Seriously Catherine – Are You Cannabis-Curious? with Kristina Lopez Adduci | Episode 5 – Palette
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Seriously Catherine – Are You Cannabis-Curious? with Kristina Lopez Adduci | Episode 5

Founder & CEO of House of Puff, Kristina Lopez Adduci, talks with Catherine this week about bringing elegance and sophistication to cannabis usage, breaking the myths of marijuana use as a woman and parent, talking about SPV’s (Special Purpose Vehicle – for founders to raise money for their companies), and also cross-fading! If you’re high-stress or have anxiety, or even if you’re curious, and especially if you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll want to listen to this episode for understanding, clarity, and inspiration for growing your business.

House of Puff website can be found here:

Women-Owned, Latina-Led Cannabis Business

Catch Kristina Lopez Adduci on Instagram HERE

Follow House of Puff on Instagram HERE

Learn more with House of Puff about cannabis and its usage on their YouTube account HERE

Special Thanks to the Adelphi Hotel for being our Launch Partner!

⇩ Find Catherine ⇩


Palette Co-Work Community:

Paint and Sip:




*This Transcript is Autogenerated*

Kristina Lopez Adduci 0:00
At first, I was always a little shy about my cannabis consumption. But now it’s so funny you go up to you know the playground and you’ve got women being like, you gotta gummy for me. I’m having trouble sleeping at night and I’m just like, I got you

Catherine Hover 0:21
welcome to seriously Catherine a podcast about taking your business seriously, but not yourself. On today’s episode, we have Christina Lopez Dooj. She is an entrepreneur, speaker, art collector and curator. She is the founder and CEO of House of POF, a New York based cannabis lifestyle brand. Christina initially created the company to offer cannabis products that resonated with her personal preferences. Over time, she has transformed the brand harnessing the power of art to drive social change. I’m so excited about this episode, we talked a lot about the stigma of women consuming cannabis, especially parents. We also talked about scaling a brick and mortar business and fundraising. Oh, and Christina told me all about crossfading. So tune in to this episode of seriously, Catherine. All right, everybody. This week’s facepalm mom moment is today’s Friday. It’s no school for all the kids who are veterans day. And the moment was yesterday at around 1:30pm When I realized that I have a full morning of meetings and no childcare. So I mean, just in addition to this, like let’s just I have to just comment that the kids don’t even they basically don’t go to school, the whole month of November between superintendent day, parent teacher conference days, half days for early dismissal for practicing dismissing kids early for you know, it’s just and then you get a whole week off for Thanksgiving. So like the kids basically do not go to school the month of November, right? But it totally just snuck up on me that any childcare, no support, no help on the home front. And I had packed in my morning with meeting so luckily, I have an amazing village and my mom friend just came in for the win and shared the day with me. So this morning, she watched all three girls with her kids. And now I’m on my way to pick them up. And I told them that it’s going to be a yes day an entire yesterday afternoon. So whatever they dream up wanting to do, I’m gonna go do with them. Can’t say no. It’s gonna be fun. I’ll have no regrets about it whatsoever. And I also shared the day on Tuesday with another man friend because you know, it takes a village and in my case I say it takes a bit Okay, so if you know me, you know that I love what I do. And I’m a workaholic. So if I ever have a chance to get away, I can’t go too far away without my kids and without being so far away from work the Delphi is my go to what’s really great about the Delphi is that it has everything you need. It’s right there on Broadway. It has a restaurant, it’s got the breakfast joint, it’s got it all and the room service is amazing. So last Christmas we did Christmas Day Night at the adult fi we booked the Polaris suite which is really special because it has a hot tub on the balcony. And the kids loved it. It was so much when we ordered room service and it was just like the most special thing and again, it’s got a Jacuzzi. I mean who doesn’t want to use a Jacuzzi at the a Delphi if you don’t have the opportunity to stay at the Delphi you can still go and hang out in their in their lobby or eat at their restaurants. The best sushi in town by far I believe is that the Delphi? You should get the rainbow roll. You can thank me later. It’s delicious. It’s absolutely the bomb. If you are local and you need a night off or a night away, don’t go too far. Go right there to the adult five book yourself a wrong have dinner there have breakfast in the morning and you’ll feel like a totally different person when you wake up. I am so happy to have you, Christina. Here on the seriously Catherine podcast pressures on. Okay, so I met you through Jana. And she had introduced me to you because you’re raising money through an SPV. And just for anyone listening, watching who doesn’t know what that is, it’s called a special purpose vehicle. So for founders to raise money for their companies and have a cleaner cap table. So it’s smaller checks. People write, you know, anywhere from like 2500 to $10,000 checks, obviously, you could take a larger check.

Kristina Lopez Adduci 4:45
I mean, I welcome that all of the time. But yes, this

Catherine Hover 4:50
way for the founder. There’s like one grouping on the cap table of these smaller angels and it’s it’s fun because it allows for, for example, for me I need to learn so much from the founder, because I am a founder also. But also, it’s great opportunity to connect with other like minded people who are picking up what you’re putting down.

Kristina Lopez Adduci 5:11
Exactly. And it keeps the cap table nice and clean, which every investor like loves to see. And to your point, it’s like a little micro community, which is just, you know, especially in the industry that I’m in, you know, I need all of the peeps feel

Catherine Hover 5:25
like this is the other thing that I love about SPVs is that I feel like I have my hand in your success. And I really didn’t do much of anything aside from like, you know, hanging out.

Kristina Lopez Adduci 5:37
No, first of all, you’re not giving yourself enough credit. You’ve done a lot you’ve given me our awesome project manager Cassie right. Balaji you have done so much for house Above Beyond supporting us, monetarily. I adore you. And I think what you do specifically for women, and connecting us all together is is something that I admire and wish I did more of,

Catherine Hover 6:02
oh my god, stop. I mean, Cassie was a member of palette, right? So she was in the art world. And I remember thinking like, wow, this is like a perfect connection. And, you know, this is the thing about connecting people like hard intros are so valuable, because I connected her with you, you out of respect for me, you hold that meeting, you give her a shot, and vice versa, she shows up as her best self, because out of respect for me, she’s gonna like, put our best foot forward, and I’m so thrilled that that’s worked out, you know, you never really know how it’s gonna go. But I think that the values of palette is to be respectful, trusting, vulnerable, honest, and authentic. And I think that that really shines through when we’re making these like intros. So tell us a little more about how stuff puff. I’m a raving fan.

Kristina Lopez Adduci 6:54
I adore you for that. So yeah, so how’s it puff is a woman own Latina led, I’m Puerto Rican company. We’re based in New York City. And we just stigmatized cannabis consumption by women with content and sophisticated products. So working with artists, I had an art magazine for about 10 years. Essentially, we you know, we pioneer exquisite design driven cannabis products paired with viral content that, you know, hopefully and will transform cannabis into a symbol of sophistication and inclusivity as opposed to what we would typically see is that the stoner bro masculine stereotype. So that’s how to puff in a nutshell. Yeah,

Catherine Hover 7:37
so the future for House of puff is eventually you’re gonna be able to walk into a retail

Kristina Lopez Adduci 7:43
store, you know, the rollout in New York. And you know, I know as as a New York resident, you see what’s going on with the proliferation of a lot of these unlicensed dispensaries. So right now we’re just putting our head down and focusing on selling our products in the stores, you know, maybe working on a few store concepts but not having a brick and mortar just yet a lot of the investors that we were speaking to they saw the rollout of New York and how it was going down and all of these unlicensed dispensaries and it just right now doesn’t make financial sense but you know, never say never so we’re just gonna keep doing what we do best building our brand producing great content coming out with beautiful products and hopefully launching our own flower product or THC product I should say by the end of the year. Oh,

Catherine Hover 8:31
that’s exciting. Yeah, I mean, I feel like well, I mean, I’m in the brick and mortar business so you know paint and sip is brick and mortar pallets brick and mortar and it’s a tough it’s a tough lift. I mean, it’s a big lift and there’s so much saturation right now and like I just didn’t get it’s kind of bonkers how everything is gone and what you do best I believe and the easiest way for people to spend money and buy your products is to go to your website is a beautiful website the products are awesome. You use a pretty amazing you know facilitator as far as shipping fulfillment center and things are going well right with them they are killing

Kristina Lopez Adduci 9:09
it killing it. I love working with other female founded companies and you know it’s hard for you know, we’re not Amazon right so finding fulfillment good fulfillment is hard to come by and so happy they’re based in New York and makes things a lot easier and I’m you know, so pumped that we’re a partner of theirs. Yeah,

Catherine Hover 9:29
so So ship ality the owners of Shakeology are members of pallet and that was another connection we made to sort of support you as far as like getting somebody local that would be able to deliver literally deliver your product. And you know, my favorite part of Shakeology I don’t know if this is incorporated in House of pubs like ordering or anything but they handwrite notes to your customers if they do, yes,

Kristina Lopez Adduci 9:53
great handwriting. My penmanship is terrible.

Catherine Hover 9:58
I am the same I was actually talking to someone the other day about like, I could never work for ship ology because they, you would have to write out a card for every shipment. And I would I would botch it.

Kristina Lopez Adduci 10:10
If I wrote out a card, somebody would get and be like, what does this even say? So

Catherine Hover 10:15
tell us a little more like, bring us up to speed as far as like how you got how subpop started, what, you know, brought you that, like, I know you came from the art world, but what made you want to open up your own business and compete in this market? Yeah,

Kristina Lopez Adduci 10:29
so I grew up in a district, Puerto Rican household, so I wasn’t really around cannabis at all. I grew up sort of afraid of it, if you will. And so I, you know, went to college, I went to grad school, and still not consuming and it wasn’t until, you know, I lived in New York started launching my art magazine, did some work at the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research, started hearing about like, the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. And I was like, wait, hold up. I’m like, it’s a medicine like people use this for, you know, Parkinson’s patients use it for dyskinesia, for example, you know, cancer patients glaucoma. And for me, it was really about just anxiety and sleep. And so my mom, who’s a physician, I asked her, I said, What’s the deal with this cannabis thing? Like, should I give it a whirl and sort of stop taking, you know, Dizzy quills and all that crap? And she’s like, Sure, why not. So when I went to go do that a lot of the products on the market clearly were not made with me in mind, you know, they were phallic, black and blue just map very masculine, confusing products. And I thought, hmm, I have all these artists I work with. I’m sort of like, you know, a shishi self proclaimed, I like nice things. I will admit that and I want to things I can leave out on my coffee table. I want to things that were not confusing. And I wanted to, you know, be able to go on YouTube or Instagram and see people like me, women like we women of color who were consuming cannabis and sort of an elevated way. And so I just reached out to every artist that you know, a glassblower, a ceramicist, a candle maker. And I was like, I have an idea. Let’s make cannabis consumption chic, easy and welcoming. And then I realized I was onto something sold the art magazine brought on a partner or co founder Holly Hager as my CEO Oh, and 2020 Of course, you know, was a time that we all remember. And we started selling and it started picking up the pandemic hit. And we were like, okay, crap, like, all these dispensaries that were carrying us are closing, nobody was shopping IRL anymore. Our DTC was fine, but we needed more volume. And so we both had magazines. So we dove headfirst into content marketing, which was the best thing that we could do. Because again, there wasn’t a lot of fresh content geared towards sort of the mainstream Canna curious consumer. And then the rest is history. I think, you know, we looked at our numbers yesterday, we’re at a digital reach of 15 million. Our how to roll a joint video is one of the most watched videos on YouTube. Because again, I have a pretty manicure, I have you know, I like my rings. I don’t want to see some grubby guy in his mom’s basement teaching me how to roll a joint. That’s not how we distinguish thises beautiful plant. And so we just pair the content with beautiful products and it’s been a fun ride. For sure.

Catherine Hover 13:28
It resonates so much with me when it comes to like growing up, it was like, you know, say no to drugs and don’t touch there isn’t any example that we had of anybody, you know, consuming was a pothead, you know, or dead, or, you know, like covered in tattoos and just like that, that whole like, head shop thing. We all know the stigma of like the pothead and I just remember growing up being like, don’t ever hang out with anybody who smokes pot don’t ever, you know, bring anybody like that home. And if I ever find out that you are smoking pot, you’re you’re out. So to be able to sort of like bring it into the future. And I have to tell the story recently, I was home and my dad has like all of these THC cannabis products like, like, um, like muscle balms, and lotions and stuff. And I’m like, Dad, what is this? And he’s like, you know, it works. You know, like when he’s like when you’re an old man and you’re in pain, you’ll try anything.

Kristina Lopez Adduci 14:26
There you go.

Catherine Hover 14:27
It’s cool to see how the world is changing. And I just I love all the content that you’re putting out because yeah, it’s it’s, I see myself and all that and you don’t want to have that stigma. The other part of it too, that really attracted me to have a puff is you know, just like the, the accessibility of it right like it’s it is such a welcoming. You know, you can literally dip your toe in and then fall fall into the deep end when it comes to like consuming the content but then also buying the products and you know, I love that you explain kind of like some of the products that people will understand how it is like a multi use like for me I’m not more I don’t smoke as much as I do gummies or mincer stuff like that so kind of explained some of the products and how they have like this multiple use and you can like leave a lot of this stuff out and no one thinks any Yeah,

Kristina Lopez Adduci 15:17
for sure. So we do everything from Elegant ceramics paper goods glassware. So when I say ceramics, I mean our beautiful our hero product which is our one hitter. All I wanted was just a cute little you know pipe that I can fit in my handbag or in my back pocket again created by an artists a woman up in Massachusetts, everything that we do is not only stylish but proprietary, which is important to us. So you can’t find our products anywhere else. We create them all in house and of course incorporating women and bipoc artists, which is very important to us. So of course the usual suspects rolling papers, of course are pipes, rolling trays, a cute little bearable. And to your again, point about two birds one seed, which we love. So my mom uses it for salt and pepper, or olive oil or from having a dinner party, you know, I’ll put olives in there are toothpicks, we have a tamper stick. That’s a beautiful bore silica glass that you can tamp down when you’re packing your joint or you can use it as a cocktail stirrer. And our joint holders are probably one of our best sellers. Because as you can tell, I have a tickle in my throat. And typically when I smoke when I smoke a joint or pre roll, I get like a little coffee and like oh that nobody wants to be around that. So our joint holder is also made from Boris silica glass. So it cools the smoke down so you don’t cough as much. So we’ve got I think about 60 skews and we just came out with a little baby. It looks like a macaroon. My mom thought it was a macaron. But it’s actually a hemp wick holder. Because I don’t know if you know when you go to light or a match or lighter, you’re inhaling that butane and that crap from matches, which is obviously not good for us. So what we came up with as we wrap up with organic hemp with made down in Florida by Latino owned company, and you like the hemp first. So if you don’t consume, you can light a candle and then you hold it up to whatever you’re consuming a joint and you get more of an even burn and obviously the less chemicals in in your in your body. So we also like to say health conscious of house above so had to had to throw that in there. Didn’t

Catherine Hover 17:30
you have an article that that went viral? It was like, um, correct me if I’m wrong, but you wrote some sort of blog post about being a mom in the car line? Actually, I know you have because I forwarded this to like a ton of my mom friends because in this article, you talked all about how you know your mom, right? And you also smoke pot. And it’s like these things, they benefit the other, right? So like because you smoke or because you use you’re a better mom, women have

Kristina Lopez Adduci 18:00
this stigma it I’m a mom, I’m Latina, I’m a woman. So it’s like a triple whammy. And at first I was always a little shy about my cannabis consumption. But now it’s so funny you go up to you know the playground and you’ve got women being like, you gotta gummy for me. I’m having trouble sleeping at night. And I’m just like, I got you. And of course, I like to unwind at the end of the day, I can’t really consume during the day. I know people can I just it just makes me too loopy. But so for me, it’s sort of an end of the day, like instead of a glass of wine, I’ll have like a little puff. I love having a puff in the shower. Especially it’s like the kids are downstairs and they’re taken care of. And I just sit there and I just have my best ideas. When I’m a little high in the shower, I actually have a notepad that I keep in the shower to write down my high ideas. And then I come out and I’m refreshed and I’m ready to make dinner and I’m ready. You know. So yeah, I would say it definitely. After a long day when you know, the kids come home from school and you’re like, oh, you know, it definitely sort of mellows me out, which is a good thing for me and a good thing for them. Yeah,

Catherine Hover 19:12
absolutely. I feel like I might need to start doing some popping something right when I wake up because it’s the morning is like mayhem for me even like this morning. It’s like so I have three daughters. You have two right? Yeah, twin girls, and they’re how old? They just turned five. They just turned five. Okay. So I have three daughters, nine, five and four. And my nine year old is an angel like such a sweetheart and she she like just goes with the flow. She’s super responsible, responsive. So like when I tell her it’s time to get dressed. She like jumps to it. But the other two are. They’re psychopaths. They’re absolute psychos. And it’s like if I’m like okay guys time to get ready. They’re like they basically give me the finger I just I like start to go nuts since I feel like I maybe need a need to take something in the morning. Mornings

Kristina Lopez Adduci 20:06
are tough, especially with toddlers getting them ready. Who wants to wear what? Who doesn’t? Who’s hasn’t, you know? And then of course, as you’re getting out the door, something always something always happens.

Catherine Hover 20:16
Yeah, I mean, this morning, it was like Ruby, my mother, she’s my five year old, she, she just got a bunch of outfits from Amazon, my mom center. And because she’s in kindergarten, so she’s like really focused on like, what she’s gonna wear and how she’s gonna feel, which is awesome. I want her to feel confident. But what she picked out was not what she wanted to wear this morning. And she, you know, I’m just like, this is not the time to be doing this. Like we literally don’t have time. So this is like a loaded story. But like, they they take the bus. So the two older ones take the bus, they walk a block away, get on the bus, and off they go. And then I leave like 10 minutes after they do with the little one. And so I don’t know if you saw the news, but there was a child that went missing. She went missing, like 15 miles away from our house. And she was found about a mile away. So kids went to school on Monday, she came Posey and Ruby both came home talking about it like these kids are talking about, like, this girl’s missing. So she wasn’t she was found on Monday night, but it’s like it has shaken everyone and like I mean, and even my mom from New Orleans called me because she had she saw it on the news, so it made national news. Anyway, Posey is like a nervous wreck to walk down the street now. I’m like, I get that you’re a little nervous. But it’s kind of like the odds of this happening again in our town are slim to none so you just um so it’s I’m kind of like struggling with like, maybe I need to start bringing them to school maybe a couple of days bring them to school until I can make her feel

Kristina Lopez Adduci 21:48
like a little bit settle. I mean, it’s unsettling. I mean, I’m so happy she was found but it’s scary. I mean, it’s scary for us as adults and sad to hear that imagine like a child like how they process it. I can I can only imagine. Yeah,

Catherine Hover 22:03
I mean, and this is like we’ve been to this the park where she was taken we were we’ve been there we’ve been on loop Bay, like it is like such a short little loop that like no one would have like because I think the first thing that people thought when they read about this was like Why Why would you leave let your daughter you know, ride her bike by herself in a state park. But this this like, little loop is so small, so short, it’s like no one in my circle or anybody I know that knows of this location would have taken a second guest to like send their kid for one last ride. So it’s just like, we’re so grateful. She She was found and she’s safe. And you know, it’s a local family. So they like they grew up here. The parents grew up here like so it’s like it’s really hitting home. I’m literally hitting home. And I’m trying to just like be like for my for Posey. Especially because she’s like the more nervy one she’s like, not nerdy, but like a little more anxious and, you know, careful. And I And she’s also the same age as this little girl that went missing. So it’s all just like impacting her and she’s just kind of

Kristina Lopez Adduci 23:07
you’re a part of I think is just so tight knit and no one would ever think that like something like this would happen. But

Catherine Hover 23:14
where did you grow up in this in the city or No, I grew up in New Jersey, where I grew up, it was like, be outside when you get home from school, don’t be in the house until the sun the streetlights come on, then you can come in and like we were like we were just like wild animals 100%

Kristina Lopez Adduci 23:30
manhood bike riding. I mean, we would go all the way to 711 after school. I mean, I’d walk home. Now it’s like we live in a different age. I don’t I don’t know that I would let my girls walk to school. At this point. I just think it’s I don’t know. She got scarier.

Catherine Hover 23:51
Yeah, yeah, it did. Well, I’m We’re also just more aware, right, like things that, like, for this example, like the whole world knew that this girl was missing. So that wouldn’t have happened. You know, you didn’t hear about missing kids. You know, honestly, the only time we ever heard about missing kids was like on Unsolved Mysteries. And it was like something we like watching late night and it was like did what it was like it didn’t happen here. You know, it was like that was some other town. So

Kristina Lopez Adduci 24:18
it never happened to us. Right of like the mentality back in the day.

Catherine Hover 24:22
Yeah, I mean, but full circle. This is why we all need to be using cannabis.

Kristina Lopez Adduci 24:27
Like we just everybody remember just like turn to cannabis and not alcohol we’d all just be much chiller and calmer nicer growing

Catherine Hover 24:34
up. It was such a stigma you know, so it was like and we’re from New Orleans so it’s like it’s okay to drink and be completely hammered and make poor choices but like don’t smoke don’t smoke a joint so it’s just so stupid because it’s like the I mean the statistics the data is out right like it’s a safer it’s a safer habit to have right nobody’s

Kristina Lopez Adduci 24:55
ever died from an from overdosing on on cannabis. I love my Alcohol I love my glass of wine. I love a good cocktail. I love crossfading so that’s when you like consume cannabis and drink at the same time. I love doing those things. But the science shows that drinking is just not good for us. Yes job.

Catherine Hover 25:13
It’s poison. Yeah, more poisoning versus medicine. Welcome

Kristina Lopez Adduci 25:17
to the war on drugs. This all started? Yeah. Yeah. Decades ago. And you know, hopefully it’s not if it’s when and yeah, that’s why house Apophis around to change the narrative and educate people.

Catherine Hover 25:30
So tell me more about this crossfading because again, this is like a maybe a you have to demystify that for me because I feel like I was always America, like, I’m uncomfortable doing that, because I think anytime I have done it, it’s been a disaster. So there must be like, an easing into it, or some sort of approach you can share with us. Oh, of course. So

Kristina Lopez Adduci 25:49
we did a blog post, we have a blog called the drawing room and we lay out basically and at home, it has to pay off our YouTube channel where we lay out sort of different techniques for crossfading. So the most common one is like puffing on a join and then having whatever you’re going to drink, right? So let’s say you go out and you don’t want to have three cocktails, you just want to have one right. So for me, I’ll take a few puffs like I’m going out to dinner with girlfriends. I’ll take the puffer to have a drink. That’s great. The second way to do it is to actually buy tinctures that go in soda water or can go into you know your vodka soda. So you’ll put like a little tincture in your vodka soda, you can dose it right so it’s easier to dose like two, three, you know five milligrams like at the most I would suggest that that’s another way to crossfade also like a gummy Papa gummy, you know, you know I’m good with 2.5 MGS because I’m a lightweight, so I’ll take half a buy of a five milligram gummy. And then you know, have a have a drink or two wherever I am. But I when I do crossfade it’s usually just a puffer too, and then I’ll continue drinking. So those are sort of three easy techniques. I would suggest if you’re a beginner, you know, just take a puff because you know if or you know if you know your dose, like if you’re like I love a good five milligram gummy, but you want to have two cocktails and maybe like take half of the gummy. wait an hour, have your two cocktails and see how you feel. Yeah,

Catherine Hover 27:19
okay, cool. That’s awesome. I’m gonna try it. I’ll report back how good or bad I would like love the research. Okay, so what’s, uh, you kind of did tell us what’s next for hotspot, but like, you’re like, underway with holiday, right? Like, that’s gonna be the next push for you. Right? So somehow, some day,

Kristina Lopez Adduci 27:34
we were doing the biggest sale we’ve ever done a Black Friday. So that’s super exciting. Coming up with more products. Of course, continuing with our YouTube channel, and blog. We all as I mentioned, we are going to come out with our own THC product, which surprised you’ll stay tuned, you’ll be you’ll be one of the first to know, Catherine. So don’t worry. So that’s really exciting for us as a company we’ve been ancillary been accessories for since we started. So to touch the plant and bring a product to our community that they’ve been begging for is really, really exciting. So that’s sort of what’s happening. q4 2023.

Catherine Hover 28:17
Okay, so do you think that will impact your fundraising efforts? Like, have you found that some people invested because it was ancillary, and it wasn’t, you know, flower touching? And like that might impact that? Or do you give a shit?

Kristina Lopez Adduci 28:33
I think it could. I hope it doesn’t. I think people the investors we currently have are excited about what we’re doing. I do think there will be some investors that will say, You know what, you’re touching the plant. But I think the on the back end, there are ways to sort of separate it out. We might just, you know, pull up, do another LLC and keep the flower product in there. That’s a good strategy. Li want to just stay in accessories can stay in accessories, not plan touching, until weather, safer banking, or federal legalization or some small wind down in DC to make people feel more at ease. But I for the most part, I think investors are quite excited about this.

Catherine Hover 29:12
I’m excited about it. Yeah, I’m so excited. It’s gonna tell us more about why you chose to do fundraising. Why not just sell the products and let the revenue speak for itself, kind of like anybody that may be contemplating going the fundraising route or startups or just like some summary advice on how you came about fundraising. Yeah,

Kristina Lopez Adduci 29:35
first and foremost, you have to remember, for me, it wasn’t just about the money. It was also about building a community of investors and advisors that believed what I was doing. All our investors, I tap obviously, I love their checks. Thank you very much. But I also love their brain and their strategy and like what they can bring to the table in terms of Because that, for me makes my business stronger. So I realized that I wanted more people around me who were smarter who have been in this space, who could sort of direct us how to run the business efficiently. Of course, you know, cash is king, and we and we needed the money to scale. I would say bootstrap for as long as you possibly can, I cannot stress that enough. Do not take investor money. It’s not all the glitz and glam that people make it out to be, especially in this day and age capital markets are super dry right now. So I my advice is Bootstrap. And that’s what we do. We bootstrapped for as long as we could, you know, we didn’t take us till this day, haven’t even taken a salary. Like I just keep reinvesting back in the business. Bootstrap as long as you can. And then when you reach a point where you’re you say to yourself, Okay, I need to scale up, MVP is work, people want more of it, then friends and family, doing an SPV was a really great experience for us. And then you know, if you want to go play with the big dogs and VCs, and PE, be careful, there’s a lot of dirty deals out there, you’re gonna give up a lot of equity in your company. So be prepared to do that as well, if that’s a route that you want to do we have it. We did do that route, but it didn’t work out. And now we’re peeling back and going back to back to our community.

Catherine Hover 31:24
I think there’s like a misconception about SPVs, like out there that that I’ve heard from too. And it’s like the SPV is just like a sliver of what you’re raising. It’s not the whole thing, right? So you do always have somebody that’s leading the round, that you can sort of piggyback off of their due diligence.

Kristina Lopez Adduci 31:44
Yes, maybe it’s not a bad rep. I think that’s too strong of a word. I think people are sometimes weary of SPVs. Maybe because they don’t know what they are. They, you know, maybe look complicated from afar. But it was one of the best things that we ever did as a company, again, building that community. I think smaller checks are, are great, because you get more people involved. Especially, you know, a lot of my friends don’t have 10k to throw but they may have 2500. And instead of buying that handbag, they’re investing in their friends business. So I think there’s something really beautiful about that.

Catherine Hover 32:20
Yeah, I mean, I, I could not speak more highly about my experience with participating in in the SPV for house UPAF I met so many people I met you, I was able to connect you with with I was able to bring other people in that I thought would be interested. And I’ve just learned so much. I mean, you are just so on top of it, honestly. And that’s not that’s not everybody that I’ve come into contact with. You know, I think I really pride myself on being responsive, like responsive. Like when someone emails me, I email them back, even if I’m not interested in what they’re wanting or needing from me. I don’t know if that’s like the southern hospitality to me, but it’s like I don’t I don’t leave an email unanswered. And I seems like the same for you. I

Kristina Lopez Adduci 33:06
think communicating is is the name of the game clear communication, frequent communication, especially with people, you’re now a steward of somebody else’s capital. So they want to hear from you, they want updates, they believe in you, they wouldn’t have given you money, they didn’t believe in you. So I think it’s when founders don’t regularly communicate, like even with even when it’s the tables are turned. If an investor is not communicating with me, then that’s also not a good fit. And also a little bit of a red flag. You know, after so many emails are so many times. I like I over communicate. So for me, I That’s the name of the game.

Catherine Hover 33:45
Yeah, and I love that. I mean, I think too, it’s like from, from your perspective, from the founders perspective, who’s investing if you’re not hearing back from an investor like, Oh, they’re interested but they’re not taking action can be so frustrating, like, I would prefer just a flat out No, off then I would a Oh, yeah, sure. We’re interested on on on it’s like, either you’re in or out. Like

Kristina Lopez Adduci 34:08
I got no time.

Catherine Hover 34:11
I mean, I really don’t. I really don’t. And it’s like, I’m not going to be brokenhearted. It’s like you don’t want to you want to be you don’t want to come to the party. Don’t come to the party.

Kristina Lopez Adduci 34:18
Don’t come you were invited. The doors open but like see yourself out.

Catherine Hover 34:25
Yes, exactly. So it’s give me like a quick tip or maybe it does have to be quick, but I’d tip on how you’re incorporating this business, your your brand, your responsibilities On the work front. And your responsibilities on the home front. Do you have helped do you have Are you do you have like she must have strong boundaries.

Kristina Lopez Adduci 34:45
I have very strong boundaries. I have my mic first and foremost. My parents. When they say it takes a village. I they were not kidding. Like when I was pregnant, like it takes a village you’re gonna want us Close, like no Truer words have ever been spoken. So I’m super blessed that I have my parents as my support system. You know, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, I do I have a babysitter that comes after school to help with the girls. I couldn’t do what I do. I mean, being a founder and being an entrepreneur, we don’t have a nine to five, we have a 12 to 12 Like we’re constantly working. I’m a road warrior. I’m always on the road. So that when I’m home and when I to like on the weekends, like that is my time. Do not pass go do not collect $100 Like I am out so yeah, back to that strong boundaries. I do you know, mess up sometimes. And we’ll open up my laptop on a Sunday, but I try really hard specially on weekends to be in the moment be with my family be with my kids. But you know, founder the founder game is, is a tough one. What especially if you’re raising a family and you know, I have two little ones are not they’re not growing, right? They can’t make themselves sandwiches.

Catherine Hover 36:06
I don’t know I would challenge that if you put the sandwich meat down foot down enough like close enough to the ground. I’m convinced they can make it work.

Kristina Lopez Adduci 36:18
Well, the mustard everywhere, but that’s fine.

Catherine Hover 36:21
I don’t know my kids don’t like mustard says on issue they like just like deli meat. So it’s like at the very bottom of the fridge where like, you know, the drawers at the bottom? And? And like, yeah, they wake up before me like I mean, I’m not a morning person. So this isn’t I’m realizing that maybe I need to rework my mornings after this conversation because then maybe there’s this is why my kids are psychos in the morning is because they get up before me. What time do they wake up? So Xia wakes up at 530. It’s like 530 on the dot she is up and she likes romping around getting herself. Like, you know, cheese sticks for bread. I mean, she’s just an they’re so independent. I don’t know, maybe that’s because I am working. So they gotta like figure it out. Figure it out on their own. But yeah, I wanted to also tap on like communication, right? Like you have to communicate what your needs are, and what your boundaries are with everyone involved, you know, your partner, your family, your support system, and constantly, like, go back to that and make sure that we’re all on the same team. And we’re also like, you know, yeah, reach and trying to reach the same goal. Right,

Kristina Lopez Adduci 37:29
right. That is hard for me sometimes to ask for what I need. A lot of the times, I’m just I’ll just do it, I’ll take care of it. I can I can carry the workload I can. Because I’d rather just do it myself into it, right. But something that comes out of costs, right? And burnout is very real. And sometimes I even feel guilty. I was in Chicago last week, and I’m in a hotel, I’m ordering room service. I’m by myself, everything is quiet. And I call my mom and she’s like, it’s okay, take the time to decompress, unwind, go get a massage because I was stuck because it was monsoon in New York and my flight got canceled. And I got anxious. I was like, what, who’s gonna watch the kids? What are the kids gonna do? Like, I’m not home. And she was like, we got it. It’s taken care of. And sometimes, that’s all I need. Most of the time, just to be like, okay, all right, everything. Everything’s good, I think. So it does take me a beat to really say, Hey, I’m tired for a massage or what have you. And I’m working on it. I’m working on asking for what I need. Yeah,

Catherine Hover 38:44
you know, and so for me, it’s like the opposite. I was just in Miami last week. And I was like, I mean, this is gonna sound good, but I didn’t really think about my kids

I was just so confident that they were taking care. Yeah. And like, and when I get away, it’s like, I’m away. I’m checked out.

Kristina Lopez Adduci 39:08
As you should be good for you. I’m going to work, I might need some tips. So

Catherine Hover 39:12
the other thing that I also like, just remind myself of is like, you know, you just gotta let go because like, so my in laws were in town, my husband was home with the kids. So you just have to sort of like, let it go, like, whatever they’re going to do, they’re going to do their way and it’s not going to be like maybe the way I would have it or what they’re eating or any of that stuff. It’s just like, I completely check out and have confidence and like, my kids will be breathing and alive when I get back. And and there are a lot I mean, it’s three I have three kids, they’re there a lot and they’re Do you ever feel like that overstimulating like they’re just always touching you?

Kristina Lopez Adduci 39:51
It’s a lot. Yeah. And with twins, it’s like double double. You know, they’re the mini me’s too, so they’re intense.

Catherine Hover 39:59
Yeah. as well and that’s, that’s Ruby. Ruby is a spitting image of me. And I mean, if I ever call my mom and complain about Ruby, she’s like, Yeah, Karma is a branch. And you got you got what you had come in for. Yeah. Well, on that high notes, we are going to wrap it up because we are we’re at the end of our time here. And we got fun. We got shit to do.

Kristina Lopez Adduci 40:24
Yeah, we gotta go. We’re gonna go back to work. You got to go make that money.

Catherine Hover 40:29
Yes. All right. Well, thank you so much for doing this.

Kristina Lopez Adduci 40:31
Thank you.

Catherine Hover 40:34
Thank you for listening to this podcast. And if you want to connect with me slide into my DMs on Instagram. My handle is Catherine hoever.

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