(3TV/CBS 5) - Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are just are two of the most recognizable and eccentric CEOs out there.

But there is one wild CEO right here in the Valley some of your kids probably follow on Instagram.

His name is Josh Kesselman and he is the founder of RAW Rolling Papers, a global brand that is one of the biggest in the business.

Kesselman spends his days doing normal CEO stuff, ya know, smoking blunts and getting pulled around the warehouse lot in his Ferrari.

RAW PAPERS 2 ACE 11622_frame_0.jpg

If you stop and listen to Kesselman describe rolling papers, you would think he is describing wine or a classic car.

OK, if it is not clear by now, Kesselman is one unique boss.

And it hasn’t been a party this whole time. Kesselman has spent the past few decades building RAW Papers to the name it is today.

“I love Arizona,” he said. “I still look at it with those same eyes as I did when I was a kid.”

That was back in New York City where Kesselman grew up.

He moved to Florida for college and started opening up smoke shops there after quickly losing interest in a career in accounting. He later moved to Arizona where RAW products were born.

If you stop and listen to Kesselman describe rolling papers, you would think he is describing wine or a classic car.

He said he has been fascinated with rolling papers ever since he was a kid. His dad would do a "magic trick" where he would light a thin rolling paper and toss it in the air. It would burn up and disappear like magic.

We met up for a tour of his massive 100,000-square-foot warehouse in Buckeye, AZ.

RAW PAPERS 2 ACE 11651_frame_253.jpg

We met up for a tour of his massive 100,000-square-foot warehouse in Buckeye, AZ.

Kesselman of course had us try a skateboard as a way to get around the warehouse, the RAW logo emblazoned on the board.

“It’s a big place man, it would take forever to get around,” he said followed by a laugh.

Kesselman said the secret to his success, which now includes a multi-million-dollar business with factories across the globe, has been listening to the customer.

“We are innovative, we are fast, we are doing everything that a giant corporation can’t do.”

What makes him unlike most CEOs is that he talks directly to his loyal fans on his Instagram page which has hundreds of thousands of followers.

He gives tutorials, features new products, and just has a lot of fun.

His customers love him, but his competitors can’t stand him, he said.

“So yes, they absolutely hate us,” he said. “If I was them I would hate me too. They think I am ridiculous, but I am ridiculous!”

Kesselman said his carefree mantra is not about getting famous or traction on social media, it is about living a free life.

“That’s all I wanted,” he said. “And the more success that came with all of this, the more I was allowed to be free. And I started making myself freer and freer and getting ridiculous, have this ridiculous hair and dress any way I wanted.”

Around the warehouse Kesselman looks more like the lead singer of a band than the boss.

And it is not all fun and games. His company has donated millions of dollars to charity to help build wells and bring water to parts of Africa that struggled to survive without it.

Kesselman said you cannot take the millions to the grave, so you might as well do some good while you can.

This CEO, who built his business from scratch with very little money, said one of the key secrets to his success is getting up after you fall down.

“There’s so much opportunity, even when things seemed darkest and the worst moments of my life, they’ve often pushed me into the best moments of my life,” he said.

To see more of Josh Kesselman head to his Instagram page here.

An Arizona native, born and raised in Mesa, and graduate of Arizona State University, meteorologist Ian Schwartz brings you the forecast weekday mornings on CBS 5 This Morning.
 
 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

Recommended for you

(2) comments

bonyjoe

Why is this news worthy? I get it, all the weed smokers look up to him...?

Wazoolie

So what’s special about his papers? Pre soaked in PCP/

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.