Described as a 3rd child and founded in 2018, Betoken is the brainchild of Mompreneur, former lawyer and Maine resident, Liz Kirby.
1. Tell us about your background and how you were introduced to CBD?
I graduated from law school in 2010. I practiced Criminal Defense and Family Law throughout law school and for 3 years afterwards. Although I loved some aspects of practicing law, I felt myself being pulled to more creative endeavors. I decided to “retire” early and began working in 2013 for a startup in the wedding industry. It was there that I learned social media, digital marketing and basic website design.
When my kids were born, I started doing more freelance work so I could work from home. Being a mom of 2 young kids and balancing work and household responsibilities is really tough, anyone who has been a stay at home mom knows this all too well. I was stressed and not sleeping well. I had been freelancing for a local acupuncture clinic and learning about medicinal effects of various botanicals and herbs. I started taking a variety of supplements, and found them really helpful, and a welcome alternative to something more pharmaceutical which has just never been my jam. CBD products were just coming on the market, and I noticed that most companies were not harnessing the full potential of plant botanicals in their products. I saw a hole in the market where we could combine hemp with other botanicals to make truly unique and effective products to solve a variety of issues common to adulthood. So I sought the help of a certified Maine herbalist and together we developed the first 4 formulas for Betoken.
2. When you say, “Betoken is the only CBD company designed exclusively for grown-ups”, what does that mean and where does the name Betoken come from?
Betoken products are engineered to solve specific problems of adulthood. The most common ones that we all face as we get older (that we didn’t really experience as much when we were younger!) are stress, sleep and pain. Our formulas combine time-tested botanicals well known for solving specific problems.
“Betoken” is an old word that means to be a sign of or to indicate something. We like to think that as we get older, we start to “see the signs” of age settling in and we know it’s time to start a wellness routine incorporating plant botanicals. We also like to think that once you begin a wellness routine using our products, that this is a sign of good things to come.
3. Where do you source your CBD from? And what does it mean to be GMP-compliant?
Our CBD is sourced from farms in Massachusetts. It was very important for us to be able to source products and manufacture them as close to home (in Maine) as possible. The manufacturing facility we work with has kind of grown along side us in a way. When we first started making products together, they were pretty small. They have always been GMP compliant which means that they comply with all of the requirements to be GMP certified, but they haven’t, until now, actually had the certification. We are excited that they are actually now at a point where they are in the process of getting fully GMP certified.
4. Your products are categorized by “concern” – why were these specific concerns chosen and what are some of your standout products?
Because our products solve specific problems, we find it’s easiest to shop by what is bothering you so you can find your solution. These concerns were chosen because they are the most common ones faced by adults.
Both of our capsules (Hello Mellow and Nighty Night) are amazing and take turns every other month hold the title of “best seller”. I love our PMS cream because it’s truly so unique in the market. So few companies are making products to solve problems associated with PMS, yet 75% of women experience painful periods at one point or another in their life. We love that this product is effective at reducing even the most intense cramps, and our customers also use it for tender breasts, sore backs, and other pain resulting from their menstrual cycle.
5. What are some stigmas you hear about CBD? How have you helped people overcome these stigmas or misunderstandings?
People still ask all the time if they can drive a car after taking CBD, so there is definitely still a stigma that it gets you high. Our products contain 0% THC, mainly for this reason, so that we can assure our customers that they can still drive, parent, and function at work - probably better than before - while using our products.
I think another stigma is that it’s a “miracle drug”, people make all sorts of claims about CBD and what it can do. This is one of the major reasons why we wanted to combine CBD with other botanicals because, CBD is amazing, but it’s not everything that people say it is. But, there are other botanicals that work so well with hemp, that can help directionalize it for broader effects.
6. Are there any challenges you face as a small business owner? Where can we find your products?
I feel like we have faced every single challenge as a small business. We face a lot of problems that are specific to the CBD industry, For example, within 6 weeks of our initial launch we lost credit card processing which was SO hard. We were without it for almost 3 months and lost a lot of momentum. We also can’t advertise on Google or Facebook/Instagram, so we have to be super creative about our marketing, using a lot of influencers and SEO.
7. We love your “Good for Jane” advice column, what made you want to create this and any life-changing stories you could share?
We are really a lifestyle brand, and the idea of making grown-up life easier does not stop with our products, I want Betoken to be there to support every aspect of your life.
I really want people to know that we are listening. I think this helps to destigmatize issues like anxiety, depression, body issues, etc to see that you’re not alone.
Honestly every time someone says that our products changed their life I get weepy. It makes me so happy to see our products helping people. I think the most amazing story is something that happened recently with an influencer actually. She suffered a terrible, unthinkable tragedy and was prescribed a pharmaceutical sleep aid that she was really scared to take. After hearing what had happened to her I couldn’t imagine how she was sleeping, I wouldn’t have been able to close my eyes without reliving the tragedy. I sent her our Nighty Night capsules just on the off chance that they could help without the scary side effects of pharmaceuticals. She wrote to me about a month later and said that the day she ran out of the hospital sleep aid she received my package. She was able to sleep by taking 2 of them, and she told me that she didn’t think she would have survived the ordeal without them. It makes me so incredibly proud to have made a product that helped her. I feel like if they can get her through that, they can get someone through almost anything.
I just want to help as many people as possible, that is the entire reason I started this business. It’s why I was a lawyer, too. Ultimately I just want to help people.
BONUS: What one quote could you leave our audience with when it comes to our health and wellness?
If you’re suffering, especially if you’re suffering in silence, don’t ignore the voice inside that is asking for help. It is so incredibly important to take care of ourselves, to listen to our bodies and nourish them appropriately. Ask for help if you need it. Especially as women we so often ignore our own needs. Don’t. You deserve to feel good.
To learn more about Betoken, please visit https://betokencbd.com
Betoken is the only CBD company designed exclusively for grown-ups. We know firsthand the complexities, stressors and pains of getting older because we’re living this crazy life right here with you. What was once a routine morning 5k is now the source of chronic knee pain. Where you once fell asleep the second your head hit the pillow, you now toss and turn worrying about kids, deadlines and that one really awkward conversation from 10 years ago. Our products are formulated to help you sleep, chill and feel better.
Each formula contains a proprietary blend of hemp and compatible plant botanicals known for their medicinal properties. Our hemp comes from industrial hemp farms in Massachusetts and is manufactured in a GMP-compliant facility. Our products are always third party tested for both purity and safety so you can feel good about what goes in and on your body.
Thanks so much for sharing my story! This was so fun! Let’s do it again soon :) xx