Did you go to college? If so, what did you study?
Felicity and I met as randomly paired roommates freshman year of college at Boston University where we studied business, despite both being from the Bay Area of California. I concentrated in finance and minored in philosophy, a really interesting blend of studies that continue to challenge the way I think.
What were you doing before starting Potli?
Before Potli I worked as a management consultant for several years, traveling from city to city for clients. It was great professional training, you really learn how to adapt to new situations and work with ambiguity. But I didn’t feel like I had true ownership over something, nor did I have a life in NYC—the city I’d always dreamed of living in since I was a kid. So I followed my passion for product and brands and joined ANN Inc, the parent company to the Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Lou & Grey brands in their strategy team, ideating and testing growth opportunities like new business models, product lines, and strategic initiatives. Both were incredible opportunities that I’m blessed to have had. I worked with some extremely talented people and learned a lot in a short span of time.
Where did you first get the idea for Potli? And what did the transition from your previous career to launch look like?
Felicity’s father started beekeeping for her mom, who has asthma and benefits from hyper-local honey. Cannabis is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent and, in ancient Ayurvedic medicine, honey is considered the most powerful vessel for herbal remedies. Thinking about her mother, my mother—and so many other people out there—we came up with the idea to infuse the honey itself and start selling that as our flagship product. We then realized what a need there was for products like ours—meticulously sourced, actually delicious, high-quality edibles—and expanded to other ingredients. But the honey is still our most popular product, and we still harvest it from hives in Felicity's family’s backyard.
We actually started working on this a year before either of us quit our jobs to fully pursue it. At the time, I was still working in consulting and I’d sometimes fly to San Francisco (instead of back to New York where I was living) to work on Potli with Felicity, who was working at Uber and MealPal in San Francisco and managing operations. So the transition really overlapped both our jobs.
In February of 2019, I moved back to California to work on Potli full-time. The transition was and still remains a challenge, but being our own bosses feels very natural to us, even though sometimes it can be daunting.