Who Says Women Only Like Low-Dose Cannabis? Not This Brand
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With women driving an estimated 70 to 85 percent of all consumer purchase decisions, it’s no wonder that cannabis “for women, by women” has become one of the more notable industry trends. Laura Eisman and Allison Krongard — e-commerce founders of Girlshop and WallCandy Arts, respectively — identified an opportunity to add their voices to the movement, and they’ve just launched Her Highness, a lifestyle brand that caters to the differing needs of women—from low-THC to, yes, high-dose products. We talked to them about their business.
Where were each of you before Her Highness, and what made you decide to go down this road?
Laura: Allison and I are both entrepreneurs and both had successful companies, and each of us marketed to the same customer. And we saw in cannabis that there were brands that weren’t marketing in an authentic way to women. We really felt that women were an underserved market.
Allison: We feel like we can do so many beneficial things for women and weave them into this lifestyle product collection. So, targeting the same customer as we had before, but talking about something different here.
Were you both cannabis users already?
Laura: Yes, although I was only an occasional user, so it gave us the scope of the market we’re trying to reach. There are women who are sort of dipping their toes in, and we want to help them on their journey. At the same time, there are the connoisseurs, and we want to get in the minds of those customers, too.
How do you go about formulating products specifically for women?
Allison: We start with a list of attributes we’re looking to achieve. Like in our Giggle pen, we’re looking for a perma-smile with energy, something that makes you laugh. We’ve all had that experience where you can’t stop giggling, all your friends are so pretty all of a sudden, no couch lock, no munchies. We work with our formulation team to pick a strain that most closely matches those attributes, and then we tweak the terpenes to try to Frankenstein the perfect moment. In our Sleeping Beauty, we picked a very sleepy strain, but then we amplified the terpenes that were most relaxing and did years of testing. We need a consistent product that’s gonna deliver what we say each time.
How do you differentiate yourself from other female-focused brands?
Allison: One thing we’ve noticed is that a lot of female-focused brands are doing low-dose stuff. And that’s great, but we want to do high-dose and low-dose, it’s more about what in the form factor is different. In our pre-roll, we made custom cones that are long and thin, so you don’t get a big lungful of smoke and it’s not gonna light your eyelashes on fire. Every woman who’s smoked a joint knows the smell of burnt hair and pot.
And how have you been received within the industry?
Laura: We know that the women’s market is underserved, so we feel like especially recently we’ve been welcomed. And our lead investor, Merida Capital, is very supportive of women-run businesses. It’s a difficult industry for everyone, but I think it’s becoming more recognized that this is needed.
Allison: More than the challenge of being a female-owned company coming into cannabis, our real challenge has been coming from the “regular” industry, having been trained in traditional business practices, and adjusting to this industry, which is very different. We’re New Yorkers, we like appointments on time, and so adjusting to the cannabis industry overall has been the greater challenge: having Wall Street money come in, finding suppliers that are reliable, those kinds of challenges are really interesting.
Any advice you’d like to pass on to other cannabusiness entrepreneurs?
Laura: The industry needs more people that come from other business backgrounds.
Allison: The more artists, teachers, scientists, accountants, people from every walk of life who can come and bring their specialty… that’ll help to remove the stigma and normalize it, and that’s the goal here. The more, the merrier — the industry is wide open.