A Conversation with Z's Paper
Today we're hanging out with Izaak Cohen, the founder and CEO of Z's Paper.
"Z’s Life was founded in 2016 by Izaak Cohen. Then, an 18-year-old college student seeking to demystify cannabis by producing beautiful products that enrich the overall smoking experience. Operating Z’s Life as a student provided Izaak the opportunity to gear his education towards an entrepreneurial artistic lifestyle. He has funded the company by participating in his college’s business competition, where he has developed Z’s Life and secured cash prizes over the past four years. Izaak graduated from Skidmore College in May 2020 and is currently running Z’s Life full time."
Follow Z's Life on Instagram for even more insight into his creativity.
Session: We know you have a design and fine art background. Will you share how that led you to create Z’s Papers?
Z's Paper: My design and fine art journey began with Z’s Life. Before Z’s, I was primarily an athlete without experience making objects or designing. I always loved intricate and beautifully designed things, yet I never imagined myself making them. When I started smoking weed as a teenager, I was infatuated by the accouterments of the rolling process. I would search for the coolest lighter or pack of papers to make rolling up more pleasing. My first design experience was interning for my brother, who owns a leather goods company called Maximum Henry. I helped make belts by hand and fell in love with crafting products that people interact with daily. I saw the attention to detail that went into creating these leather objects and thought, why couldn’t we do the same with smoking accessories, eureka, Z’s Life was born. I thought rolling papers would be a great place to start, as I had yet to see an elevated rolling paper booklet on the market. There began my journey of designing and creating.
Session: As a fellow creative entrepreneur, how does cannabis help you balance the stress of running a business while maintaining your creativity?
Z's Paper: I use cannabis as a creative driver for Z’s and my personal art. I try to not use cannabis as a crutch for the stress of running a business as I find that most times I have stress, and there are actions I need to take to remediate that stress. When I am in a lull of creativity, cannabis always provides me with several ideas I like to act upon when I’m not high. I use it for ideation and conception.
Session: It’s your day off with no to-do list. What does your perfect day of relaxation look like?
Z's Paper: A perfect day of relaxation would start with morning sunlight on my roof. I would then walk over to a sauna/bath house in my neighborhood with a friend to hang out for a few hours to unwind and disconnect. Following the baths, I would wander around my neighborhood in Brooklyn, sip coffee, and chat. I would then smoke a joint on my roof as the sun set and make a good meal at home. Likely followed by watching a movie or reading.
Session: Who taught you how to roll? Can you share a story from your first or early practice?
Z's Paper: My brother and mom taught me how to roll. I vividly remember being in California on a trip with them, and they asked me to roll a joint. At the time, I wasn’t so great at rolling, so I tried my best to twist up something big enough for the three of us with a smooth burn. I rolled it and handed it over to my mom. She looked at it and sympathetically asked me to reroll it as it wasn’t up to the family standards. My brother then sat down with me and showed me how to roll a proper joint. Then, I realized the importance of rolling in the smoking experience and how good it felt to roll up a nice joint for my family to enjoy.
Session: What method do you start with if you're teaching someone?
Z's Paper: I find the best method is patience and practice! When I teach someone to roll, I sit next to them and lead them step by step through the process. They watch me roll and mirror my movements. It usually takes a couple tries, but then they will have it down to muscle memory. It is so fun teaching someone who doesn't believe they can roll and showing them just what they’re capable of. The look of pride on their face for their first joint is priceless.
Session: Okay, time for a Bonus Question. Are you working on anything new or want to share anything exciting happening at Z’s?
Z's Paper: We have a few exciting collaborations in the pipeline that I can’t wait to share. I’ve been overwhelmed with the response to our newest product, the Wave Cuff - a bracelet that tamps down your joints!. It is our first release of a wearable lifestyle product that enhances personal style and adds function to the smoker's lifestyle. I’m excited to be producing similar products like that in the future.
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