Among the millions laid off in the recent economic downturn of America, Matt Moody decided to make an impact and change the face of an entire market. Before The Relaxing Company came into fruition, there were no nationally distributed relaxation drinks on the market. Especially none like the ones they offer: completely natural elements, a time-tested key ingredient, and a company conceived and maintained by three young men in their prime. They are the target demographic, which allows them to maintain a closer connection with their consumers and keep ahead of ongoing trends. I spent some time chatting with Matt, the President and co-founder of The Relaxing Company, Inc and explored his vigor within the realm of mental relaxation and focus.
Why Mary Jane as the name for your product and has there been any confusion with your consumer base?
The first batch of the stuff was pretty powerful and everyone seemed to agree that the effects of the drink were similar to some of the characteristics of marijuana. As far as confusion goes, there has been little to no confusion at a disruptive level to the company. If anything the spreading of the well-known name helps us gain exposure.
When did The Relaxing Company begin and what was your initial vision?
In January of 2009 I got laid off from my job working in Product Development. I decided that I should be creating products for myself so I went back to what I knew previously. I wanted my own company and to establish its reputation in the beverage market by using natural and healthy ingredients.
Yes, the Kava Root your company uses. What was your first exposure to the main ingredient of your drinks?
When I was in high school I worked for a local GNC store. Herbs, roots, and other nutritional supplements come and go, they have for years. Some work and stick around – and some do not – and it’s the customers that continue to buy certain products over time who decide what works. I noticed Kava root in some of the popular products and researched it. Later on I went back to it as a vital process in creating The Relaxing Company and our products.
As a young company, have there been any setbacks or obstacles to overcome during your growth?
All companies have their hurdles to jump and we’re no different. In the beginning we had a high volume of sales and could barely keep up with production. One time our bottler put the wrong color caps on an emergency shipment so we had all of these bright gold capped bottles. It didn’t fit our color scheme but we ran a promotion similar to Willy Wonka’s gold themed contest and it worked out pretty well in the end.
Are you trying to reach any specific demographics?
We have a broad audience and as we continue to grow so will our customer depth. We believe in our product and that it can help a wide range of people.
We’ve recently seen your product on HBO’s Entourage. How did this affiliation occur?
The producers of Entourage selected us for placement after we reached an agreement with a product placement agency. Our company represents the highest volume of sales for relaxation drinks, and this placement remains a part of our continued expansion. We were extremely proud to have our drinks pop up on such an awesome show.
Can you describe your ambassador program?
The ambassador program is a new marketing tool we are using and it’s about to kick off full force when school picks up again. People can sign up to be an Ambassador to our brand through our website; they will receive free product to distribute in order to get our name out in individual communities, cities, and universities.
What other marketing strategies will you be taking to reach your audience?
We’re really excited about a couple different marketing campaigns coming up in the near future. I can’t give out too many details but one of them is a web based campaign that should help spread our name and vision.
What separate Mary Jane’s products from other relaxation/anti-energy drinks?
A lot of things actually. We use all natural ingredients including agave syrup and natural cane sugar. All of our coloring is natural as well and we use no melatonin or chemicals. Relaxation drinks are a new corner of the beverage industry but the fundamental components that make up our product have been around for thousands of years. I think that adds a certain uniqueness to our drink. Plus, the founders of the company, including myself and three other guys, are all younger and we feel that this gives us an advantage in a lot of ways with this product.
Where can we buy Mary Jane’s Relaxing Soda and Mary Jane’s Relaxing Tea right now?
On the west coast, we do a lot of volume selling inside the BevMo chain of stores. However, we are in many different stores in many cities and our product locator on the website can help you find the closest location. Additionally, we are in quite a few 7-Eleven stores.
What are your goals for the future of Mary Jane? Will there be any product evolution or do you plan to keep your existing products only?
Well I have been into product development so there is always the idea of tinkering around with our recipes and evolving with what our consumer base wants and suggests. But for now we want to establish ourselves as the best product available and keep things simple. The future of The Relaxation Company is a story yet to be told, but we are growing and definitely gaining momentum.