A Nutshell Customer Story


BY ashante-clemons

The U.S. cannabis industry is booming, and small cannabis businesses, often referred to as the “moms and pops” of the industry, are seeking ways to carve out their niche in this rapidly growing market. MERCHtender, a pioneering company created by Jean Rousseau and Sean Knight, offers a lifeline to these small cannabis brands by helping them connect with customers and navigate the complexities of merchandise marketing.

MERCHtender successfully utilized Nutshell CRM to address their challenges and achieve remarkable results.

The Challenge

MERCHtender’s journey began during the height of the pandemic when Jean and Sean, separated by over 1,000 miles and COVID restrictions, decided to pool their shared passions for technology, cannabis, and branding. They initially aimed to guide cannabis brands from concept to merchandise manufacturing but quickly realized that brands were struggling with merchandise and sales. Jean explains their realization, “We initially explored it more from the B2B side, thinking that the service would really be just us behind-the-scenes working with the brands.”

The challenge at hand was twofold. Firstly, MERCHtender needed to efficiently manage leads, track outreach communication, and assess the effectiveness of marketing efforts. Secondly, they sought a CRM that could adapt to their evolving needs, facilitate growth, and integrate seamlessly into their daily operations.

“I had a whole card system, and that was my whole Nutshell, right there. My management tool was literally ceiling tiles because they make good pinboards. There would be four or five ceiling tiles right in front of me. It was old school, right?”

The Solution

In their quest for an effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, MERCHtender explored several platforms. After evaluating options like HubSpot, Copper, Monday, and Cannabiz Media, they discovered Nutshell.

“For me, Nutshell was straightforward, but watching your [knowledge base] videos was great. Just having that knowledge the first few weeks, lightbulbs were constantly going off. Every time we had those lightbulb moments in Nutshell, we kept nerding out on how much we liked it!”

The Results

Since adopting Nutshell CRM, MERCHtender has seen significant improvements in their operations.

“We’ve opened ourselves up to the industry in the last few months utilizing Nutshell, and it’s been a big success for us. We’re seeing how the data is coming in, how it’s being siloed using Nutshell’s extremely powerful filtering features. These are tools that we need to connect with our brand partners as well as our marketplace customers.”

Here’s how Nutshell helped MERCHtender grow:

  1. Streamlined Operations: Nutshell CRM simplified their workflow, enabling Jean and Sean to efficiently manage leads, track outreach communication, and assess the effectiveness of marketing efforts.
  2. Scalability: Nutshell CRM proved to be a perfect fit for their startup, offering the potential to scale as they grow. Sean states, “We were trying to find the right fit for us, for the stage that we’re at as a small startup with the ability to grow. If we did have a fast growth rate, you know, could we scale with the product?”
  3. Data-Driven Growth: Nutshell CRM’s data management capabilities have empowered MERCHtender to make informed decisions and connect with both brand partners and customers effectively.
  4. Ease of Collaboration: With the CRM in place, MERCHtender is ready to expand its team. Jean continues, “Right now, it’s just the two of us, so there’s a lot of ease in making modifications and changes. But we feel very strongly about our ability to create a process that, ultimately, we can have others adopt fairly quickly. That’s our goal. We’re creating a Nutshell that makes sense, not just ourselves but for our team as we grow.”


Jean Rousseau and Sean Knight’s journey from concept to a successful company in the heart of a pandemic is a testament to their vision, determination, and the enabling capabilities of Nutshell CRM.

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