I’m Harry Ephremsen and I am the proud founder of Hide & Seek CBD. My long term goal is to create the most trusted CBD brand on the market, with high quality, beautifully designed products. I suffered from anxiety at university, which is when I was first made aware of CBD and its potential benefits. I struggled to find a brand that I could relate to, and more importantly trust. I believe transparency and proof of product quality is vital, which is why I have implemented a batch testing facility available on my site, enabling my customers to see exactly what is inside every product.
What made you start Hide and Seek?
I first became interested and curious about the CBD industry one year ago -in the Summer of 2019. I saw a market rapidly expanding in some parts of the world, particularly in North America, yet very much in its infancy in the UK and Europe. One awash with hundreds of new entrants, yet flooded with poor quality products with inconsistent and often questionable levels of CBD. A market that lacked authentic, trusted brands to help navigate, de-mystify, reassure and at the same time, satisfy, growing consumer and shopper needs in such a dynamic and exciting sector.The more I read, the more I investigated, the more I researched… the more I realised that this was my opportunity. And so, I decided to do something about it. Fulfilling a life-long ambition, I left university, set up my first company, and brought a new brand to market in the CBD sector.In developing this brand, I drew parallels from other sectors -like protein shakes and snacks –in which fierce competition was driven by often sub-standard own/white-label products ; and in which significant corporate investments into good products on-paper often resulted in the creation of brands lacking substance and personal equity.I also opened my eyes to the brands, companies and players around me. Visiting many stores, websites and exhibitions –from small independent ones, to the biggest at the NEC in Birmingham. It wasn’t what I found throughout this research that excited me. It’s what I didn’t find. I didn’t find brands with true authentic stories. With personal touches. Unique approaches. I didn’t find enough brands providing reassurance (which is why I incorporated batch-testing directly on this site). If such brands were there, I couldn’t find them.Launching Hide & Seek is just the start of my journey. My path to success will be based on continuing to listen, learn, react and adapt in fulfilling the needs of my customers, now and in the future.
Tell us about Hide & Seek, what is it and how can CBD help us?
Hide & Seek CBD is a brand based on three core pillars…Trust: A brand for people to trust; and help navigate within the sector. Personal Connection: A brand born from connecting with people; and built by embracing their feedback. Quality: A brand to reassure in product, ingredients and packaging.
How CBD works:
Each of us have our own endocannabinoid system (ECS) that plays a role in regulating a variety of processes for both mind and body. The ECS is made up of a series of receptors configured to be able to react to CBD, regulating bodily processes such as sleep, immune system responses, and pain management. Studies suggest the benefits of CBD range from: Pain management, better quality sleep, anxiety relief, stress reduction, acne reduction, menopause, anti-seizure, neuroprotective qualities.
How easy was it starting a brand new business in this area? What did you need to get started and what were your key challenges?
Starting any business is a challenge and also a steep learning curve! Generic skills need to be developed quickly in such a variety of areas –company formation, accounting set up, insurance, producing business plans and cash flow forecasts, raising money, creating a brand, organising packaging, understanding web & social media, understanding margins, etc. etc. In addition there are even more complications because the CBD sector is so new and regulation is being changed all the time. Having said that, this may eventually be a barrier to more entrants entering the sector so in the long term this may be a good thing! I’ve been fortunate to be introduced to a network of specialists through friends and family and I’ve called in many favours. For example, I’ve sought the help of branding agencies, web designers, accountants, retail specialists and CBD experts. It would be impossible to launch a business without calling in so many favours!
What advice would you give anyone starting a new business right now?
Number one piece of advice would be just do it. It’s too easy to keep putting off the big decision. There will always be a reason not to take the risk. Nothing will be perfect from the start, and lots of mistakes will be made. But putting yourself out there and giving it a go will give you the best chance of making a successful business in the future. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for advice. In fact ask as many people as you possibly can for tips, guidance and intro’s. You never know where that may lead you.
What’s next for Hide & Seek -what are you working on?
Once we have gained great customer feedback from our first product, we hope to expand the range quickly with balms, moisturisers and more oils or varying strengths. We are also exploring the idea of owning our own retail chain –we still believe the best way to introduce new CBD users is by face to face education and trial –and there is nowhere better to do that than in a store.