I recently had the opportunity to interview Kathy Ireland, supermodel turned super entrepreneur and Smoke Wallin, Chairman and CEO of hemp and CBD company Vertical Wellness, Inc. They recently partnered to collaborate on a Health & Wellness CBD line of products. kathy ireland® Worldwide (kiWW®) has been successful in creating a full lifestyle brand and is responsible for billions of dollars in retail sales including fashion, jewelry, home furniture, housewares, fintech, pets, rugs and much more.
According to Hemp Industry Daily, Nielson projects that CBD sales will reach $1.7 billion to $2 billion in 2020 and reach $6.9 billion by 2025 (a threefold increase over five years). The truth is, consumer-facing cannabis companies are confronted with the same tasks as any other brand or retailer – identify the target consumer, discover what they want, where they want to buy it and how much they’re willing to pay for it.
Greg Petro: What’s your goal in creating your Health & Wellness CBD Solution brand? Why now?
Kathy Ireland: I’ve been in this space for a very long time, I actually launched the kathy ireland® brand with hemp made socks in 1993 and then expanded into fashion and home. My first rugs were made of hemp (jute). As I mature, I want to expand the brand – it’s what keeps me going.
kiWW® is all about the ability to serve nonprofits in the health and wellness sector. I have a passion for what I have the privilege of doing. kiWW® chooses to work with amazing people and we were drawn to Smoke and his team. They are true leaders in this burgeoning industry and both our companies’ core values were aligned. The product is phenomenal and how they bring the product to market is even better.
Pain opens dangerous doors to addiction and finding healthy methods of managing pain is better for everyone. The science and all the possibilities that hemp provides is what’s so interesting.