A project that explores the intersectionality of women in cannabis. We see the world through a unique lens, one shaped by our identity which affects our opportunities, experiences, and growth. The focus for Dopeafide for Women's History Month was to explore different lenses by photographing 12 women in Portland, Oregon and collected writings based on their personal experiences. We prompted our participants to tell their stories and bring an item that empowered them. We are honored to share their stories with you today.
Today we highlight Ariel Zimman, owner and creator of Stonedware Company, entrepreneur and cannabusiness woman.
Consider what cannabis meant to you ten years ago and how it affected your life then vs. today. What does your day to day life look like now? Is cannabis a consistent part of it? Is it not? How does your gender, race, class, and age affect your cannabis use and the opportunities you are presented in the industry? What do you hope for you future.
Ever since I started smoking in my late teens I’ve had a lovely relationship with cannabis. Throughout college and my twenties, smoking was a regular part of my routine, and for the most part being in Boston (a major college city) and then Portland (during the shift from medically legal to recreationally legal) finding and obtaining cannabis was never a huge challenge. Obviously, quality and reliability have both increased and I’m grateful to not have to call “the guy” anymore. But, being a business owner has shifted my cannabis use from a daily user to an occasional smoker, or low dose edible consumer. This shift came about due to the realities of self employment anxiety and stress. I still use cannabis in the same way as I did in college, to help take me to that creative “flow” state or to chill out at night or on the weekends.
A lot of the opportunities I’ve had within the cannabis industry have really been from being at the right place, at the right time, with the right idea. When I started Stonedware there were few safe and stylish alternatives to glass pipes - I created products unlike any other that existed, during a time people (especially women) were realizing and understanding that there could be alternatives to the typical glass pipe. That realization is still occurring in waves across the country (and world) as more and more states go recreational.
Though I work very hard and have had to overcome huge learning curves of being a self employed artist and businesswoman, I am aware of my privilege being a white woman in the cannabis space. I still have to deal with men who don’t “get” my business, but I have an incredibly supportive family, friends and a network of badass ladies in Portland that all support each other, and the advancement of cannabis normalization.
I’ve faced my trials of sexism and been met with religious stereotyping throughout my life, but typically not connected to my business. I recognize I’m very lucky; I’m a self employed woman running a business targeted at individuals who seek beauty, design forward products and support handmade crafts. Aside from the same banking, mailing, online platform issues many cannabis businesses face, I receive very little pushback about my product or how I run my business. I haven’t had to seek outside approval, financing or market share to run a successful business. With Stonedware as my vehicle, I have been able to connect with a very supportive community both locally and worldwide.
Follow Ariel on Instagram at @stonedwarecompany
Have a story to tell? Hashtag #intersected2020 to tell us and the world.