Greeting cards are a nice gesture, and people have been exchanging them for decades.
But wouldn’t it be better if the greeting card included some cannabis?
That is exactly what Lauren Miele, the Denver-based founder and CEO of KushKards, has come up with: the first cannabis greeting card where “one can strike a match and light what is attached.”
With extensive experience in the fashion and gift-giving realms, Miele launched KushKards to fulfill an unmet industry need. The brand offers consumers a new and creative way to gift cannabis that goes a little deeper than just a few nugs in a ziploc baggie, or a loose pre-roll in a blank envelope.
The Bluntness sat down with Miele to discuss her experience with creative design, her initial entry into the cannabis industry, and her plans to continue revolutionizing, innovating, and making a space for stylish women in weed.
Transferring Professional Skills into the Cannabis Industry
A New York native and Fashion Institute of Technology graduate, Miele began her professional career as a fashion and novelty designer – a.k.a., she’s never been a stranger to making items that are stylish, congenial, and aesthetically-pleasing. However, applying those skills to the cannabis industry was something she never could have imagined for herself.
“I had no idea I would be in the cannabis industry. I had no idea I would be an entrepreneur: KushKards was a high-dea. It was a very special way of getting into the industry and spreading love with our weed greeting cards,” Miele said.
Miele first came up with the idea to meet her own desires to gift cannabis to her friends in a more creative and personable way. Tired of stuffing baggies of weed and joints into Hallmark cards or manila envelopes, she decided to take matters into her own hands and design something that made sense specifically for the purpose of sharing the plant with others.
“I was already the card person, and I was also the cannabis consumer. And then one day, I had a moment where I thought, ‘Why don’t I merge them?’” Miele said.
“We all love to sell it, smoke it, and enjoy the plant, so why not make a fun way to do that? And it’s more than just cards – there’s stockings, gift wrap, gift boxes…the goal is to really become the Hallmark of cannabis.”
Miele is well on her way to making that dream reality: KushKards was awarded “Best New Product” in the Lifestyle Category at The National Stationery Show in 2022, and is currently sold in over 4,000 retail locations, including Spencer Gifts, Hustler Hollywood, Museum of Sex and Planet 13.
Cannabis-Themed Greetings for Every Season and Occasion
While KushKards is currently focused on the craze of holiday gift-giving, the brand isn’t restricted in their offerings. There’s never a bad time to gift someone cannabis, and Miele creates stylish opportunities to do so for every imaginable occasion.
“I go hard for the birthdays all year ’round, and Christmas-themed items become available in September to get the season started,” Miele said.
“I thought summer was our slower season, but year after year it became busy all year ’round, which I’m thankful for. I love the holidays, I love Halloween…anywhere between October and February is go, go, go. Weed for every season…and there can also be no reason.”
Of course, greeting cards aren’t the only thing Miele offers consumers: her favorite KushKards product is the “Toker Poker,” which is a lighter case that allows you to store your flame, pack and clear out your bowls, and look cute while doing so.
“It’s the ultimate smoking tool – I call it the new bobby pin. We can also attach our cute little charms to them. It’s my favorite tool, and you’ll always see it in my hand,” Miele said.
Cannabis Gifting Etiquette and the Industry’s Need for Lifestyle Accessories
As the expert in gifting cannabis, Miele has a few tips for adding that personal touch to the overall presentation.
“Make sure you pair the strain with the reason why you’re giving the card. Are you giving a birthday card? Let’s put a little sativa pre-roll in that card. Match the mood, match the vibe, match the season,” Miele said.
“When gifting cannabis, you should think of why you’re gifting it, how it can enhance the mood, and the overall situation.”
Since entering the industry, Miele has discovered that the industry lacks an array of lifestyle accessories that she finds essential for consumers – especially those who like to keep the tools of their favorite hobbies cohesive, organized, and chic.
“I really do feel like now – because I have done all this groundwork with educating – the door has opened for other fun, girly stoner accessories, where when I started seven years ago, I didn’t see any of that available to the customer,” Miele said.
Finding Your Cannabis Niche in the Industry
KushKards has definitely helped open the door for a softer, prettier cannabis culture, which is important for women operators and consumers who are still struggling to find their place in the male-dominated space.
For anyone else looking to carve out a less-mainstream niche in the still-establishing industry, Miele encourages you to go for it boldly and unabashedly.
“Find your angle and run with it. I knew what I wanted to do when I started. I dropped KushKards and I’ve barely changed the theme since I began, because I spent a year researching and making it work,” Miele said.
“If you’re coming into the cannabis industry, find yourself, what you’re good at, what your likes and interests are, and how you can put that all together to benefit a company or start your own company – to really bring value to the cannabis industry. Come in hot, come in strong. Come in like you’re ready.”
Stay Connected With Lauren Miele’s Work
Miele’s KushKards have significantly innovated and added to the cannabis industry with their creative and stylish designs, and the company is just getting started. Miele just launched pot-leaf-adorned gift box sets in time for the holidays, and is currently offering covetable holiday deals that will run through the new year.
To stay up to date on KushKards and Miele’s progress within the industry, follow the brand’s Instagram.
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