In 2018, I co-founded The Grass Agency, a full-service creative studio with my long-time collaborator, Reena Karia. Over the course of five years, we developed a human-centered practice, providing design, content, and strategy for brands across cannabis, wine, academia and the arts. Our services delivered audience growth and increased sales for clients like Stanford University, Frameline Film Festival, Hirsch Vineyards, The Pairist, and more.
When we launched TGA, it had been just two years since Proposition 64 took effect, essentially legalizing cannabis in California. The tides of prohibition were turning and a new breed of consumer was rising to the surface. Millennial women with an eye for beauty and wellness soon became the largest growing market segment. We developed our first line of original smoking accessories with them in mind.
After two years raising funds and building connections, we began development on Superbloom, a modern pipe with ancient roots. Our debut chillum carried over the form and function of the world’s oldest-known smoking accessory while playing with shape and finish. After multiple experiments with material, we traded the traditional stone or clay for glass, and chose colors that spoke to our audience.
For our branding and packaging, we drew inspiration from a wide-range of sources. Most notably, Emilio Pucci and Alexander Girard’s work for Braniff International and Charles and Ray Eames’ Powers of Ten. As a nod to the retrofuturistic visions that inspired us, we developed a fictional astral travel agency with a travel-themed logo that subtly incorporates symbols like the yin and yang and an all-seeing eye.
A unique brand identity called for a unique launch strategy. In addition to Superbloom, we released a book of hemp rolling papers featuring a ticket to the very real exoplanet, Coconuts 2-b. Our integrated marketing strategy, which leveraged AI tools and world-building elements to tell the Grass story, garnered attention from media like Broccoli, Gossamer, and Lauren Yoshiko’s Sticky Bits. The campaign pulled in double-digit audience growth and attracted new wholesale partners.