In 2014 Rosie Mattio founded one of the top cannabis public relations agencies in the country, Mattio Communications. Named #1 PR Firm by the Greenmarket Report, her impressive client list includes Headset, Canndescent, TerrAscend, and LeafLink.
Raised in the Bronx, New York, she now makes her home in the New Jersey suburbs. Her path to the plant and its industry came after a stint in Chicago for her husband’s work, followed by Seattle.
Eventually, she moved her company to New York City, diving headfirst into representing movers and shakers in the cannabis industry from coast to coast.
Her husband, Daniel, eventually left his prominent finance career as a hedge fund portfolio manager to be a stay-at-home father so Rosie could focus on her company.
“I’m very domestic,” she explained. “I love to cook, love to do things around the house—but, I’m laser-focused on work.”
With four daughters under the age of 10 at home, Mattio said she is blessed to have Daniel, who understands what it takes for her to have a successful business and a fulfilling family life at home.
“I’m unapologetic in my lifestyle, and I suppose that makes me a feminist,” she laughed. “Women can choose a man who supports their endeavors. You can run a business and have a good homelife with a family.”
She also takes time for herself, working out six days a week, but that’s also a nod to the hubby.
“My husband is amazing,” she gushed. “He has so much patience and shines in his role at home with the girls. When my business started taking off Daniel stepped up to the plate and said, I’ve got this. I was a soccer mom, so it wasn’t easy letting go of that part of my domestic life, but it’s working out perfectly.”
From Seed To Boom
Educated in public relations and image management, Mattio earned a degree from Boston University. Her mainstream public relations knowledge came from working with Alison Broad Marketing & Communications, then Rubenstein Assoc., with a focus on social media influencers and branded content.
In the past year her company has doubled in size to 20 employees, 75 percent of whom are women. And though she doesn’t consider herself a “hardcore feminist”, she’s proud of the female vibe in the office.
Mattio said she’s worked with Headset from its beginning, six years now, but her first two clients were from the food and tech wheelhouse, with The Stoner’s Cookbook and Herb—a beautiful coffee-table worthy cookbook that tips the stoner stigma on its head.
“I wanted to step-up and knew I could bring my mainstream experience to the cannabis industry,” she added. “It didn’t hurt that the New York Times was clamoring to write the story.”
In 2019, Mattio raised a seed round to fuel the growth of the company. Never having raised funds prior, she actually found she enjoyed the process of sourcing seed money.
“We closed the first round of funding and expanded services from public relations to SEO, investor relations, event planning, thought leadership, and influencer marketing,” she detailed. “People never say raising funds is fun, but I really thought it was. We went to strategic funders and they all said yes on the first phone call. We had a vision of bringing tremendous value to the industry. This is why we’ve grown as we have.”
All About The Plant
Cannabis had not been part of Mattio’s everyday life until she relocated to Seattle in 2014, on the eve of recreational use in the state.
“When I moved to Seattle I wanted to learn as much as I could about cannabis,” she said. “I found that the more you learn, the more you become an advocate. You can’t help but make it your mission to move the conversation forward.”
Mattio said she tried various products, and paid attention to the marketing and use of social media in promoting products.
“In learning the rules, and learning to work within the rules, we’ve become experts, intimate with the plant,” she said. “Most of our employees consume the plant in some way.”
As for herself, Mattio said she uses Papa & Barkley’s tinctures and capsules. She says CBD loosens her up, helps her to push a little harder during her workouts.
“I hurt my back last year and started using the Papa & Barkley patches. Massage oils help, and I use both CBD and THC products. Actually, 3:20 is my CBD hour,” she laughed. “If I have a sweet tooth, I’ll enjoy a Kat’s Naturals high CBD in dark chocolate.”
When her husband turned 40, he tried cannabis for the first time.
“He really wanted to try, what he called, ‘pot chocolates.’” She laughed. “Get me 10 milligram edibles and call me in the morning! We were laughing so hard my face hurt. He doesn’t consume regularly, but he does like and use the tinctures and balms now.”
With her supportive husband on board all the way around for her business, Mattio sees nothing but success ahead.
“We generated four times the revenue in 2019 than the year prior,” she concluded. “This happened while simultaneously managing school drop-offs and getting home-cooked dinners on the table!”
Mattio feels hopeful for the future of the industry, in doing away with the stigma, and in her company helping others move forward in a positive way.
“The fact that cannabis was deemed essential during the pandemic was a huge development for our industry,” she surmised. “The skies the limit on what we can do now with this plant and for each other in the space.”