Interview with Jane West

By Andrea G.
Slyng recently had the privilege of interviewing Jane West, co-founder, and CEO of Woman Grow and Jane West.

This past week we had the honor of interviewing Jane West, the co-founder of Women Grow, a professional cannabis networking organization empowering women. Jane also founded her own company, Jane West, a cannabis lifestyle brand named after herself. Jane has had a successful career and many would say she is one of the leading female faces of the cannabis industry.

As a visionary in the cannabis industry she has been amazing at coming up with products specifically targeted towards people's day-to-day lives, everything from reserved subtle accessories that keep your cannabis lifestyle private to elaborate and tasteful accessories.

Q: Tell us how you started in the cannabis industry?  What's your passion?

I’ve enjoyed cannabis for so many years, and when full legalization arrived in Colorado, I knew I wanted to host cannabis-friendly events that would showcase consumption in a sophisticated, social setting. I launched my cannabis events company, Edible Events Company, and my parties quickly attracted more attention than I ever could have imagined. My corporate employer asked me to step down after they saw me vaping during a segment about my business on CNBC, and I immediately decided to go all in on the cannabis industry.

As I became more involved in the movement, I realized women in the industry needed extra support, so I founded Women Grow, the cannabis industry’s largest professional networking organization. Soon after, I launched my lifestyle brand, which is focused on bringing the legal lifestyle to mainstream women with the sort of flower accessories that transform the cannabis experience and lead to broader social change

Q: What's it like to be a female entrepreneur in the cannabis space?  What challenges do you face, and how are you able to overcome them?

Women face many of the same challenges working in cannabis as they do in other industries. Working mothers struggle to balance demanding professional lives with their roles at home, female business owners face greater funding challenges than men, and impostor syndrome sometimes gets the best of us.

The exciting thing about the cannabis industry is that it’s a blank slate where we can finally start to reimagine corporate culture and rebalance the scales in ways that work for women. I have been able to set my own path, work from home, and surround myself with a trusted business network that has allowed me and my team to thrive.

Q: You co-founded Women Grow, tell us about your vision of the organization and how you are helping to shape the industry.

When I helped start the cannabis networking organization Women Grow three years ago, I knew it was the right time to spark conversations and bring professional cannabis industry women together to support each other.

At the time, we had all heard enough talk about the need for more diversity in our nascent industry, and we were ready to step up and make a change. It’s amazing how quickly the movement spread, from a single Denver networking event to chapters in 44 cities in less than two years.

Women as a whole are helping to shape the industry, and I’m so proud that Women Grow is one of the few companies in the cannabis space that truly caters to women. We created the organization to connect, educate, inspire, and empower the next generation of cannabis industry leaders, and I am thrilled with the progress we’ve made.

Q: What is your advice for female entrepreneurs wanting to get involved in the industry?

I’d like women to know that there is an endless opportunity in the industry -- and now is the time to find it. Get in while the industry is small, and you’ll have a chance to help make history.

Although space is not for the risk-averse, I encourage women to take chances and not settle until you’ve found a job you’re passionate about.

I know from personal experience that having a network of supportive friends and colleagues makes it so much easier to face professional and personal challenges, so find your tribe and continue to build each other up.

I touch on this and additional advice during a speech at the 2017 Women Grow Leadership Summit; you can listen to it here.

Q: What inspires you about your new line of products?

It’s been exciting just to see it come to life, but the most inspiring thing for me is that these are accessories that make sense in so many people’s everyday routines. If these products make sense to women, especially, I know we’ll create opportunities for more of them to connect with cannabis.

The Collection makes it easy to consume on the go, from “The Wand,” a solo pipe and flower storage container designed to mimic a tube of mascara, to “The Classic,” a stainless steel case that offers a polished take on the ubiquitous dugout.

These are the sort of accessories that keep your personal consumption off people’s radar -- but also turn heads when you want to showcase your cannabis lifestyle.

 

Q: Tell us more about your upcoming product launch - we're excited to know about your new products!

This launch is a labor of love years in the making. I am so proud of our team that has worked tirelessly to make this vision a reality. Being able to finally hold the products I sketched on paper three years ago is an amazing feeling. This launch is just the beginning of our journey...now the real adventure begins!

Q: What is different about your products vs. other products on the market?

There’s nothing else like these products on the market. They are designed by a female cannabis lover and with their signature “soft square” design, they echo the sleek, subtle look of the premium beauty products that women reach for every day. These are the sort of products that fit seamlessly into your life, not to mention your purse.

Q: Who is your personal hero?  How has this hero helped shape you?

I consider my mom my hero and mentor. She started her real estate business when she was 42, and she’s one of the hardest working people I know. She was named Rookie of the Year at her real estate company, and for decades she earned “President’s Club” awards for her exceptional sales records.

She taught me that realty is a lot like the startup world: You have to fix a lot of problems to get a deal across the table, you learn to work with all types of people, and you have to be willing to compromise.

My mom has inspired me to do things my own way and not look to others to figure out how to be successful. She’s also taught me that in business, customers should always come first.

Q: How are you balancing your personal life with running Jane West?

My family is very supportive of what I’m doing, and they constantly encourage me to be my best. Prior to working in cannabis, I wasn’t able to be as present in my children’s lives as I am now. Because I was working for someone else, I often traveled for work and missed many important days and moments.

Now, my professional endeavors allow me to work from home and follow my dreams while spending more time with my loved ones than ever. It’s important to find that balance and to choose how you invest your time wisely.

Final Words

As you can tell Jane West is not only a successful working woman but she is also a role model for women in the industry. It is very encouraging seeing a female entrepreneur in this industry coming out with trendy new products that cater more to women. Leading the wave of the next female entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry. We can't wait to see what other products she launches.  

Citations

1. Inviting Women to Lead the Cannabis Industry. Retrieved August 03, 2018 from http://womengrow.com/

2. Elevated essentials for a modern cannabis experience.. Retrieved August 03, 2018 from https://www.janewest.com/

3. Jane West: Cannabis Cured My Imposter Syndrome. Retrieved August 03, 2018 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xmv8jxvSOPA

4. Jane's Note To Self. Retrieved August 03, 2018 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDv_gQ-V2uo&t=19s

5. The Wand. Retrieved August 03, 2018 from https://www.janewest.com/jane-west-collection/the-wand

6. The Classic. Retrieved August 03, 2018 from https://www.janewest.com/jane-west-collection/the-classic

About the author: Andrea G.

Andrea G is a native Southern Californian. When she is not writing blogs she enjoys reading or catching up on her favorite shows. Like a true Californian, she enjoys hot Cheetos and street tacos.