Wednesday March 23, 2022
By Shirley Ju
Nowadays, cannabis consumption has been at an all-time high — and we are here for it! Of course for stoners all around the world, it’s vital to always have your weed kit on deck in times of need. When it’s time to roll up, you need weed, a grinder, papers, maybe even a crutch or glass tip?
Insert Rogue Paq, the female-owned cannabis accessory line boasting the chicest products with designs that demand attention and refuse to go unnoticed. From the Send Nudes matches to the rolling tray to their custom sleek, patented, scent-suppressant Ritual Cases (available in either Lambskin Leather or Vegan Leather), everything is created and designed with love and intention.
The company’s tagline is “Raise Your Ritual” and they are here to break down the stigma around cannabis consumption. While the design-forward products sell themselves, it’s Rogue Paq’s mission to savor your ritual by making your tools not only appealing and easy on the eye, but protected, clean, and organized. Beyond that, they focus on inclusivity and diversity – the belief that “we are better together is baked into the brand DNA.”
An Interview with Jessica Cadmus
PotGuide had the pleasure of speaking with Rogue Paq founder Jessica Cadmus, who also uses her products to help educate the masses, such as using her scissors to seal a joint.
Read below as we discuss her background in fashion, how the name Rogue Paq came to be, where their tagline originated, starting her own company, the dope cannabis community, her favorite products, the future of cannabis, and more!
[Shirley Ju]: For those who don't know, who is Jessica Cadmus? Where are you from and how did you get your start in all this?
[Jessica Cadmus]: So I lived in New York for 20 years and recently moved out because I have some kids, but I'm still very close and work there all the time. I got my start with Rogue Paq because I am also a wardrobe stylist and have been for over 15 years. My primary function is to work with my male and female clients to ensure their look is highly curated and their overall aesthetic is very cultivated.
It really bothered me when I realized these super sophisticated people were carrying their rituals around in pencil cases. I’d look in their closet and there’d be a shoebox and an old toiletry case, just really unsophisticated ways to store and carry their rituals.
I started looking around for some different options, particularly for storage and travel. I didn't see anything I was in love with so I started designing pieces. I began with the Ritual Case, that was my first product, then had such a really warm response to it that I kept going. [laughs]
[SJ]: What exactly is the Ritual Case?
[JC]: There are two versions of the Ritual Case: a vegan version and a lambskin version. It's basically a roll-up where you can store all of the tools that you need for your cannabis ritual. Not only can you store your flower, you can put your lighters, rolling papers, and even glass items because it's shockproof. It’s also scent-suppressant so it’s very discreet.
It’s easy to toss in your bag and take along with you anywhere you go. You always have all the items you need safe and on hand.
[SJ]: What does the tagline "Raise Your Ritual" mean to you?
[JC]: That's the company tagline, it's how we feel about cannabis. It's self-care, it's a daily ritual. It's something to celebrate. It's a way to get in touch with yourself, unwind, just find your center. I do believe that using not only functional tools, but beautiful tools during that time period really helps to elevate the user experience.
Every time I design something, that's what I'm thinking of. Will somebody find beauty in this? Will they find humor in this? Will it lift them up in some way? Those are the north stars of my design. Is it inclusive? Is it something that can delight a variety of people? That's how I'm thinking when I'm creating products for the brand.
[SJ]: Where did the name Rogue Paq come from?
[JC]: It came because I initially searched about — it felt like thousands of different URLs. Every name was taken that I tried to trademark. Every URL was taken, so I ended up backing into this. Paq is a spin on not only the case (pack), but also the tribe around our pack of folks who relate to the design, relate to the movement and to ritual.
[SJ]: What moves you in the design aspect? Do you do all the designs yourself, with your background?
[JC]: I do. To be honest with you, it started years ago. I’ve been smoking since I was about 13. I'm a super girly girl. I love accessories. I love gold. I love pretty things. I’d look around for tools and cases that suited me and I could never find anything. I was always repurposing things that I thought were glamorous or sewing things for myself.
A lot of the core products in the line come from that: pieces that I've made for friends over the years, and have always used for myself. I'm usually applying that same sensibility as I'm designing. What would I want when I think about a rolling tray? How would I want it to look? What would make me feel special during that ritual time? That's mostly the inspiration, jewelry and pretty shiny things. [laughs]
[SJ]: What’s the reality of starting your own company?
[JC]: It's really interesting, so this is actually my second company. As I told you, I'm a wardrobe stylist. I still style actively. But Rogue Paq is such a different pursuit. When you're a stylist, you are the commodity. You're working with your clients, everything is you interfacing and serving somebody else.
It's very different to start a company where you are not only designing the products, but having them manufactured and taking on inventory. You’re still serving but there’s so much more to it materially. It's a whole different endeavor, but I like it so much. I've learned so, so much.
The greatest part of it is the cannabis community, to be honest with you. Fashion is cutthroat, which is fine. But I've really found pretty amazing people to support and to share with and to lift up in the cannabis industry. People are down to help each other because I think everybody realizes what a struggle it is. There are so many obstacles that we face. Because of this united struggle, people are really ready to share and help each other where they can, give context and connect people. That's just a different feeling that I’ve had, and very different from fashion. So it's been great.
[SJ]: I had Ricky Williams on my show Shirley’s Temple, he was saying the same thing: how amazing people in cannabis are, the genuine energy. How does it feel to be in this space with a female-focused line?
[JC]: I love it. To be honest with you, that's where my strongest connections have come, from females specifically in the industry. What these women are doing is blowing my mind. The creativity, the energy, the business wherewithal, and how much I'm learning from everybody.
That information sharing and that willingness to push each other forward, it's really amazing. Other than designing, that's my most favorite part of doing this whole thing. It's like you, you came out and you connected with me. You invited me to talk with you, it's fantastic. And we met through another incredible female - Tess!
[SJ]: Tess (founder of Saucy) is so dope! She's so dope.
[JC]: Tess is a rockstar. That's what I mean, that's the kind of people I'm meeting. What could be better than this? These are amazing human beings that I am proud to call friends and mentors. The fact that we can connect over this beautiful plant and figure out ways to help each other, is awesome.
[SJ]: What products are you most excited about?
[JC]: The thing I'm most stoked about right now: I’ve been in development for two years over a personal-petal ashtray. It's pure brass and so beautiful. It looks like a flower, looks like a piece of art. Each petal comes off, and becomes a personal ashtray for each person in your sesh. There are five petals, five personal ashtrays.
And all the stamen are removable as well, they can be used as tamper tools when you’re rolling up or they can be used to scrape your bowl - they’re multi-functional. This is an instance of high function and high fashion. It was very hard to get this piece right, but it's so beautiful. Again, raising that ritual. Making that session super special and super elevated.
[SJ]: Talk about wanting to educate people on how to use your tools. How important is that?
[JC]: That's something I've been doing a lot lately. I've been doing a few different pop-ups and trade shows. What I realized when you get outside of this cannabis bubble that you are in is that we have an obligation to educate. For instance, it’s easy to speak with you - you know everything, I don't have to educate you.
But when I remove myself from the canna-community I operate in daily, I realize that people really need someone to tell them how to use and appreciate the tools so they get their fullest experience with it’s ritual time.
I carry a number of little scissors, for instance. Sure they're great for manual grind, they're great for clipping off the top of you joints. I'm also teaching people, you can use them to cauterize your joint. If you're not going to smoke the whole thing, you can clip off the top, rub the metal on the hot part and it seals in the flavor.
Then you have a really nice tasting joint later, and that's news to a lot of people. It's such a great tip because not all of us can finish what we roll right away. [laughs] I love sharing little tips and tricks like that.
[SJ]: The matches are so adorable, you got the dancers on there. Where did you come up with that idea?
[JC]: That was inspired by a retro feature nudie design from the 50’s that I have always loved. I don't know if you can see, they're super tiny but I turned them into Can-Can dancers. It’s a play on Can-Can/cann-cann and cannabis; then the messaging is "yes, we cann cann and another is sisters cann-cann."
I wanted to unite the design and messaging to the brand mission of inclusivity (you’ll see the dancers have all different skin tones) while also bringing in the cannabis aspect and celebrating the female form. If you look closely, you'll see that all their tiny arms are linked and that’s how I’m expressing that we are better together. Let's all help one another.
[SJ]: How does cannabis improve your life?
[JC]: Wind down, it's always been a wind down. I’m super hyper mostly. [laughs] I run around like crazy so for me, it’s that self-care. That moment when "Okay, this is my time. I'm going to roll this joint, I'm going to take a minute. Go through the whole process.”
Every bit of it from pulling out the rolling papers and grinding up the bud to making the cone, each step is so cathartic to me. It's bringing me down notch by notch. By the time that I get to enjoy it, it's bliss. The whole thing is just lovely. I have a candle going, I have music. It’s very ritualistic, it's my thing. I love it.
[SJ]: Where do you see the future of cannabis?
[JC]: Oh gosh. Hopefully the immediate future of cannabis is federally legality because I can't even believe we're still fighting this battle. It's absolutely appalling to me that we’re this close and yet this far away. So yes, federal legalization and then with that my true hope is getting power behind education.
As much as I like to say I want to help break down the stigma around cannabis use through good design, yes I want to do that but that’s a very small piece. What really breaks down the stigma is conversation, is education, is people understanding that it's natural.
It's a plant, it's okay. Feeling that it's not something to be afraid of, there's so much. It's had so much bad press over the years. It's been misused and misspoken about.
People have very wrong ideas about its level of danger, or whatever these misconceived notions are. So again, first legalization, then education, then acceptance, that's it. In the meantime, all of us who are working hard to show that you can be productive and enjoy it, we have to lead by example.
[SJ]: Anything else you want to let the people know?
[JC]: The last thing would be that working in the cannabis industry brings a responsibility to help move social justice forward. I have an understanding that I'm very fortunate to be able to create products within cannabis and not get incarcerated for it.
There's so much injustice around that one of the things that Rogue Paq does is we have a Give Back bundle. 100% of the proceeds from the bundle are donated to organizations like Last Prisoner Project, National Bail Out, and Ethel’s Club.
We do this on a rolling basis all year round. We are always trying to listen to our customers if they have suggestions on wonderful organizations then getting those funds over to the organizations, as one small way to try to give back. We find it necessary to support these fantastic organizations who are working so, so hard for social justice.
Thanks for talking with PotGuide!
Let us know your thoughts on Rogue Paq and other evolving smoking accessories in the comments, below!
Photo Credit: Rogue Paq