When the love of cannabis and art come together, magic is made. This creative union could not be more true for Riley of Wandering Bud, who creates classy smoking accessories for modern women.
Her delicate, handmade and hand-painted pieces are the perfect gift or addition to your lady stoner stash box. Read on to learn more about Wandering Bud in our exclusive HeyHelloHigh interview with Riley.
Hi, Riley! Thanks for chatting with us. So, your brand Wandering Bud is all about creating pretty things for women that enjoy cannabis. Tell us a little bit about you, and what was the inspiration for starting your business?
Since I was a kid, I’ve always had a passion for the arts—both performing and visual, and I ultimately chose to pursue music as a career. After spending five years teaching music, I decided it was time to reconnect with visual arts. A quick search on Craigslist led me to purchase a kiln, and I started experimenting with clay. I found so much enjoyment in creating functional pieces of art. My husband suggested that I create a line of cannabis accessories marketed toward women, as there aren’t a lot of feminine, colorful pieces available. I loved the idea and got to work on Wandering Bud’s first pieces.
What’s the most fun thing about crafting each piece you sell? What’s the hardest part?
My favorite step in the process is painting gold luster. It’s the last step, and I feel like it pulls the whole piece together. Being 22k gold, it’s also so luxurious. The hardest part right now is making pieces quickly enough to keep my shop stocked. Since all of my pieces are handmade by me, it takes a few weeks to craft an item from start to finish. I love the methodical patience that ceramics require, but it can be challenging keeping up with demand.
What has been your all-time favorite piece or project to create?
The one hitter pipes will always be a favorite. They are truly functional, and I create each one with my own two hands. It was incredibly cool to smoke for the first time from a piece that I made.
What type of project have you always wanted to create, but haven’t yet?
I have plans to get into slip casting within the next year. Casting will allow me to make bigger pipes in unique shapes, so I can’t wait to get started on that project.
Where do you find design inspiration?
My other passion, aside from the arts, is travel. A few months before starting Wandering Bud, I traveled to Portugal. There are so many colorful, geometric mosaics and buildings all around Lisbon. My favorite spot was a castle in Sintra, just outside Lisbon. The castle appeared straight out of a storybook—it was so colorful with ornately designed mosaics and architectural features. I had never seen anything like it. I find myself thinking back on that trip often while making design choices.
Tell us about how your relationship with cannabis first began. Do you find that cannabis helps with your creative process today?
I used to have a pretty stereotypical view of cannabis. Everyone I knew who smoked in college fit that “stoner” stereotype, and I didn’t see myself having any part in that life as a hard-working, goal oriented woman. After college, my entire view on cannabis changed, when I met cannabis users that were put-together, driven people. I began using cannabis occasionally and find that it fits best into my creative process when I am brainstorming ideas for new products and designs.
What song(s) do you like listening to while you work or smoke?
Most often, I listen to podcasts while I work. A few favorites are “Science vs,” “Strangers,” “Fresh Air,” and “How I Built This.” If I’m not listening to podcasts, I’m usually hooked on something like the Hamilton soundtrack, or on music by composers like Debussy, Ravel, Gershwin, and Tchaikovsky.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing women entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry today?
I believe navigating the legal issues surrounding the cannabis industry is probably the most challenging aspect, and it’s certainly one that is unique to our industry. The fact that cannabis is completely legal in one state and completely illegal in a neighboring state baffles and frustrates me. Regarding issues facing women specifically, I feel such a strong presence of driven ladies in this industry. Every woman I’ve connected with has been so supportive and collaborative. This is an incredible industry for women.
Any other fun facts about your business to share?
I am launching a brand new item very soon and will be updating my shop with many new pieces at the end of September. Follow me on Instagram @wanderingbud for updates!