Challenging the way that people view cannabis by elevating the aesthetics of the cannabis consumption experience is what KushKush is all about. So is building a community of enlightened and educated high-end consumers who stand to gain from the myriad recreational and medicinal benefits that cannabis offers.
Founder Jo Hope, a fashion and lifestyle entrepreneur, was inspired to start www.kushkushonline.com after a disappointing experience in a “head shop” selling cannabis paraphernalia. Unable to find products that would complement her personal style and décor taste levels, she saw the need for a premium shopping experience that does away with the ‘seedy’ reputation and misconceptions often associated with the now-legal, but still-stigmatised, cannabis industry.
‘I know plenty of women, like me, who love art, fashion, décor, design and weed, so if I felt out of place in that space, so would they,’ she says.
This was the start of KushKush: a carefully curated e-commerce and content platform aimed at mostly women (but also men); from the merely canna-curious to the experienced toker. The idea was to offer beautiful products in an informative and positive environment that reinvented calcified perceptions. ‘Our mission is to cultivate a refreshing and inspired representation of cannabis culture, in South Africa and abroad, that educates, illuminates and shifts public sentiment. We’re learning with you as we go,’ she says.
Hope’s experience in the creative and lifestyle space, her time spent travelling abroad and her time working in retail as both a concept store owner and managing director of a branded content agency informed the creation of the KushKush identity, with exciting local and international illustrators, stylists and journalists all collaborating on the thought-provoking content offering. This ‘only the best’ approach also directed her stringent product selection process, which has resulted in an e-commerce portal made up of the most beautiful designer products from around the globe.
Ranging from products for consumption (pipes, infusers, vaporisers), accessories for storage and maintenance, and the ultimate in CBD beauty and wellness products, the KushKush range is testament to Hope’s desire to elevate the experience of cannabis use. Carved wooden cases, crystal ashtrays, colourful clutch-style carrier pouches and even elegant hand-blown glass pipes that double as stylish display-worthy objet d’art are just some of the beauties waiting to up your cannabis style status… ‘Form is just as important to me as function,’ Hope says, adding with a laugh, ‘I am a sucker for beautiful packaging!’
That doesn’t mean good design should come at a cost to the planet. For Hope, it’s equally important that KushKush stands for ethical retailing and that products listed are sustainably produced, have a high artisanal value and that their ingredients are certified according to local cannabis laws.
‘We’re taking it slow and want to build trust with our consumer base, which is why we only stock brands that align with our own personal standards and values,’ she says. Plus, she’ll never put something on the website that the KushKush team has not reviewed or endorsed. ‘We thoroughly test every product ourselves and also encourage shoppers to leave honest reviews so you really do know what you’re getting. It’s all about that guaranteed feel-good factor!’