Flower Stampede is a Toronto based company that designs and sells fashionable cannabis accessories for stylish customers, available online and at select retailers.
We connected with Dena Brooker, founder of Flower Stampede to learn more about her Smoking Haute line of fashionable and affordable accessories.
Tell us about Flower Stampede and how you came up with the idea for the brand?
As a long-time cannabis enthusiast, I always wanted prettier, less bro-centric weed pipes and rolling gear. Legalization inspired me to follow the dream, and launch my own collection of female-friendly, everyday accessories.
It’s an exciting time to be in the industry. After decades of headshop goods not really evolving, cannabis retail stores are opening across Canada, widening the marketplace and stocking so many more interesting and beautiful accessories. I am thrilled to be part of the best start-up industry in the world.
What are some challenges you face as a female cannabis entrepreneur?
Every female entrepreneur, and really every woman making her way in the world, faces sexism from individuals and institutions. That said, men in the cannabis industry have generally encouraged my efforts. I have received excellent advice from men who are industry lawyers and experts, and enthusiastic support from male budtenders. And certain hash-loving men really like the Magnetic Spoon Pipe we carry.
Tell us about your products and the importance of your Signature Floral Pattern?
I approached Flower Stampede like a fashion accessory line; I wanted the pieces to have a recognizable, branded look. That meant starting with design: creating the logo, colour palette, and a custom pattern. I was lucky to find graphic artist Phoebe Miller, who envisioned Flower Stampede’s splendid purple haze-inspired logo, and designed the Signature Floral Pattern. In keeping with Flower Stampede’s pretty but punk aesthetic, the pattern features outsider flowers not often seen in botanical prints, including dandelions, poppies, and of course cannabis sativa. And all of these useful, unsung flowers are found in our province of Ontario.
What cannabis accessory can you not live without?
Since I started Flower Stampede during the pandemic when manufacturers were shut down, I had plenty of time to test-drive product samples! Although I rarely used a grinder in the legacy market days, I have grown very attached to the Flower Stampede 4-Layer Cannabis Grinder. Not only does grinding flower result in a much better smoke, but this stylish matte black-and-pink patterned grinder also collects kief. Essentially trichome dust, kief is super-potent. It can be added to a pipe bowl or joint, used for cooking, and even pressed into hash – a hobby I took up during the pandemic.
What do you hope to see for the future of the cannabis industry?
We talk alot about reducing the stigma around cannabis use and women, but to be honest I have felt more stigmatized by the business world since starting Flower Stampede.
Cannabis companies are banned from advertising on the major digital networks, including Google and Facebook. Accessories can’t be sold on Amazon. Since Instagram is owned by Facebook they’re notorious for removing posts and accounts from cannabis influencers and stores. TikTok creators use the hashtag #ouid to get around strict censorship.
On top of that, many major credit card processors and financial institutions will not work with cannabis-related companies.
So I would like to see banking restrictions lifted – something that may happen with US legislation – and cannabis content and advertising treated like alcohol, with sensible restrictions rather than outright bans.
The Canadian industry also has work to do expunging criminal records, and supporting women, LGBTQ and BIPOC people in the cannabis space.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned working within the cannabis industry?
To quote Kacey Musgraves: “Follow your arrow wherever it points.” Flower Stampede is my teenage stoner dream come true, and I am so gratified to find the brand resonating with customers. Launching is never easy, and my business plan did not include a pandemic. But I can’t imagine NOT working in the cannabis industry – if you can call meeting incredible women, visiting gorgeous shops, and trying new strains work!
Who are 5 womxn to follow in Cannabis?
There are so many wonderful women in weed!
I have deep respect for those who fought prohibition for decades: Jody Emery has done time for cannabis and continues to work for social equity. Abbi Roach ran the stoner paradise Hot Box for 20+ years, and now strain hunts as a Senior Product Manager at the OCS.
These women immediately responded to Flower Stampede’s first cold email so of course they are visionaries! Helene Vassos opened the first female-owned cannabis store in Toronto, now she runs three Canvas Cannabis locations. K’s Pot Shop thrives in my highly competitive Leslieville neighbourhood because Director Elisa Keay is part of the community, stocking the best selection, chatting away to customers and giving treats to their dogs.