A “Science of Quality” Approach
Chip Miller, the Co-Founder and CEO of Abundant Labs, originally came from a banking background prior to making the switch into the hemp and CBD space. After a few years working to capitalize operations in the hemp arena, he launched Abundant Labs, which was the culmination of many years of work and connections being built in the space.
Abundant Labs is a CBD retailer and wholesaler based in Canton, North Carolina. They primarily sell raw CBD materials to their worldwide customer base, offering a variety of CBD powders and oils. They also recently expanded their product offering to include retail CBD products, such as tinctures, balms, and lotions.
Abundant Labs takes a scientific approach to their process, having a strong belief in the “Science of Quality”. This approach enables them to create products more efficiently using in-house analytics, ensuring they are delivering a quality product to their customers throughout the entire process.
“I was talking to Betty today and told her that I was moving my whole relationship for the first time in 23 years. I told her the reason was customer service seems to be a corporate culture with West Town Bank & Trust. You can quote me on that.”
– Chip Miller, CEO & Co-Founder of Abundant Labs
Personal Service at the Forefront
Chip Miller understands the value of providing personal service, which he prioritizes in both his own business and the partnerships he builds. When his previous bank began to lose sight of the personalized service he needed to effectively run his business, he began searching for a new banking partner in the hemp space. Unfortunately, this isn’t as straight-forward as it is for businesses in other industries. He needed to find a bank that has old, traditional values of strong customer service, while also offering modern banking services to hemp businesses.
Through Chip’s strong involvement in the hemp community, he saw that West Town Bank & Trust was pushing to not only bank hemp businesses, but also be involved in the greater hemp community.
Chip says, “We’ve seen a number of banks that have said they are going to get involved in the industry, but then it ends up that their interest is short lived. West Town Bank, on the other hand, is committed for the long haul.”
When Chip began talking to West Town Bank, he saw that they shared his value for personal service, saying, “I have a group of individuals that I can email and call that I can send a message to and say ‘I need help with this,’ whether it was an erroneous debit card charge or PPP loan questions, I had someone who knew me and my business”.
This is when he knew he found the right banking partner for his growing business.
Seeing Growth with the Help of Payment Processing Services
Abundant Labs began to see the opportunity to not only sell on the wholesale level, but also to offer retail products direct to consumers. In today’s world, if you are going to offer retail products you need to have a way to allow customers to pay via credit card.
When Chip began searching for payment processing partners, he encountered the same issues that many other hemp businesses face. A lot of the traditional payments companies will not support the hemp industry, and those that do support it typically charge incredibly high rates in comparison to other industries.
West Town Bank & Trust saw that many banking customers were encountering this issue, so they began offering a payment processing solution tailored to the hemp industry through West Town Payments. Chip jumped on board, knowing he would be getting the personal service he came to expect from West Town Bank, with the payment processing capabilities he needed.
With the ability to accept credit card payments, Abundant Labs now has access to a much larger market, proving to be one of the catalysts for their future growth.
Relationships That Matter
Abundant Labs has found that they not only have a banking partner in West Town Bank, but they have a bank that they now feel comfortable introducing to other partners in the industry. Chip wants to set the standard for collaboration across the industry, whether that be with growers, processors, or other partners. As he puts it, “With West Town Bank, I now have an additional tool when consulting with hemp businesses. I can now comfortably say ‘I can help you get a banking relationship started too.’”
For Chip and Abundant Labs, it always comes back to personal relationships that will help the entire hemp industry grow. For a hemp business and their banking partner, this means having someone you can rely on to discuss financial regulations, provide you with the financial tools needed to succeed and quickly address any issues that may arise.