Being a business owner means that you need to roll with the punches. Take the good with the bad and the successes with the failures.
Whether it was the monumental rise and fall of WeWork or the transition of direct-to-consumer companies like Casper and Glossier from industry Davids to Goliaths, we saw many examples of both sides of the spectrum in 2019.
To celebrate the small and medium-sized businesses that saw success this past year, we launched Lightspeed Leaders: awards given to entrepreneurs who use our platform to pursue their dreams of building a successful business.
Winner: Breakout Star Award – CBD Plus USA
CBD Plus USA is a cannabidiol product retailer based in Oklahoma with franchises throughout the United States. As the legalization of cannabidiol (CBD) has allowed counselors and medical professionals to recommend CBD products for stress-related issues or physical ailments, CBD Plus USA has become a trusted source for cannabidiol products, providing 100% domestically sourced goods to ensure quality and consistency.
CBD Plus USA will be opening several additional locations in 2019, with franchises soon opening their doors throughout Houston and surrounding areas, including Town Plaza in Conroe, Westheimer Road, Spring, Katy and Clear Lake.
Using Lightspeed, CBD Plus USA’s growth has been impressive. They’ve been able to react in real-time to state-by-state regulatory changes and expand in a hyper-competitive emerging industry. Led by Brittney, the company’s second-ever employee, they’ve opened approximately 100 store locations in less than two years.
Winner: Trailblazer Award – Ruti
San Francisco-based retailer Ruti uses state-of-the-art facial recognition technology in all nine of its customer locations to deliver industry-leading personalized customer service. “Customer expectations of a retail experience are sky-high,” says Founder Ruti Zisser. “If you want to scale your business and deliver the personalization they expect, you need tech to help you out. There’s no other way.”
By integrating his proprietary, facial-recognition-enabled CRM with Lightspeed Retail POS, Ruti’s sales associates have real-time access to each of its customers’ shopping preferences, purchase history and style profile. Rather than depersonalizing their customer service, Ruti uses tech to put it on a pedestal both in-store and online.
If you want to scale your business and deliver the personalization they expect, you need tech to help you out. There’s no other way.
– Ruti Zisser
Want the inside scoop on how Ruti used tech to scale? Read their full story here.
Winner: Local Hero Award – Loyal Tee Boutique
Tori Erickson’s entrepreneurial journey started small. The Loyal Tee founder began by selling hand-picked apparel at open house nights. Before long, word spread and they became a gathering space for the community.
That’s when Tori had a lightbulb moment and realized she had an opportunity to help a community that was hit hard by globalization and overseas manufacturing. “My whole purpose with opening Loyal Tee was to give back to the community and add something fun in the area,” says Tori.
In her hometown of Clio, Michigan, over 20% of the population lives below the poverty line. Tori wanted Loyal Tee to be more than just another boutique; she wanted to uplift everyone who walked through its doors and create a community that brought residents closer to one another. “When a customer walks in the door, we treat them like friends. My goal isn’t to just sell things. I want people to leave with a smile on their face because of how awesome they’re treated.”
Tori’s vision has succeeded in bringing the community together, but she’s not done yet. With aspirations of moving into a bigger commercial space and expanding her product offering for kids and men’s items, she’s only getting started.
My goal isn’t to just sell things. I want people to leave with a smile on their face because of how awesome they’re treated.
– Tori Erickson
Commerce can have a positive impact on the communities they serve. Want to read Loyal Tee’s full story? Get it here.
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