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Life & Work with David Mayo

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Mayo. 

David, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I moved here to Denver from Orlando, FL almost 9 years ago for a change of pace and a new job opportunity. At the time I was bartending and when I moved to Denver, I started at a restaurant named Cholon Bistro. It was an awesome job and I enjoyed it thoroughly. It was a late-night job which means it gave me to opportunity during the days to enjoy myself and try out different side jobs and try to find my passion. I tried a few different things but wasn’t completely happy doing it. A good friend of mine from back in college had been living in Denver for a while and was in the cannabis industry and just started at a new company that was breaking into the CBD processing industry. I’ve mentioned before about how my girlfriend struggles with fibromyalgia and he recommended to try using CBD hopefully for some relief. I’ve always been interested in cannabis and its health benefits so we gave it a try and it really helped her out. That was in the middle of 2017 and the CBD industry was just starting to grow. I saw some great opportunities in the industry and decided to get my foot in the door. 

I started the brand 5280Holistics LLC in the beginning of 2018 and I started out by selling bulk CBD concentrates to companies that were just starting up and providing them with information about CBD in general. At some point, my buddy that worked for the CBD processing plant mentioned that people are infusing CBD and selling finished products and that gave me the idea to break into an industry that I knew well. It was the sports and sports recovery industry. We started making simple cooling balms, tinctures, and other topicals to help with sports and injury recovery. Everything was going smooth and we were thinking about getting a brick-and-mortar location started until the lockdowns started and really put my company in trouble. People started to get weary of handmade things and didn’t want to go inside of buildings. So, we made a huge sidestep to start getting our products professionally manufactured for us to ensure safety and give our customers peace of mind. We also started participating in local outdoor markets and it was a huge hit and that really helped our brand get exposure and grow. 

In the beginning, there wasn’t much guidance on how to start a CBD company and I had to learn EVERYTHING from scratch. From figuring out how and what licenses to get, navigating social media/advertising, and how to go about banking and payment processing, nobody really knew what the proper procedures were because it was illegal to do this stuff in the cannabis industry. I did my research and called people and just asked questions. Eventually, things fell into place, I met the right people and asked the right questions because we eventually figured out all my licensing, I landed a bank account with Bank of the West for a pilot program for CBD banking and from there I was able to get connected with Square for a pilot program for CBD payment processing. 

Currently, my brand is rapidly growing, we are getting placed in multiple accounts across Colorado, we are giving back by sponsoring local athletes to help them compete in competitions, we participate in some of Denver’s best local markets/events and we have a great following of customers that truly believe in the brand. I hope to keep building the brand and help bring products to people that actually work to offer them relief in their day-to-day lives. 

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It definitely has not been a smooth road. With CBD still technically federally illegal, it had made banking, advertising processing payments a nightmare. In my mind, there’s always a way around things. you just need to think outside the box. Also, the subtle art of asking questions is what really got me to find solutions in all three of these things. For banking, I was introduced to a friend of a friend that happened to be in the Cannabis and high-risk account management at BOTW. Long boring story short, I ended being granted 1 out of only 60 CBD bank account that were issued that year. As we all know, the cannabis industry is generally a cash-only business and people couldn’t pay with credit cards. Behind the scenes, Square was working on a high-risk program to allow cannabis businesses process payments legally and all I did was reach out to square and ask the right questions and they got me set up. Advertising is still tough and avenues like Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads still don’t allow cannabis companies to advertise. So, my way around this was to build a following by being out in the public and getting intron of people. My advertising budget is basically swag, markets/events, and sponsorships. 

Throughout this whole process, I hit many of dead ends and failures most because the legality of cannabis, which was frustrating. In an industry that has a lot of grey areas, I knew I just needed to stay focused and to find a way to sidestep these small obstacles all while gaining momentum while encountering that obstacle. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’ve held many different jobs in my life but I have always been a bartender. Bartending has allowed me to live my life to the fullest. Since I would bartend at night, I would be able to do whatever I want in the daytime. I’ve tried multiple jobs, I got to travel, find my passion, I’ve been able to treat myself to the fine things in life and I’ve been able to invest in my future in multiple ways. Bartending is a passion of mine because I loved learning about different spirits, drinks, and wines from around the world. I met the coolest people in my days of bartending and it’s always the best feeling to be able to give them the best experience possible. It was the best outlet for me and my mental health. You learn a lot about people while being a bartender and you learn a lot of life experience. 

I’m most proud of my level head and ability not to lose my cool in stressful situations. I’m also proud of my drive and my mindset to never give up and just stay focused even when nothing is going my way. 

I think I’m pretty good at motivating people and getting them to believe in themselves and to stoke up their passions. I’m good at always lending an ear to people and helping with tough times in their lives. 

What does success mean to you?
I think that successes are different from person to person. I generally see it as the result of not giving up. Putting your mind to something, sucking it up through the bad times, and just doing it. The magnitude of success is different from person to person too. For some people it could be like closing a massive deal you’ve been working on or your company hitting an important milestone. For some people that are suffering from certain disabilities, it could be just getting through the day with a smile on or for making it on their daily walk because they want to improve their health even though they’re in pain. 

Being able to put your mind to something and trying your hardest and achieving it is what I see as successes. Also, your successes should never be compared to others’ successes. Everyone is different 

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Image Credits

Stephanie Cline
Lisa Jennings

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