It takes a leap of faith for a single mother to quit her job and start a company, but Whitney Beatty was confident that she had identified an unmet need of cannabis users. Beatty left her successful career in the entertainment industry to solve a problem she experienced firsthand. After being diagnosed with anxiety, Beatty explored the benefits of medicinal marijuana, but as an executive and mother, she had trouble relating to the stereotypical cannabis user. Her response was to launch Apothecarry Brands, provider of high-quality cannabis accoutrements. As Beatty explains, “If you keep your liquor in your bar, your cigars in your humidor, and your wine in a wine fridge, why would you keep your high quality cannabis in a shoebox under your bed?”
What were you doing before Apothecarry?
“I got my start working at the William Morris Agency as an assistant in television business affairs. At my last corporate job as a Senior Vice President of Development, I helped develop reality TV and daytime programming including Just Keke on BET. I also helped develop branded programming and integrations for companies looking to blend into a lifestyle space, which is very useful, considering what I’m doing now.”
What led you to found the company?
“Raised in the age of Nancy Reagan and ‘Just Say No’, using marijuana was not a part of my youth. Later in life, after being diagnosed with anxiety, I shook off the stigma I felt around cannabis and decided to try it. As my knowledge expanded, I became a proponent of cannabis but still didn’t identify with prevailing ‘weed culture’ perpetuated in the media. After realizing the demand that existed for more elegant and secure storage solutions from like-minded cannabis users, Apothecarry was born. We represent the millions of men and women across the country who take pride in working hard, raising families, and enjoying marijuana.”
What are the biggest challenges you have encountered as a founder?
“Fundraising is hard. Fundraising as a black female CEO is harder. I’m still tackling it. Overall black women startup founders raise only ~$36K on average, whereas white males typically raise over ~$1mm in startup capital. The number of businesses owned by African-American women has grown ~322% since 1997, making black females the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. It’s an uphill climb in an industry where lots of VCs and Angels are afraid to invest. But I’m here anyway! I believe. It’s a challenge, but nothing is impossible. It makes me fight harder for my vision.”
What have been your proudest accomplishments at Apothecarry so far?
“So far my proudest moments have been winning the Arcview pitch prize, being selected as Pipeline Angels’ Fall 2017 portfolio investment, and ending our first year with over $300K in sales.”
What problem do you believe you’re solving?
“Cannabis has grown up. Gone are the days that weed was linked to stoner culture, teen boys basements, and hippies. With legalization and more medical research than ever before, consumers are now more focused than ever on the quality of their cannabis. They demand the best smoking experience, and with the Apothecarry Case, that’s exactly what they will get. The Apothecarry case is the natural next step in the evolution of legal cannabis. We’re focused on targeting urban professionals, women, and medical users that make $75K+ a year.”
What advice do you have to someone trying to start their own company?
“I’m a single mother who left a comfortable job to start this company. I sold my house and liquidated my 401k to start the business, but I don’t regret a thing. I believe in this space, this brand, and in my team to get this done. I’m an advocate for women entrepreneurs as a whole, and women of color especially. Women are often the backbone of businesses across industries, but either don’t have the capital or confidence to strike out on their own.”
Apothecarry is raising its $500,000 Seed round via a convertible note. If you are interested in learning more about this investment opportunity, you may view the company’s profile here: /apothecarry/seed/."Please note that this opportunity is only available to accredited investors.
Apothecarry is offering securities under Rule 506(c) of Regulation D through SI Securities. Additional information may be obtained from: Apothecarry: /apothecarry/seed/"
This post was written by Tai Nicolopoulos on March 13, 2018
Founder Profile Series: Whitney Beatty of Apothecarry