I attended my very first Women Grow networking event last Thursday, it was quite an experience. For my regular readers, YES I AM GOING TO WRITE ABOUT ANOTHER NETWORKING EVENT! Since June I’ve been attending as many of the local cannabis events and conferences as I can, so many that they’re all starting to bleed together a bit. The Women Grow events are better than normal cannabis conferences because they’re a lot shorter, and they’re just plain better. Each event lasts a few hours and attendees are given time to network before and after the scheduled speakers, while they enjoy some free snacks and libations to purchase.
I saw a lot of familiar faces from other conferences and events I’ve been to so far, and I also met a lot of new people I hope to form relationships with in the future. Men are welcome, TWB wrote a piece on what it was like being a male at a Women Grow event, and it was quite surprising how many men were in attendance to network and show support to all the women in the cannabis industry as well. Part of Women Grow’s mission during these networking events, is to pair job seekers with employers, in order to stand out as a job seeker you’re supposed to put a sticker on your name tag, for this particular event they used foil stars.
This particular networking event was special, not only was it the 1 year anniversary for Women Grow, but Jazmin Hupp, the Executive director of Women Grow was also in the house to speak. After Leah and Sara went over current events they introduced, Sarah Duff, of Duff Johnson Consulting. Sarah took the stage to talk a little about her background, from her move to Portland, to her activist roots. Duff also talked a little about her consulting business where she matches cannabis patients with growers. She took an interest in consulting to help get patients the right strains and forms of medicine they need for whatever condition(s) they may have. I am hoping I heard this part right, and if I am wrong, someone please let me know, but I believe Sraah also said that through her consulting business all patients/cancer patients are eligible for free extract cannabis oil, along with hospice delivery. After Sarah started her Freedom Fighter Farm (I hope I wrote the name down right) brand of tinctures and lotions, proceeds of that helped pay to make those items free for patients. (Again, if anything mentioned here is incorrect, please contact me so I can get it right.
Afterwards, event sponsor Wendy Rall of Budd Branding and she spoke about her background in branding and the importance of setting yourself apart from the competition. Soon after Leah introduced Jazmin Hupp and all of a sudden I felt like I was in a church, because Jazmin’s speech, was more like a sermon. Aside from being Executive Director and 1 of 3 founding members of Women Grow, but prior to this she launched 6 companies in retail, e-commerce, business services, and media. She was named “genius entrepreneur” by Fortune Magazine, and named one of the “top business women” in the cannabis industry by Forbes. Jazmin told us about how she’s from Oregon and started consuming when she was a teenager because she thought it was healthier than getting shit-faced. She always felt like cannabis was a healthy choice and that’s what brought her here, and she thinks others deserve the same right as well.
Jazmin preached (proof) the importance of working together with a strong network to help you succeed. This industry is moving FAST, without a little help from your friends, you might end up in the dust. But the biggest thing I took from Jazmin’s sermon was the importance of letting go of the jealousy and bitterness that comes with working alongside women. For ages, instead of uplifting one another, we’ve been taught to compete and put each other down. Like Jazmin, I always preferred to work with men, well, I’ve been working in male dominated offices for years, and you know what? It sucks! Something has to change, and for some that change can start by attending one of your very first Women Grow events.
“If you think your competition is in the room with you, you’re thinking too small, there’s room for all of us and we can get to the top if we work together.” -Jazmin Hupp
Along with the above quote, take with you a bit more wisdom from Jazmin, she’s says that when you’re jealous of what the person next to you has, it means that you’re ready to get it yourself. In this community, instead of dragging your feet and competing, lift each other up instead. After her preaching was over she was met with a loud applause and we were then put into small groups where we each got 1 minute to brag about who we are, what we’re doing here, and how we’ve recently succeeded in our new ventures.
A big thank you to Jazmin Hupp for being such a passionate, and motivating speaker, and to Women Grow for putting on a great event!