This Is Weed You Can Wear
After a career in fashion spanning over 20 years, branding guru Ann Skalski began to wonder if it was time to make a change. Cannabis was an industry she was drawn to both personally and professionally, so when executives at Double Barrel, the world’s first dual-chamber oil vaporizer, called Skalski was intrigued.
“I always wished that I had a more proper or civilized way of consuming this flower, something that lived up to the other things that I would have in my room or on my dresser,” she says. Double Barrel was just that: Two barrels are set atop a stylish knuckle ring, allowing consumers to inhale two different strains of vape simultaneously.
“I didn’t necessarily understand the product or what it did at first glance,” she says, “but the design was so captivating I had to know more!”
Skalski is now Double Barrel’s Chief Brand Officer. Here’s what she’s learned since she got there.
Formerly Vice President of Creative Services at Saks Fifth Avenue, Skalski was brought on to be the face of Double Barrel (the inventor prefers to remain anonymous), and the creative lead in product development and marketing.
One of her first priorities was to define the brand’s unique position in the cannabis space. She was immediately drawn to the idea of Double Barrel as not only a vape but also an accessory.
I wear mine around my neck sometimes or I’ll even mix and match the knuckle device.” Both a fashion and cultural statement.
Another key brand differentiator is the power that the product literally puts in the hands of the consumer, allowing her to “mix and match” the oils. This is a touch point that Skalski believes is key to the brand’s success. “If you’re taking care of the consumers, you are taking care of the brand.”
Drawing on her past experience, she looked for collaborators that would “disrupt a category” and “touch a new audience. So she turned to famed jeweler Gerard Alexander of Saint Jewels to create The Diamond Double Barrel. It is encrusted with 180 grams of solid white gold and over 3,000 21-carat diamonds. All for the reasonable price of $100,000.
The Diamond Double Barrel appears on Russel Brand’s hand in the HBO’s show Ballers, and it also won the attention of some style influencers.
Ready to go wide
While currently available in dispensaries throughout California and Illinois, Double Barrel has plans to sell their product across the rest of the United States and overseas.
When asked what is required of a pioneer in brand strategy, Skalski stands firm: “Be distinctive, be disruptive.” And of course, do it in style.