Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Valley.
Hi Alex, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I’m the founder of UNITY. I’m from the Midwest, and, like quite a few other people, I originally moved to LA to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. While on set one day, I heard about a trendy grocery store called Erewhon (go figure). I decided to go and check out their famed cauliflower buffalo wings for myself. Although they were delicious, the bigger revelation was Erewhon’s CBD selection. It drew me in, and I had to get more information. I do have to say that when I found CBD, it was not an initial connection. It was 2017, and I thought, “there’s no way this stuff works.” That’s where I was wrong.
When I tried it for myself and realized how wrong I was, I knew I had to bring this incredible ingredient to others. If it could help me with my stress and anxiety, maybe it could help the masses. Plus, there was (is) a lot of research going on around other, more debilitating diseases.
I looked at the current CBD offerings. There simply wasn’t anything that looked and tasted good–so I decided to create my own. There weren’t really any beverage options on the market, so I decided to go for that. Funny enough, the idea at the beginning was to do shots but quickly evolved to 14oz beverages and protein bars.
Once we knew what we wanted to do, we went full steam ahead. A few others were popping up in 2018 while we perfected our flavor and effect. It seemed that most rushed to the market and forgot about taste, branding, and effect, leaving many negative sentiments amongst consumers. We knew we had to leave those bad vibes (and maybe that phrase) in the past.
We launched in 2019 and changed that negativity. We brought something to market that looks as good as it tastes—something for good and good for you. Fast forward two years, and we are the fastest growing CBD beverage in the US. Needless to say, going to a grocery store hungry can be a good thing!
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been very bumpy. Don’t trust an entrepreneur that says all has been smooth! We have had entire runs of inventory that were made unsellable, suppliers that made errors and left us holding bills that we could not afford, vendors that wouldn’t pay us, ruthless competitors that saw us as a threat, the list goes on. We have had a thousand dollars in the bank and $50,000 in debt, then been hit with a $40,000 bill. In times like that, most people would quit. I decided to double down, invest every penny that I had, and truly see things through. I was and am so passionate about the product that I was blinded and didn’t see another option. Logically it did not make sense, but I was all-in. Times like that are fun to talk about now but definitely were not easy then. And boy, were there quite a few breaking points just like that.
As you know, we’re big fans of UNITY Wellness Co. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
UNITY is a CBD food and beverage company. We pride ourselves on providing the best-tasting CBD beverages and protein bars on the market. We’re a team of misfits trying to do good in the world and provide good products. We love what we do and hope you love our products!
We are known for our CBD beverages and protein bars! But rather than just being another CBD wellness company, we focused on creating effective products. Visually, we are known for our giant red “U” that is front and center on our packaging!
We do things right. We really strive to champion the cannabis industry as a whole. We do so by bringing CBD to the masses to eliminate the stigmas and misconceptions around the space. If we can do that well, we can put cannabis in the hands of those that need it most. The more mass-market appeal there is, the more research money will go into all of the cannabinoids. There is still a lot to be researched on a plethora of diseases and ailments that some cannabinoids may be able to help with.
Visually we stand out with the big red U! Physically, we genuinely want to help people and started UNITY to do just that. We have stayed true to that, even after raising millions of dollars, hiring many teammates, and changing so much as a company.
Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
Every starting entrepreneur needs to read The Lean Startup by Eric Ries. It was a game-changer. I derive a ton of insights from both Group Chat and The Founder Hour. From there, dive into publications in your space. For me, that meant reading Bevnet every morning!
Thank you so much for having me! If anybody has any questions at all, please feel free to reach out to me. I love the space, and I love talking about it. firstname.lastname@example.org
- $41.94 for a beverage sampler
- $34.93 for our CBD protein bars
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.unitywellness.co
- Instagram: instagram.com/unitywellnessco
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/UnityWellnessCo
UNITY Wellness Co.