Gnome Serum, a hemp oil/CBD product retailer based in Upstate New York in the nation’s hardest hit state by the COVID-19 pandemic. Gnome Serum’s reaction to the global pandemic was at once immediate, compassionate and good for business. “As a small business, we’re of course very concerned for our community,” Greg Kerber, owner and founder of Gnome Serum said. “We’ve seen so many people turn to Gnome Serum even more so during this crisis, so we’ve decided to make some big changes on the fly.”
As so many of the companies still operating in the country, Gnome Serum’s employees are working overtime—from home—to meet the new demands from consumers. The company has taken a flexible stance toward product development, shipping, and customer service as a response to COVID-19’s impact.
Understanding hemp’s natural antiseptic properties, Kerber shepherded the development of a formula that boosts those benefits with stronger ingredients—organic cane ethanol and witch hazel. The result is an effective, grapefruit-scented hand sanitizer that sold out in just a few days.
Gnome Serum rushed the creation of its hand sanitizer to market in response to overwhelming consumer demand. Understanding hemp’s natural antiseptic properties, Kerber shepherded the development of a formula that boosts those benefits with stronger ingredients—organic cane ethanol and witch hazel. The result is an effective, grapefruit-scented hand sanitizer that sold out in just a few days. The company has contributed bulk donations of its just-launched hand sanitizer to retailers that also sell food, such as the busy Park Slope Food Coop. “Since the Park Slope Food Coop have employees working very long hours to keep people fed, and tons of shoppers coming and going, it’s great that we can help them offer free sanitizing in the store,” Gnome Serum’s Marketing Director, Anna Kintz, said.
Another not entirely surprising development Gnome Serum staff have noticed is the need for so many of the retail brand’s customers to experience human contact via social media, email or telephone—contact, in whatever iteration that takes place, has emerged as an undeniable, critical commodity, with customer service fielding nearly three times the normal number of queries through social media, email and direct phone calls. “Large numbers of people are trying tinctures or other products for the first time. They’re clearly facing stresses in their family or professional life and they want to experience a reassuring CBD solution,” Kintz said.
And, according to Gnome Serum folks, often the relationship gets deeper than just customer-retailer. “Sometimes, these questions turn into conversations. People follow up to let us know how they’re doing. We answer every single person or query personally. It’s so important now; we all want to connect more—we all have to connect more,” Kerber said.
In addition, Gnome Serum has expedited shipment of its online orders, with products arriving in one or two days; and now the company also includes free hand sanitizer to orders bound for the hardest-hit areas in the country.
On a related note, sales of Gnome Serum’s Emotion Personal Lubricant and 4Play Massage Oil have taken off as consumers turn to a time-tested indoor pastime. “People are cooped up together; no surprise there,” Kintz said.
Gnome Serum’s top executive also takes an optimistic approach. “Every day, as a company, we face something new. But my entire team feels truly fortunate to be able to provide products that may help during these unprecedented times.”