it's been a few months since I joined the hubspot podcast network and I'm so excited about the other shows in there that I'm learning from, especially the gold digger podcast hosted by Gina Kolata Jenna's show helps you discover your dream career with productivity tips, social strategies, business hacks, inspirational stories and so much more. I just finished listening to her recent episode about how She grew her show to 60 million downloads and was blown away by some of the insider tips she shares and here's something else you should know On January three, you're going to hear a certain someone in Jenna's show that certain someone being more, make sure you pop it in your diary because I am so beyond excited. I can't wait for you to hear it. Listen to the gold digger podcast wherever you get your podcasts. This is Verena von Fed in for female startup club. Mm Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of female startup club. I'm your host, Dune rasheen. And joining me on the show, today is Verena von Fitton, founder of Gossamer, a stylish magazine for people who smoke weed Qassem is more than just a business trying to turn a profit there.
A company that's built on the promise of having a positive social impact on the world and making a real difference to the people they touch. We're talking about the journey in creating this out of the box idea with her co founder, David Wiener and how they've managed to successfully carved out their niche in a highly regulated space. Her experience of raising money as a female with blatant sexism at play and while we need to shift the stigma that surrounds cannabis, especially for people of color. I had such a great time recording this episode and I hope you love it just as much as I do. This is Verena for female startup club, explain dude instead about regular ad spot. Today I'm taking this opportunity to touch base about female startup Club's new course, the ads, M. B. A. It's the best course on the internet for women to master the technical skills needed to scale profitable facebook and instagram ads in partnership with leading performance marketing agency amplifier.
Through the course, you will learn the exact strategies used by amplifier agency to create and scale your facebook and instagram ads from scratch. These guys have collectively spent over $100 million 15 years and are sharing the exact strategies they're using on their clients today we currently have an introductory offer on the site for $149.30 dollars from every sale is donated towards girls secondary education through the Malala fund. You can find all the info in the show notes or via the female startup club website. Let's jump into this episode. Female startup club precincts. I'd like to start by getting you to run me through what gossip is and what it's all about in your own words sounds good. Got summer is a lifestyle publication and brand for what we describe as people who also smoke weed in more sort of marketing language.
We would say like the modern cannabis consumer, but I think what we're really trying to get at is a community of people who have a relationship to cannabis in some form or another, but that aren't necessarily defined by it. And the idea behind Gossamer was my co founder, whose Mail, David and I have known each other for a long time and we have smoked a lot of weed together and I have also like smoked weed on and off since. I don't know God, honestly, I was probably like 13 the first time and you know, sometimes I'll I'm not 37 like smoke it every day. Sometimes I won't go touch it for months. It's just sort of like something that's been like a fluid in and out part of my life, but that's certainly not something that defined me in any way, shape or form, like maybe like through certain periods in college, like maybe some friends would have described me as slightly more of a stoner, but certainly like professionally or personally or even like on a family level, It's probably like 50th on the list of things that would describe who I am or help you identify who I am and it just seemed like that was, it felt weird to me that something that had been so long, a part of my life.
Um, and a very consistent part of my life that there was no real outlet or platform or brand that spoke to it in the way that I felt like a lot of consumers identified with it, you know, so much of cannabis culture has been really so focused on the plant and part of that is because it is still illegal in most of the world but was very much illegal um and very aggressively police certainly in the US for a very, very, very long time, you know, decades and decades, like half a century more. And so the only way for there to be a conversation about it was to be focused on the plant itself and cannabis and like sort of out and proud, right? Like the idea of like de stigmatizing, you had to be sort of underground and like emphasize that this is something so you're talking about like high times and you know, and sort of like old stoner tropes that become these sort of stereotypes and on the other side of it of course is like the gatekeepers to the storytelling and the people who worked in the space um not entirely true because we obviously have to talk about like the illegal market whatever else, but like when you talk about high times or some of these like more weed focused publications, like it's white male lead and white male founded and like white male storytelling and so the idea was you know three or four years ago, I guess four years ago when we were first coming up with, it was just both of us looking around and realizing what a diverse group of people have a relationship to cannabis but are not defined by it.
And then frankly like aren't actually that interested in campus itself. Um, I think there are a lot of people who are, but it's the difference between someone who like loves natural wine and wants to go to a restaurant where like they have a great wine list, but like they're not reading wine spectator. Um, so people who, you know, it's something they care about and it's important to them, but they're not necessarily trying to become like Somalia's and the other side of that with cannabis is that it also feels at least for us that it is like something that really opens you up to different experiences and understanding. So when we were thinking about why is it the cannabis is so important to us and like what is the through line from a community perspective beyond just like, oh, this person smokes weed, Not all people who smoke weed are the same. Um, you know, not all people that wear makeup are the same like that. Like clearly like there are individual attributes in different communities within those spaces and for cannabis, the thing that David and I within Gaza and the lens through which we decided to approach everything through Hosmer was that whatever your reason for your relationship, like it could be for health, wellness, recreation, mental health, uh, you know, paying whatever that is, you are looking for a better experience so to sleep better, to eat better, to laugh more to like, you know, go to an exhibit at a gallery and like taking the art with him like a slightly different framework or enjoy a nature hike with friends and have all your senses be like somewhat heightened.
And then the second piece is that it's, there's a sense of open mindedness and curiosity. You know, you're sort of saying, I'm willing to put myself in a slightly different mindset and to look at something from a different point of view. And those were the two things that we said, we're going to be like the lens and the temples of our community. So people who wanted to have the best possible experience across all of the decisions in their lives, including like the products they chose to surround themselves with, meaning. Like what is the backstory? What is the storytelling? Who are the people behind this thing that I'm giving my money to and what value are they adding to the world? And then the idea of like an open minded curiosity from like a cultural and like intellectual perspective. Uh and that just felt very, very exciting that like cannabis is this thing that can marry, you know? Yes, obviously some consumerism like this is a business. um like, so we saw like a viable business model, but we were very, very, like, creatively inspired by how open it would be by not limiting ourselves to content that was specific to cannabis, but instead saying if cannabis is the before the during and after, we can kind of do everything within that timeline or cover anything within that space from experiences too, to feature articles to, you know, subjects we interview etcetera.
And how did you come up with that as an idea though? How did you be? Like, yep, this is what we're going to create. How did you even know? Yeah, so I, my background and David's two, we met working at the Huffington Post In 2007, 8, like a long time ago. And both of us then spent like the well north of a decade, I guess working in mostly in media or digital media or slightly ancillary spaces specifically, I either launched or oversaw websites for different Publications from like 2008 through 2015. My most recent full time job was as the Executive digital Director at Lucky magazine, which is owned by Conde and then specifically my focus that Lucky and then beyond that, because I spent three years consulting was on content to commerce, so how to marry a community of readers um and turn them into buyers. Um and then gradually that also morphed to the other way around, like how do you take your consumers or your customers and engage them with your own editorial content.
So I did work for, into the glass and Glossier from Man Repeller instagram teen vogue um esos you know seven Denham, like basically brands platforms and publications either on brand and digital strategy or more specifically like their content to commerce strategy. Um and I had no interest in going back to a full time job and was like deeply uninspired by all of the opportunities that I felt, you know, very fortunate enough to be coming my way and I knew I wanted to probably start my own thing and I wanted it to have a marriage of editorial on commerce um like I am you know, I live and die by editorial, like that's my background storytelling, writing that sort of like creative work. But I I have also been very, I think business and revenue minded around that like none of these things can exist if there wasn't a business model to support it. And I am also very, very careful to not describe myself as a journalist for, I think that I have committed acts of journalism which is like a quote David says and I think it's a great way to put it, but I am not a journalist by trade and I think that is a very different and like incredibly more rigorous sort of role.
So I always want to clarify that, but like while I've worked in editorial and media, it's been much more on like the storytelling creative on the revenue side, all of which is to say, I said, I know I want something that has editorial because that is important to me. And I think storytelling is like how we bring people together and also engage ourselves. But I don't believe in advertising stand alone as a business model for the future. And I really believe in the idea of creating a community that trusts you and being able to sell them products in a meaningful and transparent and authentic way. I did not know what space that I would do that in and I was sort of like thinking about beauty. Um you know, trying to think of things that like felt that there was an opportunity or were important to me, and David was the one who said, you know, he was also similarly consulting and he said, have you ever thought about doing something the cannabis space? Because that's something that he had been sort of looking at and I was like, you are absolutely out of your mind. Um and that would be like career suicide for me. I think at the time I was consulting for Conde and I was like, I can't walk into that building and say like I'm so sorry, I'm not available moving forward because I'm starting a week magazine, like just like would never like This was in 2016, I was like, they'll never let me know in the building, I'll never get a job again, you know, and it's even interesting to me now to think about like culturally how that conversation has changed, but that's a longer conversation.
Um and I went home that night but it just like stuck in my head, like I and I kept sort of thinking about, it's like there's something so, so, so interesting there. Like I hadn't even thought about it and like, again, what I said earlier in the call, like this idea that Canada's has been such a part of my life, like it's such an afterthought. Like it's something that I gauge with almost every day and yet like, I mean no attention to where it's from, what it looks like, whether that's like the ancillary products or like really like my experience, like it's just kind of like, however it happens. And then the second piece of it was like how sort of scared I had been by the idea. And I certainly, I think I'm someone in general that if someone tells me no, I'm much more inclined to do it or some sort of like prove them wrong. But I think I just started to get really angry. Like I was like, I'm and I have no problem saying this and I encourage more women to say this, like I have been very successful. I'm a really good worker. I have really good professional references and recommendations and I would like to think and I feel pretty comfortable saying that like, anyone I've worked for or most people I have worked for and most people who have worked for me would say good things about me.
And so why is the idea that for me to say I smoke weed, but all of a sudden undo all of that, that all of a sudden none of those things are true or valid. And those two things to be true at the same time, particularly when you compare it to being able to come into work hungover or like share a bottle of wine with your boss or say like I had a horrible day yesterday, so I had to go home and drink two martinis just to like, you know, reset and that's like those are all like totally okay things to say, but why can't I say yesterday was so stressful. I went home, I like nibbled inedible and took a bath and went to sleep like that. That dissidence was like very, very frustrating to me. And I also very quickly recognized that like, as much as I felt like that that would be problematic for me as a woman, I also recognize that because again, I was sort of putting my marketing brain on that I had an immense amount of like, privilege and a network that could either support me should anything go wrong in terms of like finding another job or getting a professional recommendation or certainly like from a pr and press perspective, you know, I think it was starting to run through my brain like, okay, like X Conde Editor as fashion editor starts, we'd magazines, you can read those headlines, right?
And I thought about that and I was like, oh there's something like that's compelling. Like I know we can get press and buzz for this. But then I was like, but why am I getting buzz? Like what is it about me that and the fact that I used to work in a fashion, like a you know, luxury fashion conglomerate, whatever, like compared to all the other people who have a relationship with cannabis and then that's where David spent a couple of years after college working in maximum security prisons and social justice has always been very, very important to him. And that marriage of realizing that in doing this, I am not trying to say like we were saving the world at all, but we felt very excited for the opportunity to try and build something that also had a social justice mission baked in. So the question of who is allowed to say they have a relationship to cannabis and when and why trying to even that playing field and break down those barriers. Um, and and hopefully do so in a meaningful way was like probably the thing that got us most excited.
Like it was something that felt creatively fulfilling. It was something that we saw like a real business model behind. And then the third piece is like we felt like we could actually add some value to the world in whatever tiny little way possible. Um so those three pieces I think are what sort of we said was like okay there's an actual business here and there's something that we are excited enough to like do the absolutely insane work of starting your own company which I think everyone who has done it will tell anyone who's asking that it is so so so, so, so, so, so hard and no one until they've done it will understand exactly how hard that person was saying it would be. Yeah. Until you've lived it. You've got no idea. I'm interested in those early, early kind of times for you guys when you started to have those conversations, you know when you went into conde and you were like yeah I'm starting this weed mag. What was the reaction? What did people say?
It's interesting. I mean for one example even now, what are people saying now? Yeah, so one example I did I definitely didn't tell my mother what I was doing for like a year. I just told her I was starting like a lifestyle business, like I just left the cannabis part out entirely. I found it very nerve wracking and I think what's interesting, there's so there's two things that are interesting like yes, there has been a cultural conversation that makes it more acceptable, but I think what I very quickly learned to do is to not be apologetic or embarrassed about it. And I think for the first little while I was sort of like, so I'm doing this crazy thing and like I think I'm going to go into the cannabis space and like, you know, or it cocktails or coffee or you know, sort of in casual conversation if someone was like and what do you do? I would sort of be like, well I, you know, have a weed magazine and I'd sort of be like very like a little, you know, apologetic and reticent and kind of like shrug e and you know, trying to acknowledge to them that it was maybe weird and would make them uncomfortable.
Um but the more I said it, the more confident offense felt saying it and the better the reactions I got from people because now at this point and certainly honestly very quickly, probably within 66 months to a year, I very quickly like also learned how to read people's reaction. So if I just said it very plainly this is what I do and some people were like, oh that's cool and some people are like, oh, you know, like that immediately was also the difference between the community I wanted to reach and the people I didn't like someone who was open minded and curious and interested and nonjudgmental versus someone who was like immediately judgmental and close minded and not interested and I was like, this is exactly why we're doing this. Like, and I have found almost universally that obviously people who smoke weed, obviously they are more comfortable with the idea of the business, but in general are just a little more open minded and curious. Like they aren't going to judge you for something else because they know certainly within the framework of the stigmatization of cannabis that like it is a stigmatized conversation to have and that increases depending on the color of your skin and your socioeconomic background.
Yeah, absolutely. I've never really thought about about it all until I came across your magazine and I also was like, oh, this is so interesting because I've just never even really, I don't know, I've never read anything for women about, you know cannabis like and I've seen, you know, the cannabis companies and I've spoken to cannabis companies, you know, doing the CBD oil or whatever it is. But I hadn't ever come across like language and print around this industry. So I just found it so fascinating and I'm wondering when you guys like started, you know, following those conversations of like telling your friends or telling a stranger, what was the reaction like when you went out to raise money and like get other people like invested into your business because I mean a, a woman going into a VC room is different to a guy going into a VC room which we know and then you're also adding on this other layer of, hey, it's about weed and like this is part of my life and this is also part of my story.
Yeah, what's that like? So this is something I love to talk about and I think about a lot. So David and I both most of our careers by virtue of being digitally focused and being sort of like very, you know, the first generation of like digital natives um like truly, you know, we both started working at the Huffington post when it had just gone beyond a homepage, like what websites didn't have much beyond homepages, sections were nothing, you know, We had worked for a lot of startups and I think one thing that David and I both were is having between us probably worked for like at least 10 startups pretty experienced in terms of what VC funding really looks like in action within the framework of building a business. Um and I think anyone who's done it or most people who have worked in companies like that recognize the incredible amount of downside that it comes with, some people would disagree.
I am pretty cynical um and pretty negative on the idea of VC funding um I think it has benefits. A lot of businesses are capital intensive, but the idea of where VC came from which is very, very tech focused and I think is a different use case to the idea of VC all of a sudden funding media and consumer facing businesses. I think it's problematic. Um, so all would you say? We were pretty suspicious and skeptical. We did go out to raise money but we were very like we had just seen so many people be burnt and so many companies be pushed in the wrong direction by virtue of investors pulling the first strings and saying, well revenue is above all else and do this short term gain in lieu of long term brand value. And like those two things were like anathema to us. So we however, recognized that there was a quote unquote green rush happening at that time. Like it was sort of early stage when, when California was just about to go recreational and people were like, oh, this is going to be a huge business.
Like we're going to throw money in the space, all of which combine to, we did raise a very small friends and family around. Um, and one thing I say is that I think had we gone out to raise two million or three million, we would have had a far easier time of doing it. We probably could have gotten like $3 million checks in a month, but we knew we didn't want to do that because we did not want to give up that much of the company out of the gate and see that much control and we wanted to build something that felt like there was a little longevity, the entire positioning around Gossamer, like we were formulating the business at the time where we were watching money pour into the space and we were watching money pour into very short term gains, like it was just, we're going to give all this money to someone who's going to launch a weed line and they're going to sell the product and then three years it's going to be worth this much money and we both just said like, I'm sorry, that's not going to happen, it's not going to happen.
This is an entirely new industry that is being built from the ground up. It is going to take a very, very, very long time and I would bet that the companies launched in the first three years, you're never going to hear of them again in the same way that like when you think about, you know, it's not true across the board, but like post alcohol prohibition in the US, like the first companies to be like selling alcohol as soon as prohibition was repealed are not the companies that you are, you hear of today, it takes a mature market in order to build a business And so we didn't like the idea of being forced into a sustainable business with like a truly engaged audience, all of which say we did not raise a large amount of money. We raised a tiny, tiny, tiny and I think we've said there's like $250,000 from a literal friends and family round, like friends who had family offices, a little bit of family. Um, and that was that. So I don't know if we count as a startup because we don't really have venture funding or like institutional funding, but I will say as a woman and certainly in the cannabis space and David knows this, I think 90% of the money we, if not for him, we wouldn't have, it was his network.
Um, and his friends and his family was like a whisper of my family, um, my sister, you know, and I think that is something that is really, really important to think about. And certainly in some of the earlier meetings and, and this is something I give him a lot of credit for. Like, we walked out of some big meetings with VCS that just, I couldn't get someone to even make eye contact with me. Um, you know, or like the conversations, like they would ask David a conversation the question and David would be like, well actually Brianna probably is the one to answer that. And then I would answer it and they would look at him and immediately asked him a question and we walked out of one of those meetings and he said, you know, I hope you don't mind me saying this, but did you, like, did you notice that he just wouldn't talk to you? I was like, uh of course I noticed, but I'm so glad you did. You know, like, it's it's really, I think it was something that I didn't realize that I lived with for so long. Like obviously in an investor meeting, it is a very acute situation, but I think that most women probably have had that experience 1000 times over in everything from, like, I remember working at like a hostess stand in a restaurant versus like the male maitre D versus me and like who the male customers spoke to?
Um you know, I think that we have as women who have experienced that in many, many different situations, but to be in a situation where a man and turned to me and said, I noticed this happened to you and I was like, it just like, it, like I literally, I think I almost cried, I just was like, I can't believe someone else saw it. It also made it somewhat more painful because I was like, oh my God, and someone saw that too. Like, it's one thing when you see it in your own head and another thing to have someone say, like, I watched that happen to you. Yeah. So yeah, I mean, again, I went into the conversations around VC funding being like, I don't love you guys in the first place and I walked out of them being like, I really don't like you guys cross them off the lift and I definitely say guys because it's like mostly men Yeah, Yeah, that sounds just awful. I will say one other piece of the reason I started Gossamer, I wanted to start my own business in the first place was that after leaving Conde um I walked out and I just said you know every single place I've worked, whether I've been sort of like the senior leadership or have looked at the structures around senior leadership, every place I've worked, there was a woman at the top doing all of the fucking work and there was a man above her making all the money, like everywhere I worked and I walked out and I was like whatever I do next, I don't want a man above me making the money off my work, like I want to be making the money Yeah, yeah and I feel like you know when you read those headlines of like Fortune 500 companies this year, there was like 37 women in leadership which was up from 33 last year and you know like that's meant to be a celebration because it's like incremental increase and like this is such bullsh it and we need to be like getting girls in school educated about leadership and women and universities excited about entrepreneurship or excited about being like at the top and not being afraid to like get there because it's obviously the next generation that's gonna have to really change that.
Well I think what you know an interesting sort of flight tandem from that within the cannabis space is that for so long like for years the sort of buzz line about cannabis was that cannabis has more like female founded companies than any other industry are cannabis has more women in sea level rules than any other industry. And that stop with something that like It was from 2015 or 2014 and it was you know maybe like 30% of c level roles were held by women. Well a that was from 2014 2015. And let me tell you that every year that venture funding has gone into this business, the percentage of roles held by sea level women has dropped. So the reason it had a higher amount than any other industry and we're talking like high twenties, low thirties um is because it was small businesses and small businesses are dominantly founded and run by women because they do not have access to capital to make them large businesses. Or we see funded businesses. Same goes for obviously people of color. And so it was really frustrating because I think there was a lot of news and coverage around the cannabis space for years.
It was like and it's like you know led by women and it's a feminine industry and it's like it's not led by women, we are still in the minority within the space. We just happen to have a slightly larger amount than any other industry. And also that data is out of date and also as money actually goes into the space and as people actually start to make money from it, that percentage is dropping and women are seeing out of it and certainly people of color are seeing even less. So, you know, that also continues to sort of fuel me and certainly like David to from like a VC perspective, like the more that we sort of like keep doing it on our own terms and grow obviously slowly, obviously very organically because we do not have the money to do it. I'm not organically. Um, for me that keeps a fire under me that I'm like, I will show all of you like what we can do without your money and then you're going to walk away and be like, wow, I wish I'd given it to you. Yeah, I wish I wish I looked You in the eye in the meetings. Yeah. Like 1,000%. Yeah. And I think it's really important when people think about startups and taking funding is like think about where that money is coming from and who is writing that check because they don't just disappear into the background.
Like you are going into business with those people. Um, and I think that's true. Like a co founder. Like you should take as much care in picking investors as you would a co founder because it is like a marriage and they are going to have to agree with you on your decisions or you're going to have to fight them tooth and nail to make your case heard. And I, I don't think people think about that money is not free, money comes with strings and while again, you can find investors that are incredibly aligned and I know a ton of female founders who have found female investors in particular who you know, they really feel like they almost have like a mentor ship relationship or a partnership where like they are literally invested in your business and then helping you grow that is what you want. You don't want someone who is invested in your business from a bottom line perspective and that they look at you as like a line item in like an Excel sheet um a really good quote that I heard recently from one of these conversations that I had actually funnily enough with a CBD brand called Eugenia will she like really operates under the motto of like people planet and profit, not profit over anything else.
And I was like, yeah, that's so true and you want to find people who are aligned with that mission because you know what the heck? Like you don't want to just be fighting for profit above anything else and not living a happy life and not doing things for the world that impact other people and impact other communities then what's it all for its literally just for nothing. No, I I of course and look money makes a big difference and helps people in a lot of different ways, whether it's access mental health, physical health, like money is not nothing, it absolutely matters and anyone tells you that anyone who says it doesn't matter is lying, but all of that is within reason and like I can tell you, I have made in past jobs close to five times what I'm making now and I am 10 times happier now, you know you really and again like I when I said this earlier that like once I realized that there was possibly a social good that could be baked into our business like that matter so much and like I have never been so grateful for that, then I have over the last like 3-4 months.
you know I wake up every day and I'm like I am so glad that we've built the business the way we built it, that I don't have investors to answer for right now, answer to right now and that we can make decisions that are obviously obviously right for the business because we both have to pay our rent, like you know we're not going to do things that are going to be to the detriment but it has given us an incredible amount of freedom to make decisions that are maybe that put profit last right now and when I say right now obviously I'm talking about like a global pandemic and then certainly like the black Lives Matter movement within the US and obviously globally but like there are way bigger issues and you know the moment Covid hit and obviously we were in new york we felt it very very very acutely and something that Dave and I threw Gossamer have done from the beginning is work with different nonprofits in the space that are dedicated to either social justice, prison reform and racial equity and equality.
And when Covid hit, the first thing we said was like holy sh it people who are in prison are going to be like not just at risk. Like it's a borderline death symptoms. Yeah disproportionately Affected a 100%. And within certainly the US which has a cash bail system that is absolutely psychotic in which you can be in prison for like the equivalent of a parking ticket because you didn't have the cash to pay it. You can be in prison For the equipment of a $1 bail because you also cannot pay your own bail, someone needs to bring that $1 cash to the prison for you. And if you don't have that social network or that like class network or community network to do that for you're going to sit on cash bail for something that is not a crime and you have not been convicted of a crime. Remember like this is pre conviction, you are in jail before, you have been convicted of anything and you cannot get out. And so we just immediately like diverted our profits towards organizations that pay cash bail and we were doing that for Covid and then we immediately pivoted that too.
Like okay, we're going to continue to pay cash bail, but now we're doing it for protesters because people should not be sitting in prison when there was a global pandemic that is killing people based on proximity. Um, and I think that being able to do that and to not and also right now when we're pulling back on messaging that is selling our own product or selling ourselves and saying how can we uplift or use our platform to push a message That is way the fact more important forward right now, obviously we're going to see a hit on our bottom line whether that's like magazine sales or product sales or whatever. I'm very okay with waking up six months from now and looking back at like may june july and be like, yeah, those were soft months for us. Cool. As long as David and I can pay our rent like fine. I would rather go to bed and be like this is where we put our money and this is how we spent our time. Yeah. And to be like this is the impact that I've been able to make. I find that most women that I've spoken to all have purpose driven companies and and really just care about the bigger picture, which is really bloody nice to hear.
Yeah, I mean it's hard and I think it's, it, I won't say it's super like externally validating, you know, I think most of this is like invisible work and I think that most people, anyone who's been doing it and certainly when you talk about like labor and people of color, like they feel it's so much more acutely. But I, I know that for me at least especially when you're battling like the stress of having to do everything running your own business, being like singularly responsible for your own and other people's livelihood that like, again maybe for some people money is enough, it is not enough for me. Like I really need to be able to feel like I like what I'm doing or that I can like my anxiety and I think actually probably most founders have some level of anxiety because I find that like anxious people, you know, they go into overdrive and in order to like mitigate and make that feeling go away. So that's something that I also think it's very interesting and worth talking about in terms of like the type of people that end up starting their own businesses are being ceos are overachievers, it's usually there's something obviously they can be confident, but it's usually there's something driving you but you don't want to fail.
And I know certainly that like my own anxiety kicks in, not around monie, it kicks in around like what am I doing and in a professional setting that can be very quickly confused into comparing yourself to others, right? Like I'm not working as hard as this person or this person is better at this than me or oh my God, I can't believe this company did that when we should have done that and like why are we so slow or why are we not moving fast enough? Um But that is very mitigated for me when I feel like very confident and morally and ethically securing the decisions I'm making, it allows me to feel like less like I have to compare myself as a 1 to 1 and be like, okay, well I didn't do that, but you know what I did do is this and like that allows me to function better in a professional setting. Yeah. It gives you the power to keep like keep on keeping on. Yeah, just make, you know, like no one should ever compare themselves to other people and so like having your own decision making framework of where your values are. You know, it also allows me to trick my mind into saying like that doesn't matter, this does.
Um and I think that that's very important when you are not part of a larger machine where other people are pushing forward right, like where you're part of a, you know, a large company where there's a boss and a board of directors and reports and whatever else that you know your workflow is kind of like you're swimming with the stream and if you are a founder you are like making the stream and trying to swim in it and trying to lifeboat people behind you all at the same time. It's like how I or the way I described as more for like the first two years was like walking up a hill with like a sack of boulders and like a semi truck against me and then like after two years, I was like, I think the semi truck is gone, but I still have the sack of gold. So like that, that's what it feels like. Oh my God, I love that, I want to shift gears a little bit and I want to talk about marketing and how you do acquire new customers, you know, in a highly regulated space.
Um you can't do paid advertising on facebook, you can't do it on instagram. How do you guys acquire new customers and reach new audiences. Part of that is certainly the reason we structured Gossamer, the way we did. Like, I think we're very public and saying that we always wanted God to be a brand, we always wanted there to be like a commerce perspective whether it was our own products, but it was partner products, a retail setup. We weren't sure what that piece would look like. Obviously we now have like Located one a tincture. Um but we knew we wanted to be media first and I obviously sort of like nodded to that when I talk about my background, but media is marketing from the beginning. Media has always been marketing. Media didn't exist without brands. Like the very first radio show was a brand saying, hey, we want to advertise our product. How do we create something that goes in the middle of it so that people know and hear about us, but we entertain them in the meantime, that's how it started. It's not the reverse. People didn't come out and say like we're going to create media now we find advertisers to pay for it.
Advertisers created it, marketing, creative media. Again, breaking that from journalism and I'm breaking that from art. But when you talk about media, which is radio tv and magazines and publications that are not news based or editorial that was created by advertising and marketing. So the root of all media is marketing and that's not a bad thing. As long as you're doing something good that is inherently valuable and entertaining to people, that's fine. So for us, particularly in the cannabis space for exactly the reasons you said this is a highly legislative space in which one company can exist in California, but it can't exist in new york and you cannot cross market between the two and there are literal restrictions around what you can and cannot say in the platforms, you can use it not use like instagram and facebook and twitter and everything you already mentioned, we said why not build a brand through media? Because media is what we know, we know how to tell stories, we know how to build an audience and we want to create something of value to them, which for us was our content, whether that was online or in the magazine, there was a reason we wanted to make a print magazine, I mean there's a lot of reasons we wanted to make a print magazine as two people who were like purely digital, although we both worked at magazines, one was, we felt like both very sick of digital media, like just entirely burned out and that it was oversaturated and undervalued and largely folk garbage and that the idea of creating content for content stake was not sustainable or interesting um to that more people were smoking weed because we are over connected and overstimulated and stressed and that probably people, I mean I think there are actual studies about this, but hypothetically speaking, I will say probably people are smoking to decompress and so why would we then say we are going to create an experience for you that forces you to look at your phone and your screen instead.
Why don't we create a physical object that really allows you to escape and go into a different space that is ideally not staring at a screen and also to give you some agency over your own time. Both of us know if you wanted me to launch a website tomorrow and get however many million unique monthly I can give you that playbook. What I can't do is guarantee that that audience actually wants to come back or actually read anything or actually cared. I can mail you Gossamer tomorrow. I cannot make you read it. You are the only person I have the choice to open that and say, I want to know what's inside and spend time with this. And so we knew that even if it was small, we were creating a very engaged audience, the people who read Gossamer or reading it by choice. And obviously that's never going to be true as you scale, like not everybody is going to be that engaged. But we knew we wanted to have a core business that was made up of people who really, really cared. And then the third piece is that print magazines are not free. You have to buy them. And I believe very strongly that people should pay for content.
It is not free. People made it. Writers made it, photographers made it. Editors make it, I think the way media has operated particularly prestige and legacy publications and creating this sort of like opacity of luxury and sort of and procedures, they don't want to share what goes on behind the curtain because it makes them look cooler. And I think doing that has created this sense of people not actually understanding how much work goes in to writing or creating a piece of content and so we knew we wanted to make something that immediately signaled to someone that like money went into making this and time and energy and effort and you don't get it for free because it's important, I think as we're seeing more and more like none of this is free labor and so just set up from the beginning that we were going to yes, quote unquote market to our audience, but we wanted to do it in a way that added value and that had a meet buy in from the beginning, I didn't want to be trying to give something for free and then all of a sudden convert, I wanted to say here is Gossamer and hopefully you find it worthwhile because you have to pay for it and then the onus is also want us to make sure that it is worthwhile and worth your money.
Yeah. And then did you also think like, oh yeah, okay, we want to get like retail stalkers to have this totally, yeah, that we knew as a magazine, we could exist physically internationally. Um and it was sort of amazing to see immediately out of the gate. Certainly from a parent perspective that the U. K, and europe has a much bigger appetite for print or there is still like a much more engaged community around print, then there is, I think in the U. S. Although it certainly exists, but out of the gate, the UK was our second biggest audience, which was really interesting for us and certainly we saw the visibility of God's summer as a marketing moment. I mean up until Covid, you know, we were in almost 2000 hotel rooms nationwide, that's marketing someone staying in a hotel and they're trying to figure what to read by the pool and they picked up a Gossamer, like we have now reached a new audience or a new reader and then certainly from a digital perspective, you know, instagram newsletter, the website, like we view everything on gossipers platform first, so they are not intended to automatically drive to each other.
Um, I'm not constantly trying to get people to click to the website again. If you need to do that, I can tell you how to do it. It's not that important. What we wanted is to be able to meet people where they are. So if you subscribe to our newsletter, you get your content in the newsletter info. I'm not going to make you click to the website to read it because like why would I do that when you're right there? Um, we create content that is specific for instagram. The goal of instagram is to not always drive to the website. Sometimes you just want you to hang out on instagram and follow our instagram feed. There are people that will follow our instagram that may never go to the website. I don't think that's not valuable. And so that sort of, I think just kind of putting your consumer first was very important to us. And I think that also becomes a form of marketing. Like we're trying, I'm trying to give you the best possible experience wherever you are, whether that is on instagram in a hotel room, trying to pick up a magazine in your inbox. And I think that that sort of relationship breeds longer term loyalty than the sort of turn game of like constantly hitting someone with a banner ad and trying to convert them that way.
Trying to annoy them into clicking into you. I'm going to test exactly like, okay, I've seen this so many times. Let me just click it to decide if like I actually care if I can ignore this for the rest of my life. Yeah, absolutely. And that's one way and that's certainly successful. I just, you constantly have to put money behind that to then get another version of that customer in another version, Another version versus like word of mouth or you know, personal recommendation or brand recommendation. You know, for us, it was also important to create Gossamer, both visually and aesthetically in a way that would sit next to the brands that people already feel comfortable with because cannabis is not something people feel comfortable with. The reason it's called Gossamer doesn't have green or can a in the name was so that people would be comfortable having it out. One of the first messages we got was like, I love the idea of this. I want to order it. I live in Utah and you know, I have roommates who, if I have a magazine about cannabis, like they're going to lose their minds, Can I still order your magazine? We said absolutely. Like I've said in the beginning, like you will always be able to have Cosmo out on the table and not have someone be like, like I would be comfortable with a doctor or a lawyer having it out on their table.
Um so not that you have to hide things, but I just wanted to continually show like it can look like this too and like sort of trojan horse that yeah, it can look premium and refine and amazing, totally. And the last thing, I'll say this and I'm really such a talker. I'm sorry, but I mean as long as you're not like having to leave in two minutes, I love it. I have nowhere to go, literally nowhere. Uh that the, when you talk about the social justice side of things, I want to be clear. Like Gospel was not doing anything that we don't share anything that isn't already public information. There are plenty of people and activists and reporters and journalists who are disseminating the things. I just doubted whether that's about cash bail or whether it's about like the criminalization and policing of the wand drugs and the communities that disproportionately affected all of that existed. It's a question of who read that and who cared about it and what they did with that information. And one thing I think we realized is you kind of also have to market that information.
You know I'm not trying to talk down to people. I'm saying this as much for myself like I'm not necessarily reading propublica everyday um or like press releases from the A. C. L. U. I try I follow them on twitter and I signed up for the newsletter but like I don't that's not how I spend my leisure time dominantly obviously try to stay on top of things but that's not it. So when you also then talk about how important money is to make changes and to bring awareness um you know you do have to not always but you do want to be trying to also hit people that have the funds to execute change right? Because money does talk with that sort of thing and very much and it's something that I still think is really interesting and consumers and anyone listening to this, you know about the cannabis industry, it is entirely driven by money right now. So consumers have all of the power to say this is what I want a just and equitable cannabis industry to look like. And I'm only going to give my money to brands and publications that are either helping drive that forward or where I know that a portion of the money I'm giving you for this beautiful object or this like edible or this CBD tincture is going to go towards making that a real thing, making this industry more just releasing people from prison, expunging their records, making sure that there are uh, you know, legislative, operational and financial systems in place that allow for people of color to succeed.
All of that is driven by money right now because if the customer is not giving that brand or platform or publication money, they're not going to succeed. So consumers have an incredible, incredible, incredible amount of power to decide where their money goes, all of which is a long answer to saying, We realized that we could also trojan horse that conversation into what you know, other people might publicly described as like an aspirational or luxury magazine about the cannabis lifestyle. Great, I would like do, I think all of cannabis should be considered luxury. Absolutely not. And we certainly would never use that word internally. We always just want to give the best possible high quality experience. Sometimes that is the cheapest experience to like food doesn't have to be expensive to be delicious, but what it does do is it allows us to put those conversations whether it's with someone who is an activist in the space, whether it's with someone who runs um a bail fund, whether it's with someone who has been to prison and can speak to that experience if I can put that content and that conversation next to like a beautifully photographed bombs, so that someone who wants to live like the cannabis equivalent of like an aspirational surf life, you know, like when you talk about like, which I think there's a lot of analog and when we talk about a cannabis lifestyle, it's like people buy into the surf lifestyle without surfing.
So like that's sort of, I think a good analog when you talk about the cannabis lifestyle that it can stand for certain things, even if you aren't like a stoner or like, you know, an expert participant, but if you can put that social justice, that information or that call to action for consumer next to the thing that maybe for fun they were looking at. I'd like to think that there's a little more meaning than something that their eyes glaze over or like they don't want to see at a particular moment. So we sort of describe it as like trojan horsing it into like the fun stuff. I really like that. And I think it's like a lot of people don't know what they don't know, right? So totally by entering their world and, and potentially sparking something through, through the trojan horse method. Yeah, he's a really nice way about educating educating the consumer about things that they just might not have known about before I meet them, where they are, don't try and force them to come to you. People are lazy. Yeah, we're all lazy. We have a lot on our plates, so like, I would rather put it directly in front of them in a way that is hopefully, and again, I'm not trying to talk down to people and I'm not trying to say that like that we have to dumb everything down for people to care.
That is not true at all. One way that we do do it is to say you are allowed to get excited about the fun, pretty frivolous stuff, but you have to care about this side of it at the same time for gossip or for our reader and for our business, like those two things have to exist together. They are not exclusive and you don't get to participate if you don't pay attention? Yeah, That's really cool. I have two more questions for you before I get to the six quick questions. Great, what do you think is the biggest learning that you've taken away from launching a print magazine for anyone who's like interested in getting into that space and who is like, yep, printed tricky industry, but I want to do it. What's a big learning that you've had, Oh God, there's so many um you have to really love it. Print is not a business, you have got to have another arm or business plan, whether that's like an agency model behind it, whether that's product retail, you know, like a monocle version, um print for print sake is not a business, Okay, I would love to be proven wrong, and I'm sure there are plenty of publications out there that are one or two men shows or women shows saying, and they're like, but this is my business, that's totally fine and I I am in awe of you, but I would say for most people, print is a part of something else, or print is marketing for something else like the king coke or whatever, It's like, print ended up being a front for an agency, right?
Like that doesn't make me the print was not valuable, you just, there has to be another business model because the economics of print are impossible. Paper is expensive, printing was expensive. Shipping is incredibly expensive. Content is really expensive. One thing I will flag is that particularly in the creative world there is a very large distinction between editorial and commercial. So, photographers and writers get paid much more to do stuff for brands than they do for quote unquote editorial, which is to say like, you know, Loreal is going to pay a copywriter more than vogue is going to pay a writer for a future because brands are commercial businesses and you are putting money towards putting work towards something that is strictly commercial, Which creates a system in which for print, particularly independent print, I would bet that 80-90% of the content with an independent print. Certainly from a visual perspective is not paid for photographers are doing it for the editorial credit so that they can spotlight their work, build their name and then make money on the commercial side from a brand that says, oh, that's so cool.
I saw your work here now, I want you to shoot my brand campaign. I don't love that system. Uh I don't love it. On the magazine side is like the publisher side, I don't like it as a writer who is a freelancer. So we got summer pay everyone. Um I want to make sure I'm saying that 100% free, there's probably some people we haven't paid and that has been like a person to person negotiation that the person just like submitted their work and didn't want it. But as a rule, we try to pay everyone that makes things very, very, very expensive. If you think about 100 and 44 pages, which is what Gaza is, which is not that thick, even from Independent publication. 144 pages of words and photos cost a lot a lot, a lot of money. So when you look at some of these bigger ones that are like 250 pages, even if they have all the luxury advertisers in the world, a lot of that stuff wasn't paid for. Um so I say that to anyone thinking about print, you can do whatever path you want again, there's a system in place that very much says editorial work can and should be free and that independent publications have creators that submit the work because they care about it and are passionate about it and it's a passion project, not a money project, none of that is necessarily inherently bad, but like it creates a system in which the fundamental economics of the system are flawed and they don't work.
So if you want to run the numbers that way print is entirely broken business for a very, very difficult one to make money off of depending on how much you actually want to pay people to make the magazine and you guys make like your revenue streams are commercial partnerships and the e commerce tincture that you've got. Yeah, so we do brand partnerships and advertising partnerships and um you know that is like very much a part of our business model and that is what pays for the magazine, our ad and brand partners are what pay for us to pay other people to make the magazine print, the magazine ship the magazine all of it. We do not make money from people buying the magazine, Like obviously people do buy it, but we really, that is not any magazines source of revenue. It is on the advertising and partnerships side. Um and again from the beginning we said we know we want gossip or to have a product and brand and the retail or consumer arm right now, we actually like for whatever it's worth. Those two things don't fund each other.
We let the magazine, we make the magazine when we have money to bake the magazine and use that money towards making the magazine and then we run the product side separately. That's our own like internal economics, but it is something to think about, you know, and probably within like a larger marketing conversation and something that you know, a lot of brands talk about is editorialized marketing. You know, I think when consumers hear that they can sometimes feel like, oh wait, so this is all a sham. I don't, that's not the case again. I think good editorial is good editorial and editorial from the beginning was advertising. So let's remember that like as long as that there is something of value, there's someone else had to pay for it. Um, so for us we view the magazine as like if we make money on it, that's great and occasionally on issues we have, we don't lose money, but we make it as like a break even proposition to make this thing that like we care deeply and passionately about and like I feel like is a product that I would stand behind and I hope that anyone that buys it says like this was worthwhile.
I mean even something like, you know, so much of independent print and when we looked around and we're sort of like comparing it, this is not to knock other print publications, a lot of it's very spare and it's spare because it's expensive. So we said, you know, if we make a magazine, like I wanted to feel really dense, if I, If someone spends $20 on this, I wanted to really almost feel like a book and you know, I think the one knock we get is sometimes being like, I've never even, it's like a new yorker, right? Like I've never read an issue cover to cover because it's so dense, I'm like that's great. Then at least I feel like I'm giving you like bang for your buck or there's like real real value here. Um not that words are the only value, but I do want something that people feel like they can spend a lot of time with and it can live in the house forever. Yeah, yeah, yeah and most of our, you know, we very hard to make every issue evergreen or to feel like somewhat timeless because I want, you know, we're still, people are still buying volume on which was released I guess almost two years ago or yeah, I guess that's right, You know, I want them to feel like that is still interesting and relevant today.
That's really cool. Um, and last question before we get to the six quick cues, I ask everyone, what is your best piece of advice for women who have a big idea or want to start a business, Save a lot of money. Um, and then save like double that, I think number one because you want to give yourself the space and freedom and I mean that both physically and mentally to focus all of your energy and effort and it is a lot easier to do that if you don't have to worry about where your next paycheck is coming from. I know it's incredibly hard to save money and it really depends on your family network. You know, like some people have money and some people have to make it and squirrel it away. So I think the first thing is save money and work on the business. If you can on the side for a while, don't like I have a business idea, I'm going to quit my job, I'm going to do it and I'm going to make money like give yourself a nest egg and give yourself the time to lay the groundwork on someone else's dime for as long as you can until you sort of, until you feel like I cannot move this thing forward unless I give it 100% of my attention and then make sure you set yourself up that can be venture funding, like that can be okay, I'm not going to do this until I raise money.
I have a friend that just started a business, um that also has worked for startups and she, you know, we have the exact same perspective on BCS, but she was like, my professional mental state is such that I'm not doing this unless someone else is footing the bill. So she and her two female co founders, they went out, they raised a million and a half dollars in like literally six weeks. I've never seen something so great and they're launching their business that way. That is 100% of how people should take and I don't want my own feelings. I'm like venture backed businesses to be a knock on anyone else's. It just wasn't the path for me. So if saving money and doing it slowly is not a path for you. Look into VC funding, it's really, really hard, but you, at the same time we're not putting yourself in financial risk in order to build something and people have different risk tolerances. So one ness to save money or figure out money because you can't do anything if your energies are entirely focused on like how you're going to put food on the table and to I think be prepared to ask a lot of questions and be comfortable asking questions and be comfortable asking for favors, You don't get we don't ask for.
And I think the thing that I realized like probably six months to a year in was like I've never asked so much of so many people in my life and you really have to just get comfortable with. Like that's just how it works. You gotta ask for favors. You gotta ask how someone did it. You gotta ask for introductions. You've got to ask for press. You've got to self promote. You have to ask for personal support from your friends because you're like too stressed to deal with like normal relationships. You have to ask for support from your partners because you're working like psychotic hours and you need them to do the other stuff. You just have to be very comfortable asking and just like let go of your ego and just ask and do the work. That's a really good one. Really great advice. Thank you. You're welcome. Okay six quick questions. Number one is. What's your why? Okay dad, I should have listened to this so I would have known the questions in advance. Didn't more fun not knowing though it is. I thought I did Also. That's why I chose not to listen.
I was like I'd prefer didn't have no idea how this ends up being aired. So, but I'm just going, okay, what is my why mm I I mean I just want to be excited by the things I do and I think that can take a lot of different forms. I am inherently a very hard worker. You know I just that's like the setting I exist on is just like do the work. But I feel best when I feel control over the decisions and good about the decision. So like my wife is just do I love what I'm doing or do I feel like I'm adding some value in doing this. Like the things my why not? I guess like the things I hate or like copy meetings or like you know, I don't know like networking. Like sometimes that's fun. But mostly I'm like why am I doing this? And I have no reason why because there is no concrete answer. So like my sort of why is like what what is the point of this thing and what value in any given moment?
Sometimes that is lying in bed and watching tv. Um and that's a totally okay thing. But I just want to feel engaged with whatever I'm doing and that there is a reason I'm doing that thing. That an answer. Sure is fab. Great. Number two is what was the number one marketing moment that you think made your business pop. Um I mean there were probably two. I think one was even before we launched we had launch peace and business of fashion. That sort of announced what we were doing and what God's more would be that obviously didn't make or break us. But I think having a publication like that and we all know like a lot of press is just a lot of smoke and mirrors. So you know, no one should put all that much value on any of this. But I think having a piece in a publication that has a fair amount of trust and respect, quote unquote, like anoint you or sort of like place you again in a setting in which other people are comfortable, already comfortable.
Uh that opened a lot of doors for us again specifically because we were in the cannabis space. So we really needed our first piece of press or the first few pieces of press to be platforms that said or signal to other people. This thing is okay. Um I think that's a frustrating system but that was very important to us from like a vice or stigmatized category to be in a position that like, okay, this thing can sit next X, Y Z. And then I think it's interesting because the second thing I was gonna say it was like the type not the timing of but basically launching our first product which is the sleep tincture dusk. It wasn't any marketing around that particular product in the sense of like pr because we don't have a marketing budget, like we don't do any paid advertising. Um it was launching that product. So we launched dusk with a small run, I think it was about maybe 1000 units a little bit under and it was meant to be a limited edition, like one time test product, like this is something that people have been asking for and we haven't been able to find in the market, like a cannabinoid based product that was legally available to them across all states within the US.
And that helped specifically with sleep and that people who weren't comfortable having a psychoactive experience or an intoxicated experience could take. So That was the creation of Dusk, a CBD tincture that was federally legal in all 50 states and would help you sleep. We were like, let's test this, We are a small business, We have no idea, we like put all of our money behind it and announcing that product through one newsletter to our audience and one instagram post and we sold out in three weeks and that again, I don't think that make or break us make made or broker business in any way, shape or form, but for us, internally it was like, oh we did this like this is exactly what we were trying to do is say, can we build a community that trusts us and can we make a product that they will buy and feel glad they bought and launching it. And seeing that in action I think was like great proof of concept here is what we're going to keep doing. Um so I think the first one was definitely external from a marketing perspective and the second one was more like validation that like we have a dedicated audience and customer base that is here for what we are trying to do.
Yeah, they're ready for the products that you're yeah that you're building and that you're creating Number three is where do you hang out to get smarter? I read a lot um like a lot, a lot, a lot, a lot. Uh that's probably how I spend any time I'm not working and not watching tv. I don't actually watch that much tv. I just do love tv. I read probably like at least two hours a day, slightly less so during Covid and everything else that is happening might have a hard time focusing, but in terms of like where I hang out to get smarter, it's reading things and so that can be publications like new york magazine, the new yorker, new york times, sorry, those are all new york based, but and then books like I I think you learn and I read mostly fiction, I don't read nonfiction, so I don't learn the traditional textbook sense, but I think you learn so much from characters and experience and um you know, I think empathy is an incredible skill to have in a professional setting.
Both, I mean it just it cuts across everything, it cuts across like how you manage someone, how you have like empathy for your employees or the people you work with or your contractors or your contributors. Um I think, having empathy for your reader, like being able to put yourself in your reader shoes and say what is going to be interesting or compelling or worthwhile to them, empathy for your customer, what their experiences, where their financial restraints are, what their backgrounds are. And the only way that you can really build empathy is to like, learn from other people's experiences and unless you have all the time in the world to just hang out with people all the time, the way I find doing that is through fiction, through characters and getting to know people and understanding the work authors have put into, into creating these like holy realized beings that you get to spend a lot of time with. And I think that building empathy is also a very good professional school, definitely a skill that we all need to have a lot of, we should focus on having more of Um # four is how do you win the day?
Oh God! I mean, I love it to do list. I love finishing my day, feeling I checked everything off my list. So that is definitely one way, like, if I am having like a real struggle day, sometimes I just turn around and sort of like stop all the big stuff that's blocking me and I like make a it's almost like a form of procrastination, like I make a list of all the like grunt work that has been kind of plaguing me like inbox zero or like, you know, file these invoices or whatever, just like the paper pushing like mindless stuff. Sometimes I just give up on the big stuff and I just like knock all the mindless stuff off my, the tedious things totally. And then I'm like, well at least that I may not have won the day, but at least that's how it's done and I'm setting myself up better for the next day because you know, I don't think it's possible to, I don't want to maybe other people can do this. I'm not someone who can operate on all cylinders all the time. I think that's a very, very difficult thing.
And so if I'm feeling really stuck and frustrated or like I just can't do the bigger picture stuff as much as I want to where I'm feeling demoralized, I'm not doing as well as I want to. Um I just give up and I do the easy things and then at least I just can say I accomplished that. Still accomplished things at the end of the day. Yeah, exactly. Number five is if you only had $1,000 left in your business bank account. Well it is And I don't know anyone anymore. Like it's not a question of like paying contributors, like every like net neutral, I just got $1 1000 what do I do with it? Okay because I think you should pay people first. Um, and a lot of businesses don't think that way. So I'm saying that out loud, a lot of people will put their contractors and contributors last in line in terms of payments. Um, okay. $1,000. Where would I spend it? Honestly, I would, I think my answer is still the same. I would probably assign something I would like reach out to Because $1,000 isn't a lot.
It's not really going to do that much. You can't buy, I can't buy a new one of product. It's not enough. I guess you could buy like one promoted instagram or something. It's not that much money, but I would try and assign a piece, whether it was a written piece or a visual piece or I would just think I would try and do something like inspiring with it and hope that whatever that last ditch hail mary $1000 thing is had legs and maybe a handful of people would see it and say this speaks to me and then they would find Gossamer that way. Nice and last question is how do you deal with failure and it can be personal experience or just your general mindset and approach towards that. Oh yeah, I don't wanna say, I love failure. I don't think I have a loves failure. I'm pretty comfortable in something like not working out though. I've also been fired. I think everyone should get fired at some point in their life and everyone should also get laid off at some point in their life. I mean not everyone that stuff, I'm not really saying that, but I do think the experience of having the rug pulled out from under review is somewhat formative and you usually come out slightly better.
And again, I think I'm speaking to a certain socioeconomic professional setting. When I say that, I don't think someone who is struggling to make ends, we ends meet in a factory job should ever have to be laid off. I just mean when you talk about a little bit more of the ephemeral professions of which like we're not doing all that much, you know, we're not really keeping the world running so failure. I think, I think it's really important to examine failure and why it happened and to take responsibility for why it happened. Sometimes forces are entirely out of your control. Sometimes the deck is stacked against you, but I think self awareness is really, really important. It's something I value a lot. It's something I work really hard on myself to be very self aware of why I do things. The decisions I make, how those decisions make me feel whether they're successful or not really that self interrogation of like why did I do this?
Really why did I do this? Um and so I think failure is a really important use case to sit with self awareness and self interrogation and figure out exactly why and what you can learn from it, you know it's like learn from failure like yes, but like do it in a way that like you really have to be as rigorous with yourself as you are with other people. Um and intellectually rigorous about like I think we all lie to ourselves a lot and I think it's really important to like force yourself to like go one level deeper and not just say like oh well this person, you know, they made it hard for me or like it should have worked but really then figure out like why didn't it? And sometimes it really isn't your control, but I do think the exercise of looking at in the face and like analyzing it self reflection. Yeah the way you would, you know, a key study from another business like is really valuable. Thank you so much. This has been so good to have one more question. And what's Kazuma, what is like the word?
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, what is that word? I like that word. So um it's an adjective for um you know, I think most people have put it like on Gossamer wings, like really sort of light um ethereal lace. Like Gossamer often describes lace or silk, like a fabric. So what nice Gossamer like spider webs, you know, cobwebs? Gossamer threads um so the idea behind it was that it is the thin layer that like sits on top of everything else. Um, but like isn't the thing itself and obviously it's smoked like, you know, so there was um a little bit of like a double on top under there, but we wanted again, you know, I said this, but something that didn't speak to cannabis directly but made sense within the framework. We wanted something that could appear in many different places. So like, you know, if you imagine, you know, we had picked a name that was more like, I don't know, like, I don't know, but God's more can appear on a magazine, it can appear on a product, it could appear on a store, it could appear on a restaurant, it could appear on an ice cream truck.
You know, like we wanted something that felt very, very flexible for the world that we, I wanted to and continue to try to build. It's a really nice word. It looks good and it sounds good. I really like it. Yeah, that's, we felt that way too. Oh, this is awesome, thank you much, patients. I absolutely loved it. I think having intervened in so many times on the interview side, my biggest frustration is when people don't speak enough and I'm sort of like, but I didn't get the answers I'm looking for. So I feel like I just talked at length and hopefully you can find something to do with anything I said, oh my God, it's all amazing. Hey, it's just me here. Thanks for listening to this amazing episode of the female startup club podcast. If you want to hear more, head to my instagram at Dune rasheen to see my filmed interviews with incredible female founders, like Erica from fluffy Beauty Greta from drop bottle and Sammy Leo from breeze bomb. And if you like what we're doing here, visit our website and sign up to female startup club dot com to get all of the good stuff delivered straight to your inbox and lastly, subscribe to the Female startup Club podcast.