1. Please tell us about 707 Flora and what made you want to produce CBD products (tell us your background, your story and why/how you got started). Where does the name come from?
I’ve been in the skincare industry for over twenty years and have developed hundreds of products and brands, from concept to launch, for companies large and small, celebrity brands, and Dr. brands. In all my years of developing brands for other people, I swore I would never have my own, because of market saturation and the challenges you face as a brand owner. But that all changed when I started studying CBD in early 2017. Then, I just couldn’t stop myself. During this time, I had already linked up with my partner, who exposed me to the CBD world, early on. He is a trailblazer in the cannabis industry and comes with his own decades of industry cred. I’ve had the opportunity to work hands-on with the plant in order to truly understand and honor its magnitude.
I wanted to bring the two worlds together, cannabis and skin science. At the time, this was missing in the market. There were either traditional beauty brands with no real knowledge of CBD trying to rush to market or Cannabis brands trying to dip their toe in the beauty space not really understanding the physiology of the skin. I thought we shouldn’t have to give up the technologically advanced formulations and we shouldn’t compromise the quality of the cannabis as a raw material in our CBD skincare. We have the ability in each respective industry to have it all, and that is what I set out to do.
The name 707 Flora comes from the area code of Humboldt County and the Emerald Triangle —707 — which is where I now live. Many consider Humboldt the foundation of the entire modern-day cannabis industry. We wanted to pay homage to Humboldt. And, of course Flora represents the cannabis flower which is where most of the actives are produced.
2. There is a surge of new CBD Brands which is exciting to see. How do you separate yourselves from other CBD Brands?
When I started 707 Flora there were definitely some non-negotiables: Proprietary, clean formulations, organically grown CBD, and high-performance actives that work in synergy with CBD so you can really see and feel the difference in the skin.
I wanted the formulas to be experiential with souffle-like textures that feel luxurious and penetrate effortlessly into the skin. Basically, everything you would expect from the best skincare brands on the market and more.
I strongly believe effective skincare seldom relies on the performance of a single active ingredient. Rather, the supporting cast of raw materials work as an ensemble to make it more effective. So, beyond the full spectrum CBD, we use some of nature’s finest actives such as micro algaes and seaweed, and antiaging hero ingredients like peptides and hyaluronic acid. At the same time, the best formulations retain a kind of elegant simplicity, free of unnecessary additives and fillers. These standards of quality, in our formulations and brand ethos, is what has earned 707 Flora awards and accolades in both the cannabis and skincare industries. We also went above and beyond with safety and dermatologist testing while creating skin changing formulations that are 100% vegan and cruelty free.
3. Where do you source your CBD from?
It’s imperative for me to work with people who exude passion for cannabis. They need to be aligned with our mission and values, of course. We only use Full Spectrum CBD in our products, which is unmodified hemp extract and contains the compounds present in the same ratios that naturally occur in hemp. We have two main suppliers, both are vertically integrated, and in state-of-the-art, cGMP certified facilities, and fully compliant. I’ve personally vetted our suppliers, met our farmers, been inside the labs and extraction facilities, so I’m confident what we are using is pure and safe. There is cheaper CBD on the market, but I would never compromise or jeopardize the quality of our products.
4. What are some of the most frequently asked questions you get from retailers and customers? Why add CBD into skincare?
So, we explain the ESC system and how there are CB receptors on the basal layer of the skin and the effectiveness of CBD on a cellular level.
On a scale of 1-10 (one being no knowledge to ten being very knowledgeable), how well do consumers know about CBD?
I think most consumers are at about a 5, though they may rate themselves a 7 or 8, not knowing what they don’t know. They are understanding that CBD isn’t THC but are still confused.
As a pioneer in the industry, I feel it is our responsibility to educate consumers as much as possible. I believe it is important to not only educate the consumer, but the wellness and beauty industry retailers and manufacturers.
I have and continue to be a part of expert panels at trade shows/events as well as, communicating the message of CBD through press-related interviews. And I continue to educate myself by staying informed and involved.
What advice would you give to someone who is NEW to CBD?
Do your research before you start investing in products. Purchasing CBD from retailers like Svn Space is ideal because there are lots of different options and educational resources, and the brands are vetted before they are sold. Ask questions. Those brands that are transparent and open to sharing as much knowledge and education as possible are ones that you can trust.
5. Clean Beauty is top of mind for many consumers, can you tell us how including CBD in your beauty product meets this standard?
I personally worked with our scientist on the formulas and handed him a list of “NO-NO” ingredients that are banned from 707 Flora.
They are listed on our website so the consumer can see what’s in and not in our products. Our mission statement is to create clean, pure and effective skin care powered by an exotic blend of CBD and other phytocannabinoids, technologically advanced actives, and unique delivery systems in the most luxurious textures in proprietary formulations. Clean is part of who we are as a brand. We are also environmentally conscious, using recyclable packaging and boxes that are printed with wind energy on recycled board.
6. What are some of the challenges we face as an industry?
It’s funny because though we are in a legal market, there are still so many obstacles and hoops to jump through.
We still have issues with credit card processing, distribution limitations, inflated liability insurance premiums, social media advertising, and with state and federal regulations constantly changing, it can be confusing and costly, especially for smaller brands. In addition, there are bad players that mislead consumers and sell CBD like snake oil, which discredits the plant and our entire industry.
How do we overcome some of those challenges? Being a part of a community helps — this can be great support and a way to give back. Promote education and stay current with the legislation, science and regulatory aspects of cannabis, and remember that we are a part of a movement, so strength, flexibility and open mindedness is key.
What does the future of Cannabis look like? It will be mainstream, regulated and also exploited, so it is important for us cannabis activists to stay involved and help influence its future.
7. What is some exciting news you could share with our audience in 2021.
This plant has inspired me beyond measure, and I am excited to announce we are expanding our CBD skincare range with a collection of exclusive CBD tinctures that will be available this February.