Jade Daniels 0:01
We started off by just going to farms and like dressing up grower girls and making them feel beautiful and fun and funky and putting wigs on them. And so that happened in 2017. And then we really just did it as a blog. And that kind of escalated pretty quickly. We did a launch party, and we’re like, oh, maybe we should do cannabis events, because there weren’t a whole lot of cannabis consumption events in this space. And if they were they were, you know, just brand new Yeah. And like not, yeah, not really like fun, not our vibe. And so we did this launch party. The first one we did was only girls invited all these really cool girls in the industry. But we quickly just realized that there was a need for community and for culture and for somewhere for people to come together and just smoke and chill and play music dance, you know?
You’re listening to To be blunt, be podcast for cannabis marketers. Were your host Shayda Torabi and her guests are trailblazing the path to marketing, educating and professionalizing cannabis light one up and listen up. Here’s your host Shayda Torabi.
Shayda Torabi 1:23
Hello, and welcome back to the podcast. Just in case you forgot you are listening to the To be blunt podcast. My name is Shayda Torabi, I am your host if you are new. Welcome. If this is a repeat, listen. Thanks for being here. It really is exciting to be reflecting on how many episodes I’ve recorded already. I don’t know if you’ve listened to all of them. But they’ve certainly taught me a lot as I navigate cannabis from my corner of the world. And it really is a testament that no two brands are the same. No two stories are the same. And I think the biggest excitement for me personally is there isn’t just one road to the top there isn’t just one way. And so I think that’s really what I hope and will continue to hope and champion with this podcast. That’s what I want you to take away from these episodes, I hope that you are walking away inspired, and able to think more creatively. And so with that said, I really can’t believe that this is Episode 21 already. And we’ve got a pretty fun show today because I have to badass emphasis on the badass women, J. Daniels and Harley case. They’re the co founders of ladies of Paradise, a creative cannabis influenced agency that really intersects everything from branding and creative to events and social media. And on top of it, they also operate their own line of pre rolls under the brand name lady J’s. So they’re doing a lot. They’re living these beautiful, fabulous, cool looking lives. And I’m just excited to get to know these women more than what I’ve seen on social media. And they sit in a very juicy position in my opinion, because operating in a THC legal adult use market is very different than how the CBD market operates. So I’m really eager to welcome them to the show and learn more about their story and share it with you guys. So
Unknown Speaker 3:44
let’s jump right in. My name is Jade Daniels. I’m founder and co owner of ladies paradise and Lady J’s. And we’re a creative marketing company out of Portland and Lady Jays is our pre roll line which we sell in hemp and also THC here in the state of Oregon.
Harley Case 4:03
I’m a Harley and I’m one of the others and our creative director.
Shayda Torabi 4:07
Ladies a paradise let’s dive into that. First it seems like that’s like the overarching brand that you guys are operating at sounds like Lady js is underneath that you have a creative house I was looking on social media Of course stalking you guys so plug for that everybody needs to go follow ladies of paradise. Your aesthetic is obviously very feminine, but very empowering, very fun, very confident and bold, which I think is very disruptive for cannabis where it’s been traditionally a very male dominated plant or industry. So just like how did you start? Where did the ideas come from? Let’s just pick it apart from there.
Unknown Speaker 4:41
Sure. Well, actually ladies and when I started Originally, we just changed a jewelry company and was traveling all over the world importing really, really bold, cool jewelry. Both of us are pretty like out there women in general. And so we really, we’ve really like made sure that our brands have been like a really good thing. reflection of who we are because we’re going to be spending our days doing it, we want it to be like, we love it, and for it to show that we love it. But ladies, Paradise is a creative agency. And we mainly specialize in the cannabis industry. But we actually have been branching out recently. And it’s been really awesome. And we do videography and photography, branding, website design, our main focus has been helping people speak to their female audience, helping people reach the women out there that maybe don’t exactly fit into just the feminine box, because that’s something that we saw too, like it was super male dominated. And then there was a feminine touch. But the feminine touch was like this super pale pink cursive writing, like, and we’re like, we don’t fit into either of those boxes. You know, like, we’re the like loud, crazy girls that are coming in like Jade like skateboards, and we wanted to be able to speak to, you know, people that didn’t fit really into either of those boxes. And so when did you found ladies of paradise. So ladies paradise originally was founded in 2014. But then we rebranded in 2017. And we wanted to focus on women who are doing really cool stuff in cannabis, whether it was growers, whether they owned a topical company, whether they supported their husband, or boyfriend, or just did anything like, you know, we just saw so many women doing cool stuff behind the scenes, you know, they’re just like in the background. And so we started off by just going to farms and like dressing up grower girls, and making them feel beautiful, and like fun and funky and putting wigs on them. And so that happened in 2017. And then we really just did it as a blog. And then that kind of escalated pretty quickly. We did a launch party, and we’re like, oh, maybe we should do cannabis events. because there weren’t a whole lot of cannabis events, consumption events to be specific in the space. And if they were they were, you know, just yeah, and like nice. Yeah, not really, like fun, not our vibe. And so we did this launch party. And the first one we did was only girls, and we invited all these really cool girls in the industry. But we quickly just realized that there was a need for community and for culture and for somewhere for people to come together and just smoke and chill and play music dance, you know, play with aliens, like we’re, you know, like we did an alien cowboys vers aliens Party, which was, I think, our favorite party. Yes, absolutely. Um, but yeah, so you know, so then we started doing events, and then that kind of turned into, you know, with our photography and everything. And just the aesthetic that we were doing all these different brands were like, hey, like, you know, started hiring us to do branding and photography and stuff for them. And then it wasn’t until 2018, where we really decided that we needed to come out with our own product, because we were just doing so many cool things for other companies, we wanted something that was like our baby. And so then that’s when lady Jesus born. And we were just so proud of that our joints are like the main way that we all smoke, you know, and so it just kind of was a no brainer for us to start there and put out a pre roll line. And we really liked the packs. And it was really important to us to like be more sustainable than things we had seen. And so like using those plastic do tubes all the time, it didn’t make sense. And so for us it was important to to make something that you could actually be biodegradable and wasn’t gonna have any plastic at all. So that’s something that we’re really proud of. It’s
Shayda Torabi 8:34
just there’s so many amazing things I just want to like peel peel back a little bit here and there. I’m curious so I do marketing as well I mean obviously the whole like point of this podcast is like with a marketing focus on the cannabis industry and Harley sounds like your creative director were you creative director in your previous jobs before this Jade were you doing marketing creating content before this? Or was this just like you being creative and being organically you and then kind of like what you were saying Jade you were just doing this in the space and other people started seeing how badass it was. And then that’s where then it was maybe an opportunity for you to turn it into a business. I just want to kind of understand a
Jade Daniels 9:14
little bit of everything. And
Harley Case 9:15
I personally have been entrepreneurs since I graduated high school. I never went to college. So like I feel like for me like photography and getting like a brand out there and showing people the world like what was like in my heart and soul was always kind of what I was doing. But it’s always just been like for me or for me and Jane. And it’s worked out pretty well. Yeah, and I did go to school, I went to University of Houston and I majored in public relations and then a minor in international business and creative writing. And so I i really kind of took my time going to college like a lot of people go to college and they you’re like I went to school for anthropology and now I’m a you know, I don’t know like, but you know, and so for me it Really, I took a year off, I really, I really waited because I wanted to do something that I was really going to value and something that was really going to help me in what I wanted to do in the long run. And I feel like I really did that. But I will say to that the space that we entered, like, there was no, you know, prerequisites for like, you know, the cannabis industry is new. And, you know, a lot of times, we would just take on stuff that we didn’t know how to do. And we would totally do that. Oh, yeah, for sure. Yeah. And we’ve done this a million times. And you know, and it was fine, it’s fine to do like that. And also, it really pushes you to branch out and think outside the box. And really just tackle things that you’re not comfortable with. And we’ve learned some lessons here and there. But for the most part, we’ve really, we’ve really handled that. And I would say like experience to like I mean, you weren’t, you know, your vintage company, and like you did all of your own, like you were your own creative creative director, you’re just more of like a one woman show. And I think that it’s all kind of built the platform for us to do like what we’re doing now. And that it has been really cool, because I feel like we did not set out to do what we were doing at all It absolutely has like, just came really, really organically. That’s been really awesome.
Shayda Torabi 11:18
Well, I think it’s such an interesting point of the conversation, which I hope people are paying attention to. It’s like this industry is so new. So we were kind of touched on a little bit before we started recording. There’s nobody really before you were before us who you can kind of look to in the industry and say, Oh, that’s how you achieve success, or that’s a really great campaign. I think so much of the culture is and was still obviously there. And it’s kind of the same. I mean, like you mentioned smoking, I think smoking a joint is very, you know, defining of being a cannabis consumer and I’m happy to see that it is continuing to be popular. But I think when you are starting to layer on those different aspects of it becoming more mainstream normalizing, you’re having different states go legalize, it’s just creating different dynamics and so on that front y’all are in Oregon. Obviously Colorado and California have been doing it I think longer and if you’re looking on paper, but I think Oregon has really come out as being like a quality epicenter for cannabis and I don’t know a ton about Oregon cannabis to be honest. So I’d love if y’all could share a little bit of a pulse of what it’s been like in Oregon. I don’t know if it’s been super THC. Obviously you’ll also have lady Jays which does have a CBD line. So kind of how does that work? How does that blend? Why did you get into CBD and THC?
Unknown Speaker 12:41
Okay, so that’s one way Oregon was legal before California right? So for California, but after Colorado Exactly. So we took some notes from Colorado that California has been doing its own thing. Well I feel like leading in in testing and in like standards I feel like our standard testing and procedures are really high in Oregon and it’s really cool the way that we’ve done things. But for me growing up I grew up in in Southern Oregon and the traditional market was like poppin forever and so like we were all trimming like almost died in high school and it didn’t really crazy actually to see like the difference like changing you know, the legalization happening, but it’s just a community hit like that’s the community like it’s it has been for like since the 60s 70s. And this whole community especially in Southern Oregon is just like a grower community, and then sense the farm bill passed like you just now see like orchards getting torn down and hemp fields going up, vineyards getting torn down and hemp fields going up. And so you know in the beginning like when it was just retros you know, you had to have this nine foot fence blocking your plants you couldn’t see anything and then now like since hemp is legal and hemp looks exactly like weed, you know, it’s just like boom out there everywhere it smells like right now it’s harvest season crop tober you know and so everywhere it just like especially in the evenings you could just get it is like really like pungent meat smell
Unknown Speaker 14:10
everywhere, even driving on the freeway through
Unknown Speaker 14:12
getting off the air really because like our airplanes, our airports really small so you get off the airplane like outside and walk down a little thing and you’re just like, I’m home. And as far as us wanting to do THC and CBD like we started with THC in Oregon and saw that, like, we can handle it and that it was going well. And so obviously, you know, we’re always wanting to grow our company and we’re like, okay, CBD and CBG like we can reach more people and so it was a no brainer for us that we should, you know, at least try that market as well. And, you know, our goal to in the long run is obviously national legalization to happen and until then, you know, we’re working on licensing deals and other states for THC and just being able to put our brand in the hands of people who can’t get it medicinally or I mean The State of Oregon only right now was obviously appealing to us because we want our brand to be a household name brand that like people go to and people know about. Like I see it being like American spirits and like all their different packs you know, like I want lady days to be like oh, here’s our CBG here’s our CVS and here’s our CBD. Here’s our THC you know, so that’s really like the end goal is to really just saturate the market and and really expand that with CBD and then hit hard with THC when we when we can. When it gets to expand like you said international
Shayda Torabi 15:33
distribution, which is such a dream. I can’t wait for that day. I love what you’ve done in terms of growing the brand and expanding it I am curious. I’m assuming it was easier to do it in Oregon with CBD I mean, so running restart which is my CBD brand out of Austin and Jade you’re from Texas, right like you were born in Texas or you just went to college in Texas.
Unknown Speaker 15:55
I went to high school in college there but I’m an army brat so I moved around Texas had a part of your life I called Texas Texas is home I would say Texas and Oregon are like my home you know splitting
Shayda Torabi 16:06
your heart Yeah, totally. And I think with that then you’re probably familiar with what’s going on in Texas I think from my perspective as somebody who’s like really into cannabis and has traveled to different legal states to partake to experience to enjoy, do research whatever you want to call it and it’s really fascinating because Texas doesn’t have legal marijuana. What the CBD market was going to be like an is presently is just like blowing my mind up because I remember being a teenager you know, in high school and smoking pot with my friends and now to see us having this conversation professionally about hemp at least in Texas I think has opened up the cannabis conversation in general. So I’m saying all this because I think depending on where you are setting your brand up for this for people listening you may or may not have access to obviously THC legality as well as him obviously hemp legal everywhere but I just mean the THC component and so how did you even get into thinking of like CBG is a cannabinoid like a CBD really that big in Oregon or is it still really THC focused slash was really the CBD CBG hemp side just more on the the branding and the distribution or do you really like how does that work? So he saw a lot more CBD Odyssey you can go to a dispensary and buy they they offer CBD but I think that first states where cannabis THC is legal. And you can access that I think people kind of gravitate towards that over CBD. But like, you know, again, like for states like Texas where you know, it’s exciting. Like it looks like weed and it smells like weed and I kind of feel a little something,
Unknown Speaker 17:49
you know, it’s like it’s a good gateway because the only people that like, aren’t like pot smokers, you know what I mean? And we’re like trying to, like ease them in. So I feel like there is a good amount of people that do prefer it in Oregon, we’re mainly choosing DC. Yeah,
Shayda Torabi 18:03
yeah, I just think it’s such an interesting distinction because most brands are picking a side versus seeing brands that are kind of taking advantage of both. I think y’all are just in a really interesting position. Being an Oregon where so much hemp is being grown, like you said, I mean, we source all of our smokable hemp from Oregon farmers. And it’s just a very big epicenter for hemp for the National distribution. But then obviously knowing that THC is legal there. It’s just such an interesting kind of contrast for brands, I just don’t see a lot of brands doing it. So the fact that y’all were like, you know what, let’s go ahead and also take advantage of this really popular plant that is, to your point, Harley, I think that gateway, it’s opening the door, it’s cracking it open for someone who maybe doesn’t want to be super stoned out of their mind, who’s maybe heard there’s some medicinal benefits. They’re curious. They’re interested to kind of dip their toe in the water. And yeah, it’s been a really fun journey. But y’all are the first people that I’ve had on the show that have crossed the line and done kind of both types of products. And so it’s just always interesting to learn why people are choosing to play in both those worlds because we get asked all the time people are like, are you going to open a dispensary when Texas becomes legal? And I think a lot of the sentiment for states that are not medicinal or rec legal yet is is a gateway maybe one day we can open that dialogue or that dispensary up. But obviously for us in Texas, we’re just trying to navigate with what we can play with. So it’s very interesting. But yeah, I’d love to know a little bit to how, how the politics and how the laws affect or make what you do harder or if you don’t even really feel affected by them because I find that so much of the roadblocks in our way are actually creative growth points.
Unknown Speaker 19:48
Oh yeah, there’s a lot of living in the gray area and you know, trying to find ways around things and that’s nothing new to this industry like you know, Texas banning the smokable hemp recently, I mean, that was big for us because we have a lot of wholesale clients in Texas and you know that immediately just cut off all of them like none of them could reorder and and so you know we’re we’re also trying to get more involved in like the political side of things and what we can do and what we can use our platform for to really expand just the knowledge on like, what’s happening Hey, you guys are in Texas, you smoke lady Jays, hey, go sign this petition, and, you know, just things like that, where we can just find what we can do to help that because I’m living in the gray area and dodging around things is not a fun way to operate your business. And, you know, it requires legal counsel and all sorts of things. And so, I mean, I don’t know while this is really fun industry that we like, stumbled into it’s also got its hurdles and, and so it hasn’t been like an easy journey for us. And it continues to, to be that way until I think national legalization and then after that happens, and there’s just so oh my god, all the rules, it’s going to come with that and oh, how are we going to do this? Or where’s this? You know, so yeah, and then also there’s like other legal stuff, like the marketing aspect of it as well and like trying to grow people’s platform online without like, talking about money or sales or like showing the product in certain ways or smoking in certain ways. And so like, being in charge of other of like, being charged with the possibility of people’s accounts getting shut down, because because you said the wrong verbiage or whatever, like there’s, there’s a lot of it’s really crazy actually to like, the amount of stuff that you can’t mention and that you have to like, you have to really navigate in a really interesting way.
Unknown Speaker 21:45
How do you keep up
Unknown Speaker 21:47
I feel like I look on a regular basis to see if any, like new laws have came forward with with the way that you can advertise it’s been pretty much the same. Yeah, in the past couple don’t say prices, and say where you can find your stuff, but you can’t say how much it costs or you can actually be consuming it you can almost be consuming it can hold it in your hand but it can’t be smoking it like in your mouth like so. It’s like interesting to like you know, you can run ads on Instagram but you have to make sure to like not mention CBD hemp cannabis, if you bought it like we like we’re about to run an ad with for our packs. And we had to like actually Photoshop all of the like cannabis leaves from the packaging to make it like pass. And so there’s like loopholes that you can use. But like, you have to know the loopholes. And a lot of it is like trial and error too. And then like asking the community and like figure, you know, figuring out instead of school,
Shayda Torabi 22:40
well, there’s like, a sweet spot too, because it sounds like you started the agency before you launched lady js. So it sounds like you were doing some industry stuff kind of dipping your toes in the water. Like you said Harley, it’s like, Okay, I’m doing this for a client like fingers crossed that I you know, set it up the right way that it doesn’t pull their account down or the ad you know, gets pulled off for whatever money gets lost. But then now you obviously have your own brand. So I think there’s a little bit maybe more, I don’t know if I’m more bold on my own personal, you know, CBD brand, where it’s like, oh, like, let’s just see what happens. Like everything you explained Express like we’ve we’ve tested the waters and I’ve had some videos that have been me smoking straight up with a bog hemp, of course, but with a bomb, and Instagrams, like, we don’t like that we’re taking it down. And then sometimes I’ll post the exact same video just with, you know, different background and Instagrams, like, Yeah, go ahead, like, here’s, you know, thousands of views. And I’m like, I don’t understand what works. And so obviously, when you do it for yourself, I can have that tolerance of, well, if my account gets pulled down, it’s my fault. I did this, but as a marketer, somebody who likes creating content, like I want to create that content. I don’t, I don’t want to be like, Oh, I’m just not going to post this stuff. Because I think I personally feel an obligation to help normalize it. I’m sure you all feel the same way. It’s like you ended up in this industry and you’re like, how do we help other people see that this is a plant it has all these medicinal benefits. It’s a better alternative to other types of vices. Hey, it’s just a fucking plant. Like let’s just be cool. It’s just a plant and navigating that so I think it’s a it’s kind of a funky world that we get to live in. Have you had any major shifts with social media for any clients?
Unknown Speaker 24:23
Um, just things getting taken down really, we haven’t been in charge of anyone’s accounts getting deleted, which I am so so so grateful for but like kind of on a different note, like we’ve had like all of our accounts shut down, you know what I mean? Like QuickBooks and like square. And you know, we recently actually just got kicked out of Chase, like, literally there. It’s, it’s crazy. We didn’t get a PPP loan. My only assumption is that they looked at what we do and saw what we do and so things like that, that are big that like, you know, thank god like, at least cannabis was a Essential and, you know, during COVID, and everything, so that kind of kept us afloat. But I mean, we were affected heavily by that. I mean, who was it? You know? And so yeah, we’ve definitely had a lot of hurdles on the business side of even being a marketing company that works with cannabis companies that doesn’t own a license, you know, it’s really affected us a lot. So that’s kind of to like, you know, the idea behind ladies of Paradise being the brand house, and then having the cannabis brands underneath that. And we’ve also tried to differentiate ourselves and be like, Hey, we actually work with other, you know, non cannabis brands, too, like, we are a marketing company, we are not a cannabis marketing company, you know, we’ve had our issues there. But
Shayda Torabi 25:46
yeah, I think that that’s the key is just kind of navigating it as best you can. And obviously, sometimes you’re gonna let things slide by which is great. And sometimes certain things you do get caught in it, you know, maybe pushes you a couple steps back. But that’s really crazy about all those business solutions that you mentioned. I mean, I relate, I can’t be on PayPal, PayPal not only shut my personal account down, they should everybody in my family down
Unknown Speaker 26:14
everyone, Emily down
Shayda Torabi 26:16
everyone in my family. And it’s funny, and maybe y’all can relate to this. My background is corporate tech marketing. So I come from platforms, e commerce, hosting, and when I was launching our brand, I was like, online, so easy, I can do e commerce, like, let me just go set this up, I guess I can like make an e commerce store and take somebody’s money with payment merchant, obviously very confronted with the realities of that. And so as I was navigating that over the last two years, I think we’re in a comfortable space, but it scares me because we’re on platforms that don’t allow us to grow. And so you’re kind of in this, while I would like to grow my business, but I don’t actually know what platform is going to let me go grow my business. And so you’re stuck kind of in a cycle of holding out Fingers crossed, praying to the gods hoping that at a national level at a state level, the laws change that these platforms open up. But yeah, it’s been really freaky, because I have people in my friend group who are professionals, and you know, tech and digital, and they’re like, Shayda, why don’t you just use PayPal? Or like, why don’t you just use Shopify? And I’m like, I don’t think you listen to me on the Internet at all. I might complain every day how crappy these solutions are. And I’m sorry, Shopify is CBD platform is a joke to me, you can only sell certain products, it doesn’t let you have your full product list on there. And, and that’s just like a small example, as I’m sure y’all know. Even payment merchants I run into people and they’re like, yeah, we can do topicals. But we can’t actually do smokeable. So I’m like, you can’t be my favorite merchant. But I think people getting into the industry or who find themselves in the industry wanting to scale don’t realize that that’s the landscape, and are very shocked when they try to go open a Chase Bank account, and chase shuts them down. And so I guess a question I have to further priors. Was this all under kind of ladies of Paradise, where I guess the persona was more cannabis facing, which is why you’re trying to hopefully distinguish like, Hey, we’re a marketing agency, we do everything. Yeah, exactly. Versus like Lady Jays being targeted. And then lady Jays also has the THC and the CBD under the same brand, though. So that like, that’s really hard because you’re classified as a THC brand. So you’re getting pegged even harder, I feel.
Unknown Speaker 28:27
So with Lady Jays too, though, it also is a marketing asset. So what we do is we sell our packaging to licensed farms. So basically, we send them an invoice, we say, here’s an invoice for this packaging. And then they just, they’re just putting their their flour and their joints in branded packaging. And so that’s how we navigate that side of things. Because Yeah, we don’t own our own license here. We just you can operate under someone else’s license as long as you do it that way. And like I said, like, that’s kind of like, you know, a gray area too. And, but we work with lawyers, and that’s how they do it here and other states as well. And so that’s what we’re working on with like licensing deals. Like right now we’re really working on getting into Oklahoma, which is exciting. And so that’s how we would be setting that up. That’s so
Shayda Torabi 29:18
interesting. I didn’t even know that was a thing in the cannabis space. So let me kind of walk through it. You have to own a license to actually produce grow produce extract or like whatever the the bud and to put it in the packaging and sell it. You’d have to have a license to do that.
Unknown Speaker 29:37
So our packaging to producers and people who have farms,
Shayda Torabi 29:43
and you just built a brand and then that’s their conduit for them selling their bud that they’re growing. Yep. are other people doing this? Are there other brands?
Unknown Speaker 29:52
Yes. So there’s some big brands that we met in that have actually had meetings with in California. Who may probably have heard of too But yeah, that’s how you do it. If you are a marketing company, you don’t have a license. That’s how it gets done like old pal, for example, that does the same thing. And there are a number of brands out there that you probably be surprised lol lol are co they don’t, they don’t have their own farm, their marketing company that works with other firms or that works with firms. It’s cool because honestly, like it lets people stay in their own lane. Guess what the majority of people that are growing are like they don’t know, the on demand. Like they’re not working in marketing. They don’t nor do they care or want to be doing that. And so being able to like, split up some money and like pay people to do different things that they like to do it just like, I feel like it’s a cool
Shayda Torabi 30:42
way to do it. No, you hit the nail on the head. I think that’s such a smart aspect. Because I think so many people get in this industry and they think, obviously like seed to sale like you have to get in the whole kit and caboodle. You have to go licenses open like oh my gosh, you got to get a license. I mean, even for us in Texas, like I don’t want to grow, I don’t like I’m not a farmer, I don’t have a husband, who’s a farmer or whatever, you know, nobody, my family owns a farm. So for me the idea of like, creating a brand that is reliant upon that that chain is really overwhelming to me. And obviously brands do such a good job creating their brand that they don’t obviously disclose some of that aspect of the brand. But I think it’s a really interesting opportunity for people like you said Harley, that people don’t want to necessarily I mean, these growers, like they love growing, they’re passionate about that. Just like you’re passionate about marketing and creating these events or these experiences for someone and so it seems like a nice sweet spot. How do you even source these farmers? So Are y’all I mean friends with these people, because you grew up kind of participating in that side of the industry or
Unknown Speaker 31:46
I feel really blessed for us to be down in Southern Oregon because like we know like, it’s like so many different farms. Like I feel like if one dropped off, we can find another really easily like it’s there’s a plethora like she said, You know, like you’re driving down the freeway there farms everywhere,
Shayda Torabi 32:03
wasn’t like you did the relationship side thing to like you’ve been there, you’ve been putting your goodwill into the community. It’s not just like, Oh, hey, we want to, you know, make this brand and kind of exploited. It’s like, No, we really care about this community and this plant and like, how do we create a brand for people to rally around, that’s different.
Unknown Speaker 32:22
And to like, Southern Oregon, it’s a really small town, you know, and so like me and Jade are like a very different energy for like, what is going on down here. And so it’s cool, because people are like, they feel really excited. They’re like, Oh my gosh, like, these girls are getting, you know, written up in Forbes like that, that wouldn’t happen. Like when you’re one of you know, like hundreds of farms down here. And it’s a good trade off. I feel like that the farms that we work with, like, we like to work with people that we really like, and then we enjoy being around. And so it’s really, I mean, I feel like just in general, we everyone should do that they should
Shayda Torabi 32:53
well, y’all do a good job, I noticed on your packaging, and I’m just like your marketing like you do disclose it, it comes from farms, I guess I was assumptive that, like you had some ownership of the farm. I didn’t understand like the licensing component. But I think that that’s I’m sure something intentional that you chose to do to uplift these farms that you’re working with, as well as connecting the dots for consumers of like, this is a plant these people are growing and guess where it’s coming from, then it
Unknown Speaker 33:20
creates some appeal for FAR obviously, you know, like our press and our write ups and stuff, it creates, you know, appeal for people wanting to put their name on our label. And it says on every label, like where our farm where our flour comes from. And, and so people people want to give us cheaper flower people are you know, they want to work with work with us. Because, you know, we got written up in this. And herb just posted us and tagged you and you know, all sorts of different things. And so I think that that’s really helped us just like the press side of things and working with these farms and really creating a brand that people want to associate themselves with
Shayda Torabi 33:57
the next question I have, because the way that we set this interview up, y’all I’m assuming are working with publicists. I personally do all my own PR for both my business and just for like podcasting and stuff. I don’t think one is right or wrong. But I’m curious, obviously, knowing how much press you have gotten. Do you find that? Maybe in the early days, like y’all were just so radical and out there and like cool girls, I saw one thing like you’re you’re making like eight girls in cannabis, right? Like That is such a cool story. And I think when you looked at I mean, the timeline of when y’all launched and where cannabis really was nationally. nobody’s really talking at that capacity in that way. And so that is a juicy story. But now knowing that you’re working with, you know, publicists, do you feel that they’re now doing a lot of that procurement of press for you or is press coming more organic or is it mixture?
Unknown Speaker 34:47
It’s a mixture. We work with Zoe Wilder, as you know, she’s amazing. And we met Zoe in Vegas A while back and she’s just really believed in us since the jump and she really thought that our story was cool and We were doing something different in cannabis and she just really wanted to help us. And like I said, I went to school for a PR and like we did a lot of like, catching the attention of people who you know, wrote about us in the past, but I would say that Zoey does help us quite a bit. And yes, like, initially, we got the attention and like started this like movement for ourselves. But Joey has 100% kept it steady throughout the years. Like if there are times like Jade, you know how to baby last year, it’s like, we’re not always focused on like, 100% like getting out there, move, move, move. It’s like we can’t we’re normal people like, and so she Yeah, so she’s been really consistent on continuously, like, you know, pushing our story and making sure that people are, you know, wondering about what we’re doing. So we’re really, really appreciative for Zoe Weller.
Shayda Torabi 35:48
And it’s a really smart approach like you said, obviously, you can do it on your own and there are certain times where maybe you’re more present in the business and certain times like obviously, being a new mom like you want to be with your child’s and experienced that, but I think for people listening, because it’s such a new industry, I just I find it so fascinating. I mean here in Austin, I used to I still kind of operate as like a food influencer food bloggers so I know all of like the publicist locally in the hospitality space. And so like when I was launching restart, we had a lot of success building our brand because I was pitching us to these publicist that I knew locally, we took an angle of marketing our CBD brand more from like a food and beverage perspective. So we do a lot of like CBD ice creams with like a local ice cream shop that has like you know, seven different locations or we did like a really popular CBD smoothie bowl with like the number one smoothie shop in Austin and, and I found that again, easier things for me to maybe do because that’s where my experience and comfortability was. But also just being super scrappy, like you have to kind of put yourself out there and know your story enough and just like put it out there. I think people sometimes are afraid to like, write press releases about themselves. I mean, obviously Jade, I’m sure you can relate. I also majored in PR. So I know what a press release is. I think maybe people listening are like, I don’t know how to write that. How do I get someone to write about me, but it really was me just being like, Okay, this is my network. This is what I can do. This is what opportunities are like how do we go start telling our story in unique, interesting ways. And, and I think press for me is a really great place to have a conversation about cannabis. Because I think when people are looking at something for our press perspective, it’s like, oh, isn’t this magazine like you said, you’re in Forbes, or an herb like it has some weight to it versus me just being like, oh, here’s the thing I did on Instagram. I feel like it’s getting brands in front of general consumers. So I don’t know if you feel the same way or not.
Unknown Speaker 37:39
Oh, yeah, definitely.
Shayda Torabi 37:46
quick break to say thank you to restart CBD for sponsoring this podcast. Restart CBD is a brand my sisters and I founded in our hometown in Austin, Texas. We operate a retail location as well as an e commerce store and you can browse our wide range of CBD products at restart CBD calm again, thank you to restart for allowing me the time and resources to put on to be blunt. I hope you’ll check them out for your CBD needs. Let’s go back to the episode. I want to ask a little bit too about the branding for lady Jays. Everything y’all do is just so cool. And it’s interesting I was I’m fascinated with branding personally I think that I have an eye for branding and so I like to play games with myself sometimes like when I’m looking at different like cover art or different packaging like why would I pick that person CBD brand? Like why would I listen to that person’s podcasts? Like what is the graphics say about them? And so I don’t know if it was like oh no brainer This is the brand like you kind of had it already picked out or like what was the process to creating the brand
Unknown Speaker 38:58
I would say with the visual stuff like with us like the lady the paradise we already had an aesthetic and so I really wanted to tie in kind of like Miami Vice like we can still be like I only shop vintage and so I wanted to bring some kind of like retro aspect that was still really relevant and cool and like the 80s were like starting to be like really popular. And I mean obviously like pink and teal have always been like you know the colors that we pushed for for ladies and paradise and it just worked really well because like a lot of pink like we’d leave and and so that was really I wanted to go like really cool like Miami Vice kind of vibe for for the packaging and our graphic designer. Her name’s Alicia and she is incredible. She did just such an amazing job and our whole brand in general is empowering people and letting them know that like being you is like awesome and I mean honestly I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I feel like every little thing that we use it would be so much better if if your ketchup bottles like you’re
a badass But
Shayda Torabi 40:00
it’s true that I love those little details. And I think it’s probably maybe a little bit more of like being a millennial, where you’re looking for some of those brands to make you feel extra good. Like, obviously, what we sell is cannabis. And it’s pretty commoditized like people can get cannabis from any of us, right? You know what I mean? It’s like the same product. And so I think for brands in the space, you have to kind of create something different, you have to catch somebody’s attention in a different way. And so yeah, I love that y’all having introduced those little attributes that I think really resonate with today’s consumer that wants something more than just to get high or just to feel an effect. It’s like really buying into the way that a brand makes them feel. And, and I, I feel like literally talking to y’all obviously seeing how your dress, I know the listeners can’t see it. But like seeing how you’re just like you embody what I envision of your brand, from seeing your packaging from watching you guys on social media. And I think it’s something so subtle, that you probably have put a lot of thought and effort into obviously, both how you dress, how you shop, how you you know, live your life to how you built your brand. But that’s for me, I think the sweet spot that I wish people could take away when they’re listening to episodes of podcasts like this, like, you have to be true to yourself, like you have to know who you are first before you even kind of like put it in a package that you sell to somebody else. And I don’t think everybody out there is making a brand that they want to reflect so much. Like, obviously, y’all reflect your brand, I feel like I reflect my brand by some people out there. Like I don’t need to be a part of my brand, and I don’t give a shit. And I’m making it for this other person, like who’s their customer. But I think it’s really cool when you can, like, leverage that personality into it to build some loyalty.
Unknown Speaker 41:52
I think a lot of times people are creating brands like just to make money. And this is like our life, you know, and we like want to have fun and we want to be like super excited and like every time you look at it be like this is so awesome. And so I think for us it was like, you know, so much more than just like us profiting from is like, you know, something that like when we’re like on our deathbed that we’re like hell yeah, look at this when we did when we were young. You know, we were even talking about that yesterday, like we were shooting on a weed farm. And we were just like, decked out and like all these crazy outfits. And we’re just like, dude, when we’re like fucking at are gonna look back on this and be like, we lived a pretty cool life like to do like, we really stayed true to ourselves, like our brand is all about authenticity. And just Yeah, like our it’s a total reflection of who we are. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Honestly, I think that I couldn’t, you know, run a business that I didn’t feel was like me, really me. And so yeah, I’m just I feel lucky to just have this and like that we’re not saying but just I feel lucky to have made a career out of something that really, you know, encompasses so many things that I love from like fashion to events to community and culture and networking and aesthetics and friendship. And so yeah, I think that we’re really lucky to be in the spot we’re at and we love our brands,
Shayda Torabi 43:24
I can tell I love your brands, too. I’m such a fan girl, just more of like watching fellow badass women live in their truth. And everything you just said, Jay, like right there with you. I feel blessed and fortunate that I get to sit here and just hopeful that these conversations can help inspire someone else to wake up to their truth because like you said to her, there’s a lot of people getting into this industry for money. And I think that that’s going to always be the case. And it’s something that we have to just kind of, you know, be very present and aware of. But then there’s so many beautiful people like yourselves who are really passionate about the plant and really care about it and care about the community and the networking and the friendships and the opportunity of bringing this plant into the light. And I’m just really grateful that we got to have this conversation and we get to continue watching your journey. So thanks for the time and I wanted to ask Where is your favorite like dispensary or what’s your favorite brands like when you are looking for people who are doing really badass things in cannabis. Who inspires you?
Unknown Speaker 44:28
Well, my favorite dispensary dispensary in Portland called Eden actually a young woman owned and she has like four and now just like started her first grow and is like potentially going to put like a music venue on the ground. And like those are those are the kind of like people that were like, okay, we want to hook you up with a good deal. We want to work really hard for you because like those are our people. And so I think we’re really inspired by seeing other young women doing their thing. You know, we like to work with a lot of women on businesses and people who just really have like The same alignment as us and who are true to their brand. And their brand is a living, you know, version of who they are. And Eden is really awesome. In Portland too. There’s some stores called electric lettuce, and they have like a very retro vibe. And yeah, just people who are kind of stepping outside of the box and doing things differently than the norm. And you can tell that there’s some passion and, you know, and design and just love behind it. We like to work with a lot of brands who just aren’t doing it for, you know, to make money, who are who are really cool people, and, you know, you have a choice to who you work with. And so we really like to just align ourselves with people who we, we really vibe with, it’s really crazy. You’d be surprised the amount of products that are marketed towards women that you think would be women owned, and they’re just not Yeah, and it’s like, and it’s really crazy. And so we really like to like, see who is actually like hiring women working with women, women, is important.
Unknown Speaker 46:01
And we love restart CBD in Austin.
Shayda Torabi 46:03
Oh my gosh, thank you. I love that. That’s great. Um, no, I was just gonna add I think it’s so important part of why I like wanted to have these conversations was to just provide transparency. Obviously, for those of us in the industry, just like it feels good to just like shoot the shit with some like fellow badass women who were like fighting the good fight like that feels great to me. I do know that there are going to probably be consumers who are curious, they’re listening, they catch an episode, whatever they’re seeing us promote and and it’s so fascinating to me the amount of people who at least just like come into my shop, and I’m like, how did you hear about us and like, CBD Google near me like you were the closest I’m like, you don’t know anything about my brand. You don’t know any of the good work I’ve done? Like, you don’t know that we’re women own sister own, like, you know, none of that, like just CBD near you. You know, it’s like, ah, but like, then it’s a good opportunity. You get another one? Yes, you totally do. But just as a point of for people of like, do your research. Like there’s just so many not that it’s wrong to have men make women focus brands, maybe that is actually wrong. Like, probably there’s just a women part of it. But I think people should do their research and do homework and especially if they’re going and creating a brand. thinking through what that experience is going to be like whether it’s the way it smells, the way it looks, the way that you disclose who is running your company. I mean, I think that’s the big way that we differentiate ourselves, at least here in Austin to you see so many CBD shops. And they’re like, yeah, we love CBD and organic. And we switched from high quality and then you go to their about patients like who’s running your business? I don’t know. Versus obviously y’all are so present in your brand. I’m so present in my brand. I don’t think brands need to have that to be successful. But I think in today’s day and age, it really helps to create a brand, right? And so people are always wondering, like, how do you do it? And I’m like, you do it, you show up for your brand. So
Unknown Speaker 47:55
yeah, people are definitely like becoming so much more intentional and conscious about their purchases and like where they’re spending their money. And like, you know, if you’re doing things like, sustainably or even like eco conscious, you know, like all those things are really, really important. I think that’s where
Shayda Torabi 48:12
people can really start to see brands emerge in a market that otherwise is going to unfortunately be commoditized. So I appreciate the time with you guys. Thanks for sharing about ladies of Paradise and Lady Jays can’t wait to continue supporting you guys from afar and up close. Can’t wait to see you in person again. where can our listeners catch you virtually on
Unknown Speaker 48:35
our Instagrams or at least in Paradise and at smoke lady js and then you can buy lady J’s online at shop Lady js.com as
Shayda Torabi 48:45
well wasn’t that delightful? I honest to god feel like I learned something new every time I have these conversations. So I really hope you feel the same way. There’s so much to learn from state to state, but especially operating in both sides of the industry can be super tricky, but Harley and Jade are total professionals and look fierce while doing it. So that wraps up today’s show. But thanks for tuning in. And if you’ve made it this far, please please please share this episode with one person and go to iTunes and leave the podcast a five star review. It’s super simple and would mean so emphasis on this so much to me. Thanks again. Talk to you next week. Have a good one. Bye.
I love this episode of To be blunt. Be sure to visit de Shayda Torabi comm slash to be blind for more ways to connect new episodes come out on Mondays. And for more behind the scenes follow along on Instagram at D Shayda Torabi