HG Wellness: Opening and Operating Our First Retail Store

HG Wellness: Opening and Operating Our First Retail Store

22nd Jun 2022

Finding the location

In 2019, we were working diligently and laboriously to grow and maintain our first greenhouse operation in Browns Summit, North Carolina. During this period, a close friend of ours had posted an ad for a commercial sublease take over. It was a small boutique thrift shop but the owners no longer wanted it so they reached out to see if we'd be interested. Up until that moment it had not crossed our minds to open a store. We were focused on growing not just the best quality flower we could, but also growing the brand by getting our flower into other retail stores. Despite the overwhelming feelings, we immediately knew that this would be a risky but also a necessary jump and commitment for our business.

The spot was in a great roadside location in Cary, NC and it was one of the larger spaces we had seen while still being affordable. Multiple people were interested and we only had one day to decide whether or not to takeover the lease. The only way we would be able to afford this location was to sacrifice our living situation. We couldn't rent an apartment or rent a house. That's when we had the idea to buy a camper, park it right next to our greenhouses, and live in it for as long as we needed to. This was an extremely hard decision to make because it took a lot of sacrifice but it was a necessary step to growing our business which is everything to us. We were willing to sacrifice everything in order to grow our business and reach a new level that could set us up for a better future.

Why open a retail store?

At first, the plan was to simply turn it into a production and office space. We quickly realized that it would be a great idea to turn part of it into a retail area to expand on our mission. While marketing and wholesaling our products over the previous years, we had come across a lot of different CBD stores, wellness stores and smoke shops. We had seen that all stores operated differently, offered different products, and had different employees.

With having all these comparisons we were able to curate a plan for a store that offered the best products in the industry. Our main focus was to help people achieve a balanced lifestyle of wellness through natural hemp and CBD products. We also wanted to help shift the perceptions of healing with cannabis while guiding consumers in choosing the right products, dosing regiments, and consumption methods that best suit them. Hemp Generation Wellness was officially opened in Oct 2019 to serve as Hemp Generation's retail location heavily focused on customer education and guidance.

Designing the retail experience

We wanted Hemp Generation Wellness to be a very clean, calming, open and inviting space for customers. The space was designed from scratch with lots of inspiration taken from European coffee shops, wellness boutiques and modern industrial restaurants. We spent a lot of time researching, creating mood boards and designing our dream space. This led us to designing an open, balanced and symmetrical layout that incorporated modern furnishings and neutral colors.

The renovation process

The store renovation process started late July 2019 after signing the sublease. This place was very old and had a lot of fixing up to do. Everything had to be thrown out, walls and floors were uneven, the ceiling was old, lights didn’t work and much more. Everything had to be stripped clean and left ready for all our envisioned upgrades.

After having a general outline and design inspiration we got to work on the renovations starting with a wall to divide the space in two (the back part for Hemp Generation production and office and the front part for the retail store). With the help of our families we were able to frame the wall and prepare for the retail space renovation.

After finishing the dividing wall, next came gutting the ceiling and evening out the floors.

The space was finally ready for some sanding and paint! Painting the opened ceiling black gave it a cool industrial look that complimented the clean space. We painted the walls an off-white which brightened up the store perfectly and matched our brand.

We then finished evening out the wood flooring holes and installed our new vinyl gray flooring. I had to make several Home Depot stops around the area in order to find enough cases of the flooring.

The store was finally starting to give off the clean and inviting look we were seeking. Now it was time to furnish the store! Finding unique shelving for the store was proving to be a problem. I couldn’t find any unique shelves that had the look we wanted so we had to design and make our own. It took a lot of research and searching for materials to build our dream shelves but we finally came up with a design and bought the right materials. We had some amazing friends help us weld the iron bars and cut and stain some local wood.

For our other furnishings we found a glass case off of Facebook marketplace and the center table and retail counter were from Wayfair.

We finally finished the renovation after 3 and a half months and everything turned out better than we imagined! Throughout this process we were also writing a business plan, researching the best brands to sell in our store, getting a bank account and point of sale system, and getting insurance. It was a ton of work and a huge project but on October 23rd 2019 we were ready for a soft opening day!

Creating community outreach

As our store grows we are continuously looking for ways to improve the way we guide and educate consumers, be apart of local wellness events and continue growing community outreach. Our goal is to grow and improve Hemp Generation Wellness to expand and be one of the best cannabis wellness retail stores in the area.

Our Mission - Looking towards the future

As our store grows we are continuously looking for ways to improve the way we guide and educate consumers, be apart of local wellness events and continue growing community outreach. Our goal is to grow and improve Hemp Generation Wellness to expand and be one of the best guided cannabis wellness retail stores in the area.

DISCLAIMER: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice. Use products responsibly and at your own risk. Full Spectrum CBD Hemp products contain cannabinoids and some products contain trace amounts of THC that are below the federally legal limit. Hemp Generation is not responsible for any failed drug test. We encourage you to know the laws in your region or state. Upon purchase you assume all responsibility of the product and hold Hemp Generation LLC exempt from legal responsibility for one’s actions.