What is your Company? How did you come up with the idea? Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
DankStop is the name of my company. We are the largest online headshop in the world and we sell a huge selection of bongs, vaporizers, glass pipes, grinders, bubblers, and all other types of marijuana supply gear.
Upon deciding that I wanted to launch a business off of the Instagram platform, I contacted my co-founder to see if he would be interested in starting a project with me. We began examining different viable business ideas and ended up stumbling on the marijuana industry. After a bit of research, we discovered the Champs Trade Show and decided to book a flight.
The trade show was unlike anything I had ever seen before. I was used to getting arrested and treated like a criminal for my fascination with marijuana. Everyone here was doing it out in the open and literally building their businesses around it! I instantly fell in love and made it my mission to become part of this beautifully budding industry.
When we returned to New Jersey, it was time to make a decision. Originally we had considered starting a vaporizer brand, but we quickly decided that it would be smarter to cater to the market as a whole. Is was through this process that DankStop.com was born.
We quickly put up a placeholder website and began ordering products from some of the vendors that we had met in Las Vegas. I began growth hacking our Instagram account almost immediately, and within 4 months, we had over 50k followers, growing at a tremendous speed. It was through this process that I discovered my love for marketing and business strategy. My life was forever changed, almost instantly.
What gave you that Entrepreneurship spark and drive when you started? Tell me about the day you decided to take this on as a full-time venture.
Honestly, the thought of settling made me do it. At the time that I started Dankstop, I was at a very depressed point in my life. I was searching for deeper purpose and unfortunately, my job working for the United Brotherhood Of Carpenters wasn’t satisfying my life ambitions. I knew I could achieve more and I wasn’t going to stop until I created a reality that I could draw at least “some” inspiration from.
About 6 months into starting DankStop. I decided to leave The Carpenters Union. That was one of the scariest decisions that I had ever made in my life. It felt like that moment in The Goonies when the kids were forced to walk off of the plank. I felt like I was walking off of a plank and it sank or swim. It was ok though, you’re supposed to take chances like that when you’re young. I was 23 with my whole life ahead of me. That’s the best time to do it.
Where do you see your company 5yrs from now?
5 years from now DankStop will be a much larger company. Ideally, I’d love to collaborate or merge with a dispensary of some sort and create DankStop Dispensary locations. It’s a great dispensary name and I think our data, branding, and marketing efforts could be the perfect recipe for a national dispensary brand.
We’re also developing our own proprietary software for our dropshipping program! Once it’s fully completed this month, it’s going to open up many doors for DankStop that were previously locked. It’s going to enable us to effectively “connect” to any website built on the Shopify platform and allow us to offer virtually any products that we choose to our massive list of drop shipping clients.
Lastly, we have some huge marketing deals bubbling up right now. I believe that even more influencers will get onboard with us to sell custom branded marijuana supply gear to their fans and make a ton of profit! I’m excited to set up these business deals and look forward to expanding my influencer micro shop program.
What’s the most valuable advice you’ve received that contributed to your personal or professional success?
“Go out and fail.”
That advice honestly helped me a lot. I get obsessed with the details quite often and it is important to at the very least, start. At the beginning of your business, you wear many different hats, so it’s important to become an expert problem solver and move on as quickly as possible.
What have you sacrificed for success?
I’ve definitely sacrificed my social life, but it was worth it and continues to be worth it. Success and building things are way more interesting to me than anything else that I can picture myself doing. I’m just interested in becoming smarter than I was yesterday at this point. Everything else will fall together as I go.
How do you maintain or find new inspiration?
I spend time with loved ones. They remind me why I do all of this, to begin with. I also plan to vacation soon, that should hopefully bring some new found inspiration.
What’s one rule that guides your life?
Be unapologetically you, always, no matter what the circumstances.
Who has been the most impactful contributor to your success?
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
We decided to leave all of our money in a PNC business bank account. That account was “randomly” shut down one day, due to the nature of our business. I learned at that moment to always have two business bank accounts. You can never be too careful, especially in the marijuana industry.
What do you think makes your company stand out?
We go out of our way to do marketing campaigns that our competition would never consider. We have collaborated with some of the largest names in the industry and as a result, it has made us stand out just for that fact alone. Other than that, I would say that it’s our drive to continue upgrading our products and services to the best of our abilities. I believe that we will continue to stand out from our competitors.
Which tips would you recommend to colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I would recommend organizing your time as best as possible. There’s only so much time in a day and there’s no point in over-doing it. Schedule everything down to your meals, workouts, and reading before bed. Through that, you will achieve the greatness that you are seeking.
How have you used your success to bring good to the world?
I try to every day by being as positive as I can be to people that I encounter, but to be honest I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface yet. This is something that I plan to work on more moving into the future.
What are some major milestones your company has reached, and how did it affect you?
1 million in revenue the first year was pretty significant, but to be honest, nothing really changed until we hit 5 million in revenue. I haven’t kept much track of milestones, we’re too busy working. I feel as if we haven’t really done anything yet, we have so much further to go.
What are 5 things that you wish someone would have told you before starting your company:
- Build on the Shopify platform
- SAS companies are better than product based companies
- Utilize as many freelancers as possible
- Don’t ever wait for anything in marketing, act immediately
- Research “google manual actions” and know how to solve them