Jon Braveman: NoGoo Nonstick Products
Jon Braveman, known in the industry as ‘JonnyB’, always had a love for the cannabis industry. He first realized his passion for cannabis as a young adult in New England. Botany classes and smoke shops fueled his early interest in the industry. An industry which he never thought he would be a part of professionally. However, when the opportunity to join the industry presented itself, Jon wasted no time jumping at the chance. Today, one of his products, NoGoo, is revolutionizing containers in the cannabis industry. NoGoo is a platinum cured nonstick silicone container. Not only does NoGoo allow the consumer to use 100% of the jar’s content, it is the best nonstick container on the market to date. NoGoo allows the individual to use a product without needing to discard the sticky residues that remains on standard containers, which in turn greatly reduces product waste. NoGoo is just one of many products Braveman has developed in order to fulfill a need in the industry, something that he takes great pride in doing.
What was the deciding factor for you to join this particular industry?
I like to share that I accidentally stumbled into my dream job at exactly the right time. Years ago, after I had just sold my logistics company, I was sitting in my house in Maine, pondering my next move. I ended up dropping this little glass one-hitter and it chipped as a result. Normally that’s a bad thing, but in this case, it was right in the perfect spot and I noticed it then allowed me to cut through the cannabis much more efficiently than current flathead one-hitters. This made me think to add even more serrations.
Soon after, I was making them for personal use and then friends would ask me about them constantly. One thing led to another, and I found myself researching an established manufacturer, contacting a patent attorney and have been moving forward ever since. I originally launched my brand out in Amsterdam. After returning to the US, I then set out to grind it out at various tradeshows. Soon enough, someone picked up my product and I was off to the races with a win.
I feel blessed constantly that I get to use my degree, work experience and knowledge to actually pursue my passion in life.
What skills from your previous experiences helped you in what you are doing now?
My logistics and purchasing degree combined with my business experience has given me the ability to be as self-sufficient as possible. I feel blessed constantly that I get to use my degree, work experience and knowledge to actually pursue my passion in life. Very few people end up being able to do that and it’s a fact that isn’t lost on me. I also pride myself on being fluid; able to react and adapt depending on what is happening within the market and the industry. With the speed that the cannabis industry is growing, the ability to navigate and educate yourself within the industry will play a huge roll as to who succeeds long term.
Right now, where are you channeling your passion and energy?
Mainly I’m working to grow as much as possible within the industry. Teamwork is playing a big role for me as I am collaborating and cobranding with several other companies in the industry. We all want to work together to strengthen one another’s brands. One of my favorite ventures is to use my products to improve someone else’s. I love being able to provide that service because I’m passionate about the industry as a whole. In addition to collaboration and cross promotion, we are growing our own brands and products. Currently, we offer over 150 products among our 3 brands; a far cry from the single product we started out with.
Describe your work ethic to me in one word.
What do you consider your weakness as an entrepreneur? Your strength?
I have a hard time pulling myself away from my business. I get so passionate about the business side of my life that it tends to become more fun that my personal life. I’m working to get better at that, but because our products are all over the world, I’m working in places like China and Europe (to name a few), I find myself consumed 24/7 by the business. I can’t say I don’t love it, but I’m working to maintain more of a balance between my personal life and my career.
My biggest strength would have to be that I love working with people and forming relationships. In the most basic sense, business is about people working with other people. If you are fun to work with, people will want to do business with you. Not only do I have a passion for what I do, I also truly enjoy doing it. I think other people see that and feed off of it.
Another one of my strengths is being able to recognize my weaknesses and working on or around them. I’ve never been a person who enjoyed the human resources part of business, so I structured my company in such a way that I actually have zero direct employees. That way my business stays enjoyable and I can focus 100% on my goals.
How are you differentiating yourself from the competition?
Our product development is so fluid that it allows us to adjust our products quickly, depending on problems and concerns in the market. For instance, if someone brings up a problem to me, or I come across one personally, I can immediately get a product out there designed to fix it. By listening and reacting to the consumer, we can switch gears on the fly and in turn, create innovative products. In addition, we currently offer more products than any silicone company in the industry.
How do you find inspiration in this industry? What have you found that has inspired you?
Personally, I find myself inspired by the industry itself. The excitement around the industry and the rate it is growing within continue to motivate me and fuel my work. Professionally, I find constant inspiration through grassroots innovation. Surrounding myself with people, be it at trade shows or big events, allows me to get ideas and fix problems that are directly impacting the consumer. When you look at our product line, I think it is clear that we are doing all we can to really pay attention to, and solve problems for the consumer.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
If you fail to plan, then plan to fail.
Where do your great ideas come from?
Throughout my travels I have found that most my ideas come from direct consumer contact. The end-user of any product will tell you their thoughts, concerns, complaints and suggestions. As a businessman you have to be willing to not only put that time in, but to also commit yourself to implementing what you learn. NoGoo is a great example of this. A while back, I noticed that dispensaries used plastic cosmetic jars, to dispense sticky and expensive concentrates. The problem was, just like peanut butter, it was sticking to the plastic jar. Concentrates are expensive and sticky, and consumers were losing up to 5% every time they threw out a jar (like most people do with peanut butter). In response to this problem, we developed a silicone product that allows the consumer to eliminate waste and use ALL the product that they are paying for. And its now a reusable container, not another piece of plastic (coated with concentrate) that would normally be thrown away.
What is important to you – mission, vision, or core values? Why?
I think core values and doing good business go hand-in-hand, which is why I love working with people and forming positive relationships throughout the industry. For me, having a wide range of vision is something I strive to evolve constantly. By keeping my eyes up and out on the horizon, it allows me to stay aware of the latest trends, problems and needs throughout the country. You can’t do that if you lower your head into the ground and solely focus on your existing business.
What will we be seeing from you and NoGoo Nonstick Products in the coming future?
I’m very excited for the next couple of months, because we will be launching tons of new NoGoo products, especially at the upcoming Champs Trade Show out in Vegas. Adding on to the release of our newest products, we are looking to build up our other brands that make up our portfolio of products. Given the rate of current industry growth, we also expect to be doing business in more states across America in addition to more countries over the next year. Keep an eye out for us!
Have you used NoGoo? Do you have a product or business question for Jon? Join the conversation by posting in the comment section below!