We had the good fortune of connecting with Chris Kerr and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Chris, how do you think about risk?
Risk doesn’t have to be a bad word – it just depends on the risk/reward ratio. If you’re leveraging everything for something that has a small chance of being successful, and that version of success may or may not fulfill your goals personally and professionally, then it’s pretty high risk/low reward. On the other hand, if you have an opportunity to work with great people, or on a project you’re passionate about, and you’re going to grow a lot both personally and professionally through doing this, regardless of the eventual financial success of the endeavor – it’s probably a worthwhile risk. One of the best viewpoints I’ve seen on risk is a book by Nassim Taleb – Antifragile. One of the main ideas is that we’re all subject to risk, whether we work for a large corporation or venture out on an entrepreneurial endeavor – there are just different types of risk. Doing things that make you a bit uncomfortable will usually stimulate growth and develop new skillsets, so risk shouldn’t be viewed in a negative light. You just need to always be evaluating whether the risk/reward trade-off is worthwhile. In my own life and career, I’ve tried to take calculated risks. I’ve made mistakes at every job I’ve ever had, and I’m sure I’ll make a ton more – the main idea is to make sure your mistakes aren’t career or company ending, and you learn from them. Progress is only made with people and companies taking thoughtful risks – it’s just important for people to learn from setbacks and mistakes, and move forward.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Tiki Biosciences is a Fort Worth-based CBD company. We’re mainly online as we started with a Direct-to-Consumer business model, but you can also find our products in a few gyms and retail outlets in DFW. The thing that sets Tiki apart from other brands is our value proposition of high quality at a low price. I’ll take the Pepsi Challenge with any other CBD brand out there – our quality is just as good or better (and it’s verified through 3rd party lab testing), yet we’re usually much lower on price. We also offer a 30 day money-back guarantee, so people have no risk to try us out. No gimmicks, just quality products at a good price. We’ve been in business a little over a year now, and it’s been smooth sailing the whole time 🙂 Although there have been a few things of note. The first 3 months we were online, we couldn’t take credit cards, so that was interesting…this was an industry-wide issue, as the industry was so new that the merchant processors had issues between hemp CBD (legal) and cannabis companies (federally illegal), so that took a while for them to realize that hemp CBD was legal. This cashflow issue prompted a change in Tiki’s model from solely Direct-to-Consumer to a hybrid DTC and traditional retail approach. Advertising and Marketing has also been a challenge as Google and Facebook have restrictions on advertising CBD products. We can maintain company pages, but we can’t promote any of our products through their advertising. This restricted policy also holds true with Amazon, so if you’re buying any Hemp Oil off of Amazon you should know that it doesn’t have CBD in it and is just hempseed oil. There are no barriers to entry in the CBD space, and there has been a gold rush mentality since the Farm Bill passed in December of 2018 (which made Hemp and it’s derivatives federally legal), so there have been a ton of scams and shady companies, which has hurt the industry and consumer acceptance. And, companies can’t currently make any health claims regarding CBD products, as that’s in violation of FDA rules, so we’re in the weird situation of being restricted on what we can tell customers the products might help them with, and we’re restricted on where we can advertise anyway. Considering these issues, and how crowded the CBD space is, we’ve found the best way to get the word out on Tiki has been popups at gyms, retail outlets, and fitness events. Then Covid19 hit…this pretty much put a halt on any popup events and we’ve been relying on word of mouth referrals from our customer base and marketing partners for the past few months. So, kind of like every other startup in the world, we’ve had to be flexible and adapt. Lessons learned: happy customers are your best marketing asset. Having a great product at a great price means nothing without customer awareness of your product. Customer Acquisition Cost is important, and probably more expensive than you think in this era of constant advertising. Keeping a low cash burn rate as a start up is key. Fellow entrepreneurs make for solid supporters. I want people to know that we’re not selling snake oil – that’s why we have a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. CBD products are new and different people will have different experiences with them. For some people, it can seem life changing, for others it’s a bit more subtle but still great, and then a few people don’t think they’re receiving any results from the product. Most people that use a quality CBD product report noticeable improvement in pain, sleep issues, and/or anxiety. Also, most people haven’t heard of our endocannabinoid system and how important it is for a fully functioning body, so I invite people to contact me, or look at the studies posted on Tiki’s website in the Online Resources page.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Fort Worth has so much to offer, and then there’s Dallas just down the street! Assuming we’re not talking about Covid19 restrictions on anything, there are a ton of options. Sundance Square, W 7th area, the Stockyards and Billy Bob’s, Magnolia Ave, TCU’s campus (ideally with the Frogs playing), and the Trinity River trails all have to be experienced. From a food standpoint, there are some FTW staples like Joe T’s, Reata, and Railhead for BBQ; I think Righteous Foods is pretty great, as is HG Supply in Westbend, and Melt Ice Cream is always a good choice. Hopdoddy’s is also a necessary stop for their truffle fries and gluten-free buns. Also, it’s tough to beat a Mambo Taxi from Mi Cosina on a hot day.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow, I don’t think we have the time to thank all the people that have supported me to this point in life. Obviously, my parents, brother, girlfriend, friends, co-workers at every job I’ve ever had, teachers, and mentors have played a huge role in shaping my life and career. And the older I get, the more I realize the support network I’ve benefited from…In my current venture with Tiki Biosciences, I need to thank my friends/investors who believed in me and the idea of starting a DFW brand focused on high quality and low priced CBD supplements. The odds are stacked against any startup in the beginning, so having additional financial resources and people you respect to bounce ideas off of, and to make introductions for you…having a network to lean on is priceless. And Tiki’s customers deserve a huge shoutout! Because it’s such a crowded market and CBD is a relatively new product, all of our customers have come from personal recommendations from people that use Tiki products. It’s cliche because it’s true – the best marketing is satisfied customers.

Website: www.TikiBiosciences.com
Instagram: @tikibiosciences
Facebook: Tiki Biosciences
Other: email: chris@tikibiosciences.com