Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Katie Enright, Founder and CEO of Lavinia, located in Los Angeles, CA, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our business is a combination of two of the best things in the world: cannabis and sex. At Lavinia, our goal is simple – to enhance people’s sex lives with cannabis. Our customers include anyone who is open to making their sex life even better.
Tell us about yourself
Ironically, long before starting my company, I actually studied theology and almost became a nun. And while that’s not most people’s route into the cannabis or pleasure industry, I still view myself as doing God’s work (just in a slightly different way). I eventually discovered the intersection between sex and cannabis while I was training for my second marathon. After having a very difficult recovery from my first, I was determined to avoid the same issues. This was the start of incorporating cannabis into my recovery.
After experimenting with recipes for balms in my home kitchen, I read a blog that said you could use cannabis to enhance your sexual experience. I had to try it. And once I did, I was dumbfounded. However, at the time, I was making balms using coconut oil. And, while it’s a great oil for so many things, it doesn’t make a great lubricant (to make a long story short, it can lead to yeast infections). So, the next day, I went to three dispensaries in search of a product that would enhance my sexual experience that wasn’t coconut-oil based. Sadly, I couldn’t find anything. That’s when I started making it for myself in my kitchen.
From there, I made it for one of my friends, then more, which snowballed into making balm for friends of friends, etc., until one day, someone came up to me and asked, “Are you the weed lube girl?” At that moment, I realized that this product needed to be out in the world, and Lavinia was born.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishment has just been having this business. There are so many hoops to jump through to start a new business, let alone a cannabis business. Being able to actually launch and have a product available in stores is a HUGE accomplishment, and it’s one I don’t take lightly. In addition to that, helping people break down stigmas around both sex and cannabis has been something I’m incredibly proud of.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
So. Many. Things. I try not to dwell on the hurdles of owning a business, but there are many. I will say the most difficult thing for us has been advertising and marketing a product that is both in the cannabis and sex space. I’m not exaggerating when I say it’s nearly impossible. In addition to that hardship, we can’t sell to any other states.
Cannabis is not federally legal, so each state determines its legality. Because of this, cannabis cannot cross state lines, which means we have to set up manufacturing facilities in each state and adhere to their regulation and packaging laws. This makes growth quite expensive and cumbersome. But, in the end, it’s worth it.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- It’s going to be hard. Don’t quit.
- Don’t run out of money or undercapitalize.
- Hire the right people for the job.
- HAVE FUN!!! Even on my worst day as a business owner, it’s still 100% better than doing something else that I’m not passionate about.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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