Co-founder and CEO of FAVOUR
Jamie Grimstad is the co-founder and CEO of Favour gum, a new functional chewing gum powered by CBD and first launched in February of this year. Favour was founded by Jamie, her mother Gigi Grimstad, and friend Margaret Bastick-- who found a reliable and effective way to get their daily dose of CBD (chewing gum allows for a higher-bioavailability of CBD to be delivered into the bloodstream).
Jamie is a recent Columbia University graduate, she also founded Curated by Jamie, a website for balanced eating and living well, that actually started as a tumblr blog in 2013 and grew from there. Since the beginnings of her tumblr page, Jamie has amassed a big following. In fact, her personal experience as an influencer has helped her with the social media marketing at Favour and creating brand awareness -- key in a nascent company like Favour.
We had the pleasure of asking some questions to Jamie about her experience, her life post-college, Favour and her current role as CEO.
Firstly, what inspired you and your co-founders to start Favour?
We were three women on a mission to find a solution for CBD use, but all of our trajectories into the CBD space have been different. Mine personally, started when I was running competitively. I was recruited to Columbia University for Track & Field and it didn’t take long into my Freshman year that I realized I wasn’t taking proper care of myself — mentally or physically. I made a very difficult decision to take a step back from the team, which I thought would allow me to focus on myself. On the contrary, with the lack of structure that I had had for so many years, I ended up falling into a cycle of depression — I didn’t want to work out, I fell into unhealthier habits — I did a complete 180 from the person that I had been. While I experimented with therapy, and other things to help me feel better, someone suggested I try CBD. At first, I was hesitant. As someone who doesn’t like to rely on taking something to make me feel better, I wasn’t sure. But, I ended up giving it a try. At the same time, my Co-Founders Margaret and Gigi (my mom), started to experiment with CBD to help remedy some of the daily disruptions that they were facing as Mothers and women starting to go through the aging process. We all tried everything — gummies, tinctures, capsules, you name it. It was really over lunch one day that we sat down and were like “Wow, the positive benefits of CBD are so real, but there’s not one product that we can pull out of our pockets everyday and rely on.” So, Favour was born. We wanted to create a product that alleviates the burden of a capsule or tincture, and is scientifically a reliable way to get your daily dose of CBD.
Jamie and her co-founders.
How has your background as a blogger -- and your current role in a VC firm-- influence your role as a co-founder of Favour?
I’ve always been really interested in early-stage startups, because you really get a window into where entrepreneurs go wrong (and right) in the beginning, as well as the different tactics that you can employ to foster early-stage growth. My sweet spot is Influencer Marketing + Social Media Marketing, which actually, has been really helpful for the progress we’ve made with Favour so far. From the outset, I’ve always known that coming in with the mindset that I will know how to do everything would set us up for failure, so I’ve tried to really focus on my strengths. As a CBD product, there are many roadblocks that we face on the Paid Marketing side. So, what this means for us is that we’ve had to focus on building the foundation of our brand through organic growth on social, having one-on-one conversations with our consumers, and relying on our community to share Favour through word-of-mouth. Given my background with Influencer + Social Media Marketing, I’ve really been able to focus on tapping into Influencers to not only help with brand awareness, but also drive sales, provide feedback, and more.
How would you like Curated by Jamie to evolve? What do you wake up looking forward to?
Referring back to the above, I love being able to work with so many different companies, as it always gives me the opportunity to learn so much. With that being said, I pivoted Curated by Jamie into a boutique consultancy after seeing a niche market for affordable Influencer + Social Media Marketing services. While we work with a variety of companies at different stages, a lot of early-stage startups, don’t have the money to pay high agency fees — so that’s where we come in. We essentially act as an extension of our clients’ in-house team, acting as a supporting role from the consulting level to fully executing content strategy, influencer campaigns, and more. I’ve been on the Influencer side, so I also like to think that this has given me an edge to know how to approach partnerships in a way that will be mutually beneficial long term — for both the brand and influencer.