STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs based business, VengaCBD, partnered with Scottish professional triathlete Lesley Paterson following the Steamboat Stinger. The company, which is now a year old, sponsors athletes who help spread the word about their existence and their products.
In early September, VengaCBD announced a partnership with Scottish Xterra triathlete Lesley Paterson.
Paterson visited Steamboat Springs for the Steamboat Stinger event in August. On Aug. 10, she won the mountain bike race, and on Aug. 11, she finished the half-marathon first.
“It was hard, the altitude,” she confessed. “I live in San Diego. The course was amazing, very well organized. It was a great event, and I really enjoyed Steamboat.”
Afterwards, she stopped by the vendor tents, which is where she came across VengaCBD.
“It was post-race. They had their booth there. They spoke about it, I tried it, I liked it,” Paterson said. “I said ‘Listen guys, I’d love to do a partnership with you, and that was that.’”
A simple sampling sparked a sponsorship. VengaCBD sends Paterson product and payment for wearing their logo, as well as spreading the word about the brand. They will also use her name and photo in their advertising and social media.
“We’re just so happy and thankful that introduction was made right here in Steamboat Springs,” VengaCBD partner Dave Wittlinger said. “We would never have known about Lesley if it wasn’t for this fortuitous meeting.”
On Sept. 7, Lesley won her second straight and third total Xterra US PanAm national title. Paterson said she uses the product every single day as she trains for the Xterra World Championships in Hawaii, which she won last fall.
“They have their gel capsules which is good for general use, so I’ll take that a couple times a day,” Paterson said. “Their balm, I’ll use after a big training session on certain areas that might be tweaked or sore. I’m getting older. I’ll be 39 here soon, so I need all the help I can get.”
Paterson is one of four athletes the company sponsors, including triathlete and trainer Heather Gollnick and professional cyclist Anne Donley.
Both Gollnick and Paterson are coaches and work closely with other coaches and many athletes.
“It’s mostly them as an influencer, if that’s the best word for it, which I think it is — it applies here — It’s just letting people they interact with know about Venga in little old Steamboat Springs and that they should try it,” Wittlinger said.
A year in the making
VengaCBD, which was founded by Jay O’Hare, sells CBD catered to endurance athletes and has been in business for a year now. The company sells gummies, gels and a balm designed to help athletes recover quickly by fighting inflammation, reducing pain and even improving sleep.
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, which made hemp legal across the nation, the company sells CBD across the U.S. and even crosses borders.
“Every day, I get orders from Texas, Florida, California, Connecticut,” Wittlinger said. “I just shipped out a box to Canada, which is kind of rare for us.”
Like Paterson, most people find the company through events they are a vendor at. VengaCBD is gearing up to go to a Spartan obstacle race in Lake Tahoe where they will provide athletes with samples and get the name out to more potential purchasers.
While a buyer enjoys the natural remedy of CBD, nature benefits from the purchase.
With every sale, a tree is planted. VengaCBD and One Tree Planted plants a seedling in one of five locations: Colorado, California, Oregon, Florida or British Columbia.
“Between Jay and I, we both come from a place of a philanthropic business mind. So, how do we create a business that also has some benefit either locally or nationally?,” Wittlinger said. “When we started Venga, from day one, right out of the gates, we decided, for every purchase, we’re going to plant a tree.”
Wittlinger said he doesn’t know the exact number, but since the company’s inception, sales have helped plant about 1,000 trees.
The company doesn’t have a brick and mortar location, primarily selling through the website.
Wittlinger said, no matter where the next year of business will take VengaCBD, it will remain a Steamboat-based startup.
“We don’t have any plans to move from Steamboat. I’ve been here since ’97. Jay’s been here about the same time. We’ve both decided Steamboat is our home,” he said. “We started this company here and we intend to grow it here. It’s been a wonderful, exciting year, and we’re looking ahead to the next phase of this.”