Robin, Co-Owner of Oregon Girl Gardens
“It is an amazing feeling to have people tell you that your work has given them relief. Whether that relief is a deep belly laugh shared with friends or an increased appetite that has been missing due to cancer treatment, it is so wonderful to be able to directly or indirectly positively influence people’s lives.”
Describe yourself and what you do.
I would describe myself as a nature-loving horticulturist with a sassy attitude.
What inspired you to start your company?
My vision for the future of our cannabis company would be to scour corners of the globe to bring exclusive, world class, newly discovered genetics to Oregon cannabis consumers. In the meantime, we would like to grow our company by taking care of our greatest asset – our people!
We want to attract the right employees for the long term by taking care to provide family living wages and other benefits that directly empower women and other minority groups to have a voice in our industry.
What is your origin story for your canna business?
The origin of my cannabis story begins in the bedroom closet of the first apartment I had in while attending U of O in Eugene, Oregon circa 2003. It was one of those closets that has the slatted doors, and I will always remember how the eerie glow of that 400Watt HPS lit up my room every night. I didn’t have any experience growing anything indoors at that time, but I quickly learned that this game is not as simple as growing money trees.
What is your Superpower?
My superpower would have to be my ridiculously intense intuition. I’m not sure if its enhanced by of all the cannabis I consume, but I can read vibes so strongly that it sometimes makes me uncomfortable, like “I know too much – I didn’t ask to know this, its more than I need or wanted to know.”
Knowing too much can be a burden although my intuition is helpful in many situations where I have to make decisions with inadequate information. It also has made me someone that gives decent advice as I can always read between the lines and I am not afraid to be honest when it really counts. I edit my circle to only include people who are down to be open and take care of one another and to me that means having the courage to be honest – the most important quality to me in friendship and business.
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry or with your business to date – and how have you overcome it?
The greatest obstacle in this business in the past has been being a woman. I never was taken seriously.
I would go trim for people after obtaining my BS in Horticulture from OSU and I would never be asked to help in the garden, only to trim. Meanwhile, there would be all men running the grow and most of them had no experience when they started. The difference was that they were provided with a chance to try… that chance was never offered to me.
I was always working in the industry, but the work was always trimming or equipment and nutrient sales. There were other challenges as well but this was the big one. Not given the opportunity to show what I could do was frustrating when I knew I had so much potential.
In the end this lack of offered opportunity was what inspired me to start my own business, so like fertilizer, the bullshit we put up with can really help us grow!
What is your vision for women in this industry?
In general, I would like women to know that cannabis is a rewarding industry to be involved with. It is an amazing feeling to have people tell you that your work has given them relief. Whether that relief is a deep belly laugh shared with friends or an increased appetite that has been missing due to cancer treatment, it is so wonderful to be able to directly or indirectly positively influence people’s lives.
I would say that it is a great time for a woman to get started in this industry and truly its really never been better. If you want to break into the industry, my advice would be to get traditionally educated in your area of interest then find an entry level or volunteer position at a cannabis organization so you can familiarize yourself with how the industry works at a fundamental level. From there, if you apply yourself earnestly it is most likely you will get the attention of a reputable company.
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