There’s something that feels undeniably good about going against the status quo. To challenge the norm, to question what everyone else is saying because you see another way. To be a rebel, even when it’s just for the sake of being a rebel. For me, personally, it can be an adrenaline rush. I might see a trend that I find a little off putting, and instead of forcing myself to accept it, I feel so powerful when I can simply detach myself from the need to participate. (Alexa, play My Own Thing by Chance the Rapper.)
It’s no secret that I’ve been doing my own thing for a few years now. In many ways, I feel like when I was fired from my last job, I was freed. I was a slave to the system, and it never would have mattered what my title was- as long as I was in it, I was chained.
My authentic self was inaccessible at that time, but since I’ve been freed, everyday has been a journey into the depths of my true self. It’s not that I shed myself of everything I learned in the system, but I let go of the need to participate in it anymore. I didn’t want to feel I was to be judged by the same standards everyone else was to be judged by. How could that make sense, when there is nobody in the world like me?
I didn’t forget my experiences, but I did release the attachment of being evaluated as a result of them. I (and you) deserve to experience life in all its glory. Why should we be limited to the status quo when there is so much beauty in diversity? Somehow, there is little space for diversity to thrive in the system.
Freedom/entrepreneurship have made for quite the journey. Plenty of drama, broken friendships, somehow broker checking accounts, laughter, tears, loneliness, etc. All the things they say entrepreneurs and creatives can suffer from.
And there’s been the beauty. The connections, the new and old faces, the incredible healing. The beautiful moments, the fun playlists, the movements and meditations we’ve all shared- those are the moments that make my life feel free. Those moments don’t just make sense, they feel like they were arranged by the Divine. It’s as if they weren’t meant for anyone but us to share together, and each one has been so unique and special, and many are forever cemented in my memory. I can’t believe that in two years almost five hundred different people have somehow heard about my yoga class and come to my house to participate in this thing I decided to start in my backyard.
(Talk about an adrenaline rush - I hope y’all can feel my smiling through the screen right now.)
Two years have passed! From the backyard to the basement, Newbury Street to Hollywood Boulevard, we’ve been building this together! The level up has been brewing, and this time the Universe has really outdone herself.
If you’ve been around me, I’m super transparent about this stuff. Every time I’ve gotten so much as a wink from an investor, I’ve talked about it with the community. So, most of you know that these winks have been entirely creepy. I never made it very far in any conversations, because usually I chuck the deuces once they start talking about ownership of my company.
Honestly, I’d rather crawl around my basement for the next 30 years, then to become a slave in a system ever again. But I recognize where I need help, and as you should all know, this recreational cannabis industry is no cakewalk to participate in. They don’t just let you hang in this sandbox unless you can pay for the sand and the box, and I don’t have any of it. And of course, it’s fucked because neither does anyone who has been working at the ground level of the cannabis industry (aka the black market). It’s not realistic for those of us who don’t just have it like that. And I don’t know anyone in my network with access to a quick few million dollars, so fundraising becomes a real challenge for those of us in this position.
I’ve known for awhile now that I was going to have to look for a way to grow, but I didn’t know how. What I dreamt of was a chance to work with people who think like me, especially women, in the cannabis industry. That means people who care about the quality and craft of cultivation, who want to provide organic and safe cannabis and products, and who insist on being a leader of conscious consumer education. I don’t want to work with anyone who is going to ignore the social justice issues that have come as a result of cannabis criminalization. I don’t want to work with people who are just trying to make money, especially on the backs of people of color whose lives have been ruined because of weed. And, I definitely don’t and won’t work with somebody who doesn’t even consume cannabis or understand its immense value, but is happy to make a dollar when it’s convenient for them.
Like I said, the Universe outdid herself. Her latest intervention, my meeting Charlotte Hanna and the incredible team she’s put together at Community Growth Partners has been a game changer. I mess with this crew, heavy, because they are talking the talk and walking the walk. The first thing Charlotte and I talked about (after she told me how much weed she smokes), was social justice. Immediately, she talked about the vision for her brand and what she was trying to create. She recognized the harm, she was (and remains to be) ambitious in her goals to right some wrongs. I was blown away by her intensity, her thoughtfulness, and her mission.
And her femininity. The fact that she leads with it was inspiring to me, because there is nothing more beautiful than women supporting other women. Magic happens in those moments, and after many conversations it became so clear that there are so many ways for us to support each other, and especially ways for me to support her vision in creating a social awareness cannabis brand.
So... I’m officially letting you know that I’ve joined the rebellion in a big way. I’m signing on as Charlotte’s special advisor, and together we’ve already submitted license applications for a retail store in Great Barrington, and a cultivation/manufacturing facility in Northampton. We’re hoping to open our store, rebelle, by September 1st, so send all your positive energy our way!!
As we build out what our store experience is going to be, I’ll share in more detail - but know for now that it will be a one of a kind cannabis experience (it’s kind of my thing, guys). Once our cultivation comes online, we will have exclusive strains and organic offerings that I can honestly say will blow the current offerings in Massachusetts out of the water.
Charlotte wants to take over and I’m down for the ride! But - I can never abandon my baby. Offerings at the Garden won’t stop, though I have slowed things down quite a bit. When the time is ready, the Garden will grow exactly as it is meant to, just as it has up to this point. It will never go away, and I hope you won’t stop supporting. I hope that you will follow along this new adventure, and I can’t wait to see how we all grow in this next phase together.
C’mon. You know you want to. Let’s rebelle.