CBD is everywhere nowadays, from everything to tinctures, salves, vapes, and now...sparkling water. Yes, you read that right, sparkling water. Benjamin Witte is the founder and CEO of Recess, a company that is trying to turn the beverage market on its head with a new way to get a chill vibe. Recess comes in three different varieties: blackberry chai, pomegranate hibiscus and peach ginger. Recess’ website says that, “We all have too many tabs open in our browsers and in our brains. That’s why we made Recess: each can is a moment to reset and rebalance. It’s how you wish that 2 p.m. coffee would make you feel.” We spoke with Witte about some of his strategies and the method behind his business. Here’s what we found out:
This CBD Sparkling Water Is Determined to Replace Your 2 p.m. Coffee
Calm, Cool, Collected
Describe your brand building strategy in one sentence.
Create content and experiences that convey the ethos of the Recess brand and that make you feel like we want you to feel when you take a Recess—calm, cool, collected.
If you were pitching your business on Shark Tank, what would you say?
Recess created products and experiences designed to help you feel balanced, centered and inspired so we can be our most productive and creative selves. Our first product is a line of sparkling water infused with CBD and adaptogens.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned as a founder?
Working with the right people is everything.
What’s one aspect of your job that you knew nothing about? How did you adapt?
Every aspect. You figure it out and partner with the right people.
Tell us about the time in your career when you felt the most “stuck.”
I quit my solid job in tech and spent about two and a half years “exploring” various startup ideas and career paths before starting Recess.
What do you consider your greatest failure to date? What did it teach you?
Pursuing opportunities that didn’t play to my strengths and natural interests. Always trust your gut.
How do you take your coffee?
Iced coffee with a splash of half and half.
What is your number one way to inspire positive company morale?
Make something consumers actually love and empower your employees to feel like “CEOs” of their part of the company.
How can a candidate impress you in a job interview?
If they are able to dissect the Recess brand from a unique perspective and demonstrate an entrepreneurial and curious spirit.
How do you balance your career and your family life?
Recess is an extension of me, and so I am not trying to separate my work from personal life all that much.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to launch a business?
Make sure the idea you pursue plays to your strengths and has a mission and a purpose that you are deeply connected to.