Ilan Freeman, Founder and CEO at Hakuna Supply on CBD flowers and drinks, best selling products and more.
published on September 14, 2020
We’re interviewing the Hakuna Supply brand at this time. See their story below to know more about the specifics of business and products in particular!
Tia (Askgrowers) : Tell us your brand story. How did you start your business?
Ilan Freeman (CEO at Hakuna Supplu) : Oh man, where to start..I started working on this business toward the beginning of 2016. At that point I was going to my local hobby store and purchasing unfinished wooden boxes, printing out images from the internet and modge podging them onto the top of the box. I would then fill the boxes with all different kinds of accessories and list them on Amazon. I wasn’t sure what the market would say since there really isn’t anything like this out there. Pretty quickly we were getting orders and after a month or two the boxes started really selling. At this point, I knew I had a pretty good idea and I wanted to go further with it. After some really fun research and development I created a logo, designed the first Hakuna box and officially became a company in June of 2016. It was then in 2017 when we moved into the hemp and wellness space starting with our coffee and prerolls!
Tia : Tell us about your CBD flowers and Drinks. What are the specifics in your particular products?
Ilan : When making our hemp and wellness products we take a very holistic approach. Our philosophy roots from sustainability so beginning with sourcing we look for ingredients, cultivators and processors that use best practices and limit effects on our environment. The second stage is purpose/effect. When looking at creating products, we don’t just say “Hey, lets just add some cannabinoids or terpenes to this!”, we look at the reasons why adding hemp would be beneficial. For example, when we decided to make hemp infused coffee we looked at the side effect of anxiety and jitters that can come from coffee. We then started testing if adding cbd would reduce the jitters and quickly found that it did reduce these effects for us. Lastly, we go out and do research to make sure our target demographic would be interested in the products that we are offering.
Tia : What’s your best seller currently and why do you think it’s this particular product?
Ilan : Our products sales shift with seasonality and in particular the weather. When it’s cold our coffee and tea pick up quite a bit and we have found that our water soluble drink drops tend to be a consistent seller. We like to create lots of recipes and change them every season, so usually when someone orders they receive a few recipes to try out which is always fun!
Tia : How do you test and quality control your products currently?
Ilan : Quality control is extremely important to us and our customers. We have set up many process checkpoints throughout our workflows to catch any issues. On top of this we are very consistent with our partners to make sure that the ingredients, cannabinoid, and terpene profiles remain the same from one batch to the next. We also have some great local labs around us to get high quality 3rd party testing.
Tia : How do you currently market your brand and products? What channels/avenues do you use?
Ilan : This has always been a hard industry to market in without having an extremely large budget. We have found that our best marketing tool has been our vegan mobile cafe that we take to music festivals, wellness retreats, local industry shows and even corporate events. Other than that we use a lot of affiliate marketing. And we are always looking for new and innovative ways to stand out from the crowd so if anyone reading this has some ideas please let us know!
Tia : What’s your brand philosophy?
Ilan : Our brand philosophy is to put back more than we take, always be transparent in our business dealings, and to listen to our customers. Our goal is to make a no worries and problem free world.
Tia : What’s your attitude to THC?
Ilan : I think THC is great! I believe deeply in the entourage effect and there are many things that THC does better than CBD. I am personally very sensitive to THC so when consuming I always look for a nice balance of cannabinoids, but make sure that the THC levels are low.
Tia : Who’s your target customer?
Ilan : Overall we seem to have a nice range of customer demographics, but we do have a focus for our marketing efforts. Our target market focuses on individuals 24-35 who are sustainably conscious with vegan, yoga, music, wellness affinities.
Tia : What would you suggest to try first to the person who never tried smoking cannabis?
Ilan : I would suggest starting low and slow. Keep the THC levels low and only take one or two hits to start. Wait about 30 minutes and if you don’t feel anything try another one or two hits. I would also suggest starting with something small that filters through water. So a bubbler would be a great starting piece!
Tia : Are there any plans for expansion in the near future?
Ilan : We are always looking into and researching new and innovative products to bring to the market and help expand in the market. For example we just announced a partnership with Endocanna Health to distribute their Endo-DNA kits as well as launched the very first biometric fingerprint locking storage box! I can’t tell you about some of the new products and ideas that are in our pipeline but stay tuned and you’ll be seeing some new stuff coming in 2021!
Tia : If you could have a chance to smoke with anyone in this world, who’d that be and why? 🙂
Ilan : Oh man, this is always a tough question! If I had to choose one person to smoke with I would have to go with Yvon Chouinard who is the founder of Patagonia. I really love his belief in business strategy and his philosophy on how we can help make changes to our world. I think Phil Knight the founder of Nike would be a close second!
Tia : Are there any other brands in the cannabis industry you appreciate and follow?
Ilan : Two brands that I have always liked and followed are Caliva & Lowell’s. I really love both of their branding quite a lot and I think Hakuna has a very similar vibe. There are quite a lot of photographers that I love to follow. Something about a macro shot of a beautiful bud always makes me smile :). And now I am looking forward to AskGrowers to be one of my favorites!
Tia : What’s your advice to beginners in the cannabis industry and why?
Ilan : For me, the best advice that I wish I had when I was starting a business was to make sure the business foundation was solid. Have your business processes ready and know each step. Make sure that you are prepared for obstacles and have plans in place for when they arrive. Also, this cannot be understated, READ BOOKS, it has helped open some many ideas for me!
Books I would recommend: The Lean Start Up, 4 Hour Work Week, Shoe Dog, Let My People Go Surfing.
We really appreciate taking time sharing your brand story! That was really exciting to know.
For more info about Hakuna Supply you can follow their brand page at: