This is the first brand spotlight we have done with a female owned Kratom Brand. Over the last few years we have had the pleasure of getting to know Jessica and her team at Golden Road Botanicals. We have nothing but nice things to say about the people over there. Golden Road Botanicals are one of the quickest growing brands in the industry over the last couple of years and we wanted to find out what they are doing to make that happen.
We jumped on a phone call with Jessica and her husband and interviewed them about there company, branding, policies and goals. They are fun people and we had a good a good conversation and enjoyed the time we spent on the phone.
Its nice to see new brands jump into the industry and find there place. Golden Road has some awesome branding and they seem to know their direction. Lets take a deeper look and see what they have to say about some of our questions.
Interview with Jessica the Golden Road Botanicals
ILK: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to know kratom products?
Jessica: Like most people in this industry I was looking for a healthier way to move forward with life. I have lived with back pain for many years and at a young age my doctors put me on heavy pain medications. Little did I know the trouble that would lead to down the road. Eventually, I was sick and tired of taking pain medications everyday and battling with a prescribed addiction.
After doing some research I heard of a plant called Kratom and read many success stories. I decided to give it a try. I found a head shop near Huntington Beach and walked in to buy some Kratom. I was completely amazed at the relief it gave me. That day changed my life forever and I was able to separate myself from medications that were truly hurting my life.
People have told us that Kratom has saved their life. I am one of those people.
ILK: How long were you a customer of Kratom Products before you decided to start your own brand?
Jessica: I shopped in head shops and bought from a few online vendors for a year or so before I decided to find a way to work in this industry. Still to this day I am not sure which Kratom strains I took in the early days. The place I bought them from didn’t know much about the product and it was sold in small jars with no labeling. I am pretty sure it was probably Maeng Da Kratom, but who knows. I was sent down this path to learn more about this product on my own and I really felt like I needed to share that information and the benefits people can get from Kratom.
ILK: What was the key driving force to start your own company? What drives you to continue?
Jessica: To put it simply I just wanted to help people. To this day, it is still my favorite thing to do. Having personal conversations with our customers, learning about their life and hearing their success stories are a major driving force. This industry is growing and becoming a place of education. There are many other great brands in this industry that feel the same way I do. Make sure people know the truth about Kratom, good or bad and make a living with a product and industry I truly care about.
ILK: Golden Road is somewhat of a newcomer to the industry? How can you explain your quick growth and customers that continue to return.
Jessica: Yes, we are going on 4 years now and we are lucky to have such great customers. I believe people come back to us because of our honesty and our drive to help. I like to think that they enjoy our conversations when they call. We have a lot of fun working with our customers.
In some ways Kratom vendors have their hands tied as to what they can and cannot say to customers and the claims they make. But, I am a success story for kratom and I love to share this. People like to hear those kinds of stories. It gives them hope.
ILK: What is the culture like within your company? What would your employees say about you?
Jessica: We have fun everyday and truly love what we do. I think that I’m seen as someone that likes to have fun with them and keep it light hearted. I also think they see me as someone who is willing to share all the information I have, someone that will take the time to help anyone. Look, we take our work seriously because it is but, that doesn’t mean you can’t love coming to work.
ILK: What is the typical day like for the owner of a Kratom vendor?
Jessica: To be honest, it’s no different than any other business owner. My main focus is to make sure that all of us can continue to support our family’s month over month. We have a great team though and most days things are pretty fluid. I make sure to take them time for customers everyday and get on the phone and answer questions. It is still my favorite part of the job.
What are the Most Popular Products?
ILK: How did your company handle the pandemic? What was it like to pivot the manufacturing over the last year? What’s your take on how the pandemic affect the Kratom industry
Jessica: This is kind of an interesting thing. When the pandemic first started and we heard the lockdowns would be issued our sales went through the roof and each order was much bigger than normal. We chalked this up to customers just stalking up because no one knew what was coming next.
Within our office operations, things have changed. We had some employees work from home and made sure to keep distances within the office. As for the production room, this was already set up to deal with the pandemic. We added more space between employees but the production room was already set up to keep our customers healthy and our products clean. Masks, gloves daily cleaning etc.
ILK: Tell us about your Dark Star #2 strain, Its an interesting product.
Jessica: This was originally designed for my father in law. He suffers from neuropathy. He had started taking kratom and he did find relief and helped him stop taking his pain medication. All of that is great but he had trouble sleeping, the pain and discomfort kept waking him up. We set off to find something that would work for him. We started off with a kratom extract that would act on the sedative side. You can buy this in our Nighttime Titan Extract. The strain has a special blend of Red Maeng Da and extract, we also added a turmeric that had high percentages of curcumin. Curcumin acts as a potentiate with kratom helping the body to absorb it and help it to last longer.
Since releasing the product we have had great feed back from our customers especially customers with similar issues.
ILK: What are your go-to strain and a typical dose? What is your choice way of taking kratom?
Jessica: My favorite strain is White Thai. Its great for busy days at work. Over the years I have gotten used to the taste and usually make a simple tea.
ILK: Do you have a favorite Kratom Recipe?
Jessica: No nothing special, I can say that i have tried making some Kratom dog treats for my Australian shepherd. He is 10 years old and I can really see that it lifts his spirits and keeps him active. We do not make or sell these as a product but i am aware of Normans Nibbles and Kats Botanicals. They both make Kratom treats for dogs.
ILK: How do you see the industry unfolding over the next couple of years? What can people do to help?
Jasmin: I hope that we’ll see the industry will continue to grow and become more stable. To help, people can continue to speak up in favor of kratom & its legality.
ILK: What are some issues that you can see with the Kratom Industry?
Jasmin: The ability to accept payment is a big one. We need more options that allow kratom vendors fair, safe processing for payments online.
ILK: What would you say to someone new to kratom or someone who is interested but has not tried it yet?
Jessica: I always tell them there is nothing to be afraid of, start small and climb the dose ladder. Most people are intimidated when they are trying something new and that’s a good thing.
If you’re new to Kratom you should do enough research until you have a grasp on what you’re getting into. It is a different experience for everyone. When you start your Kratom journey we recommend starting with very low doses and going up in half gram intervals until you find your desired effect. It’s very important to find a proper vendor, these days the industry is full of great vendors but like any industry there are people in it to make a quick buck. Pick up the phone and call the vendors and ask questions. They should want to help you.
ILK: Do you take any other natural supplements? If so, what would you recommend?
Jessica: Yes, I take turmeric and lions mane daily. I would definitely recommend turmeric, it is healthy and has many health benefits. It goes great with Kratom.
ILK: How do you feel about the American Kratom Association?
Jessica: I believe that Kratom is legal today because of the work they have done. I am truly grateful for that. This industry needs organizations like that in our corner. Over the last couple of years I think it’s great that they are pushing the vendors of this industry to become more professional.
ILK: What should a kratom customer look for to find a proper vendor?
Jessica: A good vendor is someone that is honest with their customers, they pick up the phone and answer emails and fulfill all the promises they make on the website.
ILK: It seems to us that most of the top vendors are paving the way for the industry to leave a positive impact. In what ways can a kratom brand uphold the social/ corporate responsibility that other industries are held to? You mentioned Lab tests on the product, what else can a company do?
Adam: I think there are a couple of things a Kratom brand can do. Don’t sacrifice quality over quantity. In my opinion that takes the heart out of what we do. We are a business, but people are worth more than profits. Get into advocacy. Have your voice and your customer’s voices be heard. Don’t ever lie to make a sale. If you get into this industry make sure you are doing the right things to build your business up. We are an industry that is looked at as illegitimate by many, unfortunately. Have a legitimate operation that people can look at and say “I feel good about what they’re doing.” At the end of the day, we just want to be treated fairly. So as a Kratom brand do what you can to help us get there.
ILK: Has Kratom improved your quality of life? If so, how?
Jessica: Yes, It has greatly improved my life and many people around me. Like I said earlier, Kratom probably saved my life. These days I get to help people daily and provide for my family and make a living with a product i truly have a passion for.
ILK: We have been asking other brands about the social and corporate responsibility that lays on the shoulders of this industry’s leading vendors. In your opinion what steps should brands be taking to ensure safety, good products and most importantly keeping Kratom legal?
Jessica: Good Question, It’s incredibly important for Kratom vendors to do proper business, be professional and be a good face for the industry. This industry has been plagued with bad press and had its fair share of dishonest brands. All of that seems to be changing though and that’s a great thing. The AKA is pushing for brands to become cGMP approved. Current Good Manufacturing Practice is a set of regulations that assure proper design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing processes and facilities and approved by a 3rd party agency. To be honest I think it’s great and I hope over the next few years that more brands get to that stage. Until we have standardized regulations across the industry we need a bit of self regulation.
Some fun Questions….
Garden Gnomes? NO
Favorite Kratom Strain? Most of the time White Thai but I go back and forth with our Ursae Major strain and every once in a while one of our enhanced strains.
Favorite Band? The Grateful Dead – Bright Eyes – Folk Songwriters
Favorite Movie? We don’t watch many movies, when we do its a usually a comedy
Favorite Coffee Brand? Yup! Ha ha I just like coffee