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Sitting Down with Esther ✨

Esther Lenoir Founder of Session Goods
Get ready to dig into the mind behind Session Goods as we chat with our founder, exploring their journey, insights, and the ethos behind the brand.

From finding solace and joy in cannabis to crafting a brand that embodies laid-back elegance, this interview offers a glimpse into the heart and soul of Session Goods.
Discover how Session Goods came to be, from its humble beginnings to its evolution into a symbol of innovation in the cannabis industry.

Explore the intersection of design, creativity, and cannabis culture as the founder shares their path into the industry and the key moments that have shaped their journey.

Get ready for some exciting announcements too, including the return of the Designer Ash & Cloud Bongs and insights for women looking to enter the cannabis industry. Plus, don't miss out on some sage advice and behind-the-scenes tidbits from the founder themselves.

  1. What do you love about cannabis? 

 It's synonymous with euphoria, and relaxation in my mind. I’m not a “productive” stoner, I can’t consume as an enhancement to daily tasks or routines. I can’t do anything when I’m high. That's the beauty of it for me. I am always doing too much, rushing, overthinking, juggling a million things… 

Cannabis helps release my mind from internal thoughts that cycle between demands and worries. (Small business is hard y’all 😅). Weed gives me the space to see the edges of my problems and the time to realize that I am bigger than any one of them. 

But my favorite part is liking the goofy person who shows up when those stressful thoughts are put away. The person who is delighted and wowed by the silly, small, and beautiful things that make up the world. 

 

  1. What do you wish people knew about Session Goods as a brand and business? Any exciting announcements?

Let’s see.. My business partner (Vinh Pho) and I, launched Session in San Francisco in 2018, and have been operating out of Los Angeles since 2020. Before Session we were both working in corporate design jobs - him as an Industrial Designer and me in Fashion. 

Having lived in California for the past decade I take for granted how accepted cannabis consumption is here. This has fed my theory that the best way to “fight the stigma” is to ignore the people stigmatizing it.

Session embodies that ethos in both our products and brand. We get our inspiration from barware, coffee pots, and water bottles, all common household objects. We wanted the line to have the attitude of home decor, with each piece being easy to clean & accessible. The laid-back and empathetic principles we bake into our designs are echoed in how we create our brand visuals.

We aren’t promoting a cannabis lifestyle, but are painting a picture of people who have full lives and also happen to like smoking weed. 

 

Exciting News:

After three years of people begging - we are bringing back our Designer Ash & Cloud Bongs. This is a super limited release with each piece signed and numbered. We have less than 200 pieces in this run, and they’ll be available on March 19th. 

 

  1. Could you share insights for women looking to enter the cannabis industry?

You do not need prior cannabis experience to apply for a corporate cannabis job. 

If you are interested in joining the industry, do research - look at cannabis-focused job boards on Linkedin or specific canna job sites like VANGST or FlowerHire. With the legal industry being new, and legislation changing frequently, experience becomes less important with most companies willing to train someone on the job. 

Here are some observations I’ve had throughout my time in the industry: 

-If the interview process is disorganized, the company will likely be as well. 

-Be wary of companies that have lots of women working entry-level jobs with no women in leadership. 

-Conversely, if a company has few to no women working, that is also a red flag. 

-Vet the leadership/founders; it’s fairly easy to uncover and weed out bad actors with light internet stalking.

Don’t be intimidated; the community of women in this industry is unmatched, and we try to take care of each other. 

 

  1. We’d love to hear about your path into the cannabis industry and the key moments that have led you here.

I had a medical card, but I was far from being a habitual consumer. I was working with the fashion startup Everlane as their accessories designer. When my mentor at the company left, I felt a pull to find something more creatively fulfilling. 

Knowing this, my roommate approached me, asking if I would be willing to come on and develop the brand for his cannabis startup. 

In August of 2014, we launched an online headshop called Billowby. While at Billowby, I discovered how much I enjoyed cannabis, the industry, and more surprisingly, smoking out of bongs.

There is a long article about how the Bong/Session came to be on our blog [in]session. The TLDR synopsis: every bong has the same silhouette; it immediately draws attention when placed in a room. We wanted to create an entirely new shape, self-contained, and easy-to-clean. 

We self-funded the initial launch, sold out of our first run, won three design awards, signed distribution deals in North America, and were awarded international patents, all in our first year. The pandemic blew us up and we successfully raised capital, hired ourselves, and received our US patents.

10 years later, and I am still so happy that I made the plunge into this industry. I am proud of the work that Session has done and hope that in the future, it will be looked back on as an innovator in the early days of legalization.

 

  1. Is there anything else you’d like our community to know?

Please be nice to Rebecca; she’s our only customer service rep. and she’s a literal saint. 

Get the latest scoops on all the things that inspire the team here at session.

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