By: Annabelle Paulino
In this Golden Age of the roaring twenties of weed, many CBD and Marijuana businesses have been celebrating this new era with a resonance and fiery passion that has left an indelible mark in our Marijuana universe.
Out of the many innovative duo’s in our leafy world Humble Bloom has captivated the true essence of what a versatile experience is in the canna industry.
Two incredible womxn with an immaculate mission, Co-founders of Humble Bloom Solonje Burnett and Danniel Swatosh have changed up the game with their powerful, innovative, and creative cannabis immersive education and advocacy platform that both empowers individuals through inclusive experiences and consults growing brands on how to bloom consciously.
From organizing Humble Bloom field trips to connect community through the cannabis plants, activists who discuss marijuana legalization in New York, empowering not only womxn, but men into the canna industry, to being known for cultivating its inclusivity–changing up the white-washed narrative of the cannabis culture making it not only a welcoming environment, but educating those who are interested in the cannabis business.
These powerhouse women have developed an amazing marketplace where their site humblebloom.co. innovate’s new ways for cannabis lifestyle enthusiasts to live, feel, and be immersed in what the plant truly has to offer.
Danniel Swatosh and Solonje-Burnett’s journey has led them to innovate communities with social action and spiritual-well being informing people about cannabis and the many benefits that our leafy friend brings to our lives.
Here is what our leafy fans would love to know:
AP: Let’s start at Humble Bloom’s inception. How did you ladies meet and what inspired you to call your company “Humble Bloom”?
SB: Danniel and I met through a mutual friend. I soon learned that Danniel is one of the biggest friend fans.
She started coming to Exhibition performances (the band I was in at the time), as well as conferences and experiences I produced, and over time we got closer.
With the name we wanted something that was approachable, based in nature, evolving and inclusive.
We brainstormed a few options, landed on Humble Bloom and searched to see if anyone else was already using it in the industry – luckily it was available!
DS: Humble Bloom, Planted Under A New Moon, is grounded in the cycle of life, with an ethos that we are all connected, part of a larger ecosystem and essential for the vitality of one and all.
AP: Now that weed is legal in New York, using cannabis won’t be against the law, but many people believe it remains against social norms. There is a stigma surrounding Marijuana. Moving forward in this Golden Age of weed, Do you have any strategic initiatives that can help emphasize pot stigmatization? What does the public that is against weed need to know?
SB: It’s just a plant – but one that is diverse in its ability to address (or create) a multitude of issues and under researched for its benefits from the macro in the environment and sustainability to the micro in personal health, wellbeing, and freedom.
The public needs to read up on why cannabis was prohibited and vilified. Everything in America is about money. Rhetoric and all out lies to control industries for power hungry greedy men to possess money, demonize melanated people, as well as divide and polarize us all, in an effort to continue the destruction campaign that is the American dream.
This is an every man for himself culture. Decimating nature inclusive of the lands we inhabit to the disconnecting of communities we live isolated in with anxiety, fear, and hate stoked by lies, media, pills, plastic, and pollution.
DS: Cannabis is the plant, like no other, intrinsically intertwined with our evolution, was once wielded as a weapon to put humans in cages, now breaking the chains of prohibition, offering us a once-in-lifetime opportunity to lift the veil of racism and systematic oppression.
Our strategic approach to advocacy and education around cannabis, is an inclusive and cross-pollinating using the plant as a conduit for larger conversation around topics like race, sexuality, wellbeing, community, legislation, regeneration and so on with a multitude of access points so that anyone and everyone can enter the space feeling accepted, comfortable, informed and safe.
AP: Since launching your online marketplace, what products do your customers rave about? What are the smokable and edible go-to’s? Any bath and body favorites?
Non cannabis related, CRUDE’s starter kit is a great way to work with your nature, rather than against it.
And if you want to talk CBD for your vagina, Quim’s Happy Clam both manages woes and intensifies wow.
DS: Solonje has shared some of my favorite’s. Beyond those products being amazing, they are also authentic and made with purpose.
I wear my values on my sleeve, am not one for small talk, would rather walk my talk and often on the go so I like my BUY WEED FROM WOMEN tote (use “Humble for 10% off) to carry all, hitting the streets, a farmer’s market, a journey or wherever I may be going, people are in the know.
Barbari’s herbals are incredible to elevate your smoking, bath, or tea-time experiences and feel them flourish.
Cannabis is a masterplant that helps all of your systems work in concert with one another but plants that are more direct can hone in on specific needs and open you up to other dimensions.
Let Cannabis be your gateway plant to the world of flora as well as a better humanity.
AP: How has cannabis changed lives through the advocacy of Humble Bloom’s plant education and immersive experience?
SB: It could be something as small as sharing lists of Black or Indigenous entrepreneurs in the space on socials, pushing petitions on everything from cannabis legalization to BLM movement, helping consumers understand that how you spend your money matters through our marketplace comprised for small womxn, Black, and other POC businesses, curating memorable educational experiences, ensuring we have an equity fund/keep ticket prices affordable to all our experiences so a diverse intersectional community (socioeconomic, ethnicity, gender, age, and race, background, etc) can learn, bloom, and grow together. These are a few ways we’ve influenced folx to awaken, shift their mindsets with new found awareness, and take action.
DS: There is a wave of awareness that emerges, a sense of responsibility and through that newfound awareness and sense of responsibility, consciousness is gained.
I like to say a pebble makes a ripple that becomes the wave. A wave of consciousness, in tune with the frequencies of the world, looking for and creating harmony within oneself and beyond.
We take people on a journey, whether it’s an HB Field Trip like Healing Earth and Community with Aster Farms where we connected the dots between regenerative farming and sustainable community building; or affinity experiences like our Womxn Session: Destigmatizing Race Sexuality + Cannabis Consumption where we have boundry-breaking panel discussions, Sex Ed and femme care in the bedroom and the parralel experience a Men’s Session: Achieving Homestastis in Vulnerabillity, Wellness + Cannabis Consumption where we have Pro Athelets, VC and tech gus talking about how being more human and vulnerable can help their bottom line and then later are in break-out sessions howling on the roof and shopping the marketplace.
We created a safe container, bringing together men’s collective groups like Mankind Project and The Everyman Project who at the time were primarily white CIS male but wanted to make change and Mastermind Connect for BIPOC men. These groups had never collaborated before, not surprising. We returned to a standing ovation by 80 quite handsome and incredibly diverse men.
AP: Humble Bloom helps people better their spiritual-well being. What techniques would you recommend? What types of CBD/Marijuana do you use for this process?
SB: We infuse mindfulness into each of our experiences whether IRL or URL to ground, facilitate deep listening, and establish common ground for connection.
I have been melding activism and self care through breath work for the past year at Frequency. Currently I’m leading a class called Breath is Radical Self Care on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month on that platform to help people move out of their head and into their body, release trauma, deal with anxiety, and experience joyful serenity.
Humble Bloom has partnered with Highlites and I’ll be guiding classes on the platform. They focus on mindfulness in the cannabis community, incorporating the plant with intention, and providing a #StonerOasis led by Black and Brown femme practioners.
One of my fave classes is Flow Yoga with Eden Hakimzadeh. Talk about judgement free expansive and challenging serenity. Together we consume to set intention and normally I choose to smoke a puff or two of super lemon haze or legend of nigeria from my local unregulated grow Lifted.
DM me for the hook up. For breathwork I tend to use oHHo CBD oil. Gotta protect your lungs. In May I’ll guide two Thursday evening sessions called Full Spectrum Breath allowing you to experience conscious control of your breath to reset and revive much needed energies to bloom and grow.
DS: So much of the spiritual and wellness world are part of the capitalist industry centered on self and self-care. At humble Bloom we believe in community and the vitality of that ecosystem is centered in diversity.
I personally believe that my wellbeing is dependent on my community’s well being with a daily practice of boots on the ground and physical service. I co-founded Breaking Bread NYC, a volunteer-run organization that strives to feed the community and fuel the movement for positive change by delivering healthy meals to NY communities facing oppression, inequality, and food insecurity while supporting local, BIPOC-owned businesses.
I’m part of a cycle of generosity and gratitude that I’ve never experienced in 15 years of meditation, breath work or yoga.
I also have a school in my home called the “Peacekeepers Kids Club” made up of families from diverse backgrounds, coming from America, Ethiopia, Hungary, and Poland.
Together we have navigated the last year, through pandemic and protest, as a collective, supporting the children and each other in a holistic way.
I smoke weed while doing all the above and buy it from a woman owned business, it’s organic and sungrown, hit me up.
AP: What sets Humble Bloom apart from other companies when it comes to changing the status quo of “the white washed narrative” using social action? How has this change revolutionized cannabis culture?
SB: By creating and connecting intersectional communities through vulnerable education based conversation powered by collaboration over competition, championing small business, amplifying the marginalized, and having inclusivity baked into our core – merely existing and thriving challenges the narrative.
DS: We’ve shared a lot about our activations but the power is in the dollar and consulting brands on blooming consciously is a pillar of what we do, weaving care into their core, making values valuable, helping them be authentic and lead with purpose.
AP: As a women led business, social movement, equity, education advocacy and brand consulting firm, what is a message you want to tell women, especially women of color on how to empower themselves within a heavily white dominated industry?
SB: Do your homework and find your community. Ask questions, schedule discovery calls, deeply listen and seek out partners, allies, and co-conspirators.
This is a collaborative learning process, no one is expert on all things cannabis. I’m still learning every day. If you are willing to deal with a dynamic uncertain constantly influx industry and think you can wake up each day aligned in your passion and purpose then do it!
Lead with your values and be flexible. Lift each other as you climb. The cannabis industry is constantly influx as it unfolds and you’ll need your community care circle.
As we march toward federal legalization the big corporate money is preparing to take over, consolidate and squeeze out any competition.
DS: To add to Solonje’s great advice… I would say look into the brands you’re supporting and not only ask yourself these questions but ask them “Who is their team? Is it diverse beyond including a couple women in HR?
What does their supply chain look like? Who do they collaborate with?” and challenge them to do better. And for all the brand owners out there, don’t just do performative actions like Instagram posts or just a give back to incarceration reform.
Pay it forward and give people who have been incarcerated a job and create pathways into the industry. Hire people who don’t look like you or went to school with you.
Get the full spectrum, like the plant, it will generate more innovative ideas and ultimately wealth.”
The saying, “Don’t let the tall weeds cast a shadow on the beautiful flowers in your garden”, runs deep with what beautiful flowers are able to do and how Humble Bloom has made these seeds grow into a humble and grounding experience.
Humble Bloom‘s co-founders Solonje Burnett and Danielle Swatosh are an inclusive kismet that is empowering womxn, men, and underrepresented communities with social action and spiritual well-being while educating people on the use of our friendly plant: cannabis.
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