Today’s guests met in Costa Rica and instantly became business partners. One bringing his creativity to the table, while the other brought branding and logistics.

Now, they run one of the most respected brands in smoking, herb, and cannabis lifestyle. Smoker or not, set aside your opinions for some amazing insights into growing a successful company in an oppressed industry.

Please welcome Mark Staiano and Dan Talbot form RYOT.

Episode highlights:

  • 0:34 – Mark and Dan Backgrounds
  • 6:12 – RYOT Journey
  • 15:21 –  Biggest Challenge
  • 23:11 Evolution of RYOT
  • 31:48 – Earlier Phase

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Other Podcast Guests Mentioned in This Episode:

Podcast Episode Transcripts:

Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.

Mark and Dan what’s up guys. Thanks for jumping on learning from others. Thanks for having me. So this a, this is going to be a fun one because, uh, we do business together and you guys are in a unique industry. Um, but before we dive into that, uh, I like to ask my guests two questions. I’ll let you guys fight over.

Who answers first question number one is, you know, what’s your area of expertise and what are we kind of potentially learn from you today?

Okay, Dan, Dan, there you go. No, that’s a good, that’s a good question. I think the great thing about having a business partner that you’re actually able to work with is we both kind of bring different qualities to the table and, uh, and different levels of expertise in different segments of the business.

Um, certainly, uh, Mine is, is a lot on the creative and brand development and creating good DNA for the company and an image to move forward with that tells a story that our followers and our fans and our customers, we get behind him and understand and feel part of. Um, whereas Mark’s is. Yeah, I was gonna say you gonna, you gonna answer, I was just going to let you run with it.

Um, yeah, no, I think it’s a good point. I mean, having a business partner, um, that, uh, that we can. A business is a, it’s a very complicated thing. The wrong, certainly, uh, this business was started, uh, based off an idea. And you look back on it and, and coming up with the idea is by far the easiest part of, of, uh, of running a business, um, and are going to be one going, I mean, basically everything after that.

Requires a, you know, it takes a lot of perseverance, a lot of innovation, you know, there’s, there’s just a tremendous number of challenges that come up with some plan for an expected and certainly many that are, um, are unexpected. Um, but, uh, but yeah, I mean, basically my role in the business, I would see original founder came up for, uh, a, uh, Uh, a, um, products for a company.

Oh, the crypto kit, basically a pocketable smoking system. And I never, prior to that, I didn’t consider myself a product developer or a designer in any way. It was something that, uh, just chose me. So. Um, and, and I’ve run with it. So I’ve tried to, uh, I realized I was pretty good at, at, at, uh, coming up with better ways to smoke and, um, and, uh, just tried to, till that garden for the last 20 years and, um, uh, you know, so.

what the hell do you do, Mark. Cool. All right. So there’s a lot of things that you guys there’s a lot of things you guys both touched on that I want to dive into deeper. Um, before we do, though, I also like to, to ask kind of a little. Uh, personality question. Um, so you guys have touched on what you’re good at and what your background is.

Tell us something that you are not so good at. That’s a great question. Uh, I think, uh, for myself, I’m not so good at being tied down to just one sort of

to keep moving and constantly into, in and out of everything. Um, shiny objects. Absolutely. I absolutely I’m sure it’s no surprise. I do not like

I’m a numbers guy, but I just can’t take it. Yeah. What about you Mark? Um, well, I’m not very good at singing or dancing, uh, just out of the gate, but, uh, but I enjoy both of those things. So that’s, that’s fine.

I, you know, I think maybe, uh, from, from a business perspective, uh, what I’m not so good at is just things that are really, you know, the tedious parts of the business are running a business are the most challenging. Yeah, to kind of head down, um, you know, you, you try and find the fun where it is and, and, uh, and then you do everything else you gotta do.

I would say that that is a strength of ours. So even though we don’t enjoy those aspects of the business in certain aspects, we persevere. But everything into those to get them down and do it for the best weekend. And if we’re not the pros in that area, that we find the pros out there that are gonna help us such as SEL with us.

Yeah. With SEO guy, you know, it’s funny, the diversity and the types of people that I get to talk to because you know, you guys talk about how you’re not a numbers person. And then we had a guest last week named Bradley Gabe and. Total opposite. He’s like, I am only a numbers guy and I want to put everything in this spreadsheet and I can’t small talk to people and socializing.

Isn’t my thing. And I, I have to realize that I can’t put people’s personalities into a spreadsheet. So you get like the total diversity. So it’s always interesting to see like the different perspectives. So let’s talk about, alright, so you guys talk, um, you know, riot is now where. Mark’s initial product has evolved into is the brand riot.

Um, how far into this journey? Um, did Dan, did you come along. It’s been about nearly now almost eight years now, seven, seven years into it. Uh, Mark and I met in Costa Rica. We were both living there at the time, a mutual friend who put us together. I was certainly doing very similar, similar, a similar business, different industry, a similar structure, as well as numerous other things.

I’m a serial entrepreneur. Um, and, uh, It’s so our friend put us together there and literally, yeah, I think since that evening, uh, he and I, we, we just were like Magnus. We came together and we haven’t stopped talking for good or bad ever since. So it’s, uh, it’s been a fun journey. It’s been amazing how far we’ve brought this thing.

Um, Yeah, I think at the time that Dan and I had to just kind of add to that when we first met where the business was at, it was pretty much an even split between. Uh, the product lines yeah. Or initially developed, and also just carry products as a distributor from other brands to, you know, that complimented some of the things that we were already making, but the brand itself.

Uh, and, and the, the marketing, the whole presentation of the company, uh, you know, these were things that, um, that I, I wasn’t trained in looking back on. And I think what Dan identified is that there was, there was a lot, uh, a lot of good clay to work with, but it’s still, um, I mean, it was still amateur hour, you know, we’re in an industry that, um, was a little more, uh, I guess, Uh, restricted in the sense that, um, uh, not a lot of.

Very well capitalized players yet, and the space. And, uh, and I always looked back on that as a, uh, uh, that was a real gift to have, um, such a long incubation period to learn how to do the things that mostly started with this. I had no idea how to do it here and, uh, and certainly branding and marketing and the industrial design bringing up, uh, That level of expertise to the business and those areas.

Dan, Dan brought all that to the table. And so, um, I think with what we had to work with and what his experience was, then just. Being very likeminded and kinda, uh, hit off, uh, on a, on a yin yang relationship pretty much from day one. And, um, and, and it was really transformative. And so, uh, and, and, uh, uh, even like the, uh, the industry was just starting to go a bit more mainstream.

The walls were coming on. Legalization was starting to happen. In several places. And so Mark’s point at first coming in, it was my first, a few shows into this industry work. I mean, I almost fell down a few times, certainly fell out of my chair and not because I was doing R and D, but it was really because it was amazing that there was a lack of experience, everything, a lot of the people that have been entrenched in this industry for so long, and that’s a great thing as well.

Um, but they hadn’t had an outsider’s perspective. So some levels. We were able to just make so many mistakes and nobody realized they were mistakes. Cause they were still wins for us. It was like being Bay birth just up to the plate, hitting home runs left right. And center and, and, uh, Even though we knew it probably wasn’t good enough, but we kept doing it.

It was great. Incubation period was a very, it was a long one and it continued and, and now it’s certainly a more competitive space. People are, are ready. They’re open, they’re funded. There there’s a lot of, a lot of professionals that there are a lot of expertise. Um, I still think it’s a compliment to what we’re doing every day though, that they’re still biting at our heels and trying to bite us products.

And so that’s a good thing as far as work, I think through it all, uh, that the space we’re in this, uh, this market has changed dramatically over the last five or six years. And, but, but going back to the beginning and at each of its, uh, stages of the evolution over the last 20 years, I think, um, uh, you know, culminating with the, what’s been a real boom or the last four or five years, um, we’ve been able to through it all, uh, remain.

Um, as a pioneering innovative brand that even the biggest companies out there are, are, uh, you know, they’re looking at us. Um, if they come spend a lot of time in our booth, looking at our products and, uh, you know, some of these companies that are very well capitalized and it’s always a lesson in. Um, yeah, you can, people, they can see where you’ve been.

They can’t see where you’re going with something. I have resolved once and, and, uh, you know, we, we take advantage of that to the fullest and, um, uh, and, uh, and, uh, really excited about that. Uh, the brand that we built and how well we feel like they will continue to thrive and endorse, uh, the next 10 years ahead of us.

Just absolutely excited. Yes. The beginning. Isn’t it. On so many levels. Yeah. Yeah. It’s your industry? Super interesting because it’s, it’s, um, new and it’s not new. Like, technically it’s not new, but from the opportunity and you know, the commercialization side, it’s totally new. And so it’s interesting. Um, and I want to talk about more where things are going, but one of the last things I wanna touch on, um, about how you guys started is, you know, Mark when you and Dan met, what was, what was the first that, what was your love at first sight with Dan about his skillset?

Um, or was there like a thing on day one where it was like, you know, maybe he can bring this to the table or was it something that you discovered over further conversations? Yeah, I, uh, well we were, we were talking and, um, we were at, at bar having a couple of drinks and just getting to know each other a little bit.

And, um, and he was telling me that, you know, he was asking about what business I was doing. And I said, we made some products or whatever. And I asked him about what he did and, and he had designed this really cool a skate tool. And I was like, Oh, you can design that. And the branding on everything just looked really great.

And, uh, and, and so pretty quickly I was like, how would you like to be here? Part of the, uh, you know, um, The one day largest accessory. Is that how you presented it?

Make a difference? You know, something like that.

The largest company in the world at that time, but yeah. Yeah. You know, you’ve talked about, um, some of the things that you learned w well, the topic of you learned a lot during that incubation period and how you’re grateful that it was kind of an extended period. Um, are there any examples you can give of some of the things you tripped over yourselves about that you then later learned from.

Oh, can you said where to start that? I think certainly it, no, but integration of new systems, efficiency, CRM, ERP, those, those have always been a challenge for us. Um, web has been a challenge and it’s, it’s always one of those things too, that, you know, there’s just not enough time in the day. So you kind of.

No. And we constantly identify certain areas of growth in our company and areas that we can create better efficiencies or better systems and SOP. And they’re all awesome. Okay. We’re ready for this one. And we’re ready for this one. So you just constantly. Uh, tilling through them all. And, uh, but certainly I think for me, I’m sure I’m speaking for Mark to integration with new systems, like DRP said, web developments and things like that have been the most challenging as a whole.

And I think. Yeah for my school. It’s just not an area of expertise that I had going into it. So we’ve had to learn a lot and we have, it’s been like going to school essentially. There’s a lot to learn to build on that and, and, and to tie it into this moment of our COVID era that ran where everyone’s working remotely so much remotely.

One of the biggest challenges that we faced as a business was making the decision, you know, many years ago, six, seven years ago to, uh, to go fully remote. So instead of having our own warehouse that, um, and you know, everyone goes to work in the same location in this business that originally started out of the house and then graduated to a bigger space and a bigger space.

And it was traditional in the sense that everyone went to work and. I took the orders sent into to the back. They got fixed without the door, all that. Um, but for different reasons, uh, especially just managing the logistics and the needs, um, space needs for a business that that’s going to grow. I became obvious that, uh, it was tough to, from where I was in Athens to really put in place a scalable business model and, uh, seemed like the.

The best path to doing that would be to contract out or warehousing and fulfillment, uh, to the West coast where most of our products are being landed. And, um, and then, you know, if the business growth by. That you know, exponentially, uh, whatever the cyclical nature might be. That whole responsibility, which is a major responsibility is essentially outsource.

And, um, and, and initially on paper, as they say. Uh, that sounded great and pretty easy and practice what that, um, uh, created was the need to have, um, fully integrated systems that speak to each other. So you don’t have, you know, a silo of data in, in your accounting and books, the silo of data at the fulfillment.

Yeah. And then what’s on your website. So all of these systems have to be out of the kidney together, communicate properly and integrate where, you know, where you’re working off the singular data and that, um, integration has been, uh, the most difficult thing I think, uh, that that I’ve ever, uh, been part of to pull together it’s taken many years to do.

And, and, and certainly, uh, we’ve had some fits and starts and. And some, uh, you know, contractors that didn’t work out and, um, technology just weren’t available. Yeah. Yeah. And the technology is a whole, so we’re going worth going through a period that is also fundamentally changing where, you know, 10 years ago, everyone would go out of QuickBooks to, to, uh, SAP or, or nets.

We, um, the people that we were. Speaking with that were, that are colleagues, other businesses that had made those transformations. Also weren’t terribly happy with them and they were very expensive. And at the same time you have this new wave of companies coming in that were more app based cloud based.

Uh, then those, uh, traditional systems and much less expensive. And he said, we, you know, we hung on, on the QuickBooks for as long as we can. Good. And, um, and then ultimately made the, uh, I’ve made the change, uh, and the final steps of it or the, or the early stages of it. Of actually adopting ODU, Odie O O is though we ultimately, and it seems to be great, but ERP systems are complex and, uh, connecting all that, you know, again, it’s been a challenge, but when Tobin came and everyone had to work at home, well, we’ve been doing this for years.

Our entire workforce is, as you know, this is, this is. Fundamentally how we’ve been operating. So, uh, I think if we had to go from an office system to working from home that quick, late, trying to make all that work, I, I empathize with, with, uh, uh, companies that have had to make that transition on the dime.

I know that that is, uh, it’s very difficult for sure. Um, and throw them a little homeschooling on top of it for good measure

things getting done out there. But, uh, but no, uh, you know, so we’re a little ahead of the curve there on the work remote late. And, uh, so it’s, you know, it’s almost business as usual in that sense. We have a number of employees that really, other than watching the news or having a line up at the grocery store with the face mask on.

Cause he told me about this what’s going on. Yeah. Yeah. I’m in the same boat and super fortunate in that respect because my team has been remote almost the entirety of our 13 years and you know, my, my wife’s been fortunate enough to stay at home as well. And. Um, our kids go through a track schedule at school.

So they’re used to a couple of weeks on a couple of weeks off. So, um, you know what I did the, the, the, the viewer or the listeners, can’t see this, I got this little light thing you see that says on off. So basically, yeah, like it turns on, this is like a remote switch. I don’t have one of those. I just push it.

And it’s just like this sparkly disco ball that’s outside of the office. It’s like, don’t bog dad. That’s fair. You may see me. Yeah. Well, you know, Dan, you’re nodding your head when Mark started talking about the decision to go remote and how it was a big decision. But if I, if I do the math right. You would have been pretty new to the company at that point?

We, I was around for a few years prior, but just, just maybe, maybe, uh, no more than two years prayer when we were kind of halfway everyone out there from like 2011 to 20. Through 2014 and then, uh, took the full plunge at the end of 2014 and sold the warehouse, um, you know, that entire building. And so really it was basically Christmas 2014.

That they were, you know, we were no longer at the net, so to speak and just speak to that a little bit. We have, it’s interesting. Okay. I’ve lived in Costa Rica for about eight years. Uh, uh, dance up in Canada. Mom’s from law. Uh, we’ve got employees in Colorado, a graphic designer. Who’s a Canadian in Mexico city, uh, their employees and in Georgia, I’d say we’re a very lifestyle driven company.

Got reps in, in Oregon. Um, and so, you know, everyone is able to. Uh, you know, to live where they really want to live and embrace it, just the lifestyle that they love. And so that is very empowering, I think, uh, to a business, to be able to, and to them employees, uh, to want to join or be part of a company that, uh, we’re we’re, you know, you can do it from anywhere.

That’s a beautiful, uh, that’s a beautiful part of the age where, yeah, let’s, let’s talk a little bit about riots brandings. You talked about, you know, the going through that process of, uh, streamlining that brand representation. And I. Not, not Brown nose in here, just because you’re write me checks, but I actually super like riots branding.

Cause what I like about it is you guys have a certain culture that you have to appeal to, but you do it in like a sleek, elegant way. So was there a. A moment in time where you said, okay, I’m going to, we’re making this definitive decision that this is how we want to represent the brand. Uh, or was it kind of an evolution and you used to brand it differently at some other point earlier in time?

I think from my perspective, when I came in, it was a. I think the brand, that was one of the things that identified the brand needed. Certainly it wasn’t, it was more of a distributors supporting brand, had a great foundation, great players Mark said, but it needed, it needed DNA. It needed to be something that people to recognize as well as art up and understand the direction of.

And that was part of an evolution. I didn’t necessarily jump out of the gate and say, this is where we’re gonna end up at. But because it took some time to get in and see where the brand was accepted, what kind of well walks of life, grab hold of it. And where were, where were you? We’re able to sell it and, and what the response was. And so, uh, It did it turned out where we wanted it to be thus far. I think, where it was more of a broader spectrum. It wasn’t just one sided, one dimensional. And in that kind of head, uh, uh, lifestyle or HETI lifestyle market, but we are growing it all lifestyles action sports in arts and, uh, with. Kind of a timeless feel to it.

It could be appreciated by, by anybody from, you know, my grandfather to, to your 21 year old, uh, nephew. So sir, so, um, kind of have people call us army or the, the, we hear Patagonia a lot where we just talked about. Align. That’s really appealing to everybody in a brand that everybody can, can recognize within themselves and find something in the brand that they that’s appealing to them that they would actually use.

And it doesn’t have to be an effort, but there’s certainly something there for everybody. Yeah. So like before, before, before Dana came on board, really, all I knew from the beginning is that whatever the cliches were, uh, that might be, that might characterize stoners and smokers and, you know, uh, Pilates and, you know, just, uh, that was where you were stuck at.

No, no, no, no. From the beginning, from day one in the business, I was, I, you know, I want it to mainstream. Uh, you know, I wanted it to be, uh, I knew I wanted our image and that’s not right. Products to be, to be more subtle than that, you know, really just like any other brand, whether it’s  or, or, or, or Nike or Burton or grieve, um, you know, we didn’t need to be just the, those old stereotypes for, for smokers and cannabis users.

Those were out the window very early on. And that’s where I think, uh, riot was a, a pioneering company and taking that approach towards, uh, rolling out towards its products was to, to not embrace, uh, stereotypes at all. In fact, fully reject them. You know, they call it a dragon on the table and rejection might be a strong word, but cause we never rejected.

Are the original foundation of our followers that had the actual heavy market. We never turn our back on those that helped make the brand what it this today. And we still embraced it is part of our DNA and who we represent, what we represent and on a loan that’s appealing to a wide spectrum. Of users, every walk of life

smokers are people too, you know, they’re out there doing things, working hard, embracing life. And, um, it’s not just teaching Chung hung out there, you know? So. Yeah. What does, um, I know I asked you in an email a while back, but for the audience, tell me how you came up with the name riot and kind of, you said the acronym kind of touches on a certain set of words.

It’s a, I’ll try and make a bit of a long story short. Um, the, the original product was the crypto kid and, uh, and had a, uh, my original name, which is not one that I love at all. And it’s amazing. It made it out of the gate, but like I said, we were, we were granted some runway to thank you this out for a trademark for crypto cane and.

Um, a company, a kryptonite bike locks. A lot of people may know that there’s U shaped bylaw. Likewise, the owner of that company calls me. And says, Hey, I just saw, I just sold my company, like lock company, and they’re gonna come after you for your trademarks. So you’re going to have to change that. And, you know, I knew just enough about trademark law to be a, a little, uh, arrogant and dangerous there.

And I was like, I’m not changing anything. You’re doing locks. We’re doing smoking accessories categories, nothing to do with each other. And. And if anyone’s got a lock on crypto, it’s going to be a DC comics. So anyways, they, they tried to, uh, they tried to, um, uh, they, they sued me over it. And, uh, and so I fought them back and, uh, you know, they tried to say that the March would never have been granted.

It was scandalous and all that kind of stuff. Um, and, and we ultimately won it and you can Google me. There’s a Harvard, uh, law case study that says kryptonite lawsuit goes up in smoke. Um, which I thought was a pretty funny, pretty funny rewind, but anyway, so I was excited about that, but at the same time, You had, uh, speaking of Tommy, John, uh, operation pipe dreams was in play in 2002.

And, um, and, and Tommy Chong ended up going to JL and, and there was a, you know, jobs were getting raided, smoke shops and stuff, and they didn’t want to have anything to do with it, a product that had anything, uh, The word crypto on it, anything that sounded like a street, uh, jargon, uh, they just didn’t want it on the product.

So, so one of the lawsuit then the shops didn’t want the word crypto, uh, so had to essentially come up with something new and, um, and, and the letters R Y O T or within the word crypto. So it was really just a process of. Of, uh, you know, just kind of a removal there and, uh, and, and our IOT, uh, can stand in as an acronym for roll your own tobacco.

And, um, and, and certainly back in those days, it was all about for tobacco use only, uh, these days were for legal arms on like, um, but we’re not, we’re not big tobacco, uh, supporters at all. Um, the worst thing you could smoke, I would say. And, um, uh, but that’s where, that’s where the name came from. So was, you know, so riot and I liked it also had some other interesting meetings and in Indiana it means a peasant up the soil, which, which, which resonated with me.

And, um, and was available. So that was it right there. So, uh, you know, and I liked that. I mean, it’s, this is an industry that you’re a bit of an underdog and you feel like you’re oppressed. If you are someone who, you know, you’re, you’re, you’re an adult that is able to make their own decisions and, and we should be able to make the decisions to smoke cannabis or CBD.

Um, Uh, really whatever we want, uh, if it’s not harming anyone else. And so, you know, that is a cause that. We, you know, are quietly riding forward. So, um, and also that loops into, can you talk a little bit about how your industry has changed? Because like you said, you’re, you’re kind of in this, you know, some people misunderstand and think you guys are in this gray area despite, um, it being legal herbs in many places.

So can you talk about how. Earlier the phrase you used was the walls have come down a little bit. So what type of fights were you up against back in the day versus where have you seen things become more relaxed? Where now you can make your statement without as much hesitation. Well, I think popular opinion is dramatically different now than it was then

I mean, you have what, 60 million Americans living in recreationally legal markets, something like that. Uh, and that didn’t even start until 2012. Um, You know, if you took a popular opinion, Paul, back in the early two thousands on, on legalization, I’m not sure what those numbers are, but my guess is they were probably in the low forties, maybe, you know about then.

And now I think we’re probably at like 60% plurality, super plurality are supportive of, of legalization in some capacity. So. Um, the, the stigma, uh, associated with, um, with, with cannabis smoking, I feel like this has been maybe the biggest wall to come down. A lot of the political walls with what’s happened on the state levels have certainly been very significant.

Um, but it’s been frustrating that the federal classification uh hasn’t um, hasn’t yet moved. Uh, but, uh, with the 2018 farm bill, that seems to be, um, the beginning of what is hopefully the end of that prohibition. Uh, and, and then, uh, that really will clear the way towards, uh, easier logistics for sure. I cannot remember national level different countries are starting to crack the web canvas fully legal on the fed level.

Have numerous other countries are probably right now. So it’s, the walls are coming down and it’s just a process. Still navigating. Some waters are still challenges. And, uh, we have to kind of be mindful of, of all those challenges and hurdles to jump through. We’re not a traditional business, so we don’t have the traditional means of finance or again, there’s going to be logistical hurdles to jump through and to be.

Mindful of, but it is starting the term. And back, back before I came in and even when I came in, it was, there were still challenges that were drastically more, more challenging than they are now. And, uh, you, you still see some roadblocks there, for sure. For sure. What excites you about where the industry is going?

I think for me, I just think as the walls come down, there’s more opportunity. And, uh, being in a position that we’ve solidified the brand and certainly in areas like Canada is a household brand within the cannabis accessory space or, or legal legal Herb’s I should should say, because our products are used for.

Or smoking hemp CBD, et cetera, et cetera. We don’t necessarily say it’s one, one sided, one style use only. But, uh, I think it’s just, yeah, we’ve got a great foundation and we continue to grow, put in systems and, and, uh, we continue to learn, continue to grow, uh, fills it out. And so we have that foundation that we can grow this thing into.

A giant, uh, with, with all these opportunities happening there. You talked about, um, you know, as we get kind of close to wrapping up, I kinda want to touch on what we were just talking about and future opportunities, but also tie it into a comment you made a little while ago, how you talked about, you know, doing trade shows in the early days.

And I believe you guys still excluding the virus shutdown right now. You guys still largely do booths. Is that where like businesses done in this industry and then with, um, You know, legalization becoming more prominent. Does that open up other opportunities beyond just booth space? Or do you think that’s still gonna stay in that state, the primary place where you do trade there’s certainly demand.

I’m sure. Mark has a lot to say about it. We still do trade shows and we do a. A lot of business and trade shows. It’s a great opportunity to get in front of our customers and new customers and, uh, get people holding our product, or even sampling our product, walking away with our product. We utilize a sales workforce as well.

That does the same thing, boots on the ground, world warriors. Um, but the trade shows are very, very valuable and, uh, Outside of the revenue that they can bruise. Uh, it’s, it’s really just a great opportunity to get in front of the customer at the wholesale level. We don’t drive a lot of consumer shows, so we don’t is handling those.

And that has to be a little bit of a different shell. There there’s a lot of value there, but certainly, uh, we feel that there’s more value on the wholesale side so we can engage and just getting more doors. Yeah, it’s interesting. The trade shows because they have been, um, the, uh, arguably the, the, the.

Most singularly important vehicle towards growing the business over the years. Um, I mean, you look back to Vegas shows a year and you know, three or four other events. Um, I mean, I would typically travel about a third of the year, uh, for various reasons and to have this year in front of us now where there isn’t really a place to go to, even on the board for an event, um, That’s that’s kind of a silver lining, although I, you know, I think, uh, everyone wants to get back to normal, but been in it long enough to, uh, gonna get to enjoy this moment and take it to, to spend a little more time with the family and the kids.

Um, but, uh, but you know, online is available. So there’s, I think you can. For us, it’s probably the biggest disadvantage for the, for the new starts. You know, if you’re a startup, you have a new product. You’re trying to get that out without that trade show to really get in front of people. Um, you’re, you know, that, that seems like it would be a real uphill battle.

So we’re, we’re fortunate in that sense that if you have a established space of business, you can go a year without having trade shows, especially if no one else is doing trade shifts. So, um, But I think once, uh, COVID passes that it, you just can’t replace getting, uh, that face to face time. And as well as just getting products, it, the efficiency of it for a buyer to be able to go to a show and thousand boosts and all the products within those boosts and do that over just a few days, there’s nothing else.

That’s going to be able to replace that. So. Travel frees up. The demand is going to pull that activity back, certainly in our industry, very valuable time to have well, Dan and Mark. Um, I think that this has been a great conversation. I appreciate you guys bringing this discussion to the audience, want to say thanks for jumping on learning from others and give you guys the last moment to put out any contact information or anything else you wanna share.

Yeah, you can absolutely go in that. Mark, are you going to do a magic trick first though?

Okay. Sorry. is the easiest way. You’ll be able to see the whole line as a whole bill to contact us whether you’re a consumer or a wholesaler or distributor. You’ll be able to do it. You can find a site, right? Underscore official on Instagram. We always do plenty of giveaways to all our followers. So by all means head over there, follow us and participate and all the other channels of social media, of course, Facebook, et cetera.

So, uh, thanks for your time, Jamie. Yeah. You got anything Mark? Uh, no. Yeah, I appreciate the time. This is, this has been a, this has been fun. Uh, Uh, you know, I hope we get a chance to do another moment yet. Thanks a bunch. Yeah. Yeah. You bet. Mark. And Dan R Y O Thanks so much. Thanks guys.

What did you think of this podcast?

Today’s guests met in Costa Rica and instantly became business partners. One bringing his creativity to the table, while the other brought branding and logistics.

Now, they run one of the most respected brands in smoking, herb, and cannabis lifestyle. Smoker or not, set aside your opinions for some amazing insights into growing a successful company in an oppressed industry.

Please welcome Mark Staiano and Dan Talbot form RYOT.

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