We were lucky to catch up with Dr. Chelsea Luedke recently and have shared our conversation below.
Dr. Chelsea, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. We love heartwarming stories – do you have a heartwarming story from your career to share?
In 2015 my parent’s dog Bogey had to have a mass removed from his small intestines. Because of the mass he had been losing a significant amount of blood. We did a transfusion from my Weimaraner and he did well after surgery with no regrowth of the mass. However, we had a very difficult time getting him to eat, even when adding eggs, bacon, and all the great people food we could! Even using medications that I as a veterinarian could prescribe to increase his appetite, nothing worked and he kept losing weight. Finally we tried a transdermal hemp/cannabis pen and for 18 months he would eat only after his daily dose of CBD/THC! That was a turning point in my career; if plant-based medicine could help him, why not other animals?!
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
I graduated veterinary school in 2011 from Colorado State University. I worked in Virginia and Wisconsin with my husband (also a veterinarian) before coming back to our home state, Colorado. I had cases in which traditional pharmaceuticals were not achieving the desired effect in patients and decided to start researching CBD and hemp. With the 2018 Farm Bill passing, hemp legalization has made the industry boom and I wanted to provide a credible source for other veterinarians to get information about CBD in animals. Our products have helped thousands of animals suffering from ailments. Many CBD companies are branding products without sufficient science or trials behind their products; we have worked with major universities to understand how CBD can affect and help animals.
We’d love to hear about you met your business partner.
My Co-Founder Trish Wilhelm and I met in veterinary practice in Colorado in 2015. She was completing her internship before graduating as a certified veterinary technician at the practice where I worked. We became fast friends and spent a lot of time in the truck (as we say since we were working exclusively on horses) together. During those long days we started thinking about other options for animals and ended up sharing a common vision that CBD and hemp could help pets just as in people.
Other than training/knowledge, what do you think is most helpful for succeeding in your field?
I believe one of the most important aspects of being an entrepreneur is the ability to seek out lifelong learning. I have so much medical training but when it came down to building an ecommerce website, growing email lists, and hiring sales people, I found myself feeling like a fish out of water more times than not. I listened to endless podcasts on all topics pertaining to ecommerce and brand management and continued to learn and grow. There are definitely times where experts in their field are more efficient and capable; however, being a business owner many times you have your company’s best interest at heart and can solve problems with a little extra groundwork.