A reflective overview of my recent business trip to California
Landing at a cottage in Oakland
When I got to Oakland, the first place I stayed at was an adorable little cottage surrounded by a private garden. I had brought along my Evoxe prop pens and latest Holstee print to do some product photography, and this was the perfect space for it!
Filming with Weedhorn
The reason I went to California? Weedhorn founder Rick Bakas invited me out to Oakland to film a couple videos for their new online, cannabis educational course series that they are launching this year! I had been in contact with Rick for a while, and after hearing his mission with Weedhorn and how it all got started, I knew I wanted to be part of it!
Of course, the idea of being in a video was intimidating. I only recently started putting myself in front of the camera instead of behind it, and doing so still makes me crazy anxious. Saying "yes" was one of those things that I made myself do, knowing that this was a phenomenal opportunity to reach a larger audience with cannabis education. And (now that it's over) I have never been more thrilled or proud of a decision, no matter how terrifying it was.
This was my first experience working with filming — at all.
I had never even been around video production, so literally everything was new to me. While I was intimidated at first, Rick and videographer Michael Ogata made me feel comfortable and secure, patiently teaching me the ropes. I found that the most difficult part of filming was maintaining my energy as we crept up on 7 hours of being in front of the camera. Also making sure that I said everything I had wanted to! By the end, I knew I had missed a few things, but I practiced self-compassion and assured myself that I had done my best, and put my trust in the brilliant Michael to edit it to perfection. :)
The first video I worked on was about how to use cannabis for creativity. I talked about the endocannabinoid system, how it relates to hyper-priming and creativity, how to choose a method of consumption for creative purposes, introduced common terpenes and explained how to choose the best for creativity, then went through a DIY tutorial on how to make your own stash jar label using InDesign and packing tape. It was a ton of fun!
The second video I did was a short introduction to the different methods of cannabis consumption. I went through options for bud/flower, concentrates, edibles, sublinguals, and topicals. Since I had flown in, I wasn't able to have all my different tools (the Zong didn't fit in my suitcase!), but Rick and I were able to track down enough for display in the video!
The highlight of filming with Weedhorn was the honor of meeting the two other video lecturers, Maya Elisabeth of Whoopi and Maya and Jessica Knox of Canna MDs. It was absolutely incredible to have this opportunity to meet established, knowledgable cannabis professionals whom I admire, and their passion and radiance for their work was contagious.
Below: shots from the AirBnB filming location garden
Arriving in LA
After spending Sunday-Thursday in Oakland, I flew down to Los Angeles to do a little networking, creative inspiration hunting, and seeing both old and new friends. I figured I was all the way out there — might as well make the most of it! The first AirBnB I stayed at was owned by a photographer who had outdone himself on decorating his apartment. As a designer, his entire place was a feast for my eyes.
My favorite room in the house was hands-down the bathroom. He had turned the space into a little gallery of its own, complete with an artistic toilet.
Exploring Venice Beach
After the artistic apartment and Podshare (which I unfortunately did not take high-quality photos of), I headed to Venice to spend a night with Molly Peckler of Highly Devoted Coaching. Molly and I met through Niki McDonald of Love&MariJ, and I've done a little remote design work for her over the past few months. She kindly offered to host me in her little slice of paradise, and it was awesome to finally meet her in person!
Up until this excursion, I had actually been fairly unimpressed by California. In movies and photos California seems like a paradise, but it was much more dry, rough, and spread out than I had expected. My parents had dropped hints on numerous occasions that they were a little nervous that after I spent a few weeks in California, I'd never come back to Missouri, but I can honestly say that LA wasn't tempting me...until I saw Venice beach. Mountains, ocean, zero humidity, no mosquitos, chill vibes, and quality cannabis combined to create quite the allure.
Making New Friends
While exploring and soaking up all the Cali design inspo, I also spent some face-to-face time with Instagram friends, including Raelina of Haiikuu Design! I met this lovely lady at Alfred's in Studio City for coffee, and then she graciously helped me take some new head shots. We had a great time wandering and playing with the camera!
Glamping in Hollywood
When planning this trip, I knew that I wanted to hop around to a bunch of places in LA so that I could see as much as possible. To that end, I'd stay anywhere from 1-3 nights in the same place. I would Uber from AirBnB to AirBnB, then explore each new area on foot.
I'm fairly new to AirBnB, and I was a little leery of staying in a shared space. But hostel-esque options are cheapest, and the reviews all claimed it was a great way to make friends, so I decided to go for it.
This turned out to be my favorite place I stayed while in California. It was absolutely gorgeous, the people were welcoming, and it was impossible not to make a couple of badass friends with all the communal spaces. I met people from all over the world coming through this little space, including Russia, UK, Sweden, Alaska and more! Some of my new friends even modeled for an Evoxe shoot, which was way too much fun.
Inhabiting a space that isn't yours
I stayed in a total of seven places while on my trip, and it's always weird yet thrilling to wake up in a new place. I find it interesting at the end of my stay in a place to see how my life ended up merging with that space and how I made it my little home for that short amount of time.
On my last Monday in CA, a new friend took me exploring in Malibu! It ended up being a holiday so a lot of the town was closed, but we had a great time wandering the beach!
A few more (low-res) highlights from the trip
All in all, this is a trip I'll never forget (especially since it was my FIRST solo trip, ever!) I got really good at explaining what I do (Uber will help you with that), met some amazing people who energized and motivated me with their energy, and was ultimately more inspired than ever to bring the benefits of cannabis back to the Midwest!
Copyright © 2016 Kristen Williams, All Rights Reserved