We had the good fortune of connecting with Melody Mohammadi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melody, what do you attribute your success to?
As a law student and entrepreneur, I constantly feel like there is always a laundry list of tasks to do, but I would say my driving force and success is attributed to the mission behind my company, Sweet & Chill. Sweet & Chill was created in the heart of Los Angeles to pair the finest quality of CBD with the freshest confectionary goods to create products our consumers will love. By tasting each product multiple times, to searching for the perfect manufacturer, packaging, and design, each step was diligently made with the intention to create a high-end product our consumers will love at a price they could afford. Sweet & Chill was created with one goal and motive in mind: to break the stigma behind CBD. I, myself, was skeptical about CBD until a few years ago because of all the associations I had seen in the media, but I never truly realized how many of those things were further from the truth until I did my own research. I realized that so many CBD products advertised false effects, such as CBD would get you high and that it is the same as marijuana, when in reality it is not. Several of these CBD products had images on their packaging that had turned me away from ever trying it. When I first tried CBD and researched all of its great health benefits, I realized that there was a gap between what the average consumer thought about CBD and what strong advocates of CBD knew and that’s when I decided there was a need I made my mission to fill. Sweet & Chill is centered around a brand and product that everyone could enjoy and not feel ashamed or afraid about. At Sweet & Chill, we want everyone to be intrigued by our colors and to smile as wide as our logo when they try one of our CBD products. I want our consumers to feel excited to pull out their bottle of Sweet & Chill CBD gummies when they want to have some without feeling like they would be judged for it. Instead, I want their friends or family to feel curious and ask, “Oh that’s cool, what’s that?”. So many people around the world use CBD to calm their nerves or if they have trouble sleeping, so why miss out on that because of misinformation? The success of our brand relies on having more people try Sweet & Chill CBD and realizing its great taste and benefits. Now, looking back, there were so many times that I could have eased my nerves and so many times I missed out on its calming effect all because I was so afraid of being a part of the stigma. But together the Sweet & Chill family can break it, one product at a time. I hope that with our fun and mellow pastel colors and our hot pink smile, you’ll check us out and try for yourself to see how great tasting our goods are. Our motto is to love sweet…live chill, it’s simple and once you try a Sweet & Chill confectionary good for yourself, we hope you’ll feel the same.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started the initial research for Sweet & Chill about a year and a half ago and had planned to launch in the Spring of 2020. Little did I know a global pandemic would rock my business plan a bit. While I was fortunate enough to be able to stay indoors and work from home, a lot of my planning had to be shifted and is still being adjusted as new restrictions develop. Our release timeline was shifted to Fall 2020 as our production was completely brought to a halt as a result of COVID-19 in the spring. During that spring, I originally felt very deterred and as if Sweet & Chill was not meant to be, but I had one goal that kept pushing me through: breaking the stigma behind CBD. It had been my mission and while I definitely could have tossed in the towel during the spring as a result of the lost time and investment, the mission was still there. I just had to go back to the drawing board and rearrange a few things. I took those spring months as extra time I was given to make Sweet & Chill better, to focus more on what the products should be like, what the packing would look like, what the timeline for future products would look like, but this time with a bit of cushion room in case the pandemic shook the timeline again. With all the terrible things going on in the world, Sweet & Chill was the one thing that kept me motivated. Starting your own business is hard and anyone who tells you otherwise, probably has not taken the time to do it, but starting your own business in the middle of a pandemic, well that’s a different story with a new chapter each day. I have loved every part of developing my business throughout this time and while I have had to readjust my plans and even think of new alternatives to reach the same goal, I’m just lucky enough I’ve had the chance to bring Sweet & Chill CBD to life. My motto hasn’t been one for a heartwarming story, it’s been my real life and our customers have been my driving force. So, when a customer orders a Sweet & Chill product I want them to know how much I appreciate them and thank them for keeping my dream alive.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve lived in Los Angeles my whole life and I still feel like there’s so much to explore in this city. I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, so the 818 would definitely be the first start on the trip. While some may say there isn’t a ton to do, I say to them, let’s take a drive down Ventura Blvd. It’s my absolute favorite thing to do with my friends, drive down with music blasting just talking about life as we pass each of the palm trees with the sun beaming on our skin. Even taking a turn and driving up the hills to some of the most beautiful views of the city. Next, I am a foodie, so I would go on a food tour throughout the city to try all its hidden gems. My favorite street tacos are birria tacos from Teddy’s Red Tacos. I love the Nashville hot chicken from Howlin’ Rays and Dave’s Hot Chicken. In Los Angeles, sushi is a staple and some of my favorite restaurants are Yu/Mi Sushi, Kazu Nori, Sugar Fish, and Nobu. There is wonderful spicy ramen at Silverlake Ramen and Tatsu Ramen. I love the sandwiches at Bay Cities Deli and San Carlos Deli in the San Fernando Valley. I’d end the food tour at my favorite Persian food from Raffi’s Place or Laziz Grill. There’s always room for dessert, so I would enjoy some chocolate fudge brownie ice cream from Salt & Straw or jasmine green tea boba from Pot of Cha. Finally, there’s nothing like a California sunset. One of my favorite activities is driving to the beach a few hours before dusk. I love going hiking at Los Leones trail in Malibu, Runyon Canyon trail in Hollywood, Fryman Canyon trail in the San Fernando Valley, and Chantry Falls in Monrovia. As an added bonus, when it’s safe to do so again, I would go to a Laker game. Like I said, I was born and raised in Los Angeles, so that’s always the best way to spend your night.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Starting a business while in law school has been no easy task and I definitely could not have done it without three key groups: my family, friends, and professors. I think throughout this trying time, there was no one that has supported me more than my family. Through encouraging me, being my guinea pigs, and being my second set of eyes on everything that I’ve developed through Sweet & Chill has been critical. My brother, Matin Sed, in particular, has been the biggest mentor as he has helped me and supported me throughout the whole process, as an entrepreneur himself. It’s always been a dream of mine to start my own business and to really find something I am so passionate about in Sweet & Chill has been phenomenal. My family has always supported me, no-matter what, and they have always given me the strength to preserve even when times are tough. If you would have asked me 5 years ago if I would ever be in the CBD business, I would’ve said you were crazy, but I think that is what is so special about business is that when you are open-minded and you do your own research on a product you can explore a path you never even considered. That open-mindedness is what I learned from my business professors during my undergraduate education at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. They always taught me to push forward and how to tackle a problem. Without my education I would have no idea where to start or how to handle an issue and that to solve it you must target the source of the problem. Now, in law school I’m learning an entirely new way of thinking. I’ve learned that there are so many nuances that come with opening your own business. I’ve also learned to be versatile to adapt to new situations and could not have done that without all of my incredible professors. Finally, my friends have been such a strong support in Sweet & Chill. From sharing the product with their friends, to trying it for themselves it has meant the world. It has been incredible to see my friends support my business during these trying times and feel so proud to share the brand themselves. They have given me honest feedback throughout the process, and I am learning so much from them to help develop an even better product for our consumers. Success takes a village and I am so fortunate to have a village so wonderful.