Shout Out to Paso
Updated: Apr 3, 2020
Founded by cousins and best friends Sophie and Alex, Paso is a CBD brand that offers a refreshing re-calibration of an industry that can sometimes seem like it's catering to swathes of Goop fanatics; all breezy colonics and cleansing rituals, or pandering to the Vape Bros; conspicuous with their tits and devil horns.
In contrast, Paso's philosophy that 'life is better when you take a moment to relax' is a simple, but powerful one. It's an ethos not only promoted through their premium product range of CBD vapes, tinctures and (let me warn you very more-ish) chocolate, but that also sits at the core of their beautiful branding.
We caught up with Sophie Morrison, Co-Founder and Creator of Paso, to learn more about how she's navigating both her own and Paso's journey in the ever-evolving world of CBD...
Tell us about Paso’s journey and what makes it unique. Paso was founded by me and my cousin Alex, who I also live with… best friends since birth. We were both using CBD back when our lives were a lot more hectic – Alex as a lawyer in London and me as a consultant back in New York. At the time, finding CBD was a massive discovery for us in terms of switching-off, but we also noticed how many of our friends weren’t as open to our new obsession. They didn’t want to take it because they were hesitant about CBD as a category, didn’t like the taste or couldn’t identify with any of the brands selling in the UK (especially as a woman, outside of topical and drinks, there were really no brands I related to). After both of us spent some time working with a few US brands on the West Coast, we were particularly drawn to their brand-centric approach and decided to create our own founded on those same principles, which we felt were missing over here. So… we’ve tried to create an approachable brand that is visually relatable with a product selection that isn’t intimidating to new users. Ultimately, our aim is for other people to enjoy what we both love so much about CBD - we want to normalise its use by creating a product selection people actually can enjoy consuming both from a taste and style perspective. But, we also want Paso to be more than the products we sell; we are a brand that promotes the importance of taking a moment for relaxation.
How big a part does content play Paso success? Content is, and will continue to play a huge part in Paso’s success. Particularly now, with COVID19, a lot of people are at home on their phones or laptops consuming content every second and looking for connection or a distraction. Brands are now fighting for attention and that attention span is very short, so you have to be able to put your point across quick - an image needs to convey your vibe / tone, and the caption your voice. For us, our content is what builds our community, it is (hopefully) why people are drawn to us and feel connected to our brand.
What prompted you to take the plunge and start a business? My cousin, Alex! I love to brainstorm and come up with ideas, but tend to be slightly risk averse and not always willing to take that leap into the unknown. Alex, on the other hand, is much more of a doer - he doesn’t like just talking about it! So as we lived together, and spent a lot of time chatting about CBD and what we had seen in the US, what we could do here, he just said we are doing it. Then it all sort of snowballed and a couple of months later - boom - we had a brand that both of us loved and were really proud of! Then we kept getting a lot of positive affirmation that made us take it more seriously. Our friends loved it and people in the industry gave us great feedback… so we properly launched in October and have been getting great early traction - we are in Selfridges and a number of other brick and mortar stores across London (which will hopefully all re-open very soon!)
What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given? Don’t panic - when you start a business things will always go wrong and you can’t let that get to you. Especially in an industry like CBD where regulation and requirements are constantly changing so one day your packaging could be compliant the next it's not, and you have a stock room filled with hundreds of chocolate boxes…. you can’t freak out! There will always be little bumps and knocks in the road, but there is also always a solution or a workaround (and there has to be when you are on a budget) - you just have to take a moment (our mantra!), breathe, put your heads together and think outside the box.
What are the biggest things you've learnt about yourself since starting a business? I tend to get caught up on small things that, in the grand scheme of things, don’t push the envelope. So it’s important to prioritise - one week that could be distribution channels, the next social media - you have to be clear on each week’s objective (especially important when you still have another part-time job to afford you Paso!)
Who or what do you want to give a shout out too? The mail service (and of course all other key humans on the frontlines in healthcare and at the grocery store etc), but for us, with bricks and mortar shut, they are the reason the lights are on and we are still going strong online.
What should we know about what's hot in the world of CBD right now? Our chocolate :)
When has been a time you've been glad you used your voice in a business setting? More relevant to my other jobs, but I found that my voice served me well when negotiating salary or figuring out an alternative working arrangement. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!
Can you sum up your Paso journey in three words? Fun-fuelled rollercoaster ride!
When it comes to your approach to life, are you a big mouth or prone to being tight lipped? Anyone who knows me would say I have rather a big mouth and love to chat, but I think it's really important to have a balance between the two, especially in business. Oftentimes, less is more and I am trying to get better at leaving space in conversations and active listening!
Sophie and Alex invite you to unwind with a 25% discount on all orders at www.pasocbd.co.uk!
Simply enter the code Paso25!
Thank you to Sophie, Alex and Paso
BG x P.S. For anyone yet to try CBD, check out Paso's guide to CBD: https://www.pasocbd.co.uk/pages/cbdinfo
And here's what other people are saying about it:
“The 'miracle' cannabis compound that doesn't get you high” The Guardian
“Everybody who buys the product comes back and raves about it — including my mother” The Washington Post
“Research shows CBD may increase overall sleep amounts and reduce insomnia” Huffpost