Today we’d like to introduce you to Meredith Schroeder.
Meredith, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
We are Fleur Marché, an online CBD multi-brand retailer who’s mission is to rebrand cannabis as wellness. We are aimed at women, whom we felt were being overlooked by the traditional and preexisting cannabis industry. We, the co-founders, came to cannabis for different reasons and decided to join forces and create an online apothecary that curates the most well-vetted products, and speaks to women in a sophisticated way and aims to dispel misinformation about cannabis, and CBD specifically.
We started this journey first by developing our own personal interest and passion for cannabis and leaned into our communities to understand if they too felt the pain points we did as women consumers in the space. Both of us came from goop, and other female focused business, and felt we were uniquely suited to recontextualize this category for women in a thoughtful way. We conducted a survey to best get to the bottom of what women wanted out of the retail experience when it came to cannabis and built out a proper business plan. We launched our site officially in Jan, and have been focused on spreading the good word (and science-backed research) about CBD and its wellness benefits. The goal is to ultimately reach as much of the country as possible and continue stripping the stigma associated with cannabis that still very much exists, specifically with women.
Great, 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?
I think any entrepreneur who says it’s an entirely smooth road is being fraudulent. It’s not a straight and narrow path from starting to success. For us, the biggest challenge (and we understood this from the outset) was the roadblocks that come with digital marketing efforts in the cannabis space. While we are optimistic, this will loosen up over time, we’ve had to get really creative with our approach to building our brand in these beginning stages. IRL is the most effective way for us to reach people, quickly and effectively and we’ve been very focused on that. It’s also the way customers consume the best education on CBD, something we always hypothesized would be essential as we think about our permanent brick and mortar strategy.
I think my best advice is to really do your homework and be prepared to work harder than you ever have in your life: actually build out a business plan, have endless conversations with people who both love and hate your idea, start working on it tactically (the best way to start is to literally just start), work really effing hard, and keep with it. I think to burn out is pretty inevitable, but it’s the determination to keep going, and the undeniable passion for what it is your building that supersedes the fatigue or self-doubt.
What else should our readers know?
Ultimately, our goal at Fleur Marché is to give cannabis a rebrand. We want to effectively reach women who are very invested in wellness and/or self-care, but novices in cannabis, and need our help to guide them in selecting the right products for their wellness routines and educate them on the benefits of these products. Ultimately, we are working alongside some other amazing brands (many of whom are also female-founded) to destigmatize cannabis and create a retail environment that feels just as delightful as going into a well-curated beauty store. The products and experience should make you feel good.
Our biggest point of differentiation (and something our brands will explicitly attest to) is our strict vetting process. To be part of our brand and product mix and Fleur Marché, you have to really be transparent with all of your testing documentation to ensure each product is of the utmost quality and efficacious. We pride ourselves in making sure we don’t put snake oils into our universe, and our customers can rest easy knowing we did the work for them so they don’t have to.
We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
Luckily, within the CBD community, we’ve seen so many women dominate the space. I think this part of the industry is unique in that way. However, the overarching cannabis industry is certainly heavily male-focused. I think what’s been exciting about watching our industry evolve, is the powerful female players that have decided to disrupt the space and are really trying to do things right. To play in this world, you have to be willing to tow the line a bit and understand that federally there are still very big challenges that come with building a business in cannabis. So, there are plenty of barriers (plus the stigma) to deter very talented women from entering, however, I do think this will continue to evolve and I buy into the belief that this could very well be the first female-dominated industry.
- Website: www.fleurmarche.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @fleurmarche
- Twitter: @fleurmarche