Writing has helped shape me.
I started journaling when I received my first diary at the age of 9. The practice of using words to document my thoughts, process my feelings, and weave a story was intuitive from the moment I set pen to page.
Throughout my childhood I wrote pen pals and built friendships with kids around the world by sharing compelling narratives about my life on sparkly, carefully selected stationery (I think back to those days as OG social media).
At the age of 14 I decided I wanted to be a copywriter when I grew up, which eventually led me to graduate from San Jose State University’s Advertising program with a minor in Creative Writing. My career took the scenic route, from publishing to advertising sales to retail merchandising – and along the way I kept up the journaling.
When MySpace was all the rage I wrote blog posts to share my adventures, and in the years that followed I’d have multiple personal blogs across a range of subjects.
Despite occasionally scoring small writing and proofreading gigs over the years, I kept honing my consumer product marketing expertise, co-founded a hardware product development consultancy in 2013, and helped launch multiple brands over the course of a decade.
And after years of feeling happiest writing copy for clients’ websites, blogs, sales materials, packaging and other messaging projects, in 2016 I decided to turn it into a full-time business.
Writing has been my lifelong companion, my most reliable and sometimes only tool for expressing myself and making sense of it all. It’s been so integral for so long that it’s as necessary to me as breathing: I can’t live without it.
Why I specialize in cannabis.
The cannabis industry is set to generate billions of dollars in my home state of California alone. But this doesn’t erase the misinformation and stigma at the foundation of its prohibition history, or the undeniable wrongs done to communities of color as a result of the failed War on Drugs.
When considering a niche in 2016, I originally chose cannabis because of my experience taking it for wellness. But in the months leading up to voter approval of California’s Prop 64 I found myself networking with with activists, advocates, formerly incarcerated individuals, patients and others who simply wanted to improve access to the medicine while keeping more people from being arrested. After taking a weekend seminar at Oaksterdam University to educate myself further, it became clear that my marketing background and writing skills were how I could best help this burgeoning industry.
My favorite cannabis copywriting projects are those that reduce stigma, provide education, and help consumers understand how cannabis could be a viable holistic option for their needs. As a Gen X African-American woman, my journalistic focus is on the women and people of color doing amazing things in the industry, especially in my hometown of Oakland.