The ability to determine if the brand is right for your consumer and their lifestyles is key, as it helps to develop brand loyalty and re- orders and remember that the most powerful form of advertising is word of mouth and “it’s free”.
As part of our series called “5 Things You Need To Know To Create A Very Successful Lifestyle Brand”, I had the pleasure of interviewing three Southern California women founders, Yael, Mishel and Stephanie of Blumenes which offers the finest in cannabis-infused CBD creams and topicals.
“After seeing so many people we love and care about suffer from pain — both physically and mentally — we decided to take things into our own hands and create a clean, organic, vitamin- and mineral-enriched cannabis-infused relief cream,” the founders of Blumenes explain.
The Blumenes philosophy is all about gratitude, self-care, and positivity. These attributes align the path to pain relief. Blumenes’s Luxurious & Organic CBD products are sourced and developed in California and utilize key healing ingredients like Hemp, Turmeric, Dragon’s Blood, Witch Hazel, Primrose, Aloe, and Arnica. The products are cruelty-free, gluten-free, and U.S.-grown with independent, third-party lab testing.
Full-spectrum CBD oil is the highest-quality extract from the cannabis plant, since it preserves all of the rich phytonutrients, cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids that cannabis is full of. The Blumenes’s CBD cream is an all-natural product which retains the plant’s complete profile, offering a true, full-spectrum CBD oil.
With a proprietary blend of plant compounds that work together to amplify therapeutic efficacy, Blumenes’s Luxurious Premium CBD creams provide you with a safe, holistic, and organic relief you can trust.
The Blumenes team consists of strong, compassionate women who create, educate, and facilitate pathways to health, healing, and gratitude. Their aim is to inspire, teach, and explore the connection between CBD and our bodies and minds.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?
The Blumenes team consists of three co-founders, Yael, Stephanie and Mishel. The dynamic of these three ladies is what makes Blumenes so special and I would love to incorporate my two co-founder’s background so that you can get a great sense of who we all are.
Our Childhood Backstory —
Co-Founder, Yael Rubin:
Being born in the most southern tip of Africa, is where my roots began. I was born in South Africa, Johannesburg, under apartheid, a white young enthusiastic child with a privileged lifestyle. However, in my family, being privileged does not mean entitled or spoiled. My parents instilled three characteristics that echoes the values of decency, kindness, non-judgement and humbleness was the foundation of my childhood.
They valued self-sufficiency and productivity, non-self-indulgence and dependence. In a nutshell, it was work hard and pay it forward, that was our family role.
My stories are a collection of hilarious, dramatic, and deeply inspiring stories. Whether camping out in our massive backyard or eating Mielie Pap ( is a relatively coarse flour made from maize, it’s a South African traditional dish),for dinner or spending many days in the safari or chewing on homemade biltong, another traditional south African dish( a form of delicious cured meat), my four siblings and I grew up wholeheartedly in a small but loving community. Growing up, trust was our guiding compass as we had each other for support. Charity and kindness were the moving synergy my parents instilled in us from a young age. I truly believe a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love will get you any through rough terrain. English is my native language (of course with a thick accent) still not sure where my accents belongs, it’s so mixed, up I’m still figuring it out! Hebrew was learned by solely eavesdropping as both my parents are from Israel. Most of my adult life, I have been living in sunny California. Before residing in California, we lived in London for a couple of years. That’s where I adopted my love for cozy warm sweaters and teatime.
Co-Founder, Mishel Elkayan:
Mishel was born in a beautiful, tiny country in the middle east called, Israel. It aligns with the democratic values of the United States. Growing up in a busy beach town called Tel-Aviv, Mishel explored her neighborhood with a lot of freedom and exposure to a lot of different cultures, who immigrated from Africa and Europe. Mishel learned so much from her parents since they were both full-time entrepreneurs. She is the youngest amongst three siblings. The advantages of being independent allowed her to explore her love for art and music. Having freedom allowed her to express herself and become the person she is today. As a teenager, her family moved to Brooklyn, NY.
The transition to a different country wasn’t easy but it made her even stronger and strengthened her ties to art. She majored in Art in High school, which allowed her to continue building her passion. She was accepted to Parson School of Art in New York, which sparked her creative career and lifestyle. She always tells us, “I wish for every person to be loved, and to have the opportunity to learn at a young age who they truly are. Having the freedom to always express yourself and follow your heart is what makes life fulfilling.”
Co-Founder, Stephanie Cobos:
Stephanie’s childhood story is the story about two different worlds, two different religions and two different cultures, who met by accident. This truly is the meaning when true love can conquer all. Her father who was an immigrant from Israel, who came to California to start his new, American dream. By chance, he met Stephanie’s mother, who was from rural Tennessee. They didn’t speak the same language, but they spoke the language of love. They say that kind of love has no limitations and boundaries. Stephanie grew up among the oldest child of five siblings. She fell into the role of leadership at a young age amongst her siblings and always was like a mom to the four siblings. I guess you can say that she was born with a mature soul. Stephanie’s home root values include family, giving and loyalty. Even her old-fashioned hobby such as needlepoint has become a source of meditation in her busy California lifestyle today, as she herself, is a mother to four grown up boys. Her southern roots have always kept her grounded, honest and loving.
Can you tell us the story of what led you to this particular career path?
Life takes us on a train ride, that are usually are the train rides of everyday routines, until one day you jump off the train and change in a split second you change your destination and in a split second, you embark on a totally new destination. Jumping off the train, you don’t know when it’s coming, but when the time and intuition are knocking on your door, you just jump off. I guess it’s always that little voice in our heads. Out of the blue your little voice turns into a choir so loud and clear, the only choice you have is to jump off and start charging full force. And that’s how it all began.
As a kid I always have been obsessed with what’s really in that tube or lotion, but one thing I know for sure is that simplicity and honesty resonates globally. I thought to myself, “artificial is out”.
Many of us avoid foods with long lists of toxic ingredients, and I thought to myself, we should be equally concerned about products we topically put on our bodies. My intent from day one was removing the potent ingredient and adding the good we receive from the gifts of nature. Who wouldn’t want to indulge in a cream so enriched in mineral, botanicals and vitamins? I guess you can say that for me it was nature’s awareness and mindfulness that got me on this journey.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The funniest story I can think about is when I was negotiating a price for 50,000 labels for an exciting product-launch. I kept insisting to get a better price, little did I realize that I got such a great price to begin with. I was actually asking for a higher price than I was quoted. Lesson to be learned, is that sometimes read your contracts and emails slowly before you assume the conclusion! They say that sometimes in life, your first offer is your best offer.
Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?
My favorite podcast is titled, Psychologist Off the Clock which is about four honest and totally transparent clinical psychologists who love to chat about the best ideas from psychology. I really love this podcast because it’s so real and clever. I love when wisdom and principals can be applied on everyday situations. Inspirational ideas from psychology, definitely helps me flourish in my creativity in my work, parenting and relationships. Go listen to: Psychologists Off the Clock! You will thank me later! Enjoy!
How do you define a Lifestyle Brand?
A lifestyle brand to me is all about vision and inspiration. Always being behind the wheel of your customer’s lens, their interests, their attitude, their goals. While incorporating what’s in their lifestyle, I believe balancing it with the Blumenes moral values of kindness and gratitude, comes hand in hand.
How is a Lifestyle Brand different from a normal, typical brand?
To me a typical brand is mostly focused on the sale of a product. The typical brand message is usually the heavy product infusing and total brand-pushing. The more consumers will feel like it’s just about only the sale of a product versus creating content that identifies with the consumer and establishes trust and loyalty along with a genuine story and an honest message that resonates with the consumer’s way of life. To me, it’s all about building that relationship, investing in a relationship , being loyal to the relationship and bringing to the table something that’s unique and different and always aligns with our Blumenes mission. We even went to the extent of trademarking our slogan we believe in which is “be kind to yourself”. At the end of the day, we believe our lifestyle brand aligns with our consumers’ way of life. It’s no different than a serious relationship, we want to invoke emotional, spiritual and meaningful values between us and our consumer.
What are the benefits of creating a lifestyle?
As we all witness that the Internet is becoming a breeding ground for fake information, however trusted brands help weed through the noisy false claims we see so often.Trust and Credibility are the fundamental elements of creating the Blumenes lifestyle brand.The Blumenes reputation creates trust and credibility, both of which are essential to grow together as a community. Blumenes believes in being a big part of the client’s lifestyle. The Blumenes team is constantly observing our audience’s lifestyle — it’s like watching a dance. We believe in the “how, what and when approach”, asking ourselves how products or services play a role in what our clients rely on or understanding their daily needs. Once we understand the fundamental core footprints of their lifestyle, we see the full array of benefits of creating a brand lifestyle to better encourage values, desires, and our culture as a community.
In your opinion, what is an example of a company that has done a fantastic job building a believable and beloved
I would have to say it’s the Yeti Company (my favorite insulated cup, my ice never melts in extreme California heat waves). Yeti attracted me primarily because of its tight knit community. The stories exemplify how YETI and their customers are (“Built for the Wild”). Story telling is key as their story amplifies the spirit of being tough and resilient, which aligns with the YETI brand. Ironically, the YETI product, are usually placed subtly in all their content (videos). The YETI ice cooler is on my bucket list.
What specifically impresses you?
YETI’s use of brand ambassadors further solidifies the brand, they are the front-line troopers to engage in wild and fun adventures. They actually research their ambassador on the YETI website asking all kinds of lifestyle questions before asking the ambassador to represent them. I think this kind of collaboration is brilliant.
What can one do to replicate that?
Start by building a great brand community
- First, you need a captivating reason for members to join.
- Secondly, you need to make it worth their time to engage with each other and with your brand.
- Finally, it has to be easy and valuable for members to share your community with others and help it grow.
Once all these steps are incorporated, you’re off to a great start in building a brand community.
Can you share your ideas about how to create a lifestyle brand that people really love and are ‘crazy about’?
Creating buzz around your brand is key. Keep in mind there’s an opportunity for buzz, however buzz cannot be abused. Like anything in life (buzzing around has to be at the right place at the right time). Always spark your drive. Remember your initial drive, inspire your drive to always be active and embrace what drives you, what motivates you and keeps you wanting more throughout each day, and go get it no matter what obstacles are in front of you. Buying powers and initiatives to buy have changed. The facts are that people are not buying just to buy anymore. Consumers are people who are constantly evolving and are exposed to the latest trends of the fast-paced Internet. Consumers are no longer sitting back and buying whatever is thrown at them. They are taking information that are fed through social media, through blogs, through viral voices and vocalizing this information to affect brands both in positive and negative ways.
The Blumenes team strategizes with these four core principles:
1) Think about relevance. Are people willing to pay for your product?
2)Clarify your message. You must have shorter messages in the world we live in today that will keep your customers engaged from the very beginning. People are busy, so cut down the clutter.
3)Create a consistent experience. Make sure you have your story down pat.
4) Think about reality — Are people willing to pay for the product? Keep your messages short, less is more! Ongoing experience is what it’s all about.
What are the common mistakes you have seen people make when they start a lifestyle brand?
We have seen that visual brand identity that doesn’t always align with a person’s company. Sometimes chunky and messy web designs are the types of things that can make people run for the hills.
- People who dismissed their company’s mission.
- Stopped asking what their company’s brand values are
- Never identified the ideal customer
- Never asked themselves how they want to be perceived in the market?
- Never recognized their competition
- Never recognizes customer’s biggest problem
- Never asked what kind of voice does our brand have?
What can be done to avoid those errors?
Lots of patience, education and awareness and most of all we believe collaboration and mingling with like-minded people.
At the end of the day, we are all in this together! Ask tons of questions, people naturally like to help especially if you say, “I’d like your opinion about ….”.
Let’s imagine that someone reading this interview has an idea for a lifestyle brand that they would like to develop. What are the first few steps that you would recommend that they take?
An important message that is so simple. Remember, your logo is not your brand. A logo is a visual symbol for a business, but it doesn’t represent the business’s entire brand identity. Always keep in mind your logo doesn’t build a brand — it’s one step towards building your brand identity. Importantly, your brand image is not what you say it is. Your brand image is how your customers and prospects perceive your company.
Brand identity consists of so many elements, from micro to macro. Here are a few of the Blumenes’ team recommendations:
- Different logo variations
- Key brand colors and color palette
- A consistent style for images and content
- Stye guide
- Visual identity on social media
What are your “5 Things You Need to Know to Create A Very Successful Lifestyle Brand” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)
Always remember that your brand breathes 24/7, as it is evolving in everyday movements within your company.
1) Inspire, don’t sell. Lifestyle brands are more about story time (just like the kid we used to be in kindergarten at circle time), a collection of beliefs, values and inspirations that are weaved into a puzzle full of intrigue and value.
2) Emotional awareness creates a bond between a brand and a consumer. The consumer needs to identify with feelings, hopes, dreams and desires.
3) The ability to determine if the brand is right for your consumer and their lifestyles is key, as it helps to develop brand loyalty and re- orders and remember that the most powerful form of advertising is word of mouth and “it’s free”.
4) Study as if you were in college … study your niche. Go to the library and pick up a trade magazine in an industry other than your own, or grab a few books from the library, and learn about how things are done in other industries to get a different perspective. You might find that many of the problems people in other industries face are similar to your issues.
5) Sometimes think like a kid, as being curious and vulnerable sometimes will keep you in the game for the long haul.
Producing thoughts or experiences from your childhood is a powerful tool as we all have the kid stored in our memory bank.
If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
About ten years ago, I made an agreement with two huge and powerful cooperation. My heart and my brain are the two global powerhouses. So, here’s what my agreement looks like:
If I embark on a thought like a kind gesture, to help others in any way, I need to take my thoughts and put it into action. I have to follow through to my commitment. That’s what led me to become extremely involved with Friends of Sheba Hospital doing volunteer work, both in the United States and in Israel.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why?
Pilot Sully is a celebrated national hero who safely made an emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River. Pilot Sully served as a fighter pilot for the United States Air Force. I believe that someone who gives back to his country is a role model of a great leader. Maybe one day I would have a chance to meet Pilot Sully, it would be a honor if I could sit down and start a compelling conversation with a fascinating man who served honorably both for the world and for the USA Air-force. Thanks to the epic work from Caption Sully and his copilot, Jeff Skiles, all 155 people aboard survived an emergency landing in the freezing cold temperatures of the Hudson River. The ability to take control under such harsh conditions, to understand the environment, logistics of operations , to be situationally aware of the enormous responsibility to his aircrew and all the passengers, to anticipate issues, and to quickly solve intense problems, is the character and talent that enabled Sully to navigate his crashing airplane, with 155 civilians on board. Navigating and landing on the iconic Hudson River was truly a combination of God’s miracles, experience and character. Captain Sully’s story is an exceptional heroic act on all fronts. At the end of the day, humble beginnings, hard determined work, the act of dedication, and a lifetime of good value that helped Captain Sully in a moment of life or death situation and unprecedented crisis. “We’re going to be in the Hudson River”, were Captain Sully’s last words before he lost power and time. Reflecting back Captain Sully has become a pioneer in heroism. I believe that when a dedicated group of people rise to the occasion, their common good of humanity, their unselfish ability to help each other, makes us a community that can accomplish anything, especially in days like today, with the COVID situation. We will rise together globally and beat COVID19, as the human spirit, has a force like no other.
Yael Rubin, Stephanie Levaton-Cobos, & Mishel Elkayam
Co-founders and Friends
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.