Lauren Miele is a young woman blazing up the ladder to success in the cannabis industry. Originally from New York, Lauren became inspired to create cannabis-themed greeting cards that feature the ability to attach a pre-rolled blunt or joint to them. Seeing the opportunity in her simple yet revolutionary idea, she created KushKards, and began to get the word out. Through her creativity and tenacity, she has been able to move to Colorado and continues to expand her business. Impressed with what an amazing gift KushKards makes for Valentine’s Day (and really any occasion), MAGNETIC met up with the budding entrepreneur to learn more about her offerings and what inspires her designs.
What were you doing prior to KushKards that lead you to creating the business?
I graduated the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2013, and you know how you have all this free time post grad? I didn’t know what to do with it, so I started getting crafty. Around Christmas time that year, I decided I wanted to gift weed to a close friend, but wasn’t sure how to make it cute. That’s when I was inspired to make my own card and spell out his initials with blunts. After that, I was looking for events with friends that I could create cards for. Eventually, it lead to my friends paying me to make them for their friends, and I started to think I could make something of it.
KushKards are known for fun plays on words. From where do you draw your inspiration?
It’s who I hang out with, really. My friends, my family—when we’re out to eat, smoking, hanging out, they say things or I throw things out there and it just happens. Sometimes, I see things that get my mind to click, but mostly it’s the people I’m close to.
What is your personal relationship with cannabis? Was it a long dream in the making to be involved in the cannabis industry?
Cannabis definitely helps me focus and really, it enhances everything natural in me. My craftiness, my drive, my euphoria, it all goes to another level. I smoked in high school some, but didn’t really get into it until college. I love weed, but I didn’t see myself in the industry at all, or was even fully aware it existed to the extent it did. Now that I am in, I’m here to stay. Merging greeting cards and cannabis is almost like a new industry. KushKards are different because they’re an experience.
Valentine’s Day is coming up here soon. Do you have a favorite card from your Valentine’s collection?
I would have to say it’s the “Honey, Will You Be Mine?” The use of the images as words, the crafty feel of the text, the pop of mustard yellow, I love it all. I actually replaced “valentine” with “mine” because I’m hoping to keep it a part of my collection year round. That’s how much I love it. Another one of my favorites is “High Love You.” Saying “high love you” just makes me so happy, and I don’t even remember what exactly sparked it.
Out of your entire collection, what are your top three favorites?
My first favorite is “High Wishes,” the classic birthday card. On it the “i” is the candle, and it’s the joint. It was the first card I made for the collection I brought out to Colorado in 2014, so it’s special to me. It’s also one of the most popular of our birthday cards. I got inspiration for that one while at a drugstore one day. I just happened to see a birthday card that said, “Big Wishes” and my mind immediately said, “High Wishes” and there it was. So there’s an example of one that just kind of popped into my head. Another favorite is, “I’m So Stoned Over You.” It has a stone background, and the juxtaposition of the word is just really pleasing. My third favorite I would have to say is “All I Weed is You.” My friend Kim did the original artwork by hand. I had a vision and she made it happen. It’s a super cute card.
Do you offer customizable cards?
Oh yes, totally! I’ve added things to my current designs, and people can create their own card from a blank. We also offer custom thank you cards that are a smaller size. The only staple things on the card are the pre-roll insert and the match strip at the bottom, but other than that the cards are open to put whatever you want. There room on the cards for advertising and infographics. They can be used as invitations...there are a lot of possibilities.
What are your hopes for the future of the cannabis industry, as well as for KushKards?
Normalizing cannabis use is definitely important. I hope, by using something commonplace that’s been around for so long, like greeting cards and tying them in with cannabis, it will help diminish the stigma. My hope for KushKards is to branch out into many other industries, and through that I want to raise awareness and create cannabis acceptance.