Julie Wilson, Business Development Director at Be Trū Wellness™
Julie Wilson Gordon is originally from Parkersburg, WV. She relocated to Greensboro, NC and started working as a Marketing Director for a local Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealer. Her passion for health came after enduring severe gastrointestinal disorders and stress that resulted from being a single mother and working nonstop. After several years of relying on doctors and prescription meds, she decided to do some research on natural ways to heal the body. After just 6 months of implementing severe changes to her diet and lifestyle, she felt like an entirely new person. This bred within her a deep passion to share her knowledge with the world, and continue to research the miraculous powers that lie within plant foods and herbs.
Julie’s commitment to quality organic products combined with an edgy, mainstream marketing campaign helped her achieve national publicity and led to exposure on Sirius Radio, Fox television, Don Imus, ESPN, and ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, just to name a few.
In 2013, Julie accepted an offer to sell Raw-Nation so she could enjoy the fruits of her labor and focus on her family. She relocated to Los Angeles where she soon met several people who had miraculously transformed their health using non-psychoactive hemp extract. Julie’s entrepreneurial spirit was ignited once again, and Be Trū Wellness was born.
Julie’s goal for Be Trū Wellness is to help people get off harmful prescription drugs and promote overall wellness through organic and natural products and supplements.
[00:00:01] You're listening to thinking outside the bud where we speak with entrepreneurs investors thought leaders researchers advocates and policymakers who are finding new and exciting ways for cannabis to positively impact business society and culture. And now here is your host Business Coach Bruce Eckfeldt
[00:00:30] Welcome everyone this is thinking outside the bud. I'm your host. I'm here today with Julie Wilson. Julie is president and co-founder of the true wellness. Julie welcome to the program. Hi. Thanks for having me. So why don't we start I always like to start these episodes with a little bit of background and kind of understanding you know how you got into the business your entrepreneurial background how you first kind of got into cannabis and the cannabis market.
[00:00:56] So why don't we go back to the beginning for you. What's the beginning of your story and why don't we get a little bit of background on you.
[00:01:02] Oh man. OK well I'm going to make a long story short am I going to blow you guys too much but I started developing herbal supplements about 12 years ago. It started out as a habit because I personally changed my life tremendously just by using herbs super foods changing my diet. So my personal healing really led me to have a passion for helping other people because I was told that I was never going to get better. You know the doctors wanted to cut me open all of these things and when I was able to cure myself and heal myself of my ailments back then at that time I thought you know how many people out there don't know about this. The power of plant based healing and at this time in my life I really was not I wasn't using any kind of cannabis or him other than like hemp seeds and superfoods hemp proteins and stuff like that but I wasn't actually using any of that you know the phyto cannabinoids that you find in the plant that didn't come till years later. I developed my first company called Raw nation. I made certified organic supplements. I actually created the very first and only certified organic libido enhancer on the market. It's still the only certified organic would be enhanced on the market. So I experience success with that and sold that company about five years ago. And I was living in North Carolina at the time and I thought you know what.
[00:02:25] I'm a single mom so I was like I'm just going to retire for a little bit semi retire finished raising my son and then we'll see what happens. Yeah and I ended up moving to California I live in Los Angeles now and you know an entrepreneur can stay retired for very long. Yes. So what happened was I met someone who had really transformed themselves using cannabis specifically CBD and derived from him. So I had always kind of been leery of the plant myself and I'm just being honest here now because I'm one of those people that was leery of it. I'm from the South. Born and raised you know a little bit more conservative areas so I was steered clear of the plant thinking you know I don't want to be high. I don't want to advocate getting high. And it's just so funny the transformation I've come from that because I realize now the medical benefits of this plant specifically on the non psychoactive side like forget about the THC. All of these Kanab annoyance and you know it's unbelievable the terpenes everything that's in this plant it's like manna from heaven. And when it comes to really supporting the body in an integral way and I met some people that had really transformed their health. Out here in California and so I started researching and the more I found research data you know I looked up like Mitchell who's doing the CBT research in Israel and I'm just my friends call me an herb nerd because I just get I can read a book that gives the Bible about ginseng.
[00:03:53] I like what in the world. And I started just immersing myself in research and data on this plant and then I started using it once again. I steered clear of the THC side of things I just really wanted to focus on CBD and what I found was just phenomenal. And I said I really need to get involved I want to create products again. The reason I really wanted to get involved and I think any entrepreneur especially someone who creates things can agree with me on this is when you're passionate about something and you see that there is a need for a change in the market. There's a hole that needs to be filled specifically. That's when you really start to process you need to be involved. And what I noticed wasn't happening in this industry because I started going to trade shows and all over the place just to do my due diligence and their lesson. Any products that were marketed to the mainstream really when I when I got started a couple of years ago and there wasn't any clean products so I said you know what I see something that's amazing and I see a bunch of people that are missing out because it's not packaged properly and that's true wellness was born.
[00:05:03] That's great. And I think it's curious that this sort of stories that I hear people going to going through that transformation in terms of thinking and mindset around cannabis. I mean it sounds like you had a fairly sort of data research logical kind of approach it sounds like you had access and the kind of proclivity to actually go out and do the research for people that don't have as much information at this point and are kind of sceptical of you know cannabis as a category as a subject. What do you think would help them begin to understand or sort of seats that have a broader view of cannabis as as a plant as a medicine as an industry as a business. How would you suggest they go. Through that process or get more information about cannabis that's a great question.
[00:05:52] You're right because I just sponged to learn things and a lot of people. It's an intimidating world out there especially here industry. It is probably of all the herbs I've studied and know about it is probably the most confusing plant because is it cannabis is it marijuana is a sativa is Identica. Is it CBD. Is it CB1 is it too. I mean it is very overwhelming and I think the most important thing to understand is I mean the human body is very overwhelming. You know if you want to talk about the digestive system and then the brain and the nervous system in the lungs and I mean you can get overwhelmed. But yeah just kind of focus on one thing at a time because you know and and looking at it as OK take away the stigma of it being a plant that gets you high. And understand that that's only one tiny element that doesn't have to be part of your regimen. Yeah you know me and I think that the industry really steering away from the word cannabis because cannabis is an umbrella for hemp and marijuana when you say cannabis you're lumping it all into there and I think that's where a lot of FDA letters are going out and there's a lot of labeling compliance issues which is a whole nother conversation.
[00:07:04] But that word cannabis because it also means marijuana can be quite confusing. So I really wanted to make things more simple you know keep it simple stupid. And so be true wellness. We don't use cannabis. We use the word hemp because that's where our products are derived from our us personally. And keeping labels clean keeping things simple. Looking up the benefits of hemp hemp itself is confusing because you've got hemp seed oil which does not contain CBD got the stocks and the flowers and leaves. You're still confused but looking at it from a perspective of which part of the plant do you want to look at. You will get marijuana you want to look at hemp and then break it down from there instead of just encompassing everything under cannabis. And I'm just talking through like marketing to the mainstream Yeah.
[00:07:49] And I think that's an important one because I think a lot of the business focus a lot of the market focus has been to people who are kind of already in the Cannabis Culture cannabis world and in some respects but the fact is is that represents a fairly small percentage of the general market and effectively translating explaining the benefits of these different products to the general population of people that don't understand as market and don't have the education Fusa to it are going to be really important. So tell me a little bit more about be true in terms of what it's focused on in terms of products in terms of markets. Are you really trying to reach and water the products that youre putting onto the market and why those products like why choose those will be true wellness.
[00:08:32] Like I said was was formed out of a need to want to make hemp products mainstream. And thats exactly what weve done with our packaging. If we go to our website I know you've been on there. Be true wellness dot com and be true as Bowlby are you without the at the end wellness dot com. We really want to come full spectrum approach to these products. And so we have an entire line that consists of three different words mind body and soul. It's a pretty self-explanatory. If you really think about it body any of our body products are going to be topical related.
[00:09:08] Right now we have two products under the body umbrella body pain relief cream and then we have a body pain relief patch or topical products or time release but we add so many other ingredients in with our products. And that's what makes it so powerful because you know my herbal background. I know there's so many other plants that are beneficial to the body than just using hemp and cannabis. And a lot of the products out there now are just you know hemp extract in a bottle or CBD oils or. And I know that you can get a more synergistic effect and have a more efficacious product if you're adding these other ingredients. So that's exactly what we've done. Our sole product is a sublingual intra oral spray under the tongue. It's loaded with super foods I mean we've got I told you I love gin saying we don't think that we have it straggles goji berries so it's an adapted genic blend it's incredible. And then we have mined which is a cognitive support formula. Obviously that's a chewable gamin. And we're just coming out with some many products it's unbelievable we're developing Oskin Caroline right now. It's really incredible all the stuff that we have going and it's just it's all of these other ingredient added in and with their potency combined with the purest of hemp extract. No not all hemp is created equal no. Yeah you know it sucks up heavy metals from the ground it can be highly toxic if you don't have it tested it has to be organic and all of these things play into it. So our ingredients are very pure the best ever and we have a mission here and it's making lives better now. Everything we do from creating products to dealing with some retailers that we work with to environment for our employees. We just believe in making lives better and that's our assess here.
[00:10:50] Peter wellness so talk to me a little bit about the product development process and strategy how does from a business when you like how have you looked at the product level and process.
[00:10:59] Where are you gathering data. Do you have a particular kind of market research or customer research that you've found particularly important or helpful for you. How do you figure out which products to actually go to market with how to formulate them or how to kind of design them to meet the needs of the current market.
[00:11:14] And how do you develop new products for the future. How do you are creating a product pipeline internally.
[00:11:20] I think we don't have a specific strategy for that but we're not winging it either. I mean we do have a thought process here we have an incredible team like I'm super grateful to have that I have. I mean I think the universe puts the people around you that you need to advance. And right now I have 12 people working with me that are brilliant combine different backgrounds different strengths and so together you know we have board meetings every week. We discuss you know what products we're going to work with next. We have chemist on hand that we work with that are super incredible. So I use a lot of different feedback and deciding what we're going to do next. We're right now in the process of having a 12 month drip campaign we're relaunching new products every two to three months for the next year and we're putting the final touches on that. But it could change depending on how the year goes. But but we have a plan and it's just it's having just incredibly smart people here that have the same values.
[00:12:21] Yeah possibly give us a little insight on what some of those values are. What has been important to you as you build your team.
[00:12:26] The thing is that you have found are common amongst the people that work out really well. Are common in terms of the people that have been most helpful and effective for you in terms of surrounding yourself with the leadership team or with a group that's really going to drive the business.
[00:12:40] I think it really boils down to people that are motivated beyond a paycheck. And you can find that out pretty early on with someone what their values are.
[00:12:51] We really like like I said I mean are making lives better we have it posted all over our offices and that needs to be the number one thing. Think of the Tojo Todros a single mom. So if we had a single mom working for someone and make sure that we can support her so that she can you know have the flexibility that she needs. And but we also need that same reciprocated attitude of they're going to give their all and more for the paycheck. And we have that right now we have incredible team really wants to make a difference. I mean for lack of sounding cheesy I mean we really do want to make a difference that's why we're all doing this and there are some people that dive into this phase because they see dollar signs and I respect that. Yeah there definitely is money to be made but if you can also make the best products and help people in the process of making a paycheck that's a pretty great feeling for me anyway yeah.
[00:13:38] And I think that the whole kind of cannabis market cannabis sector is you know I think it's is going through that to some extent you know having it be such kind of gold rush or green rush here that there is a lot of money chasing things which means I think there's a lot of kind of skewed decision making or heavily weighted decisions in terms of the financial side. And I think companies that are looking at it more holistically in terms of what is what is really their purpose and what are their core values. And why are we doing this beyond profit incentive here. It's going to be important particularly as as things get more challenging as competition increases as the market matures I think you'll see a lot of separating out those that have a bigger picture and those that are were just in it for the money.
[00:14:20] I'm glad you brought that up because I truly feel that we as competitors in this industry we need to be friendly competitors and support each other because there's enough room in the market for all of us. There just is. I mean there's an abundance of people out there that need our help. And so if we can make this industry not so tarnished you know you're always going to have those techie people that want to throw up Web sites and make false claims and make their millions and bow out and have terrible return policies and customer service and get people's soured to this industry. I saw it before when I was you know when I created the Little Me Don't answer. That was the time when everybody was doing the sex pill and it was all a gimmick. A lot of it you know. And so it's up to us to make sure that we don't tarnish this industry any more than it already is we have to break that cycle of coming in being greedy taking advantage of people and selling them products that aren't quality like. I love meeting competitors. I feel like anybody who's helping people is not a competitor they're an ally.
[00:15:23] Yeah I think gets a lot of what you know the intention of the podcast is to bring together folks that are in this industry to kind of share some of these common values and share learnings and share the kind of the goals of the industry. What do you think are some ways listeners here are you know involved in cannabis companies interested in starting cannabis companies either on the technical side on the investment side product development etc..
[00:15:46] What would you suggest that they think about or do consider as they get into this what questions they need to ask themselves about why they're getting into it or you know what what the outcome is for them.
[00:15:59] You know I think that's a great question and I do have some advice. And the very first thing I thought when you start asking me this question was and this is something I wish I would have done. Both times I created supplement companies is before you do anything else before you even start sketching out a logo or even start doing research. Get an attorney and get a couple of attorneys get a FDA attorney and get a business and cannabis law attorney because you need to understand when you're creating products that are ingestible and people are putting on their bodies. It's not like you're selling people you know a widget or a rubber band. OK. This is stuff that. And then you're also dealing with federal law and even state by state it's different. And you just want to make sure that you're doing everything. Compliance if you really want to create a lasting company and you're going to make some super expensive mistakes and you can avoid a lot of those by having really good legal counsel by your side from day one.
[00:17:05] Any particular questions you share or think you know sort of checklist items that you'd suggest people go through on an amendment to the extent that you've had you had learning experiences that you can help people avoid while how much time you got.
[00:17:18] Well I mean listen we all there's always going to be challenges in business. I mean that's why a lot of people don't make it because it's tough. I mean it's tougher than raising children sometimes starting this business not knowing it. There's a lot of similarities too. Yeah. And everybody has an idea right ideas don't pay the bills. OK. You have to have a structure and you have to make that idea come to fruition. You know everybody has an idea I got. And especially once you start developing products and people contact me all the time and they're like I've got this idea and I want to do this and I'm like Well have you considered this this this and this. You know I mean do you have interns on that product or you know where are you going to have it may where a torture gradients from. And they don't have any answers. So like I said I mean ideas are wonderful but you have to really also get people around you that have business sense and legal sense. But yeah I mean just be ok with making mistakes but be prepared it will happen and if you're passionate enough about something it won't matter. You'll you'll make it work and you'll learn and move forward. I mean this industry ebbs and flows so much right now. It's already changed it's going to change even more. You just have to be prepared to roll with the tide.
[00:18:24] Yeah. Anything to. No touching on it. Interesting concept but I think it's true and entrepreneurship in general but certainly on the kind of Uspensky been so much that's going on. Any BIDCO strategies for dealing with setbacks or challenges are things that don't necessarily work right. How how do you personally approach approach that in a way that's going to be of positive and make them learning experiences and not get sort of disabled by them in terms of continuing to move forward any strategies.
[00:18:51] Oh no. This is going to sound cheesy but. I'm really being honest here having gratitude and gratitude will change your life and when you're in a situation where you feel like your world is crumbling whether it's your business or personal or what you gotta write down all the prose you've got going on and it's very difficult to do sometimes because you just you know you want to feel like a martyr and you're just woe is me.
[00:19:16] And why is this happening. And if I feel myself getting in that mindset I'm really quick at this point in my life to doubt myself out of it and say OK look how far I've come. And I've heard the saying a million times I didn't come this far to quit now. You know and you just got. It's called life. I mean life setbacks. It's I mean look how far we've come as an industry. Yeah. And that's not because people rolled over and gave up. I mean you know big pharma and the FDA all of these things you know I hate to bash but I don't think all of those people are bad by any means but I do think that there is a corrupt situation going on here and we giving up is not going to is not going to help. I mean you can't. I always like to think of other real life stories like Erin Brockovich. Yeah I mean that's a really good example is the of the underdog who really want grant and that was a very rare situation. But without her tenacity. Yeah you know that wouldn't have happened and all those people who then vindicated. So I just think that we have to just persevere be grateful for how far we've come and continue on. Yeah and I appreciate you sharing that and I think that's one thing that I certainly found in my entrepreneurial journey was when I saw people that had been extremely successful talk about times when they were not
[00:20:32] Just interesting. Just knowing that you know it's easy to put people on a pedestal it's easier to see all the wonderful accomplishments you know other people have done. It's not so easy to see the struggle and the times when they got things wrong and they had meltdowns and they were left crumbling on the floor for a little while trying to figure out what the next step was. We have all been there and we will all be there again at different points and it's at some level it's part of the process. But part of the process is to keep going on that stuff.
[00:20:56] When I think when you go through that you get a lot more immune to it. I mean now it's funny things happen I'm kind of like oh really is that all you got. Because I'm like I remember being like the single mom working two jobs actually being incredibly ill sick and you know really feeling like I had no hope and to now and struggling through you know now to businesses starting and it's I look back and I'm like what I do it all over again if I could I'm not sure. But it's really rewarding. And it also makes you humble. You're like OK I've come a really long way and nothing's really going away. What's the worst thing that's going to happen.
[00:21:32] Let's just pull our pants up and deal with the situation now through Jonas because you are you kind of touched on a little bit.
[00:21:39] I always always like to have a little conversation with women who are in an entrepreneurial journey who have gone through this. Particularly women in the cannabis space. What is it like or what have you noticed about being an entrepreneur about being in the kind of a space that would be interesting to share kind of insights you've developed. I'm sure there are a lot of women entrepreneurs in this space listening to the program. What would be good sort of thoughts or advice or experiences that you can give them.
[00:22:03] You know it can be very intimidating. I've always worked in male dominated industries and it hasn't ever really been easy. You feel like you have to kind of prove yourself a little bit more. You know I I work for Harley-Davidson for seven years and I was a marketing director there and that's a pretty male dominated industry. And then you know creating herbal supplements that were designed for libido enhancement. I mean going to those trade shows and stuff it was definitely I would say 80 percent men. And I love working around men. I mean I think the best advice I can give women is don't consider yourself different. I mean I don't ever join. Women only groups and I when I go to trade shows like Expo West and stuff and they have women in leadership and they have their private groups and it's just women. I don't go. And it's not because I don't respect those women and if that's what they need that's fine but I don't look at myself as different than men just because I'm a woman. I mean we're business people and we're here to make a difference. And I think I think creating a lot of division actually does the opposite of what people think it does. You know and I can't say the same for minorities. I don't know what that feels like. But I know what it feels like to be a woman. And you know that is you can't even look at yourself as different. You walk in the room just like a man would you and you know you handle it and you can't let people offend you.
[00:23:27] You know if if anyone is condescending or you know I had many and not many it's really hasn't happened often. I'll be honest with you most people are very respectful but you have your handful of scumbags that. Now that will be very condescending and even mean. I mean I was in a meeting one time and this is a funny story. That I was in a board meeting one time and there was a man that walked in and he'd never met me. He didn't know my role in the company and he would not look me in the eye. And every time I had somebody say he just interrupted and talked over me. And he finally looked at me and said I need you to get me a cup of coffee. And I looked down on him like first of all I'll get anybody a cup of coffee I don't care about that. But it was the way he asked and when he found out that I was the president of the company has changed a bit. So it was a little offset by that but I really laughed about it more than anything because I thought that's very close minded of him to make that assumption. And I got him his coffee but I didn't do business with him anymore and my whole whole thing is don't be offended and don't look at yourself as any different. That's my advice.
[00:24:31] Yeah that's good I think of China. So we're going to come up on time here a little bit. People want to find out more about you about be true about the products. What's the best way to contact you. Get a hold of you. Find out more.
[00:24:43] Well the best way is AMI's their website. In this day and age so like I mentioned earlier be true wellness dot com and it's B. Are you wellness dot com. My email if you guys want to reach me direct I would love to answer any questions and continue the conversation. As Julie J. Olayı at B true wellness dot com. Of course on our social media handles would be true wellness. Twitter Facebook Instagram follow us please and try our products with a 30 day money back guarantee. We have super high quality free of heavy metals organic amazing synergistic herbal blends that we stand behind 100 percent and you know anything I can do to support. On advice I can offer I'm still learning but I love to help so please any time that's great and I'll make sure that all of those links and emails and everything are on the show notes.
[00:25:32] Don't we finish up it's just a question on what do you think we should be expecting or what are you. What do you see happening for the cannabis industry over the next 12 months 24 months. What do you think's going to come down the pike here for us.
[00:25:45] You know everybody says it's the next dot com and I'm telling you I see it I see it. I feel it. It's a wave that is building momentum bigger than anything I've seen in my lifetime. So that is super exciting.
[00:26:01] It's also a little bit unknown because you don't know about federal law when what things are going to change. I have great feeling that things are going to change I would like to see sessions gone that's a different conversation.
[00:26:12] But you know I'm very hopeful and I think that it is definitely I mean but just like with tech you know it's you gotta have your stuff together before you try to get out there. I mean it's going to be like you said earlier you got to have a tight ship you got to be legal you got to be compliant you've got to have everything right. You got to be developing products with integrity and you'll be able to to soar past all these people coming in trying to ride the coat tails to make the money. So just getting everything as an industry just getting all loose ends together and being prepared for this because it's I see it man telling you you know Julie this has been a pleasure.
[00:26:48] Thank you so much for being on the program. Well look forward to kind of seeing how things go. We can record another session in a few days here and see what of those kind of predictions and comments come to fruition and catch up on how your business goes.
[00:27:02] Well thank you so much. And send me a link to this I'll share it with our group as well.
[00:27:06] We'll make sure we do that. Thanks again.
[00:27:08] Thank you so much have a good day. You've been listening to Thinking Outside the Bud with Business Coach Bruce Eckfeldt to find a full list of podcast episodes. Download the tools and worksheets and access other great content. Visit the Web site at thinkingoutsidethebud.com. And don't forget to sign up for the free newsletter at thinkingoutsidethebud.com/newsletter.