Tell us about Prima, what inspired you to start the company?
“We started Prima to build a purpose-driven brand that would elevate Hemp-based cannabinoids and functionally innovative botanical ingredients. The three of us, myself and my two other business partners, Laurel Angelica Myers and Christopher Gavigan, have spent most of our careers pioneering the clean products industry. A few years ago, when we saw CBD come into the light, we thought we could apply the same learnings and values and vision to this new and emerging industry and do it our way. So we came together to build a purpose driven brand rooted in education and support with transformational products that will really change how we feel inside and out.”
How did you come up with the name for the products?
“We are a team of very passionate creatives and when we have an idea for a new product, we all get together and go through some naming exercises to figure out a name that makes the product feel very very special. And you can tell from the product names that we currently have including Night Magic, and the Afterglow, and Enlightenment Serum. We name the products to give you a feeling, we want you to feel as special as the product is, and that’s what we try to communicate in the names of our products.”
Tell us how each of you balance your responsibilities in your given roles at Prima.
“Prima is a very new brand, we’re actually only just about a year old now, and our team is small, small and mighty. We’re about ten right now, and because of that we each have a specialty that we own in the organization. It’s a fairly flat organization, meaning each member is responsible for their specialty and really owns it. And as a result, it’s a very, very collaborative environment and there’s a lot of cross collaboration between departments and job roles, and that keeps us very creative and very energized and really keeps the team cohesive, we’re like one big machine.”
Did you always know that you wanted to utilize Hemp and Botanical products for skincare? How did you come up with this formula?
“We always knew we wanted to make products with really powerful plant based actives. What we didn’t realize was how much of a hero hemp would become for us. Because the hemp plant is so versatile and so active and CBD is such a powerful plant based ingredient that is the backbone of all of our products. We do however believe in the synergistic impact of not just the CBD but the other innovative botanical ingredients that we can combine with the CBD to enhance overall benefits, and that’s our inherent philosophy. Yes, we are a CBD brand but more so we’re a well being brand and we stand for the benefits of all active botanicals.”
Describe your first major victory at Prima.
“There are so many victories when building a start-up both big and small that are all worth celebrating. I would say, for me personally, the biggest victory was seeing our products on store shelves for the first time because you spend so many months building this thing and it’s not real until you actually see the products in tangible form so that was just such a real moment to see the culmination of our values and our work and our effort and energy on shelves ready for consumers to enjoy. That was such an incredible moment!”
How has your mission statement shaped the way you run your business?
“Our mission to uplift science and nature to advance health and cultivate collective wellbeing is really, it lives in the DNA of our brand, it’s the reason why we incorporated our company as a public benefit corporation, it’s the reason why we set out to get a benefit corporation, b corps certification in the first year of business. It’s why we are the first CBD brand to be verified by the environmental working group for product safety, it’s really the backbone of everything we do, it's in our DNA and is why we make every single decision to support this overall mission.”
What are some of your favorite brands to follow? Any that really stand out to you?
“I’m very inspired by brands that are started by women or have female founders or have female investors, because even today that is still an anomaly, and we need more representation. So right now, I’m very inspired by OSEAt which was started by a mother and now is run by her daughter as well as Hilma which is a new health and wellness brand started by three female founders and we also went to the same business school, harvard business school”
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“The best business advice that I’ve ever received is that starting a business is like dating, and you have to go on a lot of bad dates before you find the one or the ones and for many of us, including myself, starting a business and finding the right team required a lot of breakups previously, maybe even a divorce or two, to find your final destination and find the people that will allow you to be the best self, and allow you to bring forth all the skills that you’ve accumulated. So, for me that’s been really helpful advice in making sense of all my strategic pivots and all of the times I felt like i was falling flat on my face, no that was just practice, there’s no failure in entrepreneurship if you have resilience because that strength will allow you to continue until you find your place. So keep going on those bad dates, keep learning from them, and ultimately you will find your people and your team and your time.
What’s next for Prima?
“Well we are on a mission to be the leading brand in self care as health care. We are really trying to reinvent what it looks like and what it feels like to be “well”. And we’re really trying to shift this whole idea of wellness to well being. Because at the end of the day, how you look is an extension of how you feel, and we want to make you feel your best self. So we will continue to create the best products, the best education, the best tools, and the best support to make you feel seen and heard and like you belong to help you find fulfillment and gratitude and health and happiness in your body. We are here for you, we are your partners in wellbeing and we will continue to do everything we can to help you and your family feel better.”