For the past 9 years, C’Lena Shumaker has been building Liquid Loud, which started off with me being at the bar and coming up with my specialty cocktails. To now a Delta-8 brand, specializing in her signature and snaxx aka edibles. The basis of her brand is to help people suffering from mental health issues and chronic pain, take advantage of the health benefits of Delta-8.
What inspired the start of ” Liquid Loud”?
I started Liquid Loud as a joke! No seriously, my business literally fell into my lap. By trade I’m a bartender, and I have over 10 years in the bar industry. I never thought I would ever have a cannabis brand. Liquid Loud actually started off as my side hustle. I was on the bar slangin’ drinks and inviting people to the bar to come see me and pull up and have a drink with me. I called the bar “The Trap” and was making specialty cocktails for when people wanted me to “make them something”. So I had come up with one drink called Mango Madness, and that thang was a hit! One day, a classmate visited me at the bar and told me my drinks were really good, and why didn’t I sell them. Honestly, I had never thought about it. I was hesitant at first, but on January 1, 2014, I put a post on Facebook. I posted my Mango Madness in a mason jar for $5. I sold it, and three more afterward. That was it right there, I realized I had something that people wanted and I’ve been at it ever since.
What has been the biggest challenge of running a brand like “Liquid Loud”?
It’s so many challenges in running a brand like Liquid Loud the legal aspect plays a major factor. The cannabis industry is a billion-dollar industry but yet it’s heavily regulated. Laws are constantly changing, and it makes it hard for a stand-alone brand such as Liquid Loud. Also, it’s such a huge stigma around the cannabis industry, and it’s still frowned upon. A lot of people don’t understand it. They judge instead of looking into the benefits it can bring to the body. Also, a lot of people have had “bad experiences” with cannabis. I find myself having to reassure people that it’s actually a better alternative than medicine and alcohol. Also being a woman-owned black business I’m constantly researching and trying to stay “in the know” with the latest trends and info that’s being put out there. Some other challenges are opening a bank account. A lot of banks frown on cannabis and basically tell me that I’m selling drugs. I’ve had to go through extra steps when setting up my merchant account through Shopify. Social media is another struggle when it comes to promoting my Liquid Loud brand, I have to be very creative and try to “stay under the radar”, it’s so much more, but those are a few that my Liquid Loud brand has gone through.
How does “Liquid Loud” impact the community?
Liquid Loud impacts the community by shedding light on the benefits of cannabis and inspiring people to go after their dreams. I teach people about the benefits of our products.
I’ll explain, when Liquid Loud first started out, it was a lit alcohol brand. We turned up and threw crazy parties. But after 2020, I realized the world needed healing, and so my messaging changed. It became more about teaching about the benefits and how to educate people about cannabis a remove the negative stigma. I also became a mentor and focused on teaching people how to make 6-figures with their drink brand. I have a private Facebook group, Bawse Bartenders where I pour into my community and give tips and hold them accountable for what they say they want to do!
Where do you hope to see your brand in the next 3-5 years?
In 3-5 years, I hope to see my brand become one of the biggest cannabis brands out there! I see my brand in the top stores, smoke shops, and dispensaries all over the nation and the world. I want Liquid Loud to be a household name. Celebrities and influencers will love and support my brand like how Slutty Vegan does! I want to add additional items to my eCommerce store and make at least $100,000 in profits every month. But most importantly, I want my brand to help change lives, and remove the stigma that cannabis is bad or a “gateway” drug. Cannabis heals, Liquid Loud heals and it’s bussin’ wit benefits.
What advice do you have for the next generation of entrepreneurs?
The advice I have for the next generation is that entrepreneurship is hard as hell. It’s lonely, and you have to be focused and disciplined. People will talk about you, and try to discourage you. Get around like-minded people. Sacrifice is inevitable. Take classes to develop your skill set, read books that make you think, and study the rich. Do what no one else is willing to do, but success takes time. Make sure you get your credit right and keep it right. Use other people’s money and their audience. Lastly, learn from other people’s mistakes!
What does being “Pretty and Black Owned” mean to you?
Being Pretty and Black Owned to me means being a boss chick with personality, but looking good while doing it. Hair done, nails done, toes done make-up on point and you’re handling your business with grace and style. When people see you coming you have such an Ora about you that they’re mesmerized and captivated by you. Even though it may be hard, you don’t let people see you sweat. You take anything that gets hurled at you and your business and keep it pushing without missing a beat or messing up your beat!
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