DEFY was a percolating idea that eventually turned into a light bulb. The concept of CBD kept showing up for us over the course of 2 years until we finally listened, like it was meant to be. Once we validated that the benefits of CBD were real, a lightbulb went off and the path was crystal clear.
With a focus on changing the sports recovery landscape, we chose to launch DEFY at the 2019 Indy500 in partnership with the Arrow SPM Indy Team. Launching as the first CBD season sponsor is not only Indycar history, but in major professional sports generated national media coverage focused on defy and our Co-founder, Terrell Davis. The resulting exposure generated online sales immediately.
We validated the idea by doing extensive due diligence and research. If you can’t check all of the boxes, you will have a problem. Never deviate from your absolute “must haves” when validating potential opportunities or partners. Our rule is trust but verify; meaning at the end of the day, if a partner or opportunity can’t be validated and fails to check a box in our process, everything is nullified and it’s time to move on.
Did you have any experience/expertise in the area?
No. Some of our founding partners did, as well as our advisory board. We surround ourselves with experts who have knowledge in the space. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and surround yourself with a team that can execute where you can’t. Know what you know and know what you don’t know, otherwise you’re dead.
Have you raised any money for DEFY? How much?
Our founding partners bootstrapped DEFY initially. We raised enough money. The best advice I’ve received is to keep as much equity as you can and make sure you have enough cash to execute your strategy. You can have the best idea in the world but no one will ever know about it if you can’t execute your strategy. Be smart, not greedy and plan ahead.
Who is your target demographic?
Everyone over the age of 18. We have built a mainstream brand for all people interested in improving their daily experience through health & wellness. Our motto is to “defy your everyday”, however that shows up for you.
Where did you meet your cofounder/founding team?
Through life experiences that all tied to me. Always remember to “show up”. Looking back, you may be shocked at how many of the things you second guess but ultimately show up for, end up being the most significant.
In terms of finding the first employees, you must use your network and rely on the recommendations of people you trust. Be thorough.
Did you run any companies prior?
Yes, I did run a company prior to DEFY. I am motivated by the upside and control over my destiny.
My family and friends are very supportive but skeptical about the business I’m starting. Right now, they already get and understand it.
What motivates you when things go wrong? What is the end goal?
I expect things to go wrong and they do. I trust the process and pivot accordingly. My end goal is to create the #1 CBD performance brand and to generate value for all stakeholders (customers, partners, employees & investors). Ultimately, to sell the company.
Media around our story has driven the most sales.Our path is clear; the only thing that would stop us from being 3x the size we are now is a failure to execute.Right now, Shopify is the one of the apps that our DEFY could not run without. Data Data Data is the main reason why it is essential.
For those who are just starting out, failure is not an option. Bet on yourself & find a way to make it work. If failure or a backdoor is an option for you, then being an entrepreneur may not be the path you want to pursue.
How do you protect yourself from competition?
At this point by being the first mover and not letting anyone catch up. By never compromising our standards. The moment we think we’re too far ahead or get a bit lax, we‘re dead. We have trademarks/IP/Patents.
Shopify is one of the apps that DEFY could not run without. It is essential for data purposes.
I prefer real life mentors that have experience that I can learn from in real time instead of books. My favorite quote is “Knowledge is only gained through experience.” – Albert Einstein. This is the truest quote to life that I know.
For podcasts, it is Joe Rogan. He creates the best content and all his stories & guests are based on experience.
What are your next steps?
In terms of new products, we just launched our new lines of perform CBD oils and DEFY CBD muscle balm. We plan to produce other product lines. Our new DEFY Zero line of performance drinks with zero sugar is coming soon.
Five years from now, I can see DEFY as the leading brand in industry. Our revenue continues to grow, 2020 revenue is already exponentially higher than last year and is compounding.
I would consider selling it if the price is right.
|Founder:||Beau Wehrle, Terrell Davis, Megan Bushell|