The Silicon Review
Wholesaling, also commonly known as distributing, is an intermediate stage between the origin of services or goods and its distribution to the end-users through a retail trade channel. Even after the emergence of wholesale clubs directed at consumer markets, wholesale trade is mostly about B2B transactions. Wholesaling is often associated with physical product distribution, but the market exists for other economic sectors, like telecommunication and energy services. Wholesaling provides smaller retailers access to products that they cannot acquire directly without a wholesaler. This, in turn, opens up new opportunities for the suppliers. Wholesale markets improve efficiency by encouraging competition by enhancing access to market information for various actors and by creating conditions for transparent price discovery at relatively low costs.
Ooze Wholesale aims to be a one-stop-shop for distributors, retail shops, and convenience stores looking to stock their shelves with all sorts of ancillary cannabis and tobacco accessories, all at extremely competitive prices. In addition to its House Brands, where Ooze Wholesale is the exclusive distributor (the Ooze brand, King Palm wraps, Truweigh scales, Loud Lock Packaging, Green Monkey Grinders, and Stache Products), the company also offers thousands of products from tons of well-known, innovative and up-and-coming brands in the space. This allows customers to stock their shelves with all types of products to cater to every customer’s specific needs. Ooze Wholesale was founded in 2015, and is based in Oak Park, Michigan.
In conversation with Dan Hannawa, President and Co-founder of Ooze Wholesale
Q. How do you manage your supply chain? And tell us about its flexibility.
We are incredibly lucky to have the experience on our team that makes managing our complete supply chain as smooth of a process as possible. Ooze co-founder and Dan’s brother, Steve Hannawa, has over 30 years of experience in importing from China, so supply chain management falls primarily on him. Our communication from product development to manufacturing to receiving products has been greatly aided by international apps like WeChat and Microsoft Teams, allowing our teams all over the globe to collaborate and create high-quality products that resonate with customers internationally and deliver them directly to our Oak Park warehouse.
Q. Wholesaling involves purchasing and storing a lot of inventory for sale at a given time. That means even more cash tied up in inventory, as well as storage costs. How do you control cost?
Our inventory strategy is a complete numbers game and a game that we have really learned to master in our relatively short time in the industry. By looking at profit margins, available space, and funds, we are able to prioritize items that we know are sure-sellers and experiment with new products and brands. We can tie up large sums of money in inventory that we know our customers will be looking for each time they order from us, and use our House Brand guarantee strategy to allow customers to experiment with new products. We introduce these more slowly, offering them first to our biggest and most adventurous clients to see how well they do retail-wise. Because we work with so many different sectors of the cannabis industry, our team has quickly become experts in knowing what to buy, when to buy, and what products to avoid spending too much money and dedicating too much valuable space for.
Q. With wholesale, you have less control of your brand, price, quality, and quantity. How do you build your own brand as a distributor?
By working countless trade shows and attending industry events, we have established our team as an approachable group that differs from the typical buttoned-up, corporate team that got into this industry just for the money. We go above and beyond with our customer service efforts, and our customers know that they can come to us directly with any questions or concerns, and we back our own products up with warranties. We would never bring a product to market that we wouldn’t use ourselves.
Q. How have new technologies contributed to the success of your business?
We are always on the lookout for the newest items and technology available in cannabis products. Most recently, the Stache RiO Rig-In-One has been our priority. This is an all-in-one dab rig with a built-in torch and uses coil-free technology to eliminate most of the parts in a rig that needs to be replaced regularly. By identifying these amazing products, we’re able to bring more diversity in offerings to the entire industry. We love to take a relatively niche product, produced by a company that’s doing amazing, innovative things but has a relatively small reach for distribution, and incorporate it into our system to turn it into a widespread success for both parties.
Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?
We have recently brought Stache Products on board as a House Brand, meaning we are taking over distribution efforts across the US and Canada. Their main product, the RiO Rig-In-One, is such an innovative device that has the potential to take the concentrate market by storm. We are so excited to introduce this product and other Stache products to our expansive retail and distribution network. These products will now be available in cities and regions that were never possible before, and Stache will be able to focus on bringing even more innovative products to the market.
Meet the leader behind the success of Ooze Wholesale
Dan Hannawa is an ex-professional poker player who created Ooze Wholesale with his brother, Steve Hannawa, and two friends Vince Ayar and George Sinishtaj. Ooze was established in 2015 because they didn’t see a lot of brands in the market that were making product retail-ready. This is especially true for the vaporizer product sector. The majority of affordable devices were generic, unbranded batteries that were in gas stations and convenience stores. These devices died out so fast, and lacked important security features to guarantee safety. As cannabis started to become more mainstream with more states legalizing at least medical products, and more dispensaries popping up all over the place, Dan and the team saw a major need to be filled. By putting a brand name on these products, they create accountability for the device, where customers can trust that they are purchasing something safe and that will last longer than a month or two. The development of the Ooze brand alongside the cannabis packaging side of the business came at the perfect time to make Ooze Wholesale a major name in the industry.
Ever since childhood, Dan has dreamed of owning his own company and has been fascinated by branding and marketing. Being able to build the Ooze brand from scratch has been a dream come true and serves as motivation to continue to strive for market domination. His poker mindset and strategy have played a major role in how he evaluates situations; in both decision making and relationship building. He has an innate ability to read the room and his prioritization of building relationships with everyone he does business with has put him in the position he and Ooze find themselves in today.