Christina Bellman is Co-Founder and CEO of LEVO, a lifestyle brand preparing for their first product release in the coming months. In this Slidebean Spotlight, Christina shares her insights around self-funding, competition and blazing a trail in an ever-evolving industry.
Can you give a short elevator pitch - First about yourself then, what is LEVO and what the company is all about?
It wasn’t always my specific intention to disrupt cannabis scene, but I HAVE always been an overachiever and one to play the long game. One thing led to another and that’s what brought me here today. My background is in banking and consulting, but I had a lightbulb moment in college watching folks make edibles that inspired the vision for LEVO. I self-funded up until my first angel round last year, which basically brought us right up to production and launch.
LEVO is a lifestyle brand focused on building the products, content, and services to empower home chefs and amateur herbalists to take back control and make more sophisticated, fresh, and healthy infused foods easier than ever before. LEVO is about building a trusted brand that is the premiere source of all the content, tools and services someone could ever want to reap the full spectrum of benefits of home infusion. We are changing the culture of making edibles at home because people will make fresher infusions, more often with LEVO.
There are already a few legacy products in your market. What compelled you to build LEVO and how does it stand out?
Click here to see my thoughts on the first product that comes to mind, but in general LEVO is the first appliance that's ever been custom designed for this purpose. In 2011, I witness the disaster that is making infusions at home when living in a house with a number of other students. We all shared one kitchen, so the mess and smell was right in my face for an entire day. I just knew there had to be a better way, so I built the solution with LEVO and imagined the brand around it that could make a huge impact on many people's lives. LEVO stands out because of it's thoughtful features that address the real issues of these consumers, as well as it's high touch design which gives it the potential to be a staple appliance and drives a culture shift.
The Cannabis Tech industry is a rocket ship right now. It’s also one of the few industries where female founders and leaders have had the opportunity to build some very innovative apps and products.
How important is blazing a trail and setting an example for young females part of what you are doing with LEVO?
Huge! The cannabis industry is totally new and therefore its norms, values, and culture is driven by our generation of more progressive folks. There's no legacy or outdated bureaucratic ideas driving this industry, so it's very much merit-based. My team is male and female because I focused on picking the right people for the job who were truly passionate about the idea, nothing else. I think this industry is setting the tone for other new industries and also inspiring older industries to drive change as they see how fast we will grow thanks to focusing on merit.
What excites you about the next few months for LEVO?
Hearing from customers! This has been a joy so far. We get the most amazing feedback and notes from pre-order customers just at the thought that we exist! Cannot wait to see what everyone makes with LEVO and see the impact I've always visualized come to life on social and through direct notes. We are about to start changing lives, so how could anything be more exciting than that?!
How does Slidebean help you do your job as Founder/CEO better?
I always tell my team "I'm a square" when it comes to presentations. Slidebean helps someone like me make beautiful content for investor presentations, press releases, and more. I am a huge fan of the design review process, which has saved me on multiple occasions. I have saved countless hours of formatting in isolation thanks to Slidebean. Not to mention, I truly believe some things should be left up to experts. So I really trust a professional designer's eye on the final version more than my own.
Where can people find out more about LEVO?
Check out our marketing deck, built with Slidebean!
Or find us at www.levooil.com