Robert Turk, Principal at SevenPoint Interiors
SevenPoint Interiors brings premium retail design and manufacturing to the cannabis industry.
What is the biggest obstacle you are facing right now in relation to the pandemic?
Construction deadlines are being moved and there’s uncertainty as to the ability to maintain a schedule. That’s number one. On the client side, let’s say they’re building a dispensary and they have general contracting work to do, their schedule keeps moving because their GC is behind for various reasons—they can’t get people in, there’s issues on construction sites, they can’t get materials. All of these things have pushed out delivery dates. We’ve had stores that were supposed to ship in March and they’re just starting to ship now.
How are you adapting your business to meet the needs of your clientele?
From a global perspective, we have been pivoting and looking at other industries outside of our normal business. Anything we can do to keep the lights on. We actually already made hospital beds for some hospitals and we’re manufacturing protective screens for our retail and cannabis clients.
From a business perspective, we are really pushing a lot of communication and making sure that we’re in touch with all of our people and that they’re a part of this process. We are effectively communicating so the team feels like they’re a part of the whole organization. Zoom has been our best friend. From a serviceability standpoint, our design and project management teams haven’t felt any issue with dealing with the clients and our ability to service them properly. The biggest issue would be turning the design into a manufactured item and the delay in that process.
I would say thank God we have the cannabis business to rely on because our traditional retail fixturing has virtually dried up.
Are you experiencing an uptick or decline in business?
Well, I would say thank God we have the cannabis business to rely on because our traditional retail fixturing has virtually dried up. Overall, we have a decline in business due to the uncertainty with retailers being closed and doing nothing, retrenching and just trying to survive. The last thing they’re thinking about is, “Oh, we’re going to build new stores.” So we’re lucky we’re in the cannabis sector and we do have a bunch of work. But there’s promise and we now feel there is a flurry of activity as people feel like the worst is over. So that’s a positive thing.
What is your takeaway from the new reality of operating during the pandemic?
From an office perspective, we never really knew that we could operate so efficiently working remotely. We’re still able to function properly. A little more organization is required and a little more communication but we’re able to continue to run the business remotely. So all of a sudden, being limited to a bricks-and-mortar physical office, those limitations aren’t there anymore. Now all of that has just gone away. It’s an unlimited capacity because of the ability to communicate virtually. So we’re really positive about that. And we’ll rethink how many people we’ll have to bring back and work physically in the office on a daily basis when this whole thing blows over.
What are you doing to keep it together both on a personal level and business level during these challenging times?
Personally, I started watching Game of Thrones. When the pandemic hit, I hadn’t seen any of the Game of Thrones and now I’m into the sixth season. That’s my break from work. I forced my wife to watch the series with me. It’s been a good break because you’re just really focused on something else and you get away from what you’re normally doing.
As one of the principals of the company, my job is to be a cheerleader and keep morale positive and everyone on the same page. Again, through communication and positivity, we’re keeping everybody upbeat. Generally, you can feel it and you know when you talk to people. It’s amazing how quickly people can adapt so that’s very positive.
To find our more about SevenPoint Interiors read our feature From Coach bags to cannabis: SevenPoint Interiors is striking the perfect balance between artistry and production in the cannabis retail space
The New Canna-Normal is an ongoing Q&A series with the cannabis community as we evolve to greet the new normal.