How four friends created a designer bong brand.
The story of Session starts with four friends and one janky bong. Esther LeNoir Ramirez, Vinh Pho, Samuel Bertain and Camden Foley ultimately found themselves centered around a bong sesh asking one important question, “Why haven’t smoking accessories really changed since the hippie days?” Dissatisfied with today's smoking accessories and their lack of quality, design and functionality, they decided to take on the challenge of modernizing these accessories and cannabis culture as a whole. That night would serve as the beginning of Session Goods.
“Why haven’t smoking accessories really changed?”
The state of the industry hadn't really changed since days when smoking was illegal, and the products associated with it were considered illicit paraphernalia. These days, smoking is gaining mainstream acceptance. The medicinal benefits alone are worth taking a second look. Attitudes and perceptions about smoking are changing, and the accessories should reflect that. Session made that their mission.
They worked nonstop to develop a brand that was worthy of sitting in your home. They researched, designed and debated, all in good measure. They wanted a brand that conveyed a relaxed and serene state of mind. Smoking accessories should be enjoyable to use and encourage you to focus on goodness. They named the brand "Session" after the activity that it supports and the session that this whole adventure had started around.
Dank, details, & design.
At Session, it's the little things that count. The team believe’s smoking weed shouldn't feel taboo or like something you have to hide. The culture around cannabis is evolving, and therefore so should the products used to smoke it. The team worked to create important design principles to encapsulate their process.
Challenge the Standards: The Session co-founders believe in change. Sometimes, there's no reason why things should stay the same. With a variety of backgrounds, talents, skills and unique ways of thinking, they are setting a precedent in an industry that's desperately in need of change.
Anticipate Needs: Session goes beyond just designing products, they create experiences. By looking closely at how people interact with their pieces, they can anticipate needs and create solutions ahead of the curve. The products are a family of products. They all work together to deliver a coordinated and seamless experience.
Optimize Details:The devil may be in the details, but God was there first. The designers at Session are certainly in the details, and they don't believe that all details are created equal. There are details, and there are thoughtful details. Details only become thoughtful after a rigorous process of converging and diverging to make them meaningful. The upshot is a design that's functional, simple, modern, elegant and clever all at the same time.
It all started with a bong.
As the four friends set out to create a more modern bong, their aspirations were simple: create a functional, attractive piece to enhance the cannabis experience. The first year was a whirlwind of what the team would grow to call work sessions. Long nights full of research, design, and debates consumed the founders' free time as they developed the brand. They wanted a product that supported a relaxed and serene state of mind. So, after hours of meticulous research and work, the Session Bong was born.
Once they had perfected the ideal bong, the next logical step for Session was to create a designer pipe to match for the times you are on-the-go. For two more years, the team worked day and night brainstorming designs and meeting in focus groups to develop their next product - the Session Pipe. They underwent the tricky process of trying to find a reliable manufacturer overseas. The smoking experience should be flawless from start to finish no matter where you are, and the products should make that happen.
It grew from there.
Since the conception of the Session Pipe, the company has expanded its product line to carry other cannabis accessories such as Ashtrays and Stash Jars. The idea became to make additional products that would support the holistic smoking experience. Of course, all Session Goods have functionality and design at the forefront of their creation as they plan to continue to develop additional products for other smoking methods or accessories to compliment their existing products. Internally, Session began building its own culture to be the ideal of what it's like to work in the industry - based on respect and professionalism. If Session is to be a brand that represents the art of relaxation, and having a balanced and well lived life then it’s internal culture needs to be a mirrored reflection of the brand. They need to live the words they speak. They are still in the early stages of designing this ideal but starting from a place of strong integrity, honesty and having fun while prioritizing good work and a balanced life outside of it are core to Session’s beliefs.
Where we are now.
The goals have changed and evolved. Now the aspiration is to be a name brand cannabis lifestyle company as the US prepares for full cannabis legalization - and even beyond the cannabis space into other vices focusing on pleasure, leisure and relaxation. Session has moved from just another new brand to something much more established and recognized. It now has partners, collaborators and industry leadership who are tastemakers in the cannabis space as well as a decent sized team. It continues to grow and develop through fundraising and investors to gain new momentum that the founders hope will help achieve their lofty goals. Session is also trying to expand its social good endeavours. Currently they are recurrent members of the Floret Coalition which is is an anti-racist collective of small businesses supporting and funding equity-oriented actions. As members, they pledge monthly donations to organizations for their work in support of Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities. As they grow they want to make sure to use their powers for good to support causes that elevate the community and industry in the right direction.
Session Goods reflect modern culture in the best possible way. By merging an epic design with high-quality materials and impeccable craftsmanship, Session hopes to raise the bar on smoking satisfaction whenever and wherever you choose to indulge. Session Goods' smoking tools reflect contemporary culture in the best possible way.
Written by Session Goods | Photo by Sydney Brown.