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Meet Jarrod Mason of Youwho Brand in Littleton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jarrod Mason.

Jarrod, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My story starts back in 2013, what most would term the low point of their life. I had just endured a period where I lost three of my grandparents in less than six years, my parents lost their parents, my brother was struggling, and I had lost focus and started failing in my studies. I knew something was off with me. I was always a high achiever, top of my class and I was about to be kicked out of school for poor performance. I went to my physician and was, to my surprise, diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), something that had been contributing to my depression and anxiety. I tried various ADHD medications and they all seemed to only make things worse, it wasn’t natural, and I still wasn’t back to myself. I knew if I wanted to find long term relief, it wouldn’t be through pharmaceutical medications.

Cue in the plant-based healing. I was at a Red Rocks concert in 2014, where I consumed cannabis for the first time in years. And the experience was so profound. It was a humbling experience. I realized that this drug that had been demonized for years wasn’t so bad, after all. I saw people from all walks of life enjoying cannabis; older folks, younger folks, well-to-do folks, normal folks; all what I would term successful people, not this stoner stereotype that society tends to place on them. It was so profound of an experience that two days later, when I went back to college, I changed my major from studying pre-med to psychology. I wanted to understand myself more, understand my brain and begin to find some answers for myself that I could eventually use to help other people.

After switching my major, I ended up joining a research lab that was studying ADHD, Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder and I really began to dig into the research and get hands on experience with understanding how the brain works. I wasn’t shy about trying to study cannabis with my professors, more particularly CBD, and in 2015 I was invited to help start up a new research lab, the Institute of Cannabis Research. I worked with the ICR in the newly created neuroscience department, helping to write pilot studies that were successfully used to solicit funding from the State Legislature and Pueblo County Governments. In 2016 I graduated college and decided to step outside of academics and continue my journey in the cannabis industry. I landed a job at Los Suenos Farms in Pueblo County, what would become the nation’s largest legal outdoor cannabis farm. I started there working in the fields, pulling leaves off of plants in the hot summer sun and climbed the ladder to eventually be managing their sales, marketing, distribution, and Metrc compliance departments, earning the title of Director of Business Development.

During this time, I grew even more fond of cannabis, its healing properties, its economic benefits and its ability to change society as a whole. I realized that a lot of people hadve been helped by this plant and a lot have also been harmed through the failed War on Drugs. I wanted to keep helping them, helping those small mom and pop shops, helping those who have struggled with access, helping those who have had their life disrupted by a cannabis arrest. But most importantly, during this time I found healing. I found that cannabis helped my ADHD, it gave me my purpose back, it helped me find myself again and out of anything, I wanted to pass this on to other people and help them find their purpose.

In 2018 I left my kushy cannabis job to start my own business. I founded Youwho Brand in November 2018 and launched it full time in January 2019. Youwho Brand is a full-service digital marketing agency, but even more, we are here to help you become who you want to become. I know first hand its a struggle to find yourself, to bring your dreams to reality and to work through the complex process of making it happen. I wanted to make that process easy, affordable and fun. We work hand in hand with many people from all walks of life, helping them take an idea and turn it into something tangible; a business, a product, a website, an event. It is probably the most rewarding thing I have ever done. In the future, we want to set up retreats and courses to share what myself and Lucy have learned over time. I want to teach people about their brains and how they work and help them organize their business in a way that puts them in a successful position immediately, not years down the road.

And most importantly, I want to normalize plant-based medicine. Cannabis helped me correct my life. I was surely heading for failure when I rediscovered a purpose in life and cannabis was their all along, helping to keep me focused, guiding me and bringing the many people and events into my life that have helped shape who I have become and who I will be into the future.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Anytime you are dealing with a plant that is still federally illegal, there are bound to be challenged. We had challenges back at the University with researching Cannabis. At the time, we were lucky to receive the approval to study with CBD only, and clearly, THC was not allowed. This severely limits your research and it’s still something that is being battled today in academics. I also had the battles of breaking the stigmas with my family and friends. Luckily, at the time, I had piles of research articles from 20, 30, 50, and 100 years ago that all showed promising potential from cannabis and I used those to show my family that it wasn’t the devil’s lettuce and there was a purpose behind what I was pursuing.

Even today, we still face many challenges. Marketing cannabis, even CBD, is extremely challenging. The normal avenues to market products these days are extremely restrictive to cannabis advertising and even something as simple as having an Instagram account can be difficult for some cannabis businesses. Everything from setting up a bank account, creating a website, finding an accountant, printing t-shirts, or even setting up a photoshoot can be a challenge when you add cannabis into the mix. We’ve come to accept challenges as a way of life at this point.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Youwho Brand – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Youwho Brand is a full-service, digital marketing agency. We offer end-to-end marketing solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. We offer everything from brand ideation, logo design, website development, social media management, online advertising, print advertising, graphic design, event production, packaging design, videography, photography, copywriting, everything you would need as a small business to succeed. We like to tell our clients that they can focus on what they excel at, which may be making candy, and we help with everything else. We even help our clients set up bank accounts or find raw materials. We are quite literally just a go-to resource for your business, but with a focus in sales and marketing.

What differentiates us currently is our inherent understanding of cannabis and the cannabis industry. There isn’t a lot of cannabis-specific marketing agencies in operation currently and there are even less that have a founder that has successfully worked within the cannabis industry, with the rules, regulations and the nuances of the market. So that understanding of the science behind cannabis, how it is grown, how it’s processed, how it’s packaged, how it is sold to consumers, and how it is regulated is all-important and can not be guesswork on an agencies part. Compliance is also another area coming into focus and especially with CBD, and companies have to be on top of their marketing to remain complaint and not risk a cease and desist for bad verbiage or get their social media shut down because of an incorrect buzzword. The mistakes can become costly and using an agency without an understanding of cannabis or how the industry operates can be devastating in terms of cost and lost opportunity.

In the eyes of our customers, what differentiates us is our passion to help them succeed, our quick turnaround times and our diligence in the work we do. We typically aren’t satisfied until our customers are satisfied and that makes us easy to work with. We consider ourselves a part of our customer’s business and everything we do is within that mindset. If our client doesn’t have a big budget, we will only put together a package that achieves their goals without breaking the bank. We don’t nickel and dime, we don’t add on services that won’t compliment their strategy and we certainly don’t waste our customer’s money. Many started just like us with money they saved up for years, so we put their money to work in the most efficient way possible and our clients appreciate that.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
In the future, we will continue to build out our business development agency, focusing on finding the best employees and contractors and giving them an opportunity to do what they love for a living. We pride ourselves on developing a distributed workforce and already have team members outside of Colorado and in other areas of the state. This allows us to remain flexible as a company, become diversified physically and intellectually and to give someone an opportunity to pursue their passion, which may be web development or graphic design. Our goal has always been to simply help people, so that will always start with the team we assemble.

Also in the near future, Lucy and I are planning to develop an Entrepreneurs Wellness Retreat, where entrepreneurs can come wind down for a weekend, escape the hustle and bustle and learn various techniques to manage the stresses of running their own business; through brain-building workshops, yoga, meditation and team-building exercises. Though Youwho Brand focuses on the big picture of business, all businesses start with an individual and we recognize that the individual’s health and wellness always play the biggest role in the success of any business. So if we can help these entrepreneurs build a strong foundation for themselves, mentally, physically and spiritually, they are bound for success in their business.

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Image Credit:
Youwho Brand

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