Kara Fiore didn’t always have dreams of small business ownership. After her father turned 80, he fell ill under a mysterious sickness that confused and concerned the doctors they worked with. The doctors quickly learned his condition was not a textbook condition, and it didn’t take long for Fiore’s father to become a Stanford case study. Finally, they discovered he had a very rare condition that causes an abnormal protein to get deposited into the brain. Several misdiagnoses on their part, sleepless nights of doing research on hers, and two brain surgeries performed on him later, she formally established CBD Meds, LLC in July of 2014.
Sometime after a few years of research had already taken place on Fiore’s part, she learned about hemp. Hemp is a legal and non-psychoactive part of the cannabis plant. Inside the cannabis plant is a compound called CBD, which stands for “cannabidiol.” Not to be mistaken for THC, CBD eases inflammation and pain. Neuroscientists believe it protects the brain and neurons from damage and positively affects seizures, eye health, memory, mood, stress, and the immune and nervous systems.
“My father started using the compound I was able to find, and that’s how I started the business. I believe that this compound, which is part of a plant Mother Nature has given us, acts as the key to some of these health issues because an overwhelming assortment of health issues involve inflammation of some kind. It’s always kind of a sticky situation when you sell botanical extracts because you need to respect the law, you can’t make any claims, and you must be very particular about terminology. You can’t say your product will cure any disorder, and there’s a misconception that THC and CBD are the same thing,” Fiore explains.
Fiore runs her small business out of a home office in San Mateo, California. Under CBD Meds exists RSHO HempOils, a web-based store that sells award-winning, high-quality, topical products that contain CBD, like calming balm, body wash, body lotion, shampoo, and conditioner, in addition to oils, hemp drops, and hemp capsules. So far, the collective reaction from her customers has been the most rewarding part of her journey toward startup success.
“Hearing people tell me how the products are working for them, and how they no longer have inflammation — topically or internally — has been so rewarding. There are people in chemotherapy who are using these products who say they don’t have any pain. Hearing all this positive feedback from people is very exciting. Most importantly, they are grateful to be pain-free,” she enthuses.
Although the small business owner does face competition in her industry, she sees this as a good thing when considering the bigger picture.
“The competition is good because the more people who get educated, the better,” she says.
Like most small business owners in the startup stages of success, Fiore has faced her fair share of challenges. For Fiore, having to develop an online presence on social media proved to be challenging, especially because she was not active on social media before becoming a small business owner.
“I wasn’t involved in social media at all before this,” she admits. “I do see the benefits in getting the word out fast. I’m still so new, and with every business comes challenges, so it’s a natural learning process.”
Fiore learned that she simply couldn’t do everything by herself, and she emphasizes that aspiring entrepreneurs should learn the importance of delegating tasks.
“As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned that delegating and getting help with the things I can’t do myself has given me a peace of mind and has helped me to organize my time so that I can focus more on the business, as opposed to all of the accounting,” she says. “I’ve hired a web designer and a virtual assistant.”
Kara Fiore is a satisfied client of 1-800Accountant. She is receiving assistance in the form of bookkeeping, tax consulting, and tax preparation.
Image credit: The logo included in this blog post was provided by CBD Meds, LLC and is used with permission.