Chill Brands Group PLC is a consumer products company listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange.
We aim to conquer the relaxation market. You have Red Bull for energy, Nike for sports, Apple for creativity. It’s ambitious, but we want to cater for that extra area of life – the need to calm down and relax.
Right now we sell CBD products, but we’re working to expand our range and partner with the best creators to establish a curated one-stop-shop for all things Chill.
Tell us about yourself?
I previously worked in intellectual property law helping to establish and protect some of the world’s largest brands.
I went on to set up two of my own ventures in PropTech and brand consultancy where I supported start-ups as they attempted to find their feet, secure investment, and develop their book of business.
That ultimately led me to consulting Chill where I provided holistic to the US-based management team. This included IP protection and project management to corporate development and sales planning as they launched their US brand into the UK.
I had my own views and visions for what the brand could be and built close relationships with some of our major investors.
During April 2022 the Company needed to raise money and overcome a variety of challenges that were facing the business. I stepped into the CEO position to commence a turnaround plan and now work with colleagues in the US and UK to grow Chill.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Prepare for the unexpected! Not just by making contingencies for business challenges like logistical or supply chain issues, but by monitoring and anticipating what’s happening in the market and to consumers.
The pandemic is a great example. Everyone understood there was an immediate impact on the daily operation of businesses, but people weren’t necessarily looking at what it did to consumer behaviour in the immediate term or what it might do over a longer period.
Keeping your finger to the pulse helps you to react to problems as they arise, but it also keeps you agile and allows you to seize opportunities out of adversity.
What problem does your business solve?
For too long, we’ve ignored the negative impact that fast and connected lifestyles have on our body and mind. Chill was established to address those issues by bringing people together and giving them the products and media they need to unwind, sleep better, and enjoy the moment.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Chill was established to help fill that third area of life – you have work, you have play, and then chill. The project is about helping people to understand they need to enjoy down time, take care of themselves and their own state of mind.
We haven’t done a good enough job of targeting this area of focus yet, but that’s my mandate. To obsess over the relaxation needs of customers, and deliver the products and media that they want and need to unwind socially and on their own.
What is your magic sauce?
Our business model is about helping people to chill, and so our company “does what it says on the tin” in sales, marketing and consumer care.
Through our name and through our landmark website at Chill.com, we provide an immediate bridge between our products and their intended outcome.
That’s exceptionally valuable when you’re dealing with CBD, because you can’t actually go out and tell consumers what it will do for them.
Restrictions from regulators like the USA’s FDA and the UK’s FSA leave most brands unable to say much more than that CBD will “help keep you balanced”. When people ask what our products do, they only need to look at the name and the website domain to understand.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
As a brand, I want Chill to become synonymous with relaxation and wellness. We’ll achieve that by building a really strong foundation for growth through quality brand marketing. We also want to establish ourselves as the #1 curated marketplace for relaxation and recreational products.
In commercial terms, my aim is to reach survival by default. Building a brand is expensive, as is running a publicly-listed company.
I don’t want to continuously raise funds in a dilutive way and I of course want to return value to our investors. We’ve made strides towards cutting our spend and becoming more lean, but financial stability is an ongoing journey that we will always need to be mindful of.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Chill Brands Group has had a turbulent life on the London Stock Exchange. More recently, the company has struggled with its identity.
We launched synthetic nicotine products in late 2021 and started marketing heavily into very niche subcultures including rodeo and high-octane sports.
This distracted from all things “Chill” and we quickly faced challenges in the US where the Food and Drug Administration imposed very strict rules on the sale of synthetic nicotine.
As a result of that regulation we’ve had to stop chasing rainbows and instead focus on our purpose and mission. That sometimes means forgoing short-term opportunities that appear lucrative but could ultimately damage our brand and its future. The best course of action is rarely the easiest.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
Of course we want to interact with people who are seeking a more chill lifestyle. But we’re also looking for brands and creators with products that fit into that relaxation niche.
We’re building a high-traffic, curated marketplace of quality products that help people to take back control of their mental health and wellbeing. We can always be reached through the contact pages of Chill.com.