Each week we highlight entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry for our viewers to learn more about the leading cannabis executives of our time. This week, we highlight Sasha Perelman of Revolver Productions.
Meet Sasha Perelman
Sasha Perelman has over 17+ years as a strategic marketing and events professional. In 2014, she founded Revolver Productions, creating a revolutionary approach to event production. At Revolver, Sasha and her team curate environments that combine education, advocacy, and awareness with immersive, memorable experiences.
In 2017, after moving to Los Angeles she saw a need for experiences that would help showcase the versatility of cannabis as a self-care tool, which led to the launch of Forward by Revolver, an arm of the agency created specifically for cannabis brands and consumers to engage on a thoughtful and visceral level, unparalleled in the industry.
In our interview with Sasha, we asked a variety of questions to learn more about Forward by Revolver, and what it takes to build a startup in the cannabis industry!
DCN: Sasha, congratulations on being featured as this week’s entrepreneur of the week and for all that you do! Can you please share with our readers your elevator pitch for Forward?
Sasha Perelman: Forward, by Revolver, is an experiential agency created for cannabis brands and consumers, to engage on a thoughtful and visceral level, unparalleled in the industry. Our curated environments combine education, advocacy, and awareness with immersive, memorable experiences. We’re dedicated to moving the industry forward.
DCN: What ignited the spark in you to launch your business?
Sasha Perelman: I’ve been an entrepreneur for the last 3 years and after moving to LA from NYC, meeting incredible female entrepreneurs in the cannabis space, attending a variety of events, I realized that there was a tremendous need for education in the industry.
Cannabis is becoming readily available to the masses and there is still a tremendous stigma around it. My goal through experiential events and my recent project, MARY Talks, is to educate the masses on cannabis as a wellness and lifestyle tool. People can heal themselves with plant medicine and use it as an alternative to opioids and other toxic treatments.
DCN: When you finally decided that you wanted to launch a business in the cannabis industry, what was your experience like when telling your family and friends?
Sasha Perelman: Initially my family didn’t really understand what it was that I was doing. They saw it as more of a hobby than an actual business. It was challenging for me to describe specifically what I am doing because all they heard was “marijuana” and made their own conclusions about my involvement in the industry.
Over the last year, they have seen my progress and the momentum of the industry, which piqued their interest. Now my family asks me for product recommendations and samples because they are “curious”, and that’s epic! My friends are incredibly supportive and I truly believe that with everything happening in the space, a lot of them are really interested in being a part of what I’m doing.
DCN: How is your Forward helping the cannabis industry in a positive way?
Sasha Perelman: We’re curating thoughtful, positive and educational content, experiences and environments for the public. In addition to speaking to people in the industry – we must get out there and talk to the tastemakers, influencers and change agents on a bigger level. Our responsibility in the industry has augmented the narrative from “smoking weed” to wellness + lifestyle.
DCN: As we go into 2018, what is one huge accomplishment that you or your team achieved last year that you would like to share with our readers?
Sasha Perelman: I partnered with the incredible founder of MARY Magazine to launch MARY Talks – a national series of moderated panels with industry experts discussing cannabis as a wellness and lifestyle tool. We hosted 4 sold-out events across the US and gearing up for a 6 city launch in 2019!
DCN: What are some challenges you faced early on and how’d you beat them?
Sasha Perelman: Stigma and generating revenue. We’re still working on “beating them”.
DCN: Did you raise capital to fund your business or what creative strategies did you use to execute on minimal cash flow?
Sasha Perelman: We have had the ability to bootstrap and raise money for events through sponsorships.
DCN: What did you give up to get where you are today?
Sasha Perelman: Nothing. Everything has been a gain!
DCN: What is the best piece of advice you can give to others looking to launch a company in the cannabis industry?
Sasha Perelman: Be prepared to deal with all walks of life. My biggest challenge is finding funding for our projects because we’re dedicated to working with brands and people with tremendous integrity (and not all of them have $$). Response times are slow. Laws change daily.
DCN: Is there anything that surprised you about being an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry?
Sasha Perelman: For it being such a fast-growing industry, response times are really lacking and it makes it challenging to “act quickly”. We also struggle with generating revenue from what we’re doing as an ancillary business – proving the financial value of the services we provide.
DCN: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Sasha Perelman: Patience, persistence, and resiliency.
DCN: How do you stay balanced?
Sasha Perelman: I travel, cook, host dinner parties, exercise, meditate and work on myself constantly!
DCN: What book has inspired you the most?
Sasha Perelman: You are a badass: Jen Sincero
DCN: Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Sasha Perelman: MARY Magazine, Humble Flower Co, KANA/Dank Gals Mary’s List, Plastic Palmtree, Ellementa, Indigo + Haze, The Highly, On the Revel…(too many to list).
DCN: How can we as an industry continue to make a positive difference in society?
Sasha Perelman: Have thoughtful, palatable conversations to change the narrative!
DCN: Thank you, Sasha, for sharing your story and offering such real and insightful advice to DCN readers!
For those looking to learn more about Forward by Revolver please check out, forwardexperiential.com, social-Instagram @forwardbyrevolver