We had the good fortune of connecting with Mark Gillilan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mark, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
With a long career in marketing working at extremely large corporations as well as small startups, it was evident that there just generally seems to be a focus on profits over people, even at organizations that talked the talk. Once I entered the cannabis/CBD industry, I quickly realized the immensely positive impact this plant has on the lives of people everyday and knew that this industry was the perfect place to focus on the wellbeing of our customers and making a positive impact on their lives. That is why we started this business on three principles: 1. deliver CBD products with the highest quality ingredients, 2. make every interaction with our customers – from product to customer care – a positive experience in their life, and 3. remain independent and private, so our only focus is helping people – not enriching outside investors.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Nature is at the forefront of all that we do. We are all passionate about health and wellness as well as connecting with nature in a harmonious and spiritual way. As such, our products are made with naturally derived botanical oils – think real organic cinnamon, lemon peel and ginger, rather than lab produced flavorings. We believe deeply in the sacredness of nature and that the natural world provides everything we need to live a harmonious life. As a result, we work hard to bring the benefits of nature to its customers in the cleanest and simplest way. Our path that led us to today has definitely not been easy. We launched this business two weeks before COVID-19 and have been managing through the challenges of that ever since. However, because we are independent owner-operators we have been able to persevere through the last year without sacrificing our product quality and maintaining our focus on changing lives every day. The main thing I want the world to know about us is that our focus on customer experience is our driving force and we will never change that, nor will we ever have to as we will always remain independent and self-funded.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would definitely start with a Sunday on South Pearl Street visiting the farmers market and eating and drinking in one of the best neighborhoods in Denver. A trip to Levitt Pavilion for a free concert would definitely be on the list as well. We absolutely cannot miss a few nights of “beach” camping at Arapaho Bay campground on Lake Granby with days spent paddleboarding, hiking, and fishing. I would also try and squeeze in a round of golf at Bear Dance.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The trailblazing families and individuals in the hemp world that worked tirelessly to legalize and destigmatize this incredible plant deserve a massive amount of credit and recognition. Without their commitment and perseverance in helping their loved ones overcome incredibly difficult situations, we would not live in a country where hemp is legal and making a positive impact on millions of lives every single day. We think about these brave families everyday, and they still provide incredible motivation for us at Kyoto Botanicals.
Scott James Photography