Tell us about yourself and your business! What do you do or sell?
We sell a vetted and curated selection of the finest CBD products on the market.
Botanica Plant-Based Health
1306 Chicago Ave
Evanston, IL 60201
Why did you start this business? If you were a superhero, what would your origin story be?
Keri and I started Botanica because we were both using CBD for pain, anxiety and sleep and were amazed at how much it really helped. We were frustrated that a genuinely helpful health product was mostly being sold in stores that felt like head shops and on suspicious websites. We wanted to make it available to people in an environment that was comfortable and inspired confidence. As we started researching, we realized just how much false and misleading information about CBD was out there. We wanted to use an education based model for our store so we could share everything we learned with our customers. And so ... Botanica was born.
What's the story behind the name of your business?
We wanted a name that reinforced the idea that CBD is a natural plant based product.
Did you choose the Main-Dempster Mile? Or did it choose you? Tell us the story of selecting your location.
100% it chose us! We were fairly deep in negotiations on another spot. When we happened across 1306 Chicago Ave. The other spot was a bit of a struggle. 1306 felt like home the minute we walked in the door. Everything just fell in to place. From our amazing landlord to our wonderful business neighbors neighbors to the amazing welcome we got from the community. It just felt so right from the very beginning.
What sets your business apart from others that sell the same products?
So glad you asked this. Our research and education based business model really sets us apart from other cbd sellers. We spend a lot of time researching and vetting our brands. Then we test everything before we decide to bring it on board. (Big thank you to our family, friend and customers for being our guinea pigs). We reject a a lot of brands during that testing time. In general we usually spend 30-60 minutes with new customers educating them on Cannabis ... difference between cbd (hemp oil) and marijuana, different delivery methods and dosing recommendations.
Many first time customers leave with a bag of samples or a stack of articles and research papers and we don't see them again for several weeks. But they almost always come back. I know brick and mortar is really struggling. But I think people are overwhelmed by all the choices and information out there and really like the idea of being able to talk to someone in person when they are buying a product that is going to affect their health. I think we also offer really amazing customer service. Keri and I have both worked for company's that didn't and we knew we wanted to make it a priority.
What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about opening a business?
Research, Research, Research and focus on customer service. It's something that brings customers back again and again. I think we all like the convenience of big stores/companies but they can really be a nightmare to deal with if anything goes wrong. Making your customers convenience, comfort, ease a priority is never a bad thing.
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