This labor day marks the approximate 3 year anniversary since DankeSuper’s inception (the company was formed mid-2019). It all began during a Rosh Hashanah dinner at my Aunt’s where my cousin was giving people samples of this new popular cannabis product called CBD. I had already been reading about hemp’s sustainable applications, but mostly ignored the increasingly buzzy compound of cannabidiol (CBD). I didn’t believe there was sufficient evidence of it’s benefits, but then I heard my cousin’s sales (with an understanding well below my own limited).
The motivation behind DankeSuper extended well beyond the financial, but cash flows are a still necessary foundation for any business. Three years ago, CBD seemed like a pretty, pretty good place to start. My journey appeared to move serendipitously along as my brother (who I ‘somehow’ convinced ‘to help’) and I were introduced Mika Sharon through our father’s friend Don Pintabona. Mika is the food and beverage director of the (only, I believe) Israeli owned, United States based seed to shelf cannabis company people, science, creation (PSC Group).
My brother, a sommelier, has particularly refined olfactory senses and taste due to the delayed onset of his sense of smell until the age of seven. We had traveled the urban, hipster jungle and internet sampling isolate, broad, and full spectrum products. After sampling thousands of dollars in different hemp CBD products over the course of a couple months, evaluating the retail marketplace and suppliers, we were practically connoisseurs. Yet, nothing rivaled the experience (effect), taste, and quality of what Mika offered us. It was like a tasting a Giacomo Conterno Barolo after a lifetime of Carlo Rossi. Serendipity… Now all we needed to do was bottle it up and sell it.
So… The bottles came in SHINY, then the second shipment had broken bottles (making them all unusable), and the third shipment turned out quite beautifully (4 months later than planned). My cousin reached out (after break in communication), looking to exit his retail business, and offered us the “perfect” opportunity to begin marketing our product. That was around September 2019, it drove sales, but overextended resources and proved a massive distraction. An experience worthy of a blog series, but certainly not the 14-16 hours I put in each day until the pandemic hit…
Last weekend, I saw my cousin who gave out CBD samples at that fateful Rosh Hashanah dinner in Princeton’s Palmer Square. I was concerned he might notice me, but ultimately evaded any interaction. I have not seen my brother of exquisite taste since early March, 2020 right before lockdowns. His last in person words to me were, “They don’t even know who you are, Dan. They don’t even know who you are.” He was referring to Standard Dose, WTHN, and I believe Come Back Daily. They still do not know I exist. I have accepted this reality. The truth is building a CBD focused cannabis brand has been the anti-thesis of the experience our products intend to offer.
I was walking outside earlier only to have my thoughts were quickly pierced by the screams of a father teaching his daughter to drive. You’re going to “f#@king increase my insurance premiums”, “I’m begging you stop, just stop driving” (the car wasn’t moving, so…). Prior to this disruption, I was contemplating a text I wrote about how people would take more intelligent risks if they treated time as their most valuable asset. I was bewildered how I could feel the exorbitant time, energy, life I’ve given to DankeSuper the past several years could be justifiable. Then like cupids arrow, the Dad who should’ve hired an instructor’s deeply disturbed voice reverberated through my mind.
Before I started DankeSuper, I had an incredible amount of time, a very comfortable income, and a network of strong personal relationships. Yet I felt perpetually anxious about the future, and developed into an increasingly unhappy person. I started DankeSuper to combat my sense of mindlessness, lack of purpose, and increasing sense that I was passive agent in someone else’s definition of life. I was on a direct path to aging into a comfortably, miserable mess who has abusive panic attacks teaching my daughter to parallel park my Benz. I wanted to live more mindfully, and offer products that embodied that concept. Full Spectrum CBD, physical activity, meditation, breathing exercises, thought exercises, yoga, jumping between hot & cold water, sex can help support an individual’s path to mindfulness. Our products are part of an arsenal of tools that help people manage anxiety, physical stress (and pain), and offset a portion of modern life’s imbalances.
It’s been three years since DankeSuper’s “inception”, my life remains a far cry from what I would consider a mindful existence. That said, my biggest complaint is feeling overwhelmed. Not the emotional, anxious overwhelmed that used to regularly dilute my experiences, but an objective realization that I no matter how hard I push I’ll have countless urgent matters I could not address each day. In time, the fire drills will evolve to occasional from constant, and I’ll hopefully settle into a healthy, balanced, mindful life. In the interim, I am learning to be present during the moments life interjects its way into the interminable workload, and inspired by the knowledge that our products have a true, positive impact on a number of our customer’s lives.