From Building Billion Dollar Beauty Brands To Cannabis

"Whichever company I joined next, I wanted there to be a very purposeful reason for its existence"

Welcome to Four PM — a daily newsletter that provides cannabis industry news & insights from cannabis industry leaders.

Looking for one of the most experienced billion-dollar brand builders in cannabis? Look no further.

Evelyn Wang is the former Assistant Vice President of L'Oreal Paris, the Senior Vice President of wet n wild beauty, and most recently the Chief Marketing Officer of Milani Cosmetics.

For today’s edition of Four PM we sat down with Evelyn to understand her decision to move into cannabis, the lessons she’s taken from her time building brands in beauty, and much more.

Evelyn Wang is the CEO of Papa & Barkley, one of the leading cannabis brands in the United States.

What was the insight to move from the beauty industry into the cannabis industry?

I was at a point in my personal life and career where I wanted to join a company that had a strong mission statement, and purpose.

Whichever company I joined next, I wanted there to be a very purposeful reason for its existence, and I definitely found that in Papa & Barkley with its mission of unlocking the power of cannabis to improve people’s lives which is something that very much resonated with.

Additionally, I am very into wellness, holistic medicine, & sustainable agriculture, and as I learned about everything Papa & Barkley does to work with farmers who engage in organic and renewable farming practices it felt like I had found a home.

What's the most important lesson you learned working in beauty that has helped you succeed in cannabis?

One of the main learnings is that if you're seeking to play a beautiful piece of music, then you've got to make sure all the notes fall in the right places.

Some of this discipline comes from working with companies that run in a way where they make sure that all the right notes are being hit at the right time.

This is something we are currently driving towards as a company — better synchronicity for what is already a great brand with great product offerings.

What are some of the similarities you see between cannabis and the beauty industry?

Cannabis is very similar to beauty when it comes to the importance of product innovation, so we are very focused on driving that engine of new product innovation.

We are really excited about the most recent launch of our new sleep-specific products, which is the first time we've launched a full suite of products around a specific need state.

The beauty industry is also very good at visual storytelling and harnessing the power of community and when I think about cannabis there's a lot of similarities here in that most people learn about cannabis from a family member or a friend.

The more we can harness the power of influencers, the more we can reach people. And when I say influencers, I really mean who are the influential people in your sphere?

Are those friends and family? Are they celebrities, are they experts? Are they medical doctors? Are they holistic healers?

There are a lot of synergies between both categories as both cannabis & beauty are trying to solve problems in our lives and they're trying to address different need states that people have in their lives.

Whether that need state is a pain issue someone is looking to solve or a needed confidence boost, both industries are solving issues for consumers.

What has you most excited about the future of cannabis?

A lot of hard work went into building the cannabis industry even before most of today's companies existed and were in operation.

Now we have an opportunity to grow and scale — and yet at the same time, there's still so much wide open space in cannabis.

There's still so much that hasn't been defined which is very exciting to me.

The fact that you can join the industry at this time where you can still be part of shaping the outcome is very exciting.

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