Business Name: Futurola USA
Business Address: 5824 Uplander Way, Culver City, CA 90230
Phone Number(s): 800-651-9598, 310-258-9982
Number of years doing business: 21
Company motto: The Future of Rolling
Now with worldwide distribution, a U.S. market, and more than fifty employees, family business Futurola enjoy strong brand recognition in a specific niche of the burgeoning cannabis sphere. Specializing in custom rolling products, their business has seen nothing but growth in the last 20 years and intent to continue that trajectory, says creative director Carly Morrison.
It was more than two decades ago that family business Futurola were headhunted by a family-owned business in Amsterdam looking to expand and build their brand in the US. Born from the Amsterdam-based Future Coffee Shop in 1996, the company’s philosophy that they represent “the future of rolling” is represented in their products, says creative director Carly Morrison.
“In celebration of the Amsterdam smoking culture, we develop products centered around pre-rolled cones and unbleached rolling paper,” she says. “We believe that through all the developments and influences in the cannabis industry, people are always drawn back to the original ways of doing things. There isn’t a simpler pleasure than smoking a joint wrapped in super thin rolling paper.”
Futurola’s first product was the King Size Cone Roller, designed in Amsterdam and patented worldwide. From there, they experienced unexpectedly rapid growth and not only moved several time but also expanded their line to include hundreds of products, such as their pre-rolled cones, rolling papers, herb shredders, and King Size Cone Rollers. Their Futurola Knockbox, a machine that can fill 100 pre-rolled cones in just two minutes, has revolutionized the world of pre-rolled mass production. They also partnered with weed personality Tommy Chong to produce a line of custom herb shredders and cone rollers.
With a background in brand building for the music and fashion industries, Morrison says it was an interesting experience to take everything they had learned about creative direction in fashion and music to apply it to the cannabis space.
“There is no way to overcome this other than through trial and error. It’s a mix between presenting things in a way that people like, and staying true to what you like,” she says, and adds that branding and content production in the cannabis space is drastically different than in the fashion industry. “Also, as creatives, it is quite a learning experience to be handed the reins on the entire process of running a business.”
With strengths not only in innovative products but e-commerce customer service, client relations, understanding the business trends, packaging, branding and content production, Morrison adds that some of their proudest moments as a company included moving into their new warehouse and working with the largest companies in the industry.
“We love to look at the growth percentages from year to year and see how much we are accomplishing in such short periods of time,” she says. “The most important aspect in building any company is having a solid foundation and a great team. You must be able to wear many hats until you can afford to hire people smarter than you, but you will have to be strong enough to give up some of the workload eventually. You need to be able to trust other people with your brainchild. There is no place for ego in a small business.”
One of the primary things they have learned at Futurola over the last 20 years is to not get caught up in what everyone else is doing and stay focused on themselves and their business. “We feel that too many people try to jump on the waves of whatever is trending at the moment, but people always come back to their roots eventually,” says Morrison.
“Occasionally you have these days that really make you think, ‘Wow, it is so cool that I am getting to experience this and I’m technically working right now.’ For me, the strongest incarnation of that feeling was inspired the day we visited a client and close friend’s grow operation in Washington, to film a demonstrative video of some new Knockbox accessories, the Cone Loader and Universal Unload Station. Touring the massive facility wearing coveralls and a hairnet with heels, seeing all the steps it takes to produce the cannabis, smelling the differences between the living and cured flowers, standing on a platform in the middle of a field of cannabis plants—these are very vivid memories. It’s surreal to go from growing up with cannabis being elusive and illegal, to working in a professional space where it’s basically falling from the sky.”
In summary, Morrison says the secret to their success is to really believe that a team is only as strong as its weakest link, and to do their best to help whoever that might be at any given moment. “We set high goals with large rewards,” she says.
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