After offering free self-care products to healthcare and grocery store workers as the impact of COVID-19 began to be felt around the country, Kat’s Naturals – a company that formulates restorative CBD products – recognized the nationwide need for hand sanitizer, and decided to do something about it.
“It was a no-brainer for us,” said Shonna Roberts, director of national sales for Kat’s Naturals. “We already have and use the machinery and material needed to manufacture hand sanitizer, so really it was just a matter of formulating, producing and getting the word out.”
The company designated its fastest fully automated machine to this process and was able to make upwards of 4,000 units during the first production cycle. Kat’s Naturals now has 4-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer available for purchase on their website at www.katsnaturals.com and also has 1-gallon containers available to essential businesses through firstname.lastname@example.org. Roberts said they are also working with public officials to help them identify community-funded programs that are in need, to which they will donate gallon size bottles.
Kat’s Naturals was officially started in 2015 by husband-and-wife duo Kat and Brian Merryfield. The company was formed after CEO Kat Merryfield, an educated herbalist and natural medicine consultant, was researching natural ways to help Brian with his PTSD. That’s how she first discovered CBD and Kat’s Naturals was born.
Brian Merryfield, who is the COO of the company, is a Prairie High School graduate who left the Vancouver area after joining the military just before 9/11. He met Kat while stationed in Georgia, just before leaving for Iraq. Because Brian and his family are all from Vancouver, during his two tours, Kat and the kids spent much of their time in Vancouver while she was attending school and crafting her formulations. After Brian returned from Iraq, the family settled in Tennessee.
While Kat’s Naturals’ manufacturing in based in Tennessee, the sales and marketing division is based in the Vancouver/Brush Prairie area. The sales and marketing team consists of four employees – two of which are Brian’s siblings – Shonna Roberts, who is a Washougal High School grad, and Austin Shaner, a Battle Ground High School grad.
Roberts said the company started out with just Kat – formulating, bottling and selling at the farmers markets – and now the company has 25 employees, four of which are in Brush Prairie. Roberts said the company’s sales continue to grow each year – 2017 saw a 1,150% increase from the previous year; 2018 sales saw a 1,300% increase from the previous year; and the company closed 2019 at a 150% increase from the previous year.
Roberts said Kat’s Naturals is now a nationally recognized brand, having been listed in Forbes and LA Weekly numerous times as a top-20 CBD brand.
“On average we ship our about 3,000 units/month, through out e-commerce site only,” Roberts said. “In addition to e-commerce, our products are carried in over 300 small retail, fitness and healthcare facilities, including locally at Precision Personal Training and nationally at Save Mart Super Stores and at some 24-Hour Fitness locations.”
Kat’s Naturals will continue to offer hand sanitizer on their website for the time being, as long as they can continue to source bottles needed for the alcohol-based product.