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066 | Take Control of Your Well-Being with Michael Bryce of Healist Advanced Naturals

066 | Take Control of Your Well-Being with Michael Bryce of Healist Advanced Naturals
Published on
September 14, 2020
066 | Take Control of Your Well-Being with Michael Bryce of Healist Advanced Naturals
Juhll Online Marketing Agency
Juhll Online Marketing Agency
A boutique digital marketing consultancy with over 20 years of experience. Transparent, data-driven, committed to your goals.


Michael Bryce
Company Name

Healist Advanced Naturals



Michael Bryce is the Co-Founder and Global CMO of Healist Advanced Naturals – a New York City-based sustainable wellness brand. Healist provides natural, CBD-infused products that are designed to improve feelings of stress, anxiety, sleep, and promote overall wellbeing. Mike is also the former Global CMO of Coty, a world-leading beauty company that manages brands like Covergirl, Gucci, and Burberry. Mike sits down with Chris to share how he launched Healist amidst the COVID-19 outbreak and some of the current obstacles facing the CBD industry.


  • Michael shares his diverse upbringing living in Miami, Portugal, and ultimately landing in New Jersey
  • How Michael's dream of being a doctor pivoted into a career on the business side of the pharmaceutical industry
  • Michael's time working on the marketing team at Unilever managing the Dove brand
  • Unilever's intensive marketing training program and the experience Michael gained working on heavily on branding campaigns
  • How Michael took advantage of international career opportunities that allowed him to travel globally
  • Creating a purpose and telling a strong brand story that resonates with consumers
  • Doing the "right thing" as a brand even if it's unpopular or won't immediately generate sales revenue
  • The inspiration behind Healist Advanced Naturals and dealing with nuanced regulations for the CBD industry
  • How Healist Advanced Naturals is elevating CBD products with transparency and benefit-led approach to education
  • The costs associated with successfully launching a wellness brand
  • How the CBD industry has to rely on traditional marketing tactics like public relations due to restrictions on paid media platforms like Google and Amazon
  • How the Healist team decided to continue with the launch of the brand in the midst of COVID-19 shutdowns
  • The importance of being passionate about your career choices and the work you do

Michael Bryce

Co-Founder and Global CMO

Michael Bryce is the Co-Founder and Global CMO of Healist Advanced Naturals – a New York City-based sustainable wellness brand. Healist provides natural, CBD-infused products that are designed to improve feelings of stress, anxiety, sleep, and promote overall wellbeing.

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Michael Bryce

Co-Founder and Global CMO

Michael Bryce is the Co-Founder and Global CMO of Healist Advanced Naturals – a New York City-based sustainable wellness brand. Healist provides natural, CBD-infused products that are designed to improve feelings of stress, anxiety, sleep, and promote overall wellbeing.

Episode Transcript

[00:00:44] Hello, everyone. Chris Snyder here, host of the Snyder showdown president at Juhll Agency and founder of Startup Banks dot com. On this show, we take a no B.S. approach to business success and failure told through the stories of the top executives who have lived them. Join us today as we get the unfiltered backstories behind successful brands. Quick message from our sponsor. Juhll is a full service digital consultancy, and we focus on helping executives solve their toughest digital growth problems while working as an extension of the executive team. To learn more, you can go to Juhll dot com. That's Or you can email me directly. It's Chris OK, everyone, without further ado, today's guest is Michael Bryce. He's the co-founder and global CMO of Healist Advanced Natural's, a New York City-based sustainable wellness brand. Healist provides natural CBD infused products that are designed to improve feelings of stress, anxiety, sleep, and promote overall well-being. Mike is also the formal global CMO of COTY, a world-leading beauty company that manages brands like CoverGirl, Gucci, and Burberry. Mike is here today to share the story of how he launched the Healist brand amidst the Kovik 19 outbreak and some of the obstacles and lessons he has faced within the CBD industry. Welcome, Michael.

[00:02:14] Thank you, Chris. Excited to be on the show.

[00:02:16] I'm excited to have you. Well, we always kick the show off with a little bit of background. So can you tell us a little bit about your upbringing, where you grow up and how you got to where you are today?

[00:02:26] Sure. No worries. So I grew up in Miami. I was born and raised in Miami. And, you know, my parents are actually both Peruvian. So they were both born in Lima and had their whole upbringing in Lima.

[00:02:39] And, you know, I was the the first child and the youngest child in our family and the first one, the only wanted to be born in this state. So it was kind of interesting because I was always, you know, kind of like raised in the U.S., you know, from a young age, but culturally and family wise that, you know, everything from foods to what we do is very much a Peruvian culture.

[00:03:05] Yeah.

[00:03:06] So, you know, from there we moved around quite a bit. So I lived in Miami, then moved to Portugal for for a couple years and then back to Miami and then New Jersey while I was in what was in Portugal. So my father worked in the pharmaceutical industry, kind of worked for a company called Sharon Classily, got transferred over to to Portugal when I was in first grade.

[00:03:31] Yeah. And it's it's nice because my family's always, you know, traveled quite a bit, whether going back every summer to Lima and spending all summers and improve with my cousins and my grandparents and my whole family there. And then, you know, being in the States, I think from an early age, it's really created kind of like a sense of adventure. I love experiencing new cultures. It really led me to some of the choices I've made in my career as well, because I just wanted to live in lots of different places.

[00:04:02] Yeah. Was that difficult? As a kid, I mean, I know I have I have two kids, a 10 year old and an eight year old. My son's the eight year old in second grade. And I couldn't imagine just picking up, packing up everyone, leaving their friends, leaving their town, leaving their neighborhood. Was that difficult for you growing up that way? Did you move around a lot?

[00:04:25] We moved around and not that much. You know, I went from, you know, basically kind of like born to first grade in Miami. Then off to Portugal for for a couple of years, then back to Miami. And then we moved to actually New Jersey around there.

[00:04:39] Moomaw and like middle school, high school years. But I was super lucky because I grew up loving to play sports and was always pretty competitive. You know, I was. Yeah. It's quite good whether it be baseball or tennis.

[00:04:52] And it just gave me an easy outlet to meet people.

[00:04:57] So wherever I'm joining teams, like it was just, you know, you're always kind of like part of a group or part of a team. And it really, really helped me now, especially if you're good.

[00:05:07] I mean, if you're good, it's like everybody knows you right away. You're in the you're in the weight room. You're on the track. You're on the field, you're on the court. Everybody gets to know you. So that's. Yeah, that's great.

[00:05:18] You got to keep it's always going to forming a sense of community and just belonging kind of like right away and which is which is hard, you know. And like I said, you know, my sister, you know, I had a bit of a harder time that in terms of going around. And it is it's challenging. And I think it's very age to Ben dependent as well in terms of kind of like what is the the age that you're at when you're moving. So obviously, middle of high school would be very difficult, right? Yeah.

[00:05:42] That would be tough. So. Well, I got to tell you, I think Miami and Portugal are probably more similar than New Jersey. That must've been so going from Miami to Portugal is probably like, oh, this is sort of the same. The weather is kind of the same. There's surfie there's there's all kinds of neat cultural things. And then then you go from there to New Jersey. That might have been a bit of an adjustment.

[00:06:04] Yeah, yeah. I mean, I tell you, it was a massive adjustment. I mean, was it was.

[00:06:08] And everyone thinks it probably, you know, Miami in terms of like, you know, I don't know whether whether it's kind of like something like the historical kind of like drug culture or anything like that.

[00:06:18] But it was like it's the most wholesome, holistic place to grow up in, like Miami. You know, it's like a very Hispanic culture, family first family oriented. And then moving to New Jersey was there was a bit of a shock, like kind of like coming around.

[00:06:38] But, you know, it's the first time I saw snow. You know, I might be going from Miami to New Jersey.

[00:06:42] You know, you kind of I see snow goes skiing, you know, and then really kind of like started taking up some different sports and just getting a lot of people.

[00:06:50] Yeah, well, Peru has some pretty big mountains to right the Andes, and there's probably a lot of good trekking and hiking and skiing out that way.

[00:06:59] It's incredible.

[00:07:00] Like I mean, anyone, any of my close friends, I've taken them down to defer to to to really go to places like Goose School and kind of like go around there or hike the Inca trail or a portion of kind of like you can trail going around there. I mean, there's so much there's so much richness out of there from, you know, the rainforest to the mountains to Lima itself is an incredible city. And when you land there, it doesn't seem like, you know, the most wonderful city.

[00:07:27] And it's quite a shock for a lot of kind of like, you know, Americans are, I guess, kind of like your eats. But, you know, when you see in terms of the culture and the places to go out and nightlife, the restaurants. Yeah. I actually think Lima right now has three of the top 10 restaurants in the world. It's amazing.

[00:07:47] Yeah, well, you live in London and so that's something. I mean, there's something to be said about that. New York, London, San Francisco, Los Angeles, these are all places with world class restaurants. So you so you graduated high school and you went to Duke, which, by the way. That's another that's a completely different scene than Jersey and Miami, right?

[00:08:12] Yeah, it is.

[00:08:12] But I mean, I loved it.

[00:08:15] I mean, my gosh, if I could go back to kind of like my four years in university, you know, I would it was just making a really great friends. I felt like Duke had such a nice balance of kind of like academics, but also just kind of like this social aspect of life and just kind of enjoying being in college and, you know, maybe meeting friends.

[00:08:37] And, you know, to this day, my closest friends that I have are all my friends from Duke. You know, we we get together, you know, multiple times a year. I'm actually super bummed right now because, you know, every every year in September, we all kind of like a big golf tournament. And I would love to kind of like head back. But then I have to call team for two weeks and I come back to the Utegate. So, yeah.

[00:08:59] So I'm going to be able to make it was at Duke University. Was at the Bobby Hurley years back then.

[00:09:05] No, no. It was after that. So I was after like my my senior year was the year we had kind of like Elton Brand and Corey McGeady. I mean it was an incredible year. We went to like the NCAA finals and lost, unfortunately.

[00:09:17] We wanted to two years afterwards. You know, we're building I was there were similarly eight.

[00:09:22] We've got almost the same graduation dates. And I remember, you know, Duke and North Carolina and all the these these were world class institutions, both from an education standpoint and from an athletic standpoint.

[00:09:36] I mean, when you think back into some of the things that we did, I mean, to to go to some Duke basketball games, you would have to camp out for a month right before games. You'd get 10 people set up a tent. And you just have like a rotation for for like for you and see game for a month or two.

[00:09:52] Wait a second. Is that is that for real? Yeah. Even as a student, you could not get a seat.

[00:09:58] No. I mean, Cameron Stadium at Duke is so tiny. Right. So I mean, that's why it's such a great place to kind of like see games.

[00:10:04] But for all the big games, you know, you would have to camp out and you would it would be you'd get a group of 10 people together. You'd have to have a schedule because they have like ten checks at the time. Right. So someone has to be in the tent at all times. It was actually pretty fun. I mean, it becomes almost like a party atmosphere out there. You know, a lot of times the players come by or Coach K would buy pizza for everyone and bring them out to the tents and like that, you know, the weekend, the weekend before the game when everyone's on the tents, all it gets it gets a bit messy, but. Yeah.

[00:10:42] For however long I don't know how long ago it's been now for both of us. It was a it was an experience. It was a collegiate experience. And I'm not so sure. We're gonna continue to have that. Moving forward. I think that there will be some semblance of that at some of the more endowed schools that have bigger budgets and better brand names. But I think, you know, not just due to covet, but, you know, getting into Duke. Must have been really difficult. And now and given the the price that students pay to go to these universities, you kind of have to give them that experience. You can't charge them Duke money and then not say, hey, you can't sleep out in front of the gym for a month with your buddies and have a parties. You can go to one of the greatest rivalries of all time. That's that's a difficult sell, I think.

[00:11:36] No, it isn't. I mean, you talk about the price of schools.

[00:11:39] I mean, that's something kind of like now living in London and seeing kind of like schooling here. It's you look back and you're thinking like the cost of some of these schools per year is out. Rageous. Going to go for it, for the education. And here in London, you go to Cambridge or Oxford, you know, I think it's about, you know, fifteen thousand pounds a year know compared to to kind of like a new school. So, you know, I was talking with my wife who's English. And, you know, one of the big differences is a lot of times in the US you can get into one of these amazing schools that people can't afford to go there, even with kind of like financial aid, kind of like working through school here in the UK. No. One, if you get into Oxford or Cambridge, you can go right there. There's kind of like no gluten, no limitations across it. And you know something growing up in the US, before I came out here, you never really realized that or think that. And I think there's such pressure in the US also to, you know, go to the best school of a top named school and all this. And like I said, I love, absolutely love my experience. I do. But I think the importance placed on I'm going to some of these kind of like, you know, incredibly named schools is is is there's a ton of pressure. And I think the important places too high. Right. I mean, the school you go to may help you from a name to get your first job. Yeah, I you get the interview that that is it. After that, it's what you do, who you are, how you perform. I mean, I've, you know, I've hired a lot of people from kind of like, you know, schools that are well known, that have been incredible. And I've hired people from Aaberg and to that, you know, have just not the best performance coming around. Right.

[00:13:21] It's yeah. It's yeah. It's so unique. Human beings are so unique. They're always the wildcard, aren't they? The computers are all these ones and zeros. They always give you what you ask for the humans. They always screw it up somehow. So Duke University biology. Did you want to be a doctor? I mean.

[00:13:40] Yeah. Yes, I was premed. I you know, I was kind of like I had a dream. It kind of like going in and being a doctor. I mean, I put myself through it through the torture of kind of like taking organic chemistry and cell biology and all these classes, kind of like dude, which which honestly didn't come naturally to me.

[00:13:59] I mean, you know, I used to study for a kind of like ages four for a test and still get like a C in organic chemistry. My roommate at the time, this guy was just kind of like a weirdo. You would open up a book like the day before the test, you know, like he said, and it would kill me. I'm going across. And then kind of like as I went through then I was just seeing it's it's just really not the right thing for me. It's not like the best thing that I'm mad and like kind of like from an attitude wise that, you know, I really kind of like started to see what could I pivot from studying, kind of like premed and then going more into kind of like a business world and having been almost like a form of baby growing up in like a pharmaceutical warehouse. I was like, you know what? I could, you know, take what I've learned from science. And then I went and I worked for a company called Whyatt, which is a consumer healthcare company that's now been Bottom Lugo's by Pfizer that I came out. But, you know, they had a bunch of kind of like brands like Chapstick was one of the brands, you know, Robitussin, you know a lot more these days, consumer.

[00:15:03] So you got into pharmaceuticals because you had this background in biology. And they're like, look, if anything, we don't have to teach them what the simple structure of a cell is. And but yeah. But it felt like you took did you take the marketing path right away? Because as I look at this, you've been in marketing and brand for a very long time now.

[00:15:24] I mean, I did my first job at Wyeth. I was just stuck behind a computer doing analysis, you know, was basically in an Excel spreadsheet, kind of like just churning numbers, seeing what's working, what's not.

[00:15:36] I mean, not bad fun, but a great way to learn. And that's where, you know, that's why I went to to get my MBA afterwards, because I had basically no business experience. Right. And I really saw the marketeers in the company. I was like, I want to do what they do. Like that seems way more fun in terms of kind of like building these brands and the campaigns and the stories behind the brands and, you know, inform a lot of it is dealt with regulatory to. Right. So, you know, you get a bit more freedom. And that's why I kind of like after you know, after my my MBA, I joined Unilever. And I was so lucky because, you know, my first start with Unilever was, you know, working as kind of like an associate manager on dove on into us right at the time that the Campaign for Real Beauty launched in the US.

[00:16:25] Oh, yeah, I remember that these Emina, I mean, let's be clear to our audience. Unilever probably hands down one of the top five brands on the.

[00:16:35] Lannett right there with the company, and they were an incredible company.

[00:16:39] I don't think there's there's there's probably no better place to learn marketing your marketing chops in Unilever. I mean, that's a great training program I'm going across. And I like I said, I was super lucky in starting my career on a brand like dog that was well before its time in terms of being purpose driven and causes driven. And, you know, standing for something more than just selling soap. Right. And then just selling different things like it taught me a lesson. So early on the power of what that was. And even I remember like at the time I dove. It's you know, you always had to, you know, almost justify the investment in the expensing in terms of things like, you know, more masterbrand campaigns that they call him, like the Campaign for Real Beauty, because you can't associate direct sales to something like that. Right. You would go into any focus group. And the first time that people would hear that you're working on a brand like Doug, they'd be like, I love that brand. And that's something you can't you can't generate. That comes with being kind of like a purpose driven brand.

[00:17:44] Let's talk about the Unilever training program. I'm assuming there was an official. Was this like taking you back to school? Tell tell me about that. Because I don't I mean, we may never get the opportunity to talk to anyone that's pinned traditionally trained in marketing from Unilever ever again. So without getting into any the the secret sauce, like what was it like? What did they do six weeks, eight weeks a year? What did what was the curriculum?

[00:18:09] They really kind of like kind of structured program, which was which was great because they move you around between different roles. Right.

[00:18:15] So, for instance, I started and kind of like us marketing activation. Right. So no product development, like, you know, I was given the products and, you know, it was my job, obviously, with with with the team and my boss and everyone at the time to then launch them into us and execute the marketing campaigns to be able to drive those brands. So it was actually I think we were way back in the day. That seems insane now. But, you know, the first brand I remember, Doug, cool moisture that we were on The Apprentice.

[00:18:48] I think we were the first brand to kind of like have a media integration to The Apprentice, which is a completely different take.

[00:18:58] Think about the connotations nowadays of that. I remember when that show came out and they had just regular people on it and it was it was sort of better team. It was if you're a business person, like we are sort of entertaining, you want to watch it, you want to get behind the scenes and then they move to more celebrity. But you guys would have been on the just regular side before it got into celebrity, right?

[00:19:21] Completely. I think we were one of the first. And then that's one of the best things about Unilever.

[00:19:25] Right day. They they were always open to leading the way. Right. Testing things. Being the first to be able to do that. It was kind of like part of the Unilever culture. That was nice. But.

[00:19:35] So they started. Did they give you books? And they're like, hey, if you want to build a brand, these are the twenty two hundred things you have to do. Or was it was it like was it an integration with the agency and internal teams and the product managers?

[00:19:51] I mean, they did have like really set training programs. They had they had kind of like really nice. You would go off.

[00:19:57] They call it like foundation classes that you would go off with, kind of like your group or your year that answered. And they would walk you through it, kind of like different training programs. But most of these things are hands on learning. And I think it also was really lucky, the boss that you got at the time. You are an incredible boss who's still with, you know, even today called Rob Masker, kind of like getting the media. He was you know, he just gave us enough space. And, you know, we're really, really great at teaching, you know, how to do that and to really get that hands on experience.

[00:20:27] Do you? It feels like if someone goes to Unilever or PMG, any of these I mean, if someone's working on Old Spice or whatever her either, probably still you got to go all the way to the top. You stay there for the rest your life or these. I mean, you guys are going there for your official masters degree in top ten branding and then you probably get snagged up right away. Right. Do people stick around at Unilever?

[00:20:54] These. Yeah. Yeah. A lot of people stick around.

[00:20:57] And then, like I said, I mean, a lot of people have gone on to do incredible things from from people leaving Unilever. When were founding startups to you know, I think, you know, Doug specifically, you know, I think two of the people that were heading, Doug, or, you know, kind of like the others have done with them in the program, you know, one now it's kind of like the global CMO of Burger King. And another one now is kind of like you can hire. I think recently we've got another one. I want to be the global CMO at McDonald's. So it's kind of like funny to be able to have that competition. But it really is an amazing kind of like training ground and kind of like setting people off. It's it's the right course and. I left. Not not necessarily because I wasn't enjoying you. But there was just an opportunity that came off and I've always wanted to move around the world and, you know, live in as many different places as I could. And, you know, Unilever gave me the opportunity to do that and I'd moved to Japan and have been Tokyo. Is that your baby? No. That was with Unilever. That was it. Unilever. And then I came back. I met my wife at Unilever. We were kind of cute mates, kind of like working side by side. And then I remember we were driving to work one day and it was snowing. And, you know, Unilever, the office is based and kind of just outside of New York City. Snowing like crazy and randomly. I got a call from a recruiter to say that there's a there's a job with recording in Sydney, Australia. And my interest that and I was like, yes, get me out of here.

[00:22:32] I was like, let's go everywhere. It was amazing. Kind of just kind of like changed.

[00:22:38] So was it the same kind of work? Were you still running brand campaigns and building products and being a brand manager?

[00:22:45] Yes. Yeah, it was the same judge. Just different categories. Right. I mean, it's it's I've got into work on so many different categories, my career.

[00:22:52] So, you know, Unilever also working on kind of like Dove and then on on hair pterosaurs working on the managing swabbed, you know, for for, you know, shampoo and conditioner and styling products.

[00:23:04] And then when I went to Australia with record very different categories, so I was managing to two different categories. One, dishwasher detergent about finished. Yeah. And another one about Arabic. So air fragrances. But it's incredible because, I mean, maybe this is just me. I'm super weird, but you could get passionate around any category you work with, right? If you work in dishwasher detergent, you learn everything about that category. It's the most interesting thing to kind of like dove deep in.

[00:23:32] Yeah. I was listening to a podcast all from the the marketing one of the marketing folks at Marcus, which is a Goldman Sachs. It's a. It's a it's an app and one of the newer banks and personal loan fintech that one of the big banks are are going after and in partner with and created internally from 150 year old brand. But I think it's important, as I listen to these stories and as I listen to you talk, I think it's important for people that are launching new products or building brands. You said you've got to get passionate about it, even if it's detergent, even if it's soap. You can't just come in every day and say, well, soap is a commodity. It's a race to the bottom. There's no differentiation. We're just going to sell soap. It's not they need someone like you. They need someone that is that is passionate about making it so unique and so different. Is that result out? Does that come naturally to use that hard to do? You have to get yourself psyched up to get excited about soap or detergent.

[00:24:42] I mean, I, I get excited about lots of probably pretty easily. It's not like I love learning about new things.

[00:24:51] And one, I'm super competitive. Right. Guard the sports. And two, I just like love, you know, love learning. So even my friends would be offering. I always like, you know, if I go into their houses and just be over there, I'd always kind of like peek in their bathroom, for instance. If they weren't easy, I'd be like, why are you using dog? And then I'd go and tell them all about the product or if I still can to this day, kind of like just going to stores like drugstores and not look at the old brands that I worked in. You know, I even have a friend that would always tell a story when we are living in Tokyo that, you know, we were like, you know, dead down the coast at the beach in southern Japan. And we walk into like a drugstore. You know, I went to go see I was working on stuff, kind of all the facial cleansers and everything at the time. And I walked over there and he saw me just pushing the other brands back on the shelf. Right. He was just laughing so hard.

[00:25:41] But he's just kind of like, you're better because, like, not going to make our brand look nice. The other goes back in itself. So I don't know. I'm I'm probably a bit weird that way, but I get super connected.

[00:25:56] I just get super passionate around around those of things.

[00:26:00] Well, I think that's great in without, you know, marketing and branding in particular, I think. Let's let's actually talk about that for a minute, because you've been around, you know, the better part of 20, 25 years and you've watched the evolution. I know there's a lot of controversy on, you know, around Facebook right now. There's there's controversy around Google. And, you know, Netflix doesn't have an advertising model, but Amazon does. And I find it really difficult to tell a really good brand Cstory on any of these platforms. But they command eighty five percent of all ad spend on the planet. The people that I spoke about, Amazon, Google, Facebook, the the oligopoly, the top three. How do you feel about your traditional training and brand and how you launch brands? How do you feel those platforms are helping or hurting? Give us a little summary on that.

[00:27:07] I mean, you know, I'm kind of like grown up with the birth of those platforms and also kind of like marketing. I mean, I, I laugh sometimes when, like, you know, the first time I said an e-mail was my my freshman year at Duke. Right. So, yeah, it really is. Yeah. We weren't born 18 years of our age, kind of like with all this. So, you know, it's it's it's a massive learning process. I think one of the hardest things to do is telling your brand story. No. One is develop a brand that has a strong purpose driven story. But then also telling it kind of like across these channels. And I think it's really seeing and learning what are the proper mediums to tell that story versus just to drive kind of like awareness or to just drive conversion. Right. So there's a lot of kind of like trains of thought around this. So one is just forget about kind of like differentiation. Right. So a brand just needs to have distinctively. Right. You have to be noticed by something and drive kind of like mass awareness. So when people walk up to a shelf and they go into a store, they see something. They're just thinking about your brand and they know what it is that your brand is right. So, you know, you can do like Biron Sharp and laws of growth and kind of like all of this and meet all the folks. And, you know, really, if you read that same kind of like stories, purpose driven approach is and isn't necessarily as important as just reaching as many people as you can and having them remember remember your brand. And with these mediums, you could use it however you really see fit. Right. You could use Facebook in terms of being I'm going to do an awareness campaign or an awareness program, not anything around engagement, their storytelling. So it depends on what you want to do as a brand and what you feel is important. I've always been more in the camp of telling a a you know, having a brand stand for. Than just kind of like what they what you sell. And having your responsibility to kind of like have a larger kind of like cause, you know, for instance, I coati when we were and I was managing and meeting the Rimmel brand, which is, you know, it's the largest kind of like cosmetic brand here in the U.K. It's it's sold in the US, not as big in the US. But, you know, the brand is all around. Living the London, looking about expressing yourself and about going out there and not being afraid and kind of like, you know, having a really affordable, kind of like makeup to allow you to experiment and try these things. Then alternatively, you saw that, you know, the amount of social and beauty bullying that goes on and all of these kind of like social animals is insane. Starving. Yeah. Some of the celebrities that we were working with, kind of like Rita or our Debbie and I would read some of the things he did at home so nasty.

[00:30:02] It's unbelievable.

[00:30:03] And it's it's I mean, some of that the facts like we did a massive kind of like white paper around stress and due to bullying.

[00:30:09] And some of the facts we discovered were really scary in terms of the impact that this has on on on people and especially younger people. Right. The impact that this could have and, you know, we're like where we stand for, you know, expressing yourself freely, openly. Kind of like doing all of this. We also need to take a stand against things that are stopping people from feeling comfortable to do this. And we did a whole campaign around beauty bullying with a white paper and doing that. And it was just the right thing to do. Right. You know, it's it's something that, you know, I'm not sure would sell kind of like immediately, kind of like a stick of makeup or a kind of like a foundation. But it's something that I think people would relate to, that there's a brand that actually cares about the things that I care about. And then there's different mediums to be able to tell those stories. Right. Partly as PR, you know, you can do kind of like a film that you have on YouTube that I've seen on Instagram or so Fergin or Facebook that then you can click out. Now, that's IPTV and YouTube to go see all that. So it really is. Establishing what your objective is, it's awareness, engagement, storytelling, and then seeing what the right mediums to do. But, you know, you could do it across any of those, you know, any of those mediums.

[00:31:25] Got it. Got it. So most of these companies, COTY included, these are multi-billion dollar brands right now. And now your current venture. How did you. And maybe we can talk about this in detail, because you're you're probably used to showing up and saying, OK, we have something to work with here. It's not start from scratch. And correct me if I'm wrong, it could've been. But I look at these companies and I go, these are somewhat well established brands already. Michael comes in. He sprinkles a lot of secret sauce and magic and they double, triple sales over the next three to five years. Awesome.

[00:32:05] That is, we had all been double tripling sales every time.

[00:32:08] Yeah, that's right. But that's different than starting a company from scratch. Right. So why. Why did you decide to leave the luxurious big company, big brand, big budget.

[00:32:28] Why did you decide to leave that and start your own company?

[00:32:34] There's a there's a couple of reasons. One is just a question. Can I do it right?

[00:32:40] So, I mean, I think anyone that's kind of like I don't know it's anyone, but I think a lot of people that I speak to kind of like working on these kind of like big multinational brands and companies and really incredible brands. Right. It sounds like you're so lucky to be able to be parts of some of these brand stories that you're able to work on. But you always seem kind of like these amazing insurgent up and coming brands coming in that are disrupting the marketplace. And, you know, you look at that and you're like, that would be really cool to be able to do that. Can I do it? Is that something? Do I have the skills? Do I have kind of like the energy drive, the creativity incentive to be able to do something that, you know, it would've been much safer, to be honest, for me to stay in terms of kind of being in these big companies. But I didn't want to look back, you know, at the end of my career and kind of like be like, oh, you know, could I have done that? You know, I really didn't want to have that.

[00:33:41] And and then second is you.

[00:33:45] Many times have to compromise on these big companies, right? It's quite frustrating sometimes and being a big company, you know, there's a lot of compromises you need to make based on PNL or whether you're managing a portfolio of brands and you have to share formulations on from a cost efficiency against multiple brands or, you know, you want to kind of like make a change in terms of, say, sustainable packaging. But the company's already invested, you know, millions of dollars in terms of molds that have to be amortized over the next three to four years. So, you know, the cycle in pizza chains is unbelievably slow and there's a lot of silence to deal with in a lot of these companies. Right. Some do it better than others, but it is super hard to be completely agile and really innovative in a lot of these big companies. They try. I've tried within the companies. I've tried to kind of like do things outside of kind of like them all, that it eventually always somehow gets squashed a little bit. Right.

[00:34:45] So, you know, really having the freedom to go out and build something as you see fit to build something, you know, consumer led, you know, that, you know, you really strongly believe in was one of the things that really led me to try to go out in and try this experience. Right.

[00:35:07] So you definitely have the aptitude and the experience and in all the tools necessary to build a brand. I mean, that's what you do. But it feels like you picked this up. It's like very tricky. And talk about constraints. So CBD. Healist advanced naturals is the name of the brand. Correct? Yes. And you picked CBD, which is I mean, I think if anybody figures it out, you guys will. And there's a lot of people, quote unquote, figure it out and make in doing a really good job with CBD oils. But it's there's a lot of of governance and legal constraints around this, so. Well, what's worse, dealing with the people who don't want to create sustainable supply chains or dealing with the federal government as relates to regulation?

[00:35:59] I mean, to be honest with you, I can't wait to the federal government regulates kind of like this category. I'm kind of like the industry, you know, like one of the reasons that, you know, we decided to try to launch a brand like Healist as you took a look at this category and you took a look at an ingredient like like CBD and the benefits of this ingredient to actually bring to so many people. But there's so many I mean, you could see I mean, there's there's a saturation of CBD brands out there. But absolutely, you know, so many brands are just doing it to kind of like ride a trend. You have the quick buck and there's so much misinformation out there. I mean, even after study in the category for four months, you know, night and day, kind of like seeing this, I still pick up products and I have absolutely no idea what's in the products. Right.

[00:36:50] So that's not crazy. And people are digesting this stuff. Right. I mean, they're putting it in their body and there's weight. So let me be clear. You can buy CBD from a website and there's no government oversight or regulation around what you're putting in your body.

[00:37:11] Not really right now. You know, it's kind of regulated state by state, but it's not it's not really regulated. I mean, you take it take Amazon, for example, right? You're not you know, Amazon doesn't allow sales of CBD.

[00:37:23] Right. However, if you go on to Amazon and you search hemp extract, you'll find tons of CBD products out there. Now, the challenge with Amazon in terms of how to play it kind of like CBD, is that it's a MG game. And, you know, everyone's just trying to get the highest mg of CBD, even though, you know, some of these high MG CBD. There's no clinical kind of what's important evidence that you actually need that, you know, most of the time you're overpaying, you're taking too much. But for the most part is you're actually not getting what you think you're getting. Right. Majority of brands and you see this out there. And, you know, I really take a look at this. They'll claim hemp extract, mg of hemp extract or even more misleading MG of CBD and extract. Now, depending on the quality of hemp extract that you could get, hemp extract, that's five, 10 percent concentration of CBD or you could get hemp extract. That's 90 percent concentration of seed.

[00:38:18] That's a big range.

[00:38:21] So when you're just seeing brands that just state hemp extract, you have absolutely no idea what you're getting in terms of CBD and these products unless they're kind of like super transparent and publish in their lab tests. Right. So there's been so many kind of like market audits that I think they've seen like 80 percent of the CBD brands out there don't have some have zero CBD in them or they're training or they don't have anywhere near the amounts of they're claiming. And that's only one one part of it. Right. Then you have hemp seed oil, which, you know, has no CBD in it and people are trying to misalign. It's great moisturizing agent for your skin, but there's no CBD. And, you know, for instance, I walk into a pretty well-known retailer that has like a M seed oil product. And I Bastar, you know, the people, the staff and the store. Does this have CPV? Yes, of course it has CBD, right? It does. So and now people are saying not hep C at all. Have seen extracts even be more confusing. So there is so much misinformation in the category. And I say the category, it's its worst enemy. Right.

[00:39:25] Because people buy product, use product, aren't seeing any of the benefits.

[00:39:32] And that most likely is because a, you know, the product doesn't contain what they think it contains. B, they're not using it properly.

[00:39:41] Right. So dosing is very important. Like CBD affects everyone differently. Right. Depending on your you know, your weight, your metabolism, it's something almost that you have to work to see what's right for you. And a lot of that education is out there. So, you know, really establishing Healist like one of the first things that we were going to do is we want to set out to. Put the highest standards on ourselves and really elevate the category. Right. Elevate the category with transparency. Right on the front of every one of our products. We put the MG of CBD very clearly on the front of every one of our products. Everyone knows what you're getting. We triple lab tests, publish all their reports on our site. So really doing that, you know, transparency, trust.

[00:40:29] And then also some of this confusion around what the heck to use CBD for.

[00:40:34] When we talk to consumers or to things like a. I don't trust it and B, I don't know what to use it for, and this is where we took a benefit led approach. Right. So we didn't start as like a CBD ingredient brand. We started with the benefits that people were looking for. Right. So we did a lot of consumer research and the main benefits were finding a sense of calm. Rights are really helping people cope with kind of like stress and anxiety. Second sleep. Right. So especially during this time, especially kind of like during Coatbridge sleep is actually our best selling SKU right now, because I think people are really having a hard time with everything going on and really settling their mind at night. And third is really relief. Right. So helping kind of like soothe all those type of aches and sore muscles and everything. Because these are all things that really take away from your life. It doesn't allow you to to to feel like, you know, you can live in life. So that's really where we built the brand and certain folks.

[00:41:31] So if you're having trouble with. Sleep and when you say relief, are we talking about like over just overall body aches and pains? More of like an aspirin approach. But CBD is a different approach than aspirin is at the right.

[00:41:48] Well, I think that it's it's it's more kind of like a natural remedy in a natural approach.

[00:41:52] So we have, like, our relief drops that have CBD, but also kind of like to American ginger oil, like we've always done custom blends really against the benefits that we're looking for. So, you know, I've had some incredible stories from from from some of my friends that have given our product for different people to try know they're really products in general on that. That's really helped them and been, you know, a huge help versus some of the other products that they've that they've taken. And we also have a lot of topics that we do so kind of, you know, like relief, lotions, gels and kind of like muscle bonds and joint bonds. And yeah, so we we worked super hard to formulate our products. Right. So we took a lot of time formulating our products. And then it was really important to us to then test the efficacy of our products. So rather than just kind of like launching products and having them out there. Right. We did a big in-home consumer use test of over a hundred people that we send out our products to blind. Right. They have no idea what brand it is, anything. And just to use it and tell us, what do you think after one day, what do you think after 14 days? Well, what if the scores weren't there, right? The product didn't deliver. We didn't launch it. Right. So, you know, we we've we've tested our sleep, drops our comb, drops our body relief lotion, our joint relief form, you know, all with, you know, scores, you know, 90 percent and above for four hundred and ten consumers that have kind of, like, used it.

[00:43:25] So this is. So this isn't just so this is a no for our audience. And I maybe you can comment on this, Michael, but this is you know, this is a no for our audience. The amount of research and development in it sounds like a big money investment into launching this brand. I mean, I can tell by looking at the Web site, you know, even looking at the fonts, looking at the logos, looking at what you say and how you say it. And then now talking about all the consumer research. Can you give me a range of how much it in your mind it would cost? You don't have to use this particular example, but to launch A brand into B. This Durrow in this precise about it. This is got to be millions of dollars to launch a brand like this.

[00:44:17] It is it is an innovative view. It is millions of dollars to and to be able to kind of like launch a brand like this. And it's obviously choices. Right? Like I mean, for instance, a consumer at home use this that I talked to you about. Right. So for products, right. You're going across one hundred and ten people, kind of like two cells that will run you about forty thousand dollars. Right. Is it to be able to do a test like that? And a lot of brands, especially startup brands, wouldn't choose to invest in that at the beginning. Right. I mean, you would you would just go in and go out. But for us, it was absolutely paramount to deliver products that are efficacious. Right. So, you know, I'm a bit of a kind of like a science geek. That's also my background. So I love researching these ingredients. So when we started kind of like developing all the products, it's you know, we didn't start by any standard formulations like the other things like, you know, we looked at a lot of different manufacturers to really partner with on this and the majority of CBD brands, just white label products. Right. So what that means is, you know, you there's a manufacturer. They show you here's a list of 30 products that we already make. We'll sell it to you, strop your label on it, put your brand on it, or you're free to run. You could turn that around in a month's time. Right. So that's it's a great new brand. And we didn't want to take that approach. Right. We ever seen one of our formulations as custom, custom made, custom formulated against the benefits. And we started by researching all the natural ingredients that will really, you know, that are clinically supported, that we can put in our ingredients at the right active levels that will deliver against the benefits. And there were certain things that were important to us. Like one is being 100 percent natural. So we didn't want to use any synthetic ingredients. And the other thing is all the ingredients that we chose more had to work with your body. Right?

[00:46:14] Like, we're not trying. Like, I would never say this is a cure or it's anything doing that. Right.

[00:46:20] We want to we want to help your body do what it already does best. Right. Like, you know, one of the things that you'll see about the brand is, you know, if we want to cultivate your body's innate capacity to heal. And that's really a philosophy of the products. So. You know, if I take an analogy as to how we approach the category, if you take kind of like a seed, the seed already has a ton of potential right in it. So when you plant the seed, you can't change the makeup. What the see it is that you could make sure the soil is right. You can make sure it has enough sunset to cultivate the surroundings.

[00:46:52] So it could it could really grow and, you know, be healthy. And that's really kind of the idea of how we approach the category.

[00:47:02] How can we provide products that help support what your body already does so well?

[00:47:08] Got it. So there's got to be. So switching back. So the product side. That sounds amazing. Makes me want to go out because I know our families purchase some of this stuff in the past. And I got to tell you candidly, I, I can't tell the difference. And it probably comes back to this this flood in the market of these hucksters that are that are doing things they're not supposed to be doing, saying things are untrue. So, yeah, I couldn't agree with you more. I mean, hopefully there is regulation and a little bit more governance around this to hold people accountable. But switching back to the business side a little bit, you'd mentioned Amazon on. Which our agency does some selling on Amazon, and I know CBD is not you're not allowed to promote products there. It's a pretty big channel for e commerce, though. So how did you find your way? You know, I look at this like gambling or, you know, there's some industries marijuana, obviously, that's tangled up in this a little bit. There's industries like this one that some of these big networks avoid. Amazon is going to avoid it probably until they they have to take it on. So how what is your marketing strategy for this brand, given that you can't play on one of the biggest e-commerce platforms on the planet?

[00:48:36] Yeah, so it's it's it's a huge it's a great question. It's actually something that also covered has affected us a bit on. Right. So we always started out as being kind of like a direct to consumer brand. So we have Healist natural's dot com, so on products and we kind of like to watch the sales there. But it was also always important to us to be able to have mass distribution. Right.

[00:49:02] Get our brand out to as many people as possible, get help as many people as possible, and kind of like tell the story.

[00:49:10] And so there are retailers, right.

[00:49:12] So, you know, there there there's lot of kind of like the retailers that are taking to CBD products. Right. So CBD, as you know, CBD, topical products in their stores, Walgreens, CBD, Tropicals, Rite Aid, that's topical. And in just the bowls, you have some really great health food stores or food stores. You know, Wegmans takes kind of like the full the full gamut of C of CBD products.

[00:49:34] So, you know, really, you know, we wanted to kind of like approach and work with some of these to some of these kind of like retailers to be able to drive, you know, awareness of our brand. But I think this is where, as you're talking about regulation, you know, there's there's a couple of reasons that I really look forward to federal regulation. Right. One is because I think it'll wipe out a lot of these brands that are doing a disservice to the category. But as soon as you say things that you could only manufacturer and GMP good manufacturing practices, facilities, that's going to wipe out so many brands. As soon as you say that, you know, you if you sell, you have to do triple lab testing. That's going to take lots of brands just given the cost that triple that testing kind of like is to be doing that. So one, I think that are really elevate the category once we get this regulation. But to allow retail marketplaces like Amazon, you know, it'll allow some of, you know, some some of the bigger drugstores, kind of like in the US, to really open up and sell, you know, CBD and just the bulls as well as kind of like top of bulls as it would sell any other dietary supplement. Right. As it would sell omega three, as it would sell, you know, probiotics, kind of like any of the other dietary supplements out there to really benefit people on that. The the more that these kind of like, you know, big channels open up, the more education is going to get out there as well. Right. Because they have such reach. And now you can partner with these with some of these guys to really tell us strong education story and help people select the right product for and help them figure out what's the right way to dose how much they should take, how they should have done is like feel about the product and really tell these stories. I think it'll really help people.

[00:51:23] Yeah. So your so your initial thesis was, hey, you know, people are stressed out, people lack sleep. There's this new natural phenomenon and it's not new really. I mean, CBD priming going on for, what, five years now or it's it's it it's it's gaining momentum. And you guys said, hey, look, we're really good at branding, COTY. Do it all online and then I think what I heard, though, is given some of the challenges with regulation. And some of the challenges with the with the platforms for advertising, you guys. Did you divert that into channels? So now you're like, OK, we we have an agreement with Walgreens, we have an agreement and we went channel. And are you kind of.

[00:52:22] We we were always kind of like launching Velis as being omni channel. Right. Which means that we can launch it, launch a direct to consumer, launch it. And you know, I'm partnering with some great retailers to try to kind of like launch the brand.

[00:52:34] And, you know, unfortunately with committed and kind of like locked out a lot of the retailer, kind of like shelf sets got, like you said, shelves two times a year have been pushed back. Right. And there's still some uncertainty in that. So we've actually had to Hibbett as a brand and be like, OK, you know, like we are going to be right now for a time being 100 percent direct to consumer. Right. And that's a very different ballgame to be able to play it. Then you have kind of like the awareness that you have in your in some of these kind of like larger retail stores. Right. So, you know, you have to stop kind of like at the bottom of the funnel and go out versus just immediately starting with kind of like mass awareness in terms of the brand. You have to make sure your site conversion is right. You know, you have to make sure you're kind of like at the lowest, you know, you know, collectively. You know, I click through rate lowest cost per click. So, you know, it really is kind of like a science to go back and look at this and especially in a category that you can't do, paid Facebook ads and see, well, that's what I was going to ask you.

[00:53:42] How are you doing this? Because to my knowledge, Google, Facebook, Amazon, you know, I go back to, you know, 15 years ago when I started in in Internet advertising, I also sold computers for Gateway back in the mid 90s. But Internet advertising really started for me in 2005. And it just reminds me of the online gambling casinos, porn. You know, any of you know marijuana now is a big one. So what do you so what do you do? What is your you know, what's the game plan for this massive attention and awareness play when eighty five percent of all media is is inaccessible to you? How does that work? What's learned?

[00:54:26] So it has been a learning curve because everything you're used to being able to do, you're almost kind of like can't do. So, you know, things like PR become critically important. Yeah. Things like, you know, partnering with the right influencers are the right content partners review sites to really kind of like try your product, tell the story and become critically important to be able to just get that credibility and the trust out there and really just the eyeballs kind and like taking that, taking a look at your brand. So lots of educational content, lots of kind of like media partnerships, you know, some newsletters that really have a high level of reach to be it kind of like right to your product. A lot of retargeting once people are on your site to be able to kind of like tell them the story of the brand and continue driving that and driving that word of mouth. So there's been a ton of learning. I mean, I'll be completely honest, right? I didn't expect it to be as difficult as it is. And, you know, this is this is the type of thing I mean, if anyone says being an entrepreneur is glamorous, right. It seems kind of like one of those things I always sat in, you know, a big company in my college. I'd be so nice. It is not glamorous at all.

[00:55:45] When I ask the question that that's why I asked the question. I've been doing this for about 12 years. You've been on Healist Naturals for a few years now. And it's really it's hard and it's painful. And as I look at this beautiful site with all of this amazing research in the brilliant people that I know, he was naturals hired. I know deep down inside, I know how hard this is.

[00:56:16] Right. By that click, you get that impression and you're, you know, a point three percent conversion rate and all of a sudden you're CACC is three or four hundred dollars for a product you just sold for sixty nine bucks. And you need to get her name because it came from an affiliate who now there's a chargeback and holy shit. Yeah, that's the thing.

[00:56:39] I mean you spend so much time kind of creating this beautiful brand. Right. And then then the challenges in this environment. All right. How do you get that story out there? How do you tell that story? How do you get it in front of people when it is like it is hard work, like it is failing and learning and failing again and getting ticked again and kind of doing something you need so much resilience.

[00:57:02] Right. Energy. Like looking forward right through it, especially, you know, you know that, hasn't it? It feels like two years. You know, I think we you know, we we just launched really it kind of like April of this year and kind of like working on the brand. But as we were developing the brand, we could have never foreseen, you know, Coatbridge kind of like coming at it and having this or and you just have to see it as like, honestly, an opportunity to be patient and to learn.

[00:57:30] We've taken this as a time to say, all right, let's pause and let's get really our fundamentals. Right, right. Let's go back. And, you know, we are kind of like only a to see brand right now. So, you know, let's focus and take the time to maybe, you know, really, you know, iron out and bring the kind of like purrfect some of the things that maybe we wouldn't have been as focused to do if we were had kind of like more retail distribution.

[00:57:55] Yeah, no, that's that's super interesting. And I, you know, just doing this for at the agency for as many years as we have, we've launched literally hundreds of products and dozens and dozens of brands. And it's a grind. It's a grind for sure. So I think, you know, the interesting part about this category, though, is and you mentioned it a little bit earlier, is you guys have done all the investment in upfront research in creating an actual product that people can believe in. Why not white label it? Maybe.

[00:58:35] It's I believe in Branson, like the purpose of brands, right?

[00:58:39] So I think, you know, we have kind of like a story to tell, you know, on Healist.

[00:58:46] And I think, you know, white labeling a product, you're not really sure. Kind of like what you're getting. You could go on to do this and you could sell it.

[00:58:56] But, you know, for for us, it was really important for us. And, you know, we're we're a young brand, like I said, three months old.

[00:59:03] You know, we're we're we're learning, you know, how our story is going to unfold in this brand. But, you know, we are really committed, like when we started seeing what is kind of like. You know, our purpose to be able to go serve and, you know, you start taking a look at a lot of different directions that you could take. And, you know, I think one of the hardest parts is when you're developing a well-being brand to be well and yourself. You know, it's the process of working.

[00:59:31] And honestly, I've had a really stressful long hours career kind of like going across it. You know, I had to make a call in my life, like at some point in time, you know, it was affecting my marriage. It's affecting my time with my kids. It was affecting all of this that I would go to. I would go to bed tired. I would wake up tired. Yeah, it was a good thing for myself. I was kind of like going around it, you know, it's just one story. And you talk to anyone like there's all these things in life right now that really deplete you just take take it at it, right? I can. And there's not that much that gives it back. And you have to create your own boundaries to say, no, I'm not going to allow that to happen. You're the only one that's going to do that. I've learned that time and time again.

[01:00:13] I'm more a type of person that always like to say, yes, I'll do it and I'll try it. It's completely kill me because then I have no energy and I can't do anything. Well, personally, in my life, I had to make a pause and say, you know what? I'm going to change what I do. I'm going to change. Kind of like my sleep cycle when I get up like I'm a night owl in general.

[01:00:33] Right. So, like, I'm not the type person wakes up at 6:00 in the morning and is like awake. I'm more the type of person that finds it hard to go to bed at midnight.

[01:00:40] But you have to find time for for it for yourself.

[01:00:44] You know, when we took a lift, this category, we were saying, like all the benefits that CBD then kind of like the other natural ingredients that we have in our promise could really help with could really help people find this balance for themselves. And that comes with a brand. Right, that comes with a brand and telling that story. And in serving a greater purpose as well as something that was really important to us is sustainability as a as a brand. So, you know, all the plastic that we use in Healist Advanced Naturals know by the end of this year is going to be ocean waste plastic certified. And so that means, you know, plastic pulled out of the oceans at of beaches and lakes. I'm coming across in this like circular supply chain. Now. It's really hard to do that like a, you know, cost. It's it's pretty much double virgin plastic, right. So as a startup, when you're cash strapped, as you're kind of like going like that's a pretty big investment to make. And I'll be honest, you know, a lot of times it's like, my gosh, should we just go doing to improve our margins and change?

[01:01:47] But, you know, we said that as a principle, kind of like as the company from the beginning. So it's something that just kind of like keeps keeps us to it. To be able to work against that. And I think that those are only decisions, changes that brands that want to stand for something bigger than just the Bros. They seldom do.

[01:02:07] Yeah, no. I've seen a lot of companies. When it gets tough, they start cutting corners. And when you start cutting corners, you give a little bit away. Then you give a little bit more away than you get back to your first principles. And you're like, wait a second. It says right on our Web site, sustainability I. Well, we need to make money tomorrow. Well, if you guys are willing to sacrifice this, then what else are you willing to sacrifice? And I'm not that's not a that's not a judgment or a criticism. Right. But it's something that I think all of us need to think hard about and say, hey, if we're gonna build a brand to your point, if we're gonna build a brand, we're gonna believe in it. And I've got to get up and work for twelve hours a day and kill myself over this. Better be some we believe in Zarghami.

[01:02:55] Exactly. And as you say, it's so easy over time to let that slip away. And it's a reason why. Kind of like on our Web site, we put in what our beliefs and our values is kind of like, you know, we have him in our office, kind of like up on the wall is kind of like CNN, because it's it's something that I want people to hold us accountable. Right now, I want people to kind of like challenge us and kind of like keep us honest and kind of like going against them.

[01:03:19] Right. It's something that we seek in kind of like we ask for. Like, I'm sure there's going to be times that we screw up. You know, I'm sure there's going to be times that, you know, what we think we're doing is right and it's not. And like I mean, I think that's that's one of the beauties you asked around, kind of like social media and kind of like that standpoint is, you know, there are no filters, right.

[01:03:37] You hear like for people. But, you know, you can either kind of like, you know, delete those songs and be like, no, no, no one could hear that. Or you could say, you know what? You're right. Like, we're we're we're going to do better and then we're going to work to or to do that. And that's kind of like the approach. That's the that's the type of company and brand we want to be.

[01:03:55] Yeah. And you guys launched this brand right in the middle of covered. Right. So I'm assuming you had you did, what, a year or a year and a half of R&D, got the team together, assembled everybody, then created all these products, did all the consumer research. You're ready to go. And then COVID hit. Did you guys just say, you know what? Fuck it, we're going. It doesn't matter because we're gonna do it anyway.

[01:04:20] To be honest, I mean, we had lots of conversations around it. We're like, do we pause? Should we stop right now? Like, should we wait?

[01:04:28] You know, we have no idea. Back in February, you kind of like marching or having this kind of like conversations.

[01:04:33] And when we take a look at everything, like, look, we built products with these amazing benefits, that there's probably no better time that people need these products for. Right. In terms of kind of like, you know, helping to kind of like maintain calm, helping people.

[01:04:48] It's kind of like sleep better, kind of like do this. So this is why we created the brand. This is why we created this brand.

[01:04:55] So like I said, to to help people kind of like battle and support them against all these things that will deplete them, especially now, especially kind of like us right now. Everything that's happening globally, it's happening, too. But, you know, it is tough to to really be there, to support it, kind of like help people. And that's where you're like, you know what? Let's let's let's continue with the launch. Right.

[01:05:17] And it's it is a hard decision to do, as you could imagine. I mean, there's no cash flow implications. There's supply chain implications during this time. Right.

[01:05:27] So when all the factories close that are making your packaging right and you're like, OK, you know, how do I kind of like pivot five different suppliers, kind of like go against this? You know, it is it's it was something that was already hard, became much, much harder. But we just felt it was the right thing to do it.

[01:05:46] So here's a here's a interesting question. So you've been a marketing and marketing guy, marketing person, executive level marketing person, your most of your career, and now you're a co-founder and I guess global CMO of this company. But it sounds like you're actually doing that might be 30 percent of your job. You might be spending 70 percent of your time doing a whole bunch of things like figuring out the supply chain, calling distributors like are you.

[01:06:18] How is this how does this differ from your traditional you are doing well, whatever it takes. That's right. I mean, I've done things I haven't done for, you know, 50 years and kind of careers, you know, like, you know, going there and writing every word of kind of like coffee on your packs, kind of like on your website, you know, working with your teams that kind of like send out a link, like pack stuff up and send it out. There is zero. You go kind of really get that zero, you know, thing that you are not above anything like in trying to start a company, you really just roll your sleeves up and do whatever it takes.

[01:07:01] We're fortunate to have brought, you know, a Delta team that has kind of like the same mentality and kind of like the, you know, the right approach that we brought it kind of like a super experienced team. But everyone is just like, you know what? This is what needs to be done. Let's do it.

[01:07:17] Do it. It's I mean, you do or die in startup land. The failure rates high, but the rewards can be great, both professionally and personally if you can make it happen. I know there was that little person in the back, your brain, saying, hey, I've seen all these guys do it. I've seen all these upstarts do it. I want to do it, too. And now you're taking your shot. So it's it's definitely something that's that's hard. It requires grit, but it's also something to be proud of, because I know you guys are gonna do just fine. You know, if you had to give as we wrap this up, if you had to give our audience any advice, I usually ask this question last. I mean, you've you've been through you know, we only interview executives, founders, entrepreneurs on the show that have done some things throughout their career. That's the only reason people come on the show because we want their advice. So if you had to advise anyone or what you wanted them to think about during this tough time or any other tough time, you could give them the best piece of advice. What would it be?

[01:08:19] I mean, I can't imagine, even if I'm thinking about people coming out of school during this time, you know, where it is, and then saying I'm starting their careers and making decisions.

[01:08:28] And, you know, one of the things that I think has served me well, kind of like throughout my career, is I've never necessarily made a decision in terms of promotion position, kind of like from from from from that standpoint. I can I can really be honest about that.

[01:08:46] I guess I'm more always been around experience. Right. So what is the experience I want to get whether it's working on a summer, different categories, living in, you know, so many different countries.

[01:08:58] Right. You're going across it up in the US and Japan and Australia, UK and going across. And those things are invaluable. Two to one developing you as kind of like a professional, but also just as a person and life. So I would really kind of like one thing says as you move to your career, make decisions for the right reasons, for experience, for learning.

[01:09:21] Don't think about if I do this, that is going to be promoted faster. Go here.

[01:09:25] And like all that will come, like if you just, you know, make decisions, the right reasons, that'll that'll come on the right.

[01:09:33] Second one is just be passionate about what you do. And we spent so many hours kind of like the day. It is rough for I mean, there are some days that I didn't want to be going to work provided, you know, like I'm like, oh, I just think about the day that I have, you know, like, you just need to add up, like how many days you're really excited about what you're gonna do at Happy Days. You're really kind of like going to work that balances that. Right. Do something different.

[01:09:57] Right. Like, I mean, I've never.

[01:10:01] You know, I've never kind of like met any one of my friends that have made pretty bold decisions around leaving the job, a safe job or just moving to a different country, trying something different. You make those decisions for the right reasons. I've never really seen it not work out right. It may not work out exactly how you thought. But I don't think you're going to regret it in any single and any single way. You know, even the decision that I made to kind of like go kind of like start. It seemed like a big decision. But in the grand scheme of life, it's not that big of a decision. Right. You know, like it's like, you know, I hope you know, I hope you develop a beautiful brand. I hope it works. I don't really believe in the brand created until you believe that it's going to be successful like and in going against that.

[01:10:47] But if for any reason it doesn't, you know, there's there's other things out there, you know, like know, you'll find it. So we don't take certain decisions.

[01:10:54] So like life or death kind of like matters. Right? Like challenge yourself. Take those experiences. Try try to go out there and do something new.

[01:11:03] Yeah. That's that's great perspective. I mean, if this is not the only thing you're on a path and this is just part of the journey. I mean, 20 years from now, you and I are probably gonna look back at all the things we've done and go when I was 40 some odd years old, what the hell was I worried about? That thing is so stress. I lost so much sleep over it. Knots in the stomach. And really all it was was some some part of my journey. I knew I wanted to do it. And now it all worked out and it always works out oddly.

[01:11:35] And part of those things is what makes it exciting, right? It's not hard. It's you know, it's it's not that exciting. Right. You want to be kind of like challenge. Like, I always talk to my team and be like, look, imagine two years from now, hopefully two years from now, we have like a strong, sustainable brand.

[01:11:49] It's it's growing. And we could be like, remember when we launched that, you know, in a completely unregulated category, you couldn't do any kind of like really normal advertising that you're used to in the middle of a global pandemic.

[01:12:03] You remember that one time?

[01:12:08] Well, with there was if any you know, I say this a lot, but if it was easy, everyone would do it and then you wouldn't be who you are and Healist wouldn't be who they are. So you got to pick the hardest problems. You got to solve the toughest problems or else there really is no really is no reward in it. So Michael Bryce, co-founder and global CMO of Healist Advanced Natural's. Let me get the Web site. He list natural's dot com. Is the Web site, if you check the show, notes will have contact information for Michael LinkedIn Web site so you can find him. Michael, it's been great to have you on the show. I really appreciate your perspective.

[01:12:49] I'm sure our audience will as well, whereas sites like this have been really nice to be on the show.

[01:12:55] Mean people can see it, but I love the Great White and you're kind of like, you know, zoom back right here at my town in my town, Beau Bridges, he's a professional photographer and he just goes all around the world. He shoots pictures and that's during co vid. He was nice enough. He charges thousands of dollars for these pictures during Kobie. He was nice enough to send everybody some of these for our zoom screens. So I'm appreciative. I'm appreciative of that from him as well. So it's awesome, Michael. It was great to meet you. And I look forward to doing it again sometime soon. Great.

[01:13:32] Thank you, Chris. Absolutely.



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