Josh Helmich, the CEO and Founder of Helmich Luxury Group, has made a career of being at the forefront of the jewelry industry. A third-generation jewelry entrepreneur, Josh spent years in the luxury jewelry industry before launching the company in 2018. While jewelry is still his passion, his latest venture, GreenSupply.com, is a departure from his roots. We caught up with Josh to learn more about how he got involved in the company, and how he was able to leverage some of his jewelry industry contacts to help jumpstart the business.
How did you get involved in GreenSupply.com?
Chad Horstman and I had been speaking for about six months about partnering on various possible business ventures. Along the way exploring these various opportunities the question of medical grade pure CBD came up. For many people CBD has helped with sleep and health issues, aches and pains, and various other ailments. It was a sector that I had connections in one of the largest CBD facilities in the country. So, we reached out and had a few calls to explore creating our own branded CBD further. We decided that we would also add a B2B and a B2C online platform to launch the brand, and then add other health and wellness products and services.
How did the original vision of GreenSupply.com change?
As I mentioned above the vision was to launch with CBD products and build from there. Things started to change while I was overseas in China and Japan in mid-January. I spent close to two weeks there for work when things were just coming out in media about COVID. When I got back, I spoke to Chad and told him this virus was coming our way at some point and we should keep an eye on it.
Fast forward a few weeks to mid-February and I’m in Germany for work attending a trade show. I arrive in Germany and there are 15 cases in the entire country, so I feel that it is about the same at the US at the time, and relatively safe. While I’m in Germany one of my close friends from Shanghai sent me a message on WeChat asking if I had anyone who needed sanitizer. At that time, I said I would get back to him when I got back to the States.
Things in China had already exploded at that point, and my close business associates from Hong Kong to Shanghai were giving me daily updates on the situation. I knew then it was going to hit the USA like a freight train. One week after I got back from Germany Italy exploded with cases. I then spoke to Chad and asked him what he thought about doing our own branded hand sanitizer spray through my connections in China. Chad had already been thinking about offering masks, and was offered an initial order of non-medical KN95 masks for the general public from one of his contacts in the lingerie industry, and from there we knew what we needed to do.
Before we go any further, can you explain to me what a KN95 mask is?
Sure. The KN95 masks available at GreenSupply.com are internationally manufactured non-medical filtration masks that are made for the general public, unlike N95 masks that are currently reserved (rightfully so) for healthcare and frontline workers. The “95” denotes 95% filtration in both types of masks. Typical N95 masks utilize straps that go behind your head, whereas the majority of KN95 masks utilize ear loops.
How were you able to leverage your overseas contacts to help get GreenSupply.com up and running?
Spending so much time in Hong Kong and China for over 20 years I have a large network of contacts. While most of my contacts are in the jewelry industry, that also translates into the manufacturing industry across all platforms. Having trusted partners who I have been doing business with for years I was able to leverage those friendships to gain immediate access to sanitizers, masks, etc. I know I can pick up the phone, have research done in China to get only trusted and authentic products. I wanted to make sure that if we were importing, we did not deal with fraudulent products, and inferior quality issues. I come from the luxury business, so I expect only the best of the best in regard to products and services.
What are the major differences between the jewelry industry and the health and wellness industry?
Probably the biggest difference is volume and cost. I have been in the jewelry industry my entire life, primarily on the luxury end as a third-generation jeweler/consultant. I have run companies in manufacturing, wholesale and retail. I do a lot of consulting for brands all over the globe as well. The first few weeks in the health and wellness I was not used to dealing with items that cost a few dollars. In my world materials cost in the thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. And volume in the jewelry industry is nothing compared to health and wellness. Jewelry is something that symbolizes a special moment for someone. Health and wellness are something that is used and needed daily. The one thing that I am brining from the luxury market to health and wellness is high quality service and the best products. That is something I feel very strongly about, and truly believe it does not matter if you are selling an item at $10 or $100,000, service and quality are a top priority for both.
What’s next for you and GreenSupply.com?
We will continue to provide the best health products to the public at fair and reasonable prices. This includes utilizing our connections for non-medical wholesale KN95 mask and sanitizer orders. We also will be launching our line of pure CBD in the coming weeks and will continue to add more products for health and wellness in the coming months.