How a Woodworker in California Helped a CBD Brand from Kentucky

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How a Woodworker in California Helped a CBD Brand from Kentucky
Cornbread Hemp’s CBD Lotion with menthol, in the Kentucky hemp field where it came from. Photo credit: Cornbread Hemp

Here’s an amazing story about how a California woodworker helped a Kentucky CBD brand get the attention of a major New York publication. It’s a feel-good story about creative types helping each other in these crazy times.

C.C. Boyce is a woodworker with a one-woman studio in Downtown Los Angeles, where she found her niche as a maker of modern cremation urns. During the pandemic, her production of urns has only increased, and that takes its toll on her hands.

“The sanding and finishing process is very labor-intensive, and I am often sanding for hours at a time,” Boyce said in a recent interview. “This process coupled with two sprained fingers was causing me pain and stiffness in my hands. I took pain relievers and even tried lidocaine spray, but those were not great solutions.”

On October 2, 2020, Boyce saw something on social media that caught her eye — a tweet about a similar situation from Nichole Perkins, a writer known as @TNWhiskeyWoman on Twitter.

Perkins tweeted, “my mom called me to tell me she needed ‘some more of that ‘marijuana lotion’ for the ‘arthur’ in her hands.” In her next tweet, Perkins plugged the brand, Cornbread Hemp, and said: “my mom has arthritis… so sometimes that one hand seizes up real bad. after rubbing in the CBD lotion, her hand relaxes in under a minute.”

Boyce saw Perkins’s tweets and thought to herself: "That is exactly what I need.” So, based on that tweeted recommendation, Boyce bought Cornbread Hemp's 500mg CBD lotion, along with Cornbread Hemp’s USDA organic CBD oil.

“I live in Los Angeles,” Boyce said. “There are many dispensaries and countless CBD products at my disposal, but had not had any success with the CBD products I had tried previously. So I was pleasantly surprised when I massaged a bit of the Cornbread lotion into my hands and in a couple of minutes, my fingers relaxed and I was able to keep working without pain. The mentholated formula also soothes all the little cuts and scrapes that I regularly get on my hands due to splinters and working with wood in general.”

Not long after, a writer from New York Magazine reached out to Boyce to ask for her suggestions for a gift guide aimed at woodworkers. As she put it: “I was asked to recommend some products by NY Mag's offshoot The Strategist, and the Cornbread CBD lotion made that list. I felt it was something that any type of woodworker could use — from flat woodworkers, to sculptors, to woodturners.”

In early November, The Strategist published “Best Gifts for Woodworkers,” which included Cornbreads Hemp’s CBD lotion. This caught the co-founders of Cornbread Hemp totally by surprise. They had been working to get their products into New York Magazine, with no luck.

Many major publications have shied away from CBD brands because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has yet to regulate CBD products. That leaves CBD in a regulatory limbo — legal but not yet regulated. And that makes some media companies hesitant to get involved with them.

The only way to break through that resistance is with authentic referrals from real customers who genuinely appreciate the product — like C.C. Boyce and Nichole Perkins’s mother.

Woodworker C.C. Boyce in her Downtown L.A. studio. Photo credit: Rozette Rago, TimeOut

Cornbread Hemp is a family-owned company co-founded by cousins, Jim Higdon and Eric Zipperle. Higdon is a former journalist, so getting media attention is part of his job. “Finding media partners as a CBD brand is tough,” Higdon said. “You have to find publishers that deal with CBD, but aren’t totally overrun with second-rate CBD brands. Those are hard to come by.”

Higdon was surprised to see Cornbread Hemp included in a New York Magazine gift guide in November, and even more pleased to discover that Boyce had learned about their brand from Perkins’s tweet in October.

“This is just a great example of natural engagement, and creative people helping each other navigate the crazy landscape of internet marketing in 2020,” Higdon said. “Without knowing Nichole Perkins, we never would have met C.C. Boyce, who never would have recommended us to New York Magazine.”

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