Founders Libby Cooper and Scott Sundvor tell us how they built a life and a business together.
When they first got together many years ago, Libby Cooper and Scott Sundvor were working full-time jobs at startups. But right away, they knew they'd want to do something creative together. Since then, they've quit those jobs and now work exclusively on Space Coyote, a concentrate-infused pre-roll brand that prizes quality, collaboration, and sustainability above all else. We got the chance to chat with them in Joshua Tree about their journey and what they're looking forward to doing next.
How did you guys meet?
Scott: Libby and I are engaged now, but long before that, we had wanted to work together. We'd done small projects together before but hadn't had the right fit for something larger than that. I had founded a company before this, which I left due to a combination of health reasons and just wanting to start thinking about the next thing. And the timing just aligned really well that Libby and I could get started on doing something together. And we knew that we wanted it to be a cannabis company.
“That was me at the other end of the ad.”
Libby: I had been working in the cannabis industry previously. And Scott was trying to decide whether he was going to leave Nima, which is actually how we met. I have celiac disease and his company made food allergy sensors so that people with celiac disease and peanut allergies can test their food to make sure it's safe for them to eat. And I was a consumer researcher for it at the very beginning. I actually answered a Facebook ad in 2013 that said, "Do you have celiac disease? Do you want free lunch?" I was like, why yes, this is oddly specific.
Scott: That was me at the other end of the ad.
Libby: So, when we actually met up for that lunch, it was completely recorded. He was showing me the prototype and asking different use cases and I felt like it was a first date. I was like, he's the one. I went home and I told my parents that I had met the one. I told all of my cousins, my friends, and my family. It was pretty ridiculous but here we are.
How did the relationship evolve up to the creation of Space Coyote?
Scott: Yeah, so Libby had this great experience from the cannabis industry. I had a lot of experience with physical goods, with the manufacturing side of things and operations, and it just really felt like the perfect fit for us to work together. Literally, there's almost zero overlap in our skill sets, so we're very complementary to each other.
Libby: That lack of overlap in skills makes it really easy. So if there's anything to do with financial modeling, supply chain, product development, Scott is in charge and I completely trust his judgment. And when it comes to anything outward focused, for the brand for example, it's all thumbs up for me.
Scott: We should probably tell you the origin story of the name Space Coyote. That was kind of the jumping-off point for us, for actually starting the company. So, we were in Joshua Tree for my birthday toward the end of 2017. We had a big group of our friends there. It was a new moon and a meteor shower. There may have been some mushroom tea involved. And we just had this incredibly beautiful evening. It was November, so we were bundled up outside and climbing on top of these Joshua Tree boulders. Libby and I talk about this a lot, but we had never felt like we were so just close to space and so unprotected because it literally felt like we were on this boulder flying through outer space thanks to these meteors flying through the sky. And then we started hearing coyotes yipping.
“Being a stoner is something to be celebrated.”
Libby: Yeah, we were space coyotes. So we had the name for Space Coyote, but we both hadn't left our respective jobs yet. And we didn't have a product. It was pretty incredible to have a name before anything else.
Scott: Then the product just made a lot of sense for us, too, because we had been rolling our own infused joints, and that was one of our favorite things to do—to combine different hash, different extracts with different flower pairings, and just create that experience that we were looking for in every joint. Once we had this amazing name Space Coyote, we were like, "Wow, that would go really well with our favorite product: infused joints."
Libby: I had had a lot of insights while working at Eaze. Mostly that the price-to-THC ratio is king and that heritage market stoners were not really getting new products built for them. There were a lot of legacy products that were on shelves, but all of these new companies coming out were low-dose and/or CBD-focused. A lot of things, which I actually disagree with, were directed at women and then that was inherently low-dose. We believe that women can be stoners, too. And being a stoner is something to be celebrated.
The other flip side of it was health reasons. When you actually consume very potent, high-THC products, it helps a lot of autoimmune diseases. And we wanted to make a product that was beneficial in the medicinal sense but had no medicinal branding. We want this to be a fun experience. So if someone is using Space Coyote for chronic pain, we still want it to be this fun, psychedelic, celebratory experience.