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How Pain Prompted My Cannabis Use and My Company

I wasn't seeing products in the market that remedied my problems. So I created them.

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We’ve all been in a situation where we would do anything to get rid of the discomfort we’re experiencing. Whether we're suffering from a sore back or an aching head, in those moments, all we want to do is feel “normal” again.

Laundry Day

My cannabis story starts here -- at a point in my life where I had been experiencing daily pain every day for nearly three years. When doctor visit after doctor visit yielded no results, and I finally decided to take matters into my own hands.

Related: Whoopi Goldberg Launches Medical Marijuana Startup to Ease Menstrual Cramp Pain

Birth Control Gone Wrong

It all started in my teenage years when I (and every peer of mine) was taught about our birth control options. I was nudged to make the choice that “worked well for me”. None of the options were (or are) particularly ideal, but after much deliberation, I opted for a type of non-hormonal birth control known as a Copper IUD (a frame that is inserted into the uterus). Out of all the options, this seemed to suit my lifestyle best.

The discomfort began immediately, but I was told my body just needed to get used to the foreign object that had perforated the lining of my uterus. (Yes, that’s really how it works.)

It wasn’t until about one year later that I fully understood the severity of the discomfort. The pain had still not gone away, and I was missing work and being woken up by it daily (if I could fall asleep at all). As if that wasn’t enough, doctors repeatedly attributed my symptoms to Crohn's Disease or colitis, which just added to my confusion. After unsuccessfully seeing a handful of different specialists, one doctor simply advised that I take a stronger form of Advil. That’s when I made my decision. Rather than doubling my dose of painkillers, I knew it was time to switch to using cannabis to address my pain.

Cannabis to the Rescue

Initially, my partner supplied me with the flower. At that time, we didn’t have access to dispensaries, and medical cannabis was fairly rare. Beyond that, this industry never felt welcoming to me. I didn’t know the lingo, I didn’t look the part, and I never felt like I could even ask questions without sounding like a “dumb girl”.  All of that is to say, I left the “grocery shopping” to him.

It wasn’t long, though, before I grew tired of using my partner’s ugly, decade-old pipe. If the culture of cannabis wasn’t ostracizing enough, the aesthetics were even more alien. I was ready for something that I enjoyed using. Sadly, finding this would prove to be more difficult than I expected.

Related: Doctors and Patients In Florida Are Embracing Medical Marijuana

From Smoke Shop to Start Up

I pulled on a heavy glass door of a smoke shop, plastered with posters, and was met with abrasively glaring neon lights. My senses were immediately hit with an unsettling smell -- what I now assume to be the scent of artificially flavored rolling papers and fruit-flavored vape juice. LED lights illuminated countless glass cases -- each filled with differently shaped products but no information on what those shapes might be. This, I’d learn, was de rigueur for a smoke shop.

It didn’t help that my red lipstick and matching red hair earned me a look from the clerk that could only mean he thought I’d gotten lost while looking for a Bath and Body Works.  

Needless to say, the entire experience left me feeling defeated. Not only did I feel unwelcome, but I had also ended up spending money on a pipe that I actually hated -- much like drinking good wine out of a coffee mug, I felt a severe disconnect. Why is this industry catering to only one type of person? I thought. Why are my options Bob Marley or Dragon Skulls? I am a young, hardworking businesswoman, and yes -- I also smoke cannabis. Those two truths shouldn’t have to be mutually exclusive. So why did I still have to subscribe to an outdated (and problematic), stoner aesthetic?

I no longer wanted to feel ashamed of my cannabis use or my pipe. I wanted to be able to display my pieces on my coffee table and treat them with the same level of aesthetic detail as I would my wardrobe or my decor. I wanted to treat my pain with pride. So, I launched Laundry Day to help others who might have felt they too were unable to reap the benefits of cannabis.

We feel comfortable exploring something that looks like it makes sense to us — even if it is itself unfamiliar. And Laundry Day made sense to me. Laundry Day is a line of design-forward smokeware founded with a mission to change the visual narrative behind cannabis use.

About three years after having the IUD put in, I decided to have it removed, but I'm thankful for the trust that my experience instilled in me for cannabis. I’m also proud to be positioned in a space in which women are beginning to feel comfortable experimenting, asking questions, and ultimately starting businesses -- and I hope that with this innovation, we can continue to make cannabis more inclusive for all.

Related: Women Increasingly Are Cannabis Entrepreneurs and Customers