Spotlight Series: Sava's Amanda Denz
Sava is a specialty cannabis curation and delivery service that prides itself on it’s high standards. Products are all lab tested for microbial content, mold, and pesticides, and are labeled with accurate potency and cannabinoid levels.
Sava offers support and education on everything from using CBD for pain to cannabis as an aphrodisiac. They focus on supporting small business and the platform provides over 50 brands a place to reach customers with their products. While some brands are big, many are small, women-owned businesses.
So whether you’re just starting to explore the power of the plant or are a seasoned expert, you’ll find the transparency and quality you’re looking for in this cannabis delivery service.
We had Co-Founder and CMO, Amanda Denz answer or Spotlight Series q and a to learn more.
How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?
Through Sava. In 2015, my co-founder Andrea Brooks had an amazing idea and was ready to make it a reality. I have a background in web design and marketing, so she asked if I’d build the initial version of our e-commerce site. We started Sava in her kitchen, and over the last four years it has been a wild ride where we’ve grown into a company with nearly 30 employees!
Tell us a little bit about your product or service
Sava brings high quality cannabis to your doorstep. Our selection of cannabis topicals, tinctures, edibles, concentrates, and flowers, are all available for delivery in the San Francisco Bay Area, and we provide the support and education you need to use cannabis for wellness and pleasure. We truly believe in the power of this plant, and are on a mission to share that with everyone.
What time does your day typically start and what does a normal day look like to you?
I generally wake up around 7:00 am to my husband bringing me a cup of coffee in bed. I try to meditate, do a little exercise, and eat a solid breakfast before diving into work. As Sava is growing fast, I generally work hard most days. Before diving in, I try to set one big goal for the day - not something from my daily to-do list, but some small part of a larger goal; one that could easily get lost in the daily shuffle but if accomplished, will move a larger project forward. Once I settle on that, and plan when I’m going to do it, I start by going through as many emails as possible. I try my best to stack meetings into a few days a week, and do deeper work on other days. So, depending on what kind of day I have ahead, I dive into either meetings or some bigger project by 10am. I usually take a break around 4pm for a bit, try to go outside, and then catch up on emails until 6pm or 7pm. Then I make dinner, relax for a bit, and go to bed around 11pm. Right now my life is mostly work, but that’s what it takes to lead a rapidly growing company.
What is your vision for your company going forward?
We want to expand into more areas of California, and we want to build out our educational tools and events so we can teach as many people as possible about this amazing plant.
What would an ideal post prohibition society look like to you?
One where cannabis is on the menu for social relaxation just as much as alcohol. One where people understand and utilize cannabis for things like sleep, pain, anxiety, instead of addictive pharmaceuticals. One where those in prison for marijuana-related convictions are released and can start to heal from that grave societal mistake.
What was your first experience with cannabis like?
I smoked with friends as a young adult but, as is common with many people, I was turned off by how intense some of the experiences were. While I admittedly had some fun times with a ridiculously strong pot brownie in college, I was eventually turned off by the unpredictability of the whole experience. I took a break, deciding it wasn’t for me. But in my late 20s, I began to re-explore, trying different strains and smaller doses. Once I learned I could dial in my experience, using a range of products for varying outcomes - sleep, energy, relaxation, creativity, etc - I began adding cannabis back into my life, this time with more purpose and intention.
Tell us about some of the challenges you face working in the cannabis industry
As CMO, I’m ever-frustrated by the restrictions on how I can advertise. Not having access to paid social ads, etc., is a challenge, but we’ll get there! In the meantime, it forces us to be creative.
What are some solutions you've found?
It’s all about content!
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about cannabis?
With an understanding of the plant, you really can dial in your experience! Too many people think edibles equal that crazy time they had in college, where they were so high they felt like they were in outer space. We are refining our understanding of cannabinoids, terpenes, dosing, etc., so you can have a strong, medium, or mild experience of relaxation, stimulation, etc. I really believe there is a cannabis experience for everyone, and I’d like to help them find it.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about your product or service?
Everyone should know that any product purchased from Sava is one that we feel comfortable putting in our bodies and recommending to our friends. Our top concern is quality - where it’s sourced from, how it’s made, what other ingredients are used, etc.
If you could go back in time and do it all over again, what (if anything) would you do differently?
One real challenge of managing a growing business is navigating the decisions around when to hire more people. The cycle generally goes like this - we are all overloaded with work, we hire more people, we feel relief, we grow, we are all overloaded with work . . . repeat. We’ve been through this cycle several times now, and are better able to get ahead of being insanely overloaded and hire people ahead of that, but it took a little while to learn to read the signs earlier in the cycle. This knowledge only comes with knowing your business, but if I could go back in time and talk to 2017 Amanda, I would tell her how to get ahead of it earlier.
What is your favorite way to consume cannabis?
Primarily topicals, tinctures, and edibles. Occasionally vaping. I like the ability to titrate my dose, and who doesn’t love the relaxation that rubbing cannabis all over your achy muscles brings?
Concentrate or flower? Why?
While I love touching, smelling, looking at flower, I really don’t like to smoke because I don’t like smoke in my mouth or lungs. In general, I ingest my cannabis via tincture or edible, but will also vape concentrates.
Do you think cannabis legalization will change the world for the better? Why?
Absolutely. We all need to relax and take things a notch down at times. Doing so promotes wellness for individuals, as well as those around them. I also think this plant can be used for a myriad of ailments instead of harmful pharmaceuticals, and I do believe cannabis has a role to play in helping us turn the opioid epidemic around.
What advice would you offer to another woman who is looking to get into the industry?
There is a lot of opportunity in the cannabis space right now and things can move very fast. Take the time to find the right team to support your endeavor, and then go for it!