Updated: Mar 14, 2020
A proud Worcester native, Brittany Wong earned her degree in Marketing from Worcester State and her MBA from Assumption. Since then, both she and her business partner have launched two women-owned businesses. Brittany says she is excited to be a part of Worcester’s growing economy and thriving cannabis community.
1) How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?
I have always been a huge supporter of the cannabis industry, both personally and professionally. I have something called Asian Flushing Syndrome (AFS), which means my body is unable to process alcohol. One drink can cause a severe allergic reaction, including temporary blindness – so for obvious reasons I don’t drink. Cannabis offered me a healthier alternative than alcohol. And I found that for me, the effects of cannabis actually help me remain creative, yet focused which is something you can’t experience after a few drinks.
Being an “early adopter” of cannabis, I was no stranger to the negative connotation and social stigma attached to cannabis use. I knew cannabis was a safer, healthier option for relaxation and stress relief, yet you couldn’t really say it publicly since cannabis was still illegal at the state level. So rather than hide my opinions, I gravitated towards people that shared my passion for cannabis. This became a social circle of professional relationships and friendships.
Now that recreational cannabis is legal in Massachusetts, not only has it been exciting to see the positive impact that the cannabis industry is making in our state, I’ve been able to use my experience as a social media strategist to help others in the cannabis industry educate and advance our community. It’s like I’ve been training for this my whole life!
2) Tell us about your two businesses. What made you decide to have your CBD business at the new Worcester Market?
I am the co-founder of Koda Creative Group, a digital marketing agency and Secret Society, a line of honey-based, CBD skincare products.
Koda is located in Worcester’s Ivy Corset Building. Our team includes a full time developer, graphic designer, content writer, social media strategist and brand strategist. Our clients represent a range of industries, and I’m proud to say that cannabis is one of our fastest growing verticals. I think this growth is because more and more cannabis clients have discovered that we understand how to navigate federal advertising restrictions in a digital space and can help them leverage social media in creative, organic ways to reach their audiences, generate greater brand awareness and ultimately increase sales.
Secret Society began as a passion project. My business partner Lisa has been embracing an organic, holistic lifestyle for over twenty years. This included making her own skincare products. Not only did they help minimize chemical exposure, but she swore they just worked better. About a year ago, I tried using some of her products and I noticed an amazing change in my skin. We began to talk about forming a second company around these products. Because of my experience with cannabis, I knew CBD could work with her existing ingredients and further enhance results. We began testing combinations of Lisa’s honey-based skincare recipes with varying CBD levels. We came away with seven different formulations for a wide range of skin needs including anti-aging, acne, and detoxifying to stress relief and rejuvenation. Our products include massage oil candles, bath bombs, body scrubs and lip balms and because our ingredients are organic, non-GMO, and free from parabens and synthetics they are not only effective they are safe for most skin types.
Originally our plan was to launch Secret Society by selling products in the Worcester Public Market. The boutique, artisan energy seemed like the perfect fit for our brand. But at the last minute we were informed that another tenant saw us as a competitive threat – even though our products are completely different. At the end of the day, we couldn’t come to an agreement, so we decided to withdraw our lease.
At the time we were disappointed, but it actually worked out to our advantage because it allowed us to move up the development of our e-commerce site and expanded the number of retail locations that will now carry our products.
3) What are your thoughts on the Worcester Cannabis scene?
The Worcester cannabis scene is amazing. And I believe we can credit the cannabis industry with some of the city’s current growth and renaissance. Worcester is home to the Cannabis Control Commission; the Summit Lounge, the first cannabis-friendly private membership lounge; many dispensaries both medical and recreational; and Clark University, leading the way in Cannabis education. These initiatives all create new jobs and interest in the region. The cannabis industry is helping give people a reason to visit Worcester. More and more, I find that cannabis users – even those several hours away – come here to experience our rapidly growing cannabis community.
4) What's your advice for someone who has never used CBD products and is thinking about it?
Look into the following:
Ask yourself why you want to try CBD. Are you looking for fabulous skin without using toxic ingredients? Or are you looking for something to help with your pain or insomnia? Each of these reasons would result in different product recommendations. For anyone interested in the benefits of CBD, know that CBD does not give you the “high” that THC does.
5) Do you think Worcester is a good place for a #girlboss to open
Absolutely. The #girlboss community in Worcester is truly amazing. Look at the Canal District for instance. Almost every business is woman-owned! We are all constantly reaching out to each other and seeing how we can help support each other.
To contact Brittany Wong, you can visit the following: