Tekisha Harvey left behind 15+ years of corporate life, working with Coach, Ralph Lauren, Conagra Brands and more, to travel the world and eventually become an entrepreneur. She launched TH Consulting in 2018 to help wellness brands with brand and marketing strategies. Since then, she has worked with major cannabis and CBD brands to help them with consumer research and market expansion strategies. Most recently, she co-founded CannaCurious Magazine. Tekisha is passionate about eliminating the stigma and normalizing conversations around cannabis and its wellness benefits.
Q: What's your background, and what are you working on?
My co-founder, Kinisha Correia, has a writing, journalism, and editing background. Diana Sanmiguel has a graphic design and creative direction background. And, I (Tekisha) have a background in product development, as well as cannabis branding and marketing. We’ve pulled all our skills together and we’re currently working on building the first magazine for women who are curious about how and why cannabis and CBD can enhance their lifestyles. That magazine is called CannaCurious. We launched less than a year ago, and our third issue will be published on April 20th to celebrate 420 - the globally recognized cannabis holiday.
Q: What motivated you to get started with CannaCurious?
We were three friends that got to know each other well through working in the same co-working space. We enjoyed each other’s company and more importantly, each other’s mindset. We wanted to see how we might combine our talents on a project. One day, during our many virtual catch-up calls during quarantine, Diana mentioned that she was using CBD to help her remain calm and reduce stress while working from home and home-schooling her two young kids. She said it was something she didn’t tell many people about because they likened CBD to a drug. From there we chatted about all of the misinformation out there about CBD and cannabis. Given my background of working with a cannabis consumer research company, she noted that most people were using cannabis to get well and it was working for them. Diana said, why don’t we create a magazine to educate women on cannabis and CBD? That was it! We pooled Kinisha’s editorial skills with Diana’s graphic design acumen and my cannabis branding and marketing know-how to form CannaCurious.
Q: How have you attracted readers and grown CannaCurious?
We use two primary mediums to attract readers to CannaCurious magazine -- Instagram and our website. We have partnered with women-friendly brands and influencers to promote our message and gain traction on social media. On our website, we host the digital magazine along with blog posts surrounding women’s issues and how cannabis and CBD can assist in those areas.
Q: What's your business model, and how have you grown your revenue?
We are still in year one of our existence and while it’s been exciting, we want to be methodical about our growth. This year the plan is to focus on brand awareness and audience growth, which is why our digital publication is free. We print and sell online one print issue annually. Currently, our revenue streams are from magazine sales and advertising. However, we have garnered interest from two major book retailers, so we may transition to print next year, which would add an additional stream of revenue.
Q: What are your goals for the future?
There is so much opportunity to connect and educate the canna-curious woman! We have plans to expand beyond the magazine. We envision hosting ticketed events, workshops, and an annual conference. We also want to launch CannaCurious merchandise and perhaps a CBD line in the future.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you've faced and obstacles you've overcome?
As a self-funded, startup in the cannabis space, funding has been a challenge. For example, we were unable to launch a fundraising campaign on the IFund Women platform because their payment processors did not accept cannabis-related businesses. Even though we are a magazine, we were denied. We have had to use our ingenuity and get creative to get help and keep operations running!
Q: Have you found anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Since our concept of a beautifully designed cannabis magazine for women who are “newbies” does not exist, we’ve gotten a lot of interest and support from brands and contributors. We have also been lucky to have support from interns who wanted the opportunity to work on a project like ours. Their contributions have helped us continue to put out high quality content.
Q: What's your advice for female founders who are just starting out?
Be prepared for things to go differently than planned, and that’s okay. Flexibility is key to staying in the game. Also, save money and have a pitch deck or fundraising plan before you need one. They are time-consuming and ever-evolving, so it’s good practice to have a version that you can edit along the way.