E.80 – Denver Westword High Style Event ft. Cannabis & Fashion
Tune in to the live recording with Denver Westword, JAM Productions, Jane West, and Stillwater Brands to learn more about the upcoming High Style Event on Thursday March 5th in Denver, CO. High Style will fuse cannabis-inspired fashion, education and wellness into one amazing evening of curated, interactive programming focused on style, substance and sustainability.
Hear from event organizers Jenny Baker-Strasburg and Mary Spicer about the inspiration behind High Style, more from Anna Zarrella Marketing and Sales Coordinator with Westword. Jane West, Founder of Women Grow and Jane West brand also join us to discuss how Women Grow got into the fashion scene and more on how today’s modern consumer has shifted. Nikki Kujawski, Senior Brand Manager with Stillwater discusses their innovative, water soluble THC product, Ripple and more about guests may expect to experience at High Style.
Use code LITLUCID to register for the event!
Season 8 is brought to you by Verra Health
Anna Zarrella is the Marketing and Sales Coordinator at Westword. She has worked at Westword for almost 3 years in a variety of roles and has a passion for events! Originally from South Florida, she went to Johnson and Wales University to study Fashion Merchandising and Retail Marketing. With her background, the integral fashion component has been one of her favorite things about working on High Style.
Mary Spicer works primarily outside of the Denver market and comes with over 20 years of experience. Mary has produced multiple photo shoots and worked several New York Fashion Week and Miami Fashion Week: Swim seasons. Shows including, but not limited to, Nanette Lepore, Dennis Basso, Jill Stuart, Tadashi Shoji, Vera Wang, Diesel Black & Gold, V-Files, Yumi Katsura, and Mara Hoffman. For the last 5 NYFW seasons, Mary has worked as the Taoray Wang project manager and is an associate for Judith Rice Productions.
Jenny Baker-Strasburg has over 17 years’ experience working as an accomplished event producer and marketing professional. Jenny is known for providing innovation, leadership, strategy and vision. During her time in NY while working for International Fortune 500 Company, Liz Claiborne, Jenny was responsible for the planning and execution of large-scale fashion events including integrated, co-branded programs with major publications such as Vogue, InStyle, Glamour, Real Simple and Marie Claire. Jenny conceptualizes and develops event programming around carefully curated marketing strategies and personal one-on-one consulting.
In 2013, I founded Edible Events Company, hosting cannabis-friendly Friday night cocktail parties designed to normalize consumption. At these parties like-minded adults celebrated legalization in Denver art galleries with elegant food and live music. These events filled a previously empty niche and were immediately popular. They were soon co-sponsored by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and media attention followed quickly. Our collaboration – “Red Rocks on a High Note” – was featured on Nightline. After I made another appearance on CNBC promoting cannabis use, I was asked to resign from my “day job”— as a corporate event manager I had held for eight years.
While my monthly events were selling out, they were pushing the limits of legal social consumption. The parties attracted the attention of the anti-cannabis contingent and the city of Denver. In 2014, a SWAT team shut down my 4/20 brunch event at a small private bakery. In addition to receiving criminal charges and a year’s probation, I was explicitly banned from hosting events with cannabis consumption.
The constant media attention put me in the spotlight. Suddenly, women from all walks of life were reaching out to me to ask how to enter the cannabis industry. With a new criminal record and no actual job in the sector, I certainly didn’t think I had sage advice to give. But I am good at organizing people and getting a lot done in a short amount of time, so I pivoted and focused my time on organizing women-led initiatives within cannabis.
I founded Women Grow and held the group’s first networking meeting in 2014. Since then over 100,000 people have attended Women Grow networking events. After two years dedicated to building Women Grow, I set off on my own in 2016 to start a first of its kind company making glassware and accessories for flower lovers like me.
I had a vision of my own glassware line and a sophisticated set of dugouts and one hitters that fit my aesthetic. I also dreamed of building my company brick by brick in exactly the way I saw fit. I believe diversity is crucial to success and the culture of the companies I partner with matters. I raised capital from small investors and built a company that is 80% owned by women and people of color. Our first equity crowdfunding campaign in 2018 invited people from all around the world to be part of the Jane West brand. We closed with $189K from 550 investors across 17 countries.
It took my growing team two and a half years to bring the glassware, travel, and CBD collections to market. In 2018, we decided to answer the question we heard from consumers most often: “What type of weed should I buy and where should I buy it?” Today, we are answering this question through our packaging partnerships, our fastest growing, highest margin revenue stream.
Nikki Kujawski is the Senior Brand Manager at Ripple and manages all things marketing. She has been with the company since 2016 and has held over 5 different positions as the company expanded into what it is today. Ripple is a sugar-free, calorie-free, odorless powder packet that dissolves instantly into any food or beverage allowing you to make anything an edible. Prior to Ripple, Nikki managed a studio in NYC and produced food focused video content for folks such as The Food Network, Unilever, Tabasco, and Bon Appetit. She is extremely passionate about cannabis, loves camping and hiking, and her two fantastic dogs.