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BusinessIamA female entrepreneur in the financial technology industry who just raised $5.5 million. I also have a 1-year-old daughter. AMA!

Nov 7th 2017 by SuneeraMadhani • 21 Questions • 135 Points

We are a team of botanists, chemists and e-commerce veterans who want to make growing marijuana at home easy enough for anyone. We just launched a free guide on how to start your own home grow and a nutrient line that makes it dead-simple to go from starts to harvest. Everything we offer is on our site or on Amazon.

The free guide to home growing cannabis can be found here.

We are a US based company out of Seattle. Our products are made in the US with 100% US sourced ingredients gathered from certified organic plant and aquatic sources so the cannabis you grow and consume is as clean as possible.

As big fans of Reddit and the free flow of information on /r/IAmA we are hoping to give back some value to the community here and get people excited about the possibility of growing their own marijuana. Our team has over 15 years experience in all phases of marijuana cultivation and grow-room system design.

Ask us anything about growing marijuana, plant nutrients, the process of launching this business or anything else you can come up with!

Proof:

On our page

EDIT:

Hey guys, we've had a great time answering your bud growing questions today! If anyone else has questions go ahead and post em throughout the night and we'll come back to answer in the morning. Thanks for hanging out with us today.

EDIT:

We're done answering questions here, thanks again for hanging out with us on /r/IAmA! If anyone has other questions on the topic, feel free to hit us up at our facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/BloomCity/) or on our website (https://www.bloomcityorganics.com/).

Q:

Do you feel that you'll be able to keep it so that your business' income is generated primarily on the per transaction fees and the monthly membership fees or do you think that eventually your investors are going to demand you move to a more standard "interchange plus" pricing model?

A:

What are some fruit-bearing (or otherwise commonly eaten) plants that share the closest ideal conditions (and similar cycles) for growing as marijuana?


Q:

I was actually working for a large payment processing company when i came up with the idea for Fattmerchant - i was sick of seeing merchants be nickle and dimed and never understanding what fees they were being charged and why . like most people - I am also obsessed with all things subscription - Netflix, Birchbox, you name it i have it. Why couldnt merchant services be a subscription too? I took the idea to my bosses and they laughed in my face. Thats when I knew that i had to take this and do it on my own. I started Fattmerchant on the basis of transparency and with the simplicity of a subscription service. I purposefully chose strategic investment partners that shared by vision - i like to call it “smart money”. It’s not worth the investment if your new partners don’t share your same values and vision.

A:

Great question Cory.
Most annual fruiting plants will have similar growth cycles and enjoy similar conditions. Examples would be tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, and hops. The ideal growing conditions for these kinds of plants would be slightly above moderate temperatures and moderate humidity.

If you're looking for genetic similarity to marjuana hops are one of the closest genetic corollaries and produce similar aromas and flavors (terpenes). Let us know if you have a more specific question we can help with here regarding plant types you're interested in growing.


Q:

That differentiation of getting the money vs getting the right money is so critical when building a company and looking for partners. Great job knowing the difference and not compromising on that.

A:

Which plants would you recommend growing along with marijuana?


Q:

couldn't agree more - thank you!

A:

For sure, any green leafy vegetables. I like to grow peppers and cherry tomatos - also below the canopy of buds you can grow herbs like cilantro or basil.


Q:

What makes fatmerchant a better option than all the other ways businesses can get paid?

A:

Do they have any complementary benefits for the growing conditions of the marijuana (like say beans do in terms of nitrogen-fixing)?


Q:

there are actually a few reasons. fattmerchant is based on this subscription model - meaning that we offer a very unique way for merchant's to pay for their processing . this monthly membership equals thousands of $$ in savings for our members monthly. we get rid of all the extra fees and bring members to direct cost of interchange. ON TOP of that - we have an omni channel platform that brings all of your data to one place , meaning if you process on a terminal or online or both all of your sales data can be viewed in your fattmerchant login!

A:

Green leafy vegetables attract microbes that fix nitrogen and put it in the soil in organic forms. This builds soil chemistry and helps all kinds of plants grow better.

You can add aromatic herbs to the garden, such as rosemary and lavender, because they will attract pollinators and species that may help prevent predators from infesting your cannabis plants.

Be careful of curcubits that attract powdery mildew - cucumbers and squash are likely to increase the risk of fungal infections in your garden.


Q:

How does your day to day looks like?

A:

I've been using Fox Farms for the last few years, but am interested in going 100% organic, will I get the same yield & quality?


Q:

Hi thanks for your question! My day to day starts around at 530- sometimes 545 depending on how many times I hit snooze. I go to the gym before my family wakes up bc its the only way to get some me time... home by 715. My 15 month old daughter wakes up around 730 and we spend the morning together and always have breakfast as a family. From there I head to the office and the day is cranking! Meetings by the half hour- usually try to break away for a 15 min walk if the weather is nice to facetime Mila. Most evenings I have events to go to. Like tonight, I am speaking at Demo Day for Starter Studio (a local startup incubator) However, I'll get home in time to grab my daughter and head to the event with her. Days are jam packed but I try to ensure every hour is intentional.

A:

Which foxfarm products are you using?


Q:

That sounds pretty hectic, do you have any routine (i.e activity, diet, philosophy) that make possible to keep your daily life?

A:

Three part: tiger bloom, grow big, big bloom.


Q:

YES! My diet changes by the month - right now I have been vegan for about three weeks but I am always trying to find a balance to eat healthy as these work "steak" dinners can be exhausting. Most of my peers in my industry, investors etc are all white male middle age- so restaurants of choice are pretty standard steakhouses. Wine is always great ;) but my gut get's exhausted so I am always doing some sort of cleanses or breakaways for a little bit to re-charge. My daily routine philosphy is that every single hour should be intentional as time is my most precious commodity.

A:

The Bloom City Craft Grow Kit has a similar nutrient profile as the Fox Farm products. You can expect similar quantity yield (all other components of the growing system being equal) with the big differentiator being 1) the Bloom City kit is 100% organic, Fox Farms is not 2) our included Boost probioitic soil conditioner has been proven to produce higher THC and CBD levels, and increased terpenes/aromas/colors in your finished bud.

Overall you should expect better finished flower quality from an organic grow with a healthy rizosphere/root zone than from a grow lacking these properties.


Q:

I️ am not an attorney—but would talk to one if a newspaper twisted a story like that about me.

A:

Pure. Utter. Garbage.


Q:

My philosophy is that there will always be haters and sometimes the bad comes with the good. We are super blessed and fortunate that 99.9% of people out there have been good to us so far so as long as we do continue to do what we are doing good will prevail! I also dont have time to deal with dumb news - our clients, investors, shareholders and those who matter know us best anyways.

A:

Looks interesting. Without knowing too much about it or having used it before I'd say the upsides appear to be potential simplicity. Downsides are price, inflexibility of managing your own grow, and being locked in to what looks like a proprietary system (generally not a good thing).

You don't want your plant to die because your robot broke down!


Q:

This is fair. I️ just like to see justice and wouldn’t be able to let this sit personally. I️ also had a family member that was made out to be something he wasn’t (after his death) by a local newspaper so I️ may be biased having experienced that.

A:

What sort of non-proprietary automation gear do you recommend?


Q:

I couldn’t agree with you more. For the first year I can remember many nights this eating away at me. It definitely hurts and it becomes personal bc business is personal. I have just learned that my energy is better spent on the positive than trying to let some reporter who doesn’t know shit about me win. I hope to really be an example of just pushing through no matter what- no journey is easy and i have been blessed to actually receive so much amazing publicity and press for all the right reasons. Thank you for your comment . Being able to respond to this without it effecting me emotionally today was a major win!

A:

There's a lot of different ways I can go in answering this question. Can you tell me a little bit about what you're trying to achieve with the grow? Inside or outside, plant count, personal or commercial/medical, etc?


Q:

What has been the most difficult growing pains in your business? Has your role in the company changed as you've scaled up? Is there anything that you miss about being a small company as you've grown? I look forward to your answers! Thank you so much for sharing your story!

A:

What sort of non-proprietary automation gear do you recommend?


Q:

Just scaling the business and growing 2000% in one year was INSANE and that itself was the biggest growing pain was GROWTH. This was the first time i had ever done anything of this magnitude. The first year we were in business we did 5M in payments for our customers and the second year went from 5m to 110m, then 750 million last year and already crossed 1B this year. The growth has been massive and there are def growing pains in every part of my organization. From scaling, to tools, to partnerships, to employees and of course fundraising. I was 7 months pregnant doing my series A - in total I have raised almost 8M for the company.

A:

Also, to comment on the pesticide portion of your question. Our grow kit and growing supplements are pesticide and additive free. One of the best ways to avoid pest infiltrations (and thus the need for pesticides) is to have a healthy garden. Thriving plants aided by the right nutrients produce their own anti-fungals, anti-pathogen and anti-predator compounds.

On the automation side of things, simple things like sprinkler timers, light timers, and fan timers are most of what you'll need to get a grow going, other than managing the nutrient delivery (which our kit and guide attempt to make simple for any skill level of gardener).


Q:

Could you speak a little more about how you grew the business in the first year? What marketing channels did you explore, where did you get help from, what things had great return, etc. Basically how did you get your first customers and how did you keep getting more and more?

A:

I'm an avid gardener, but first time pot grower. I have about a 5ft by 5ft indoor space in my basement to grow this winter, how much can I grow?


Q:

Marketing channels primarily were all digital- google ads, seo, blogging, social etc. We used local agencies to help us but also did a ton in house. We also did grass roots marketing and community efforts to get our first customers. Literally old school networking works to gain initial customers- cant be scaled but hey we did get to 100 customers that way.

A:

What state are you in?


Q:

On a scale of 1-10, how cool is your mobile developer?

A:

Colorado


Q:

12!

A:

Staying in line with Colorado law, you are able to grow 6 plants total, 3 in veg and 3 in bloom at any time. In a 5x5 indoor space, using our Craft Grow Kit you could easily take 3 plants from veg to bloom growing in 5-7 gallon pots on a 16 week grow cycle.


Q:

What does having a child have to do with anything? How is that even remotely relevant?

A:

interesting, thanks for the info! so what would it cost to setup a grow like this, and how much pot would it grow?


Q:

Hi! Thanks for your comment and feedback. I am totally obsessed with my daughter Mila and have learned that it is extremely difficult juggling running a scaling company, venture fund raising, and also being a great mom. I try and be an example to many women who want to have an incredible career but also face the same challenges I do in raising a child and being there for the day to day. I write a blog to share things that work for me and some tips and tricks to help all #momboss’s who want to have a career and family too. You can learn more on mombossblog.com or follow me on insta :)

A:

Every grow is different, but at an entry level for a decent quality indoor grow you're probably talking about $500 for your initial setup. This should cover:

3 clones(starter plants): $40-60 pots: $10-20 soil: $20 nutrients: $60 lights: $150 fans and filter: $150 timers: $20

If you want to buy a grow tent, probably another $100. Your 2nd crop will cost about $100 because you're making your own clones and reusing the majority of the tools you bought the first time around.


Q:

I've actually been looking for a new credit card processing company. Our current issue is that everything is complex, and nothing is linked together. So we currently get charged by company A for a portal to process cards on, and by company B who actually moves the money around. It's pretty ridiculous.

Questions as follows:

  • Do you outsource anything, or is everything in house?
  • You say transparency in pricing, but why don't you publish the interchange fees on your site? Is there a prohibition not to from the card companies?
  • Why is there a limit on the lower price plan of $1 million/year?
A:

that's all easily attainable from the local hardware store, but where is a good place to get the plants? and would you recommend a grow tent? what benefit does that add?


Q:

so happy you found this post !!

something that we do here at fattmerchant is connect all of your solutions into a single login so you can view all the data you need to be successful. plus... we just want everyone to have simple processing - which we believe shouldn't be as rare as it is!

  • we have an inhouse technology team that continues to build on and improve our proprietary payment platform. we have a virtual terminal for invoicing and online billing, mobile app, and an omni channel platform. we also sell terminals from our trusted partner dejavoo and offer payment gateways through Authorize.net . this might sound like outsourcing ... but it's absolutely not!! fattmerchant is always your first point of contact no matter what solution you have with us, and we're the one who onboards you and manages your account - always !
  • we are 10000% more transparent in pricing simply because we operate on a subscription model instead of a markup. our members always know what they're paying. the reason we don't post interchange is bc it varies from merchant to merchant depending on what types of cards they run that month. rest assured we're not trying to hide anything by not posting - our payment consultants actually run the majority of our members through a statement analysis - showing them line by line what's going on in their monthly statements.
  • the limit is because our enterprise members qualify for a different membership once they process over $1M / year. our enterprise program includes a few awesome perks like a one-on-one account manager, risk management, chargeback alerts and more.

if you're interested in learning more please DM me your info!

A:

We have a Get Ready Checklist on our site that can help you find resources for clones and other equipment needed to get going. You can find that here:

Get Ready Checklist

Tents are great if you don't have a standalone space you can dedicate as a grow room, but has no inherent advantages to any other growing environment.


Q:

We use Authorize through whoever their sister company is right now, and I would definitely consider that outsourcing, because we can't see certain things that happen when it goes from Authorize to someone else. Our primary contact is through Authorize, but for instance, we cannot see how they batch transactions and remit cash to us. We also receive a bill from their sister company for their services.

A:

this is perfect! thanks!


Q:

unlike any other processor that deals with authorize.net we have inhouse tech that we built so that you don't have to deal with contacting them for batch info or reconciling - it's all done through us and your account manager here at fattmerchant! also, our monthly subscription covers any of those fees you're currently seeing from the sister company - the way our pricing is set up, we actually eat all of those fees for our merchants.

A:

One additional note, the probiotic Boost bottle in the organic Craft Grow kit is a concentrated set of microbes that were selected to break down the organic fertilizers in the soil. Slow releasing nutrients to the plant.

It's like Kombucha for your plants.


Q:

Nice, thanks!

A:

Are you high?


Q:

no problem! definitely reach out if you're interested, we'd love to learn more about your business :)

A:

Nothing would happen. They are completely incapable of being cross pollinated, unless you have the means to genetically engineer new species! In which case, be careful and good luck!


Q:

it varies from merchant to merchant depending on what types of cards they run that month

You can't post the rates for Visa and Mastercard? Or is it more complicated than that? Do each of the variants of Mastercard have different rates?

chargeback alerts and more

Why isn't that a basic feature? Sounds like it can be automated and is kind of important to everyone, perhaps even moreso to smaller companies.

A:

for an indoor grow, what would be the theoretical limit of how small the potting medium and total enclosure area could be for one plant and still produce reasonable yields?


Q:

I went to the University of Florida and am a GATOR!!! I got a degree in Finance with a minor in "leadership" which was a total bullshit minor but looked great to recruiters ;). Love my alma mater. When I hire team members- (right now we have 30 but will be at 60 by Q1 2018!) values matter more to me than experience or education. From there definitely experience. In our organization our team is considered #fattfamily and so we go through vigorous culture and values fit before bringing on just anyone!

A:

How much pot do you want to grow? What is reasonable for you?


Q:

Who decided on the name fattmerchant? I mean...fat merchant? come on.

A:

let's say two cases: daily use and weekly use for one person. in terms of space, would a hydroponics setup take less room?


Q:

I love this question! I get asked this the most!! It actually stands for Fast Affordable Transaction Technology and it was meant to be everything ever other payment company isnt! One night when working on the business plan I threw up words that would describe our company and those words stood out. You see I worked for a really really really really traditional, payment company. I never once met a customer who said- hey I love my merchant services provider and from there I was a girl on a mission. I listened to every customer complaint for 3 years and from there wanted to build what we are today. Traditional payment companies make money on variable % on every transaction and its a big burden for small business, they provide zero tech, zero service, and are def not fast. I am super proud that we live up to our name and really focus on the customer experience. Also, who doesn't want to make their wallet FATT? :)

A:

Case One - 1oz per month. Assuming you smoke a fair amount. Grow two plants at a time, one in veg and one in bloom. You'll need a total of 2' x 4' or a small closet. Grow each plant under a CFL or T5. Each bloomed plant will produce around 2oz.

Case two - Hydro setups will theoretically take up a little more room, because you'll need space for the recirculating water reservoir. Also far more complicated to learn and expensive to buy, but they can also be good systems.


Q:

Eff em all - Netflix for Merchants! Love it!

A:

Have you read the secret life of plants? Thoughts?

What have your previous marketing efforts been?

Where do you see your business in 6 months?

What are the largest obstacles you're currently dealing with?


Q:

Haha love it! Yup!!! EFF EM ALL!

A:

Have you read the secret life of plants? Yes, we have, it's an interesting read for sure. There are some thought provoking experiments expressed in the book. While the majority of the results of the experiments in the book have not been duplicated since, we still feel ideas are worth exploring. People who experiment like those who wrote "The Secret Life Of Plants" can be inspiring and can help create new ways to look at old ideas.

What have your previous marketing efforts been? Right now we are focused on educating and building a community of craft growers looking to enter this new world of legal, recreational home growing. So our marketing efforts focus on that, primary through social. We also engage experienced growers with a line of premium supplements designed for specific applications, like CleanKelp & Silica Boost through online advertising channels and tools on the Shopify and Amazon.com platforms.

Where do you see your business in 6 months? In six months we will be entering the first major legal recreational outdoor growing season for cannabis, and we will be focused on supporting the efforts of growers through our Organic Craft Grow Kit and other products to be announced.

What are the largest obstacles you're currently dealing with? We’re working hard to support the fully-legal growing in Washington State, currently under consideration by the legislature, so anyone over 21 years of age can grow without needing a medical card. The majority of states legalizing recreational cannabis are legalizing home growing as well, breaking down the legal barriers this community faces.


Q:

How do you find and hire people you can trust within the company. Mainly hire ups, how do you find people that you can put into positions of power and let them operate without worry? I understand there is a lot of culture fit that goes on, but what else to you take into account.

Also, what kind of partnerships do you currently have, and how did they come about?

A:

I live in a small studio apartment in California so I can't install a 220v. What is my best bet for a small 1 plant grow as far as light is concerned? What kind of yield could I expect?


Q:

Finding amazing talent is def one of the hardest challenges of my role especially at the speed we have needed to hire. Right now i am currently facing the challenge you are speaking of for hiring up. The way we have been able to find the right people is through introductions and referrals. We haven’t used a recruiting firm up until this point but are now leverage one as we need to double our team size in about 3 months!! Filling middle management and strategic leadership is def not easy and its not necessarily about letting them operate without worrying- it truly is about finding the right experience fit as well. For example, right now with the close of our series B - we were able to hire a Chief Strategy Officer of one of the largest payment companies in the US. He IS A FUCKING rockstar and has led and scaled massive organizations. I could have never imagined i would have a hire like this as my direct report (and trust me its super intimidating) but we need to scale up and hire up. Things that i personally take into account for leadership positions are leadership style, years of experience, strategic thinking and vision! To answer your second question on partnerships- this has been super amazing to see for our company. When we first launched this wasn’t even a channel as all of our customers came to us directly on our website - however as we were growing so were the partner requests. We have been fortunate to have a pipeline directly from partners who want to embed our payment processing api on their systems as well as sell our services complimentary to theirs. This Chanel is now 30% of our revenue and is the 2nd largest piece we are growing org wise to be able to expand, scale and support our growing partners.

A:

In a studio, your best bet is to buy a light that doesn't put off a lot of heat. That way you can grow without a big fan to move air. I would say get a 200w LED or a T5 (4 foot 4 bulb with 3000k bloom bulbs). Off of that light unit with our starter nutrient kit, you can probably grow a third to a half pound of pot as a beginner. Once you get a little more experience, you could probably get closer to a pound per bloom cycle. But probably not more than that until you can get more light. Definitely enough pot to get stoned and talk about ancient aliens!


Q:

Thanks so much for the response! Very interesting to hear all of your insight. Hopefully one day I can lead in your footsteps!!! Go you and keep kicking ass!

A:

Thank you for responding I feared I may have been too late to the party. There is a 3 drawer filing cabinet that I want to use as a grow tent. Is that big enough for one plant?


Q:

Thank you!!!!!! Keep asking away if you have any more questions I’m going to call it a night shortly so let me know if you have more. Best of luck in your business !!!

A:

No worries. For that application, I would go for 4 small plants (in 1/2 gallon pots) or 1 bigger plant in a 2 gallon pot. Definitley in that small of a space, I would buy an LED light.


Q:

Congrats on your success thus far! How did you go about receiving funding for your business and what was the process like? Did you reach out to angel's or VC firms or did investors contact you?

A:

Which is the best season to grow marijuana? Can it be grown out in the open or in a make shift green house with a red light? Also, what some of the best strands to use?


Q:

the number one thing i did to get attention while trying to receive funding was apply to every single pitch competition i could find !! i won my first one from NAWBO (national association of women business owners) for $250K and didn't want to stop! once i started pitching to different audiences, the offers started coming in . we work with VCs who share our vision and i always make sure to only partner with investors who share my values and have the same vision for fattmerchant. my company is very disruptive, changing the way merchant services has been done for decades, so only accepting "smart" money has been crazy important to me! the process is DEFINITELY a lot to handle - with due diligence and everything that goes into finding that perfect fit - but it's been so rewarding and definitely a learning experience!

A:

Outdoor growing in the open: The best season to start marijuana outdoors is in the late spring, plant in early May. It will grow big through early August then begin to bloom, you should harvest around late September/early October.

Greenhouse/hoophouse: You can grow any time of year in a greenhouse or hoophouse, but there are a couple of constratints.
1. You need to make sure the temperature doesn't get too low or high 68F-85F is perfect 2. You also have some supplemental light. In veg you want 18-24 hours of light. 3. In bloom you want only 12 hours of light. If you want to bloom when the natural sunlight is more than 12 hours, then you need to block the sunlight a few hours a day to achieve 12 hours of darkness. A thick tarp pulled over the hoophouse can do this.

Best strain for beginners: blue dream. Its easy to grow and very forgiving to minor mistakes. If you can't find blue dream cuttings, make sure to look for a hybrid (indica/sativa cross) they are more hardy and generally easy to work with.


Q:

I have an idea for an app that could make a lot of money. I don't have money to hire a coder, and I'm nervous about pitching it to investors, because I don't want my idea stolen. Do you have any recommendations for resources to help guide a non-tech person in the tech/entrepreneur world? I don't want to be stupid, but I think I'm being paranoid!

A:

Which is the best season to grow marijuana? Can it be grown out in the open or in a make shift green house with a red light? Also, what some of the best strands to use?


Q:

I actually 100% believe that by keeping your idea hidden you are doing yourself and your business a disservice. Talk about your product to everyone! NO ONE wants to steel your business trust me!

A:

Now for fun lets looks at the economics of micro-greens or lettuce.

Indoor/Greenhouse: System cost $10,000 / 10 years = $1000 per year Number of cycles per year = easily 12 cycles (one per month), probably more like one every three weeks. Production = 750lbs of fresh microgreens Price = $3 per pound for fresh local microgreens, sold to local restaurants Gross profit per cycle = 750lbs * $3 = $2250 Non-reusable Cost per cycle = $400 (lower than pot, because less electricity, less water, and less fertilizer) Net per cycle = $2250 - $400 = $1850 Net per year = (12 cycles * $1850 profit) - $1000 from the hardware investment = $21,200 net profit

Outdoor: System cost = $0 Number of cycles per year = easily 4 cycles (one per summer month) Production = 750lbs of fresh microgreens Price = $3 per pound for fresh local microgreens, sold to local restaurants Gross profit per cycle = 750lbs * $3 = $2250 Non-reusable Cost per cycle = $100 (mainly fertilizer/soil amendments) Net per cycle = $2250 - $100 = $2150 Net per year = (4 cycles * $2150 profit) = $8600 net profit

Both are worthwhile endeavors, but if you're looking to make a career out of this vs just have fun at home, I'd say greenhouse/indoor would be the way to go!


Q:

What was something difficult about being a CEO and mom at the same time that most people don't realize?

What was something that was surprisingly easy?

A:

The hardest thing was breastfeeding/pumping while I was at work . I was back at work in 3 weeks part time and 6 weeks full time. I was able to pump during work hours while I was away but it was definitely the hardest struggle. Sorry guys for TMI! Whats also never easy is mom guilt. It’s so hard missing day to day with my daughter but I am doing what i LOVE and I want to make her so proud one day.

Something that was easy was becoming a master ninja efficient time manager- I became faster and quicker at work and ensured every meeting and every event was worth my time being away. I was able to cut back tons of bs events I did not get or give value to.


Q:

Reading this while I'm pumping at work.

A:

you go, girl!


Q:

That's amazing. You are my hero!

A:

Oh gosh so sweet! I hope to continue to inspire many women!!


Q:

Why Orlando? I'm a native and LOVE my city (and the entrepreneurs who call it home), but curious why FM chose to Otown (and do you intend to keep it that way?

A:

the orlando community is AMAZING! i think it's really a no brainer starting a company here - the talent is awesome and i honestly owe so much of fattmerchant's sucess to the support i've received from the community from the very beginning. not only are there a ton of resources in orlando (starter studio, canvs, local universities, orlando tech), but i really do have the greatest team - made up of local talent! even though fattmerchant is starting to expand to new cities, our home is and always will be orlando! we're looking forward to growing here with everyone!


Q:

Who is your favorite cousin and why is he so awesome ?! Haha so cool you did the AMA and can’t wait to see y’all soon!

A:

My favorite cousin is not Saif Ali. ;)


Q:

PB&J or Tuna sandwich? Also do you like pineapple on your pizza?

A:

PBJ FOR SURE. wait actually I do love a good tuna. AHHH SO hard!!! ok PBJ bc they are Mila's fave. <3


Q:

Who does it hurt if I put Pineapple on pizza?

It hurts Jesus.

A:

I dig pineapples.


Q:

What classes did you take to learn about the ins and outs of buisness work or were you self taught?

A:

i've had so many mentors along the way that have taught me so much about the startup world. my brother, sal, have been incredibly helpful and currently sits as the COO of Fattmerchant. I've also been a part of startup incubators like starter studio and others that have been hugely helpful. Nothing beats the lessons learned through experience, though, and most of my most valuable lessons came from experiences i've had.


Q:

What is you favorite Super Mario Bros. level?

A:

HATE the water level - LOVE racing the walls coming down.