Born and raised in Chatham, Illinois, Grant(above center, flanked by his dad and brother) adds to the growing list of those who have uprooted their lives for a career in cannabis. Soon after cutting his teeth as a car mechanic, a close friend alerts him to a job opening at a CBD startup in Boulder, CO called Extract Labs. With the distinct scent of hemp in the air, Grant catches the faintest whiff of a new life and the rest, as they say, is history. A bit about Grant’s former work experience as a mechanic in his own words:
I still vividly remember the first thing my mentor said to me: “Are you sure you want to do this sh*t for a living?” I learned a lot about wrenching at Burtle’s. I will never forget the chance I was given, despite my inexperience. The Service Manager, Brian, and the other mechanic, Dale, took me under their wings and helped me become the best technician I could be. The customer base was amazing. It wasn’t long before I started learning the names of everyone who walked through the door. I miss my customers. They made my time at the shop the most rewarding experience of my life.
Working in tandem with Grant for the past 7 months, I am privileged to shed some light on how a monkey-wrenching, inexperienced kid from the midwest made the stark transition to the world of CBD in Boulder, CO., as well as to share the invaluable impact he has made on Extract Labs over the course of his two-year tenure.
Let’s begin with the blurb above. The description of customers as “amazing,” and contributing to the “most rewarding experience[s]” of his life strike me as Grant through and through. Do you know people like this? Earnest, sincere, and genuinely nice? For me, growing up in New Jersey with deep New Yorker ancestry, these traits are about as common as spotting an arctic fox while stuck in gridlock on the GWB. A thing wholly other, off the grid and exotic. One can only marvel at their existence. But I will attest to seeing Grant daily on the phone, or greeting someone at the door with an outward extension of kindness and welcome that could only be described as sincere. When he helps customers, one detects a greater purpose being served – he wants to be a bright light in an ordinary, ho-hum day. It’s no wonder that just yesterday I heard a shout from across the office, “Grant, a customer is on the phone specifically requesting you.”
From Car Mechanic to Brand Manager
Despite having traded his monkey wrench for a desktop with three monitors (one always in portrait mode), Grant still calls upon those tinkering skills he honed in the garage years ago. When the espresso machine is acting up, Grant fixes it, and when the internet goes dim, suddenly rendering the office a more primitive habitat, Grant rubs a few sticks together and voilà, returns us to modernity. As a web developer, I have long drawn a comparison between the “code monkey” of today and the “grease monkey” of yore, and there is no better realization of that comparison than in Grant. Every little trick(hack) I have shown him has been quickly absorbed by a mechanic’s brain that knows precisely the context in which to exploit said trick to its fullest potential.
Over the course of two years Grant’s role has evolved. Originally hired as a lab assistant, he took the opportunity when it arose to move to the front of the house where those customer service skills would once again shine. In this role, Grant’s internet savvy, knowledge of cannabis trends and customer loyalty all combined to serve as ambassador of the brand. With experience ranging from winterization processes to social media and all things in between, Grant was well-positioned to lead as the company grew and the marketing department began to take shape. Today, Grant heads a department consisting of graphic design, web development and social media. As the business continues to accelerate, the job of Brand Manager evolves to meet new demands and lay the foundation for continued growth.
While Grant’s role no longer centers around customer service, he continues to make their experience paramount to our brand. The singular reason we are all in this together. What provides meaning in our jobs and our lives finds expression through this notion of serving the customer. Suffice it to say, it no longer remains a mystery how this grease monkey has come to be head of marketing at Extract Labs.
Q&A With Grant Rogers
Q: What is your favorite Extract Labs product?
A: CBG Oil
Q: What book has had a major impact on you?
A: The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness by Alan Watts
Q: What’s the best thing you’ve ever watched on Netflix?
A: Man. That’s a toss up. I would say either The Midnight Gospel or Deathnote
Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to start working in the hemp industry?
A: Hustle hard. The only limit to your growth is how bad you want it.