Nova Launches Hemp Supplements With Focus On Accomplished Women

To launch its first two products -- Breakthrough, a CBD/mushroom adaptogen drink, and Lift Off, a “supercharging” THC-based gummy -- women’s supplement startup Nova teamed with women in six different “elements” for “The Liftoff,” a weekly series of Instagram posts that overlapped with Women’s History Month.

The campaign began by featuring “The Soul Seeker,” identified only as “Melissa.” She was shown journaling, with text explaining that women like her are “on a quest for self-discovery, enlightenment and a deeper understanding of their purpose.”

Others included  “The Storyteller” -- Pamela Kirkland, founder of LanJohn Productions, which created the campaign she’s featured in; and “The Game Changer” -- Jennifer King, the first Black woman to be an NFL coach.

The final week’s element, “The Visionary,” turned out to be none other than Kathryn Robinson, Nova’s founder.

So we asked the visionary to state her vision for Nova.

“To change the wellness industry for women, and change women’s lives,” Robinson responded. “I like to innovate and take risks. There’s no other way for a visionary to take on the status quo.”

For Robinson, the status quo is a wellness industry in which “a lot of product formulations are either created by men or tested on men. And even if they are formulated for women and tested with women, they aren’t done so in a way that takes into account that every woman has a different need.”

Adaptogens, like those in Breakthrough, she explains, function differently -- based on each woman’s specific body. “They figure out what needs help and work on that in a proportionate way,” she states, while “traditional wellness supplements” have set formulas and set number of milligrams.

The latter can cause problems, Robinson relates, citing a personal example: “I was given so many vitamins and minerals for my hormones,” she says, and the doctor “didn’t take into account the blood toxicity that might be created” when taking those along with her prescription medications.

Robinson also chides the wellness industry for a lack of educational efforts, noting a tendency for brands to say, “Take this, it will solve that” and not providing info such as too much vitamin D causing increased estrogen levels.

Robinson hopes to do her own educational efforts around the CBD/THC/cannabinoid space, which she prefers to call “hemp” because of the lack of consumer knowledge.

She deliberately avoids positioning Nova as solely a cannabinoid company.

“I want women to know that cannabinoids, CBD, THC can be part of their wellness,” Robinson says. “It doesn’t have to be separate.”

In addition to ecommerce, Nova products are available at numerous cannabinoid and natural food retailers across California and the South (the company is based in Atlanta), with Robinson hoping to expand into the Northeast and to sell via major retailers (potential relationships are presently in the discussion stage, she says).

Also in the roadmap are physical locations for the now-budding Nova community that Robinson calls the “Novaverse,” described as “an immersive experience where our customer experience becomes part of the brand.’

Before the Novaverse goes physical, however, it will launch online with such content as guest speakers, master classes and women telling their stories, Robinson says. The platform will start as a free community, with founding members receiving perks like product discounts, she explains.

Also on the content front, Robinson plans to launch Nova podcasts and Spotify programming soon, as well as adding ambassadors and influencers.

Paid advertising may be forthcoming, but Nova must tread lightly largely due to the presence of TLC in Lift Off, which keeps it from advertising on Meta platforms or Google. Breakthough as well has had problems breaking through on TikTok, Robinson notes.

Robinson is also planning “Liftoff 2.0,” which will include women representing other “elements” like content creator and peacemaker.

The first campaign’s primary objective, she says, was to build “a strong community” around Nova’s core values, “not just a customer base.” Call it the start of the Novaverse.

As for future marketing plans, “You can count on more risk.”  


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