Pink Cloud is an incredible story, and I’m so delighted to have been able to contact Sierra Thomas, the founder, a couple of weeks ago.
Sierra is an accomplished entrepreneur who has built a successful company that caters to the needs of those who are looking for an alternative to alcoholic beverages. As someone who has navigated the challenges of maintaining sobriety while working in the fast-paced media and music industry, Sierra recognized the need for a non-alcoholic beverage that was both delicious and healthy.
So, buckle up.
Here is the story of Pink Cloud.
Why did you create, Pink Cloud, Sierra?
Sierra's motivation behind creating Pink Cloud Beverages goes beyond just providing a beverage or being in the industry; it is a lifestyle. The company was founded with the goal of solving personal problems while breaking the status quo and promoting inclusivity.
The term "Pink Cloud" holds a significant meaning for many individuals in the sobriety community and for also Sierra personally, when touching on her own experiences with me.
“When I close my eyes, I go back to that place during my early sobriety feeling “euphoric” or on a cloud where everything looks rosy.”
It represents a stage of early addiction recovery that brings feelings of euphoria and elation. Sierra wanted to recreate that feeling for others to enjoy, whether they were in sobriety, sober curious, or simply taking a night off from drinking.
She drew inspiration from the things that brought her own sense of elation, such as paddle boarding and enjoying good company over an amazing meal or witnessing a beautiful sunset. All of these experiences and emotions were incorporated into the creation of PCB (Pink Cloud Beverages), making it more than just a drink, but a way of life.
A Little More Depth
Sierra's personal journey with sobriety began in her twenties when she was working in the fast-paced media and music industry. Despite the numerous temptations and distractions that surrounded her, she was determined to prioritize her well-being.
However, finding a non-alcoholic beverage that felt inclusive, festive, and wasn't packed with calories was a challenge. Sierra found that super sugary mocktails left her with unwanted calories, and ordering virgin drinks at bars often led to assumptions about her being pregnant and awkward glances.
“The status quo was exhausting!
…When I could not find what I wanted, I decided to create it myself. I have been mixing and creating functional mocktails since my early days in sobriety (2010) but officially launched and created Pink Cloud during the pandemic.
The first can I sold was on my 40th birthday, a celebration of how far I have come and the journey ahead.”
I wanted to know, what has allowed for her success. How has she crafted it?
Sierra explained to me, she recognizes the importance of constantly learning and applying various techniques to develop a successful business.
She emphasizes the significance of having a purpose and taking calculated risks, while also being open to asking lots of questions and learning from failure.
“Purpose is vital. Take calculated risks, ask lots of questions (and truly listen)”
She mentioned, how the top three techniques that Pink Cloud strives to remain true to are:
Remaining flexible and quick to adapt.
She explained, “Our fans are our top priority and impact all our decisions small and large.”
I love hearing this from small business owners, and their connections with the people who care about their products. It is so vital, to build trust, especially with products like this.
The Marketing Angle
Marketing has been primarily done through guerilla marketing and lifestyle events, where the focus is on getting the cans into people's hands and allowing the product to speak for itself.
Due to the strict regulations surrounding the marketing of ingestible CBD products in the cannabis industry, Sierra has had to think creatively about how to promote Pink Cloud.
Some of their favourite events have included chef collaborative dinners, the Portland Night Market, and SnackFest.
Additionally, they have found success in doing demos at local retailers, allowing customers to sample the product and learn more about its unique qualities.
The Issues With Marketing CBD Products
The regulation of CBD products varies across different countries and jurisdictions. In some places, there may be a ban on CBD products or strict regulations governing their production, marketing, and sale.
One reason for this is that CBD is derived from the cannabis plant, which is still classified as a controlled substance in many places.
Now, whether you believe this is right or wrong, it just has to be understood that, that's where things are right now.
This classification, for those who may not know, is due to the presence of THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis that is responsible for the "high" associated with marijuana use.
However most CBD products don’t have anything to do with this, as their products don’t contain THC, and this is where many hold issues.
In the United States, the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp-derived CBD products, provided that they contain less than 0.3% THC (the psychoactive compound in cannabis). However, the FDA still considers CBD a drug ingredient and has not yet approved it for use in food, dietary supplements, or cosmetics, which creates legal grey areas for marketing and selling CBD products.
This is where education needs to come in.
More, who hold these issues, need to learn about the dangers (however minimal or few) and benefits to make this reasoning themselves.
What's odd, of course, is both Sugar and alcohol both have large amounts of dangers. Yet these are widely consumed.
The fact that both sugar and alcohol are legal and widely available, despite their potential health risks, while other substances such as marijuana and some psychedelic drugs, functional mushrooms, remain illegal or highly regulated.
This is a complex issue that involves a range of factors, including cultural norms, historical precedent, scientific research, and political considerations.
And I’m not here to decide how we come to an agreement on this, however, it doesn’t hurt to learn and possibly break those stigmas.
Despite the challenges of marketing within the industry, Sierra remains committed to finding innovative ways to promote Pink Cloud.
And if you know a way of helping you can contact her and the team here:
How’s The Response Been?
Since its launch, Sierra has received an overwhelmingly positive response from its community.
Sierra has been impressed by the level of engagement and collaboration that their fans have shown, with many providing valuable feedback and ideas for the brand.
In fact, it was the input from their community that led Pink Cloud to invest in digitally printed cans, a more sustainable and eco-friendly option than traditional shrink-sleeve labels.
Additionally, Sierra has utilized feedback from their fans to guide their R&D process, particularly when it comes to selecting functional ingredients for its products.
Through this collaborative approach, she has been able to create a truly community-driven brand that is both socially responsible and responsive to the needs and preferences of its customers.
What Does The Future Hold?
Pink Cloud Beverages has big plans for the future, with a focus on expanding its reach through partnerships and events that align with its brand persona.
They are actively seeking out lifestyle events that cater to their core customer, the "Sloane" lifestyle, and plan to offer their premium non-alcoholic functional hemp beverage at a variety of events including pop-ups, outdoor concerts, and farm-to-table dinners.
In addition to these events, Sierra has several new collaborations with eco-minded partners launching this summer and they are excited to unveil two new SKUs to their product portfolio. With these plans in motion, she is poised to continue its growth and success as a leading brand in the functional beverage industry.
Her ultimate goal is to create an inclusive community where everyone, regardless of their lifestyle choices, has access to a premium non-alcoholic functional beverage that "tastes amazing AF!"
My Final Thoughts
I love how Sierra and the team at PCB, believe so passionately in breaking down the barriers of alcohol and creating a new standard of socializing that doesn't involve drinking to excess.
By offering a healthier, more sustainable alternative, they hope to inspire others to make healthier choices and embrace a more mindful way of living.
With a commitment to sustainability and community, Pink Cloud Beverages is on a mission to make the world a better, more inclusive place, one delicious beverage at a time.
Can’t wait to see how this takes off!
Bottoms up, chuck
For more about Sierra and Pink Cloud, click here
See more on YouTube, click here
Also, you can learn more here at Sorsetech