more wholesale companies. So, and we’re really particular about the kind of companies that we partner with, we want to make sure that whoever we partner with has the time to educate their employees to educate their patrons that come in, or their patients or, you know, whoever it might be, that’s coming in to buy because, you know, it can be overwhelming and choosing, you know, what’s right for them, or their family or their pets can be a little overwhelming. So we want to make sure that they have that, that nice touch of, you know, being able to explain it to them.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So it seems like, you know, there’s a good amount of education that goes into, I mean, you want your customer to be educated, so you know, they can make the right choice. And what can what was the use besides just using your website? Or the text? Are you creating, like educational videos? How else are you educating,

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

we do pop up events for different stores, to really make sure that their patrons know and their employees know, you know, I’ll pop into just to see, like, hey, so tell me about this product line, and, you know, just see if they, if they know their stuff, and I’m usually always pleasantly surprised, which means that we’re doing our job, you know, in doing that, but also, like, having collateral has been key to doing a lot of this stuff, because people can take the stuff home, and then they can read it, and they can be like, well, you know, this might be an option for me. So I think that that’s where it’s really helpful, you know, for people because, you know, they can just grab something and go, or they we get a lot of phone calls or emails, you know, to us just just asking us basic questions, or, you know, hey, if I’m taking a blood thinner chi take this great question. You know, a lot of people don’t realize that when they’re, you know, they need to have their INR, you know, checked. And if they’re taking, you know, a strong CBD tincture, there’s a full spectrum, it’s kind of like a leafy green. So, you know, they need to start out slowly and make sure that they have their doctor knows so that they can have their INR checked throughout to make sure that it’s not going to throw up their blood thinner levels.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Initially, when you launched, were you like, were you working somewhere? Or did you go completely 100%? And what kind of investment did you need? Need to get the business off the ground? And did it come from yourself? Or did you get a loan or something like

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

that? Yeah, so that was the hard problem is I didn’t like I was doing home health care. And I realized, Oh, I can’t get a loan because I’m in the CBD hemp industry. So what am I going to do? So I had some friends, they loaned me the money to start out healing harbors with my business partner, Ashley. And, you know, it’s just been, you know, a lot of a lot of learning curves, a lot of investments for packaging, and labels, and SEO and website. And, you know, all these things pop up, and you’re like, oh, my gosh, so after the first year, so after we got going, I ended up quitting my job. And I was able to focus because manufacturing was so demanding, because I was making a whole bunch of different kinds of soap and body butter and tinctures. And it was just, it was a lot. So I was glad that I had the opportunity to be able to quit and just focus solely on healing hours.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So it seems like in the market, the CBD industry or the hemp related products industry is looked down upon. So you’re nobody working in this industry is able to get loans from like a traditional bank.

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Right? Yeah, yeah, no, we’re really outcast. As far as you know, everyone’s concerned. And I know, we’ve got the Farm Bill 2018. And then the ham, you know, you know, it’s been approved as legal. But we even had a bank account, and they said, Are you selling outside of the state? We’re like, Yeah, you know, we are and they’re like, Okay, well, our lawyer says that we need to shut you down. And so we’re like, okay, you know, so it’s just like, we’re constantly running into these roadblocks. It’s really frustrating for us, but her were resilient. And if it weren’t for the people that support healing harbors, you know, we wouldn’t be where we’re at today. And we’re so thankful for them to really like, you know, push us through some of these roadblocks that we keep running into So, but we’re getting there and I’m hopeful that it’s getting better.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

In terms of your target market, can you share like, you know, who who’s your main target market and if there’s any unique characteristics to this category, or market

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

so we found that our the majority of our market is women, usually their mid 40s and up, just pick Is there they tend to be like the caretaker of the family, they care about their spouse, they care about the kids, they care about the family pet. So that’s kind of like who we, you know, gravitate toward, usually so. And I think it’s been helpful knowing that knowing who and how to approach and you know how to talk to people, and, and then, you know, they’re also the ones that will grab the literature and take it home and read it later to a lot of times, so. But, you know, we try not to discriminate, and that’s why our slogan is care for everybody. Well, you know, whether you age, shape, form, whatever, whatever you’re taking it for, like no judgment, you know, we’re just here to help and hope that the product can help.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

No, this question is more out of curiosity than anything. So CBD is from hemp product. And now cannabis is becoming more and more accepted, I guess. I mean, in Canada, for sure. I’m from Canada, but also a lot of states in the US. Do you ever think about including more of a cannabis kind of product line into your business more, you know, kind of just based products, and so forth, also as a display under the second category?

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

You know, I, there’s such great benefits. And I feel like there would be even more education if we, if we branched over right now into the THC level, I feel like, you know, maybe once it becomes federally legal, we’ll be open to it. But right now, I feel like it would be too much of a hassle. However, I’m a huge proponent. And if if a product we’re making may not be quite the right fit for them, or not strong enough what they need, I have no problem saying, hey, you know, what, there’s a local caregiver or dispensary here, you know, I would reach out to them and I would talk to them about different options, because, you know, depending on what kind of cancers they have, and that sort of thing, you know, they might need something custom made like suppositories depending on what the cancer is where it’s at. So I really tried to, you know, not not make it just about healing harvest, but make them feel important and like that, that they have different options to if they’re still in excruciating pain, and our products aren’t covering that, because I think sometimes THC can definitely help more than just the CBD.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

In terms of competition, I’m assuming you do have a good amount of competition in the market, both online and retail kind of space. The way you differentiate your product offering is really just the formulations that you’ll come up with.

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Yeah, yeah. And, you know, it’s the CBD is also like, like a strain, like you’re, you know, you’re using a certain strain for, for, you know, to smoke or, you know, whatever. And we have ours, you know, for hemp as well, so that at least, you know, they’re getting consistency, you know, with our products. So it’s not like different kinds, because you got different terpenes, and flavonoids and all those different, you know, different strains. So it’s important that they get that consistency. So, you know, for the next few years, hopefully, you know, while we have that same stream, you know, we’re hopeful to keep delivering, but yeah.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So you are buying these hemp plants, you’re not growing now, I believe you said you’re growing them also. So what do you buy, like you buy the seeds? How do

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

you Yeah, yep, yep, we bought the seeds. And then we started them out, and then we sexted them out so that we got just females. And so and then we planted them and did it that way. Okay,

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

so you must be quite an expert on growing products and cultivating different strains and so forth.

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Yeah, no, I have learned a lot. But you know what, I’m no master. I’m continually learning. I will never be an expert in the industry. I’m constantly learning, which is a good thing. I find it interesting.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Because there is a seasonality to your products or business. Like if it doesn’t sell well on over the winter, or it doesn’t matter.

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

You know, I think I think it depends. Sometimes it’s hard around the holidays because people are saving up for Christmas gifts. But then there’s also people buying it saying oh my significant others families coming I need to medicate them while they’re here and just chill out. So it just it just kind of depends. I know for like, end of the summer I know sometimes like you know people like do their own outdoor grow here in Maine. You know, they may not need as much hemp products because they’ve got their own, you know, higher you know, higher THC stuff. So, it just depends but you know, our slow months are you that usually like January February March.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

What are all the sales channel that you’re calling from right now?

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

So we’ve got our E commerce right now. And then we’ve got wholesale. So that’s that’s where we’re doing right now.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

And I’m assuming ecommerce is your best sales channel? It is. Yeah. In terms of marketing, I know you mentioned a few things before your SEO and paid, can you share a little bit more about you know, what? What works really best for you? I mean, period is kind of a bit challenging these days with, you know, with some changes on iOS and so forth. Yeah, sure. Like, how do you like acquire new customers?

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Yeah, so definitely the SEO is what helps us I know, that we need we can do better with like YouTube, and you know, just do educational videos that will help us as well. You know, but we’ve got a little storefront too, and some people stopped by, you know, but that’s far and few between, we’re really pop ups are really what helps us. And we’ll do like the lobster boat races, we’ll do a donation there. So it’ll be on a sweatshirt and people are killing Harper’s website, and then, you know, gives you an opportunity to educate, but we’ve tried radio, and that didn’t really work, we tried print that didn’t really work. So it’s really hard. And now that there’s like such competition where you can really find CBD and gas stations, you can find them all over the place. So, you know, it’d be like, well, I bought it at a gas station, and it didn’t work, you know, that stuff’s useless. So it’s, it makes it hard, because then it’s like, okay, all right, you know. So, you know, one thing that we found was we put, we put a little QR codes on the bottom of all our products, so that people can just take a photo of it, and it will pull up the test results of that batch so that they know exactly what they’re getting in or on their body. Because we want them to know exactly what they’re getting so that they know what to expect. And they know that they’re getting what they paid for. And getting that consistency is important. And I’m hoping that, you know, other companies follow suit, too. And I know it’s expensive to get everything tested. But it’s so worth it when when you’re you know, a trusted brand. And, you know, people know exactly what, you know what they’re taking

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

your biggest market within Maine? Or are you feeling like, Hold United States, or you do sell a camera. And

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

I know, we haven’t started any international sales or anything like that, just because we don’t have a compliance team. So we don’t really know the rules and regulations as far as like international sales. So we’re trying to focus on really saturating the state of Maine, in our in our community, and then we’re branching out like we’re in Florida, and Oregon and California. So we’re, you know, we’re around here and there. But you know, we’d really like to get more, get bigger and get, like bigger, maybe distribution for a spread and bigger branches.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Do you are you big on social media? Is that a big channel to drive? Sales? For No,

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

it is sometimes we actually found emails were the best, you know, sending out email blasts, with you know, promo codes, or educating them on a new launch of our product and stuff like that. And then people reach out to us and ask us questions, which I love, where they’re like, hey, you know, what is this? What is it supposed to help with? Or, you know, it just like drives up? You know, great questions. So I really enjoy that.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

What is your warehouse warehousing, fulfillment, shipping kind of strategy? Are you doing everything on your own or using third parties?

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

We’re doing everything on our own. We’ve got a great team, you know, we use recycled, you know, things to be able to do all of our shipments. So, you know, and we tried to get it like, if we get the order in, within, you know, we tried to get it out within 24 to 48 hours after getting it getting it placed.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

And do you ship? Like the your customer want a quick shipping? Or they’re okay to wait like, you know, five to seven days? Are you using like, which carrier are you using to share using

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

the USPS? And, you know, everyone, I mean, usually gets it within a couple days. So they’re really happy with it. You know, it, you know, obviously takes a little bit longer, you know, you know, further in the country, but, you know, everyone’s been pretty happy. And I think that that’s one thing that we strive to do. Our team is really trying to have, you know, past shipping to make sure that they get their products right away.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

And do you charge your customers for shipping or have you built a way to, you know, yeah, they’ve taken that.

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

We were doing $100 But because the cost of everything has gone up and shipping costs have gone up. We’ve now I think up to $200. But sometimes we’ll do like a promo code and offer free shipping so that those folks can go ahead and reach out to us, you know, when they want that. But yeah, so it’s it’s definitely like a, it costs us a lot of money just to ship a lot, a lot of stuff out and it hits, you know, our bottom line, but, you know, and then with the war and everything now in Ukraine, our cost of goods have gone up. 25%. And so, yeah, yeah, 25%. And so we, we haven’t upped our prices, we’re trying to, like really be able to keep it so that it doesn’t cost the consumer, because at the end of the day, they they need our products.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

I think you you mentioned that, initially, or before starting the business, you were in the military, and you were doing helicopter technician role. So I’m just curious, how did you I mean, you don’t miss being a helicopter technician? Like, couldn’t you have very, like in a private industry doing that kind of thing? I’m assuming that would, that would be a good thing. well paying job.

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Yeah, I definitely could have I had a couple job offers. But I think I was just burned out from it, just, you know, constantly working and, and, you know, and I loved I loved what I did, but I was scared of heights. And, but I overcame them as best I could. But I met some great people, I work with some great people. And I’m still friends with you know, many of them, I just, I needed a change of scenery after after that and, and I miss it, you know, I do I miss, you know, having the best office in the world. You know, being able to fly all over throughout Alaska and seeing the bears and the whales and the, you know, the sheep and just everything, it just no photos could ever do justice when I was up there, and it just like, it took my breath away every single time I flew. So, but it’s nice to be able to have my feet on the ground every night. And you know, but it’s it was a great, it was a great experience in it. I think it got me to where I am today. And I think it made me think about, like, I still want to give back. But I want to give back in a different way. And so that’s why I’m doing this. And I know being up in Alaska, a lot of people suffer from seasonal affective disorder just because it’s dark, so much of the time, and I know it really affected me. And I wish that I had been able to take CBD when I was in the military. Because I think it would have helped me a lot. And I think it would help a lot of other people. And I just wish that there wasn’t such a negative stigma, especially in the military, when it comes to CBD products. I wish that you know, like they won’t even let you use hemp shampoo. And so, you know, just just that control. It’s just, it’s sad. And, you know, with all the people with skinny shoes, you know, they could benefit from it or you know, aches and pains and, you know, rough area landings and you get sore joints. So it would be nice to have had my product up there, I think that it would have definitely helped me. So this is just a way that I can still give back, even though I’m not doing the same thing.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

No, I know you mentioned you have four team members. I’m assuming you have one co founder also. And can you share a little bit about your team and what responsibilities everyone has, including yourself?

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Yeah, so Ashley loves is my business partner. And she’s amazing. She’s really the one behind our brand design. She does all of our labeling, and so much stuff, like I can’t even list it all. She’s just a great, a great partner to have in. She’s really passionate about the product line too. And, you know, she she knows how much it’s helped her and friends and family. So she’s she’s just great with everything that she’s done and doing and, you know, I’d be lost without her. And then we’ve got Jess, and so Jess as her manager. And so she’s been like doing all the heavy lifting, doing a lot of the social media doing, you know, the bookkeeping, just, you know, coming up with formulations and just doing a lot of the day to day grind stops she’s, she’s she’s a, you know, a force to be reckoned with. She’s, she’s amazing. And then we’ve got another woman, Kristen, and she’s just just as backbone, and she does so much and like she does all of our blueberry jellies and mango jellies and dog treats that that people just love. So she you know, and she does all the shipments and so she’s just wonderful too. And so it’s just the four of us and, you know, we all kind of like help each other out. And so

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

and you take more of a fear from the company marketing kind of group. Yeah, so

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

I’m yeah, like, I’ll get back to, you know, different stores, or I’ll pop in and check in on them and see how they’re doing. But I, you know, and I’ll help with, you know, body butter making days and you know, things like that, you know, wherever I can just the fill in person, and just, you know, kind of the, the voice of the companies, you know, and being able to educate and just, you know, do whatever I can to help.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Okay. What What have your future vision look like for this business? Where do you see this business? You know, growing? Do you see yourself working in good luck for the next decade? Or, you know, this is kind of like your life’s work? How do you see the future?

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Um, you know, I hate to say it, but I think a lot of it will depend on the laws, the rulemaking that comes down from the USDA, and, you know, everything like that, you know, I yeah, I mean, I’m passionate about, uh, I, I definitely have some ideas, you know, things that we can do. And I knew, it’ll be interesting to see, like, you know, how it evolves. But, you know, I would love to have us be in a space where we can, you know, have our own him that we grow and extract, and it’s all in housed in one place, and, you know, we’re able to grow different herbs and, you know, do our own essential oil extracts and, you know, that sort of stuff. And, you know, is it a little high hope? I don’t know, I don’t know, we’ll have to see, but it’s definitely something that I think I’m passionate about the team’s passionate about. And I think the women all bring great ideas. And so, you know, we’re all ready for, for growth.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Do you have any business mentors or advisors who advise you on growing the business or you know, how to overcome challenges and those kind of things.

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

So we did a Top Gun program here in Maine, so it’s kind of like Shark Tank. And so we met some great mentors. Then we had one, Cynthia, and she’s now with this company called CEI. But she really was like, You guys need to know the money, you need to know what it’s costing you for manufacturing, you needed to know cost of goods, bah, bah, bah, Oh, yeah. And your time is valuable. So you need to incorporate that in there and things that like we hadn’t really thought about. And so you know, and like contingency money, funds, and, you know, just things like that, that we didn’t think about, and she had run like, multi million dollar companies. So I think, I think she was one of the most influential people as far as like, you know, for us understanding, like what we needed to do. And, I mean, she gave it to us, Robin, she told us, like, we need to get our butts in gear. And, and, you know, sometimes it’s hard to hear that constructive criticism, but I think it only helped us in the long run.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Now, in every entrepreneurs journey, there’s always some mistakes made challenges, you know, lessons learned, can you share, maybe one or two of your biggest mistakes when you look back, you know, throughout your business journey? And what did you learn from it? What can other entrepreneurs learn from it?

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

I think one of the biggest things that and I know Ashley can really relate to this, that we learned is that anything can happen in the drop of a hat. So we had our CO packer, who knew who I worked with the with the formulation, so he had had it down. But he hadn’t taught me how to make it or anything. So he had done a random one batch. And so we had little one ounce jars, but we needed our three ounce jars to be made. And in between that he had passed away. So I had to learn how to make body butter one time. And it wasn’t exactly right. Of like I had to tweak it a little bit. But I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know, the formulation or anything. I just knew the key ingredients that needed to be in it. And it was a lot, uh, you know, some tears were shed, it was just, it was a really tough time and, and the family members just, you know, sold us all the equipment that we would need to take it in house. And so it was hard, and it was heart wrenching the fact that we had to go through that, but even more heart wrenching that his family had to go through that. So it was you know, we didn’t want to push it but luckily he had an assistant. And so his assistant worked with us one day and just showed us how to do it in you know, and it was It was eye opening and it would just made me really appreciative of him for like at least helping me and like showing me what I needed to do and then we were able to adjust and move on but yeah, I think it was just always have a backup plan because you never know. You know, and I think it was I was intimidated taking it in house and doing it in house. But because of the situation it gave us the strength and the you know the backbone to be able to be like yeah, we got this we can do this You know, we’ll get through this. But yeah, it was it was hard. It was a really difficult time.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Did you know when the pandemic hit and everything closed down? Did that actually help your business? And did it hurt your business and now that you’re that we are coming out of it? What has been the effect on your business?

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Yeah, so it definitely affected us because we were in a lot of touristy places. And so with all the stores shut down, that was our bread and butter for the summertime. So that’s where a lot of our products would sell whether the cruise ships came up through Maine, or wherever. So it, it definitely impacted us in a negative way. It was stressful, there was a lot of anxiety. You know, we didn’t know whether we were going to stay in business or not, you know, because of it. But, you know, like our patrons are, were there for us. And they really helped us out. And some of them, and we had a lot of quite a few new customers to have like towards the end of it, because they’re like, I need this, I need this to help cope during this really tough time. And so we were like, so blessed that we’re still standing because a lot of companies aren’t.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So now I’m going to move on to our rapid fire segment. And in this segment, I’m going to ask you a few quick questions and you answer them maybe one or two words or a sentence or So short answer. So the first question is one book recommendations for entrepreneurs or business people in 2022. And why?

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

I think any book by Brene Brown, because I think she teaches you how to communicate. And I think out of everything that I’ve learned that’s the biggest thing is being able to communicate and making sure that your employees feel heard, and making sure that you feel heard as well to them and that you’re articulating how you feel to them. And then vice

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

versa. And innovative product or idea in the current ecommerce retail or tech landscape that you feel excited about.

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Man It’s hard with CBD. I mean, I’ve got so many different ideas that I think would be kind of cool, but

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

anything that is there anything that helps you in running your business, like even from a digital business perspective, any app or any software.

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Yeah, we need an inventory management that works with WooCommerce in every app, so that like it will take it because there’s not very many apps that work with WooCommerce and square and all these different things. So they need to come up with an app that’s affordable for small business, that doesn’t cost you 1000s of dollars.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

So you’re using WordPress for your ecommerce website. Yep. Yep. Why did you not go with Shopify? Or do you plan to go with Shopify?

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Yeah, we did. We did have Shopify, but they, for some reason, we had to switch over to WooCommerce and I think it was square. I think that’s why wherever our payment processing, we had to pivot off from there because we could be shut down any day from Shopify because we were a CBD company

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

that could enter interesting a business or productivity tool or software that you would recommend or a productivity

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

tool. Um, let’s see. I really liked square as far as payment processing because they did like a trial period. And so like I really appreciate them like standing up and you know, for the CBD industry, and like really taking starting up a beta program for companies I’m very appreciative because if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t probably not be in business right now.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

A startup or business in E commerce retail or that you think is currently doing

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

a start up? Um, okay, I I like healing rose I think that she’s doing good as far as like a CBD stuff. She’s got a great line of stuff and she’s well respected in the community and I always love like, you know, seeing the things that she’s coming up with and the testimonials that people get and she’s out of Massachusetts I think she’s doing a great job.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Appear entrepreneur or business person whom you look up to or someone who inspired

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

you. Um Gosh, I’d say I say Cynthia from CIA, I think that she really like opened up my eyes as far as like what our potential could be. And you know, what, what the opportunity was and like what I had to learn too and so she’s like, you know, never be afraid to learn. Take this all in and learn as much as you can.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

And final question, best business advice you ever received or you would give to other entrepreneurs?

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Make sure that you do your homework first, make sure that you come up with a business plan. And never quit your full time job started it up as a hobby. And then when it’s successful, and you feel like okay, alright, I can make an income from this. That’s when you pivot.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

That’s a great advice. Thank you so much, Stacy. That’s thank you so much for your time today for sharing your story and sharing, you know, challenges with your business, how you overcame them, and you know, some of the strategies and tactics that you use to start and grow your business. If people want to purchase your products, what is the best way they can get in touch?

Stacy Moore of Healing Harbors  

Yeah, so just check out healing harbors.com And we’ve got a line of all of our products and if you have any questions, feel free to email us at customer care at healing Harper’s dot com.

Sushant Misra of TrepTalks  

Perfect. Thank you so much, Debbie again for your time and for sharing your story with us today. Thanks so much for having us. Really appreciate it anytime. Bye.

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