In Your Shoes - Steve Smith

Steve Smith is the Commercial Director at Cannafull and also Ascend Skincare. Both businesses are based in Perth and supply CBD skincare, beauty and wellness products. Cannafull is a white label operation, dealing with businesses worldwide who wish to associate their own brand with these market leading products. Ascend Skincare is a direct to consumer brand, using it’s own website and online retailers to take it’s range of Award Winning CBD serums to market.

In addition to his roles with these businesses, Steve is also the President of Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce and a non-exec Director of the Scottish esports Hub, a social enterprise that advises people how to gain a career in esports and how to look after themselves mentally and physically once in that career.


This would normally be one of those weeks I would look at my calendar first thing and spend ages wondering how to find the time to do everything. However, a rainy weekend in Brechin meant I was able to get well ahead of the game, so am ready for everything this week throws at me.

I’m off to London in a couple of weeks for a number of meetings and need my diary full to justify the time invested, so a lot of emails, calls and WhatsApp message are flying to get my week filled up. It’s gone well and people seem to have an appetite to meet face to face again, so I’m looking forward to a busy and successful week in June. Cannafull is growing at such a speed that forward planning is essential.

Only one online meeting today, which is a good half a dozen less than usual. It’s with Alison Henderson at DACC, where we talk about the Inbound Trade Mission from India we are hosting this week, our upcoming Board Meeting and AGM and our plans for supporting Scottish Chambers at the Expo in Dubai later in the year. So busy with job one and busy with job two. Lovely.


A full on day with the Chamber started with coffee at Malmaison with Alison Henderson. We spent the day with a company based in India who are looking to invest in the area and they were accompanied by a Dundee native, Paul Dryden MBE, who is with the British High Commission in Chennai.

We then visited Albacom and were hosted by Jim Davidson, Graham Hall and John Wilson, who gave us a most interesting tour of their facility. Onwards to Sleeperz with Manny Baber who set us up with a lovely lunch, then a Teams meeting with Anita Taylor and Frances Stevenson at DJCAD, before finishing with a tour of ATL Turbine Services, fantastically represented by Dale Harris.

Our guests were left blown away by the positivity of the Dundonian connections we met and by the vibrancy of their businesses and the commercial community we have in the city and wider region.

As I’d not had time for the day job during the day, I had a couple of calls with prospective clients in the evening, caught up with many emails and Whatsapp messages, wrote a blog on Organisational Learning and uploaded a few pictures from the day on my Linkedin profile.


Off early this morning as we have a number of internal meetings in the office in Perth, which is over an hour away from my Angus home. We’ve recently had work done in the facility and it’s a pleasure to see it looking all shiny and new. We have a couple of strategy meetings around both our businesses, as Cannafull is a B2B operation, with Ascend Skincare being D2C, so very different animals and very different routes to market.

We hosted visitors to the facility too, in the shape of UMI Finance Scotland, who provide loan capital to SMEs throughout Scotland. Being in the Cannabis industry, a number of traditional finance offerings, insurance policies and advertising campaigns are closed off to us. But the team at UMI are keen to support emerging and growing businesses of all kinds, so it was a pleasure to have them look around the facility. We even managed to escape the office and head into Perth City Centre for lunch.

It was then a few calls from the office, then the drive home, getting in the door with a couple of minutes to spare before a Teams call with a prospective client in Medellin, Colombia. Finished a busy day by noting down some touch points for a wee speech I was due to make the next day.


I had a clear morning in my diary so was able to catch up with some calls and admin (I despise admin, although know it’s essential to keep all my information updated). My inbox looks a bit more manageable around lunchtime, then it was time to join my fellow Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce board members for our quarterly Board Meeting, before a quick break to fill up my water bottles and then going straight into the Chamber AGM.

Obviously, our Chamber meetings have had a different flavour over the last year or so and this was again a virtual event, ran on a platform called Slingshow. We had great support from many local organisations who agreed to have virtual stands at the event and there was great energy and positivity in each virtual room. It means so much to us that businesses are willing to support initiatives like this.

The meeting was a high point for me, as it was during this that I was voted on to become President of the Chamber. A huge honour for me and one that is truly humbling. I’ve seen a few Chamber Presidents in my time in the region and I’ve got some big shoes to fill, but if I’m half as effective as the likes of Colin Loveday, Ian Collins and James Buchan, I’ll be doing just fine.

I spend my evening on Linkedin, answering numerous positive posts and messages about the AGM and my new role. I use Linkedin a lot and find it a great asset to both my business and personal brands. It takes work and time to get right, but once you get in the flow of using the platform, it is extremely rewarding.


Back to the day job to finish off the week and a couple of Teams calls in the morning. My life has changed immeasurably over the course of 2021, going from discussing the benefits of quality IT Support, to chatting about the benefits of CBD in skincare routines and sexual wellness. It’s been a head spinning time, but I’m now going with the flow and loving every moment.

Had a catch up over lunch with a new business connection, Brian Houston, who runs the new Scottish Esports Hub, a social enterprise that guides people into a career in the esports sector and also helps them whilst in that career. A fantastic initiative and one I have agreed to take an active role in.

Friday finishes like it always does with a Teams meeting to discuss progress on our company 90 day plan, to wash up what we have all been up to during the week and to ask for help from those we need to be involved in anything we have on the following week. We always end with our individual “Wins of the Week” and my Chamber exploits took pride of place. The moment the call ended, it was into the car to pick up my two perfect daughters for a lovely sunny weekend.