Presented by T1
With the stock market back to near all-time highs, and states reopening despite growing infections, you might think the COVID-19 pandemic is starting to become a thing of the past. But growing a new business during a viral outbreak still poses major challenges to even the most seasoned entrepreneurs.
Chad Horstman, one of the founders of lingerie and sexy Halloween costume giant Yandy.com, has bucked that trend, pivoting his startup focused on health and wellness to become one of the top online destinations for essential COVID-19 necessities like masks and hand sanitizer.
We chatted with Chad from his Scottsdale, Arizona office about the launch of his new wellness brand, GreenSupply.com, to find out how he successfully launched the company during these challenging times.
Q: First of all, I have to ask the obvious question...what does the guy that created the sexy pizza costume know about face masks and hand sanitizer?
A: [Laughs] Not much at first honestly, but I have learned a lot during these last several months. While it might not be as glamorous as sexy Halloween costumes and lingerie, I like to think that I am doing my part to help during these crazy times. My first order of non-medical KN95 face masks was from a contact in the lingerie industry, so without that background I wouldn’t have likely gone down that road. With our branded hand sanitizer, one of my partners was able to leverage his overseas contacts and we created a really great product that is effective, affordable and made without some of the harsh chemicals that are found in some of the competitors products.
Q: I know that this was not the original plan for GreenSupply.com. Can you tell me more about the original vision and how you got to where you are?
A: GreenSupply.com was supposed to be a CBD oil, organic essential oils and wholesale supplements site. We were focusing on health and wellness products and were getting ready to launch when everything started shutting down due to COVID. Since we had no products, we were about ready to just shut down or wait it out, when we decided to see if we could actually help out with masks and sanitizer. I noticed that it was really hard to get anything on the consumer side, and as these were products that would not impact the needs of the healthcare industry or first responders I wanted to make them available at reasonable prices online.
Q: What was the reaction from customers as they started making their way to the site?
A: We have had nothing but positive feedback. As mentioned, we are selling non-medical masks for use by the general public. We ship mostly the same day and try to get them to our customers as fast as possible. Our prices are also among the lowest, if not the lowest online. We have also been able to lower the prices on our KN95 masks several times after negotiating with our suppliers. Anytime we can we want to make sure to pass the savings to our customers.
Q: What’s next for GreenSupply.com? Do you see yourself going back to the original vision or staying down this path?
A: We are 100% going to be launching our own line of CBD products within the next month now that the supplier is back online so that is super exciting. I do think that we will continue to sell masks and sanitizer, but I am not sure about some of the ancillary products like hair clippers and thermometers. We will kind of see what happens there. I mean, cases have been rising lately, especially in my home state of Arizona, so I am not super optimistic this is going to just magically go away. In fact, we just purchased a new warehouse that will be used for GreenSupply.com and another new venture. We will be able to fulfill larger orders of wholesale KN95 masks with over 1 million masks domestically in stock. Many other sites have to fulfill from overseas with several weeks for shipping, but we will be able to get large orders to customers in days.
Q: Another new venture? Can you tell me more about it?
A: Which one? [Laughs] We are actually launching two other new businesses very soon. BasketballNews.com, a site focused on the NBA with advanced charts and stats. We are in the process of making some pretty amazing hires there which I am sure will be in the news soon. Also, I can announce that I just acquired the e-commerce site 3Wishes, and am excited to get back into the fashion industry. I see both of these sites doing well given the NBA relaunching soon and more people ordering products online than ever before.