Lifted Made, based in Zion, IL, was founded in 2015 by CEO Nicholas S. Warrender. In February 2020, the company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of publicly-traded Acquired Sales Corp., which is focused on investing in rapidly growing, profitable companies that make canniabinoid-infused products such beverages, lotions, oils, hemp cigarettes, tinctures, bath bombs, balms, body washes, and gummies.
When the purchase was announced in the waning days of February, Warrender noted: "Lifted has become a magnet for drawing in the most talented people from diverse backgrounds and industries; we don't care about your gender, race, creed, etc. Our culture fosters collaboration and creativity, while creating more value for our shareholders and stakeholders.
"We've come a long way since 2015, when I started Lifted Made with $900 in a 10 by 10 room" he continued. "Since then, we've accelerated in growing our team, facility and offerings to our customers. We crushed our goals in 2019 with massive revenue growth and great EBITDA, and we have 2020 teed up for another monster year. We are going to be announcing a series of new brands and products in different market segments that we expect to be game-changers and market leaders"
CannaBiz Wholesaler sat down with Warrender to find out what makes his company tick, and what he sees ahead:
Q: What trends are you following? A: Everyone wants to be healthy and stay healthy, especially in todays environment, so people are using cannabinoids or are curious about them. But with the massive saturation of products everywhere you turn, the winners are the brands that are dialed into their identity and target market. It's imperative to understand the value of branding, packaging and price points, and having a distribution network to plug into. It's a full-contact sport these days.
Q: How would you sum up your strategy going forward? A: Lifted Made's strategy is to stay lean and agile, and not to be afraid to pivot. The industry changes quickly, so we've found it imperative to be able to shift our focus instantaneously based on current and future market needs. I was a pretty good point guard playing basketball in high school, and I learned that when you have an open shot, take it. We don't need committees or bureaucracy to get things done at Lifted Made, just a bunch of determined, talented people who share ideas, work smart and outhustle to make good things happen every day. We don't confuse activity with accomplishment. To us, innovation is a particular state of mind we've consistently looked ahead to what is next while keeping a pulse on what's happening in the present. We started our company in vape liquids, but we've steadily branched out into lotions, tinctures , bath bombs, hemp flower cigarettes, hemp flower joints, edibles, personal care products. and many more, both under in-house brands and by partnering with other companies. We have some unique brands and products in the pipeline that are going to blow your mind.
Q: What do you think the future holds? A: In five years I believe the industry will be significantly more regulated, making it difficult for small companies to survive. Consolidation will occur as big companies and brands come together with different talents, abilities and war chests to capture majority market share. That's a big reason that Lifted Made went public in February by merging with Acquired Sales Corp. My partner Gerard M. Jacobs made his career taking small public companies and making them huge by consolidating fragmented industries. As founder and CEO of Metal Management Inc. from 1995 to 1999, he closed 37 acquisitions and built the company into the largest scrap-metal recycler in North America with almost $900 million in annual revenue, and increased the company's stock price from Sl.75 to over $30 per share. As founder and CEO of Think Partnership Inc. from 2001 to 2006, Gerry also did a roll up of 15 internet marketing and advertising companies with almost $90 million in annual revenue, and increased the company's stock price from 15c to over $6 per share. Now, we want to convince the best entrepreneurs with the best cannabis brands to become our partners in Acquired Sales Corp., to move to the NASDAQ exchange asap, and to become the most profitable, trusted, and innovative company in the space.
Q: Are there any upcoming products or announcements you can tease for us? A: Be on the lookout tor Urb Finest Flowers (www.UrbFlower.com), our new brand launch that is revolutionizing hemp flower products as we now know them. From the distributor interest we have received so fair, we think Urb is going to crush it. We also plan to change our public company's name and ticker symbol.
Q: What has been your most personally rewarding experience? A: Life-changing testimonials from many of our customers are the most important things to me, for sure. Plus, the excitement that I see in the faces of my teammates at Lifted Made every day developing new products, solving problems together, putting more points on the board, making it happen - we win, and we enjoy it.