The founder of the luxury brand speaks to PSFK about her new collection, dubbed 'Flower,' and explains how expanding into cannabis retail was a natural extension of her work as an accessories designer

From California to Massachusetts, 11 states have made the move to legalize recreational marijuana, introducing a multi-billion dollar industry to their constituents over a process that may only take a few months. During this time, cannabis retailers scramble to build their brand in a market that has little to no experience with the newly legal product.

As reported in PSFK's recent cannabis research paper, retailers are using a range of strategies to address this issue, introducing communities to cannabis through more familiar products and services. Some of the more innovative brands are establishing themselves as cannabis retailers in cities prior to legalization, building solid foundations and consumer relationships in an industry that could—and probably will—enter the legal retail market of that state within the next 2-3 years. In New York, PSFK recently visited Edie Parker, an artisanal handbag retailer introducing cannabis accessories to the Big Apple's luxury market, and caught up with founder Brett Heyman on the strategies behind her innovative new launch:

Kyle Knodell/Courtesy Edie Parker

When Edie Parker launched in 2011, it was solely focused on the acrylic clutches that remain a staple in the collection today. The product’s eclectic color scale and loud patterns made it stand out on the red carpet, where it was donned and made popular by celebrities and influencers. The retailer has now expanded into various other handbags, as well as a successful home collection that would ultimately inspire Heyman’s next vision:

“In thinking about expanding Home, I thought about how I entertained at home, and how I like to live at my home and friend’s homes, and the use of cannabis is always a part of that. It’s just around, legal or not. And so I started thinking, how would I like to display my cannabis accessories? What should they look like?”

“Not to say there aren’t beautiful accessories on the market, but there’s not a lot. We did so much research on smoking accessories in the 60’s—what can you not find anymore? What’s just totally ridiculous? And even if you don’t use it, or don’t smoke, these are still objects that delight and that you want to display.”

Rebecca Bartoshesky/Courtesy Edie Parker

Indeed, the bold new collection dubbed ‘Flower' features a variety of handcrafted acrylic, ceramic and glass blown accessories, designed with the brand’s signature colorful detail to fit seamlessly alongside the retailer’s established merchandise.

“Our new line should speak to the young girl who wants to have a piece of Edie Parker, perhaps at a less expensive price point, and it should also speak to my mom’s friends—the boomers—who are rediscovering cannabis after all this time and might think, ‘I’m going to my friend’s party tonight, wouldn’t she love this handblown, beautiful, strawberry glass pipe.' Whether or not she uses it, she’ll display it.”

Rebecca Bartoshesky/Courtesy Edie Parker

“That is the point. It’s what our brand ethos has always been. We’re not trying to find parallels between our existing brand and a new line—it is literally the same materials, the same spirit, the same woman.”

In addition to building a cannabis audience in New York, Heyman is taking it a step further where the substance has already been legalized. In California, the brand has partnered with craft cannabis brand Flow Kana to cultivate and sell three of its own strains of the plant. Keeping with its high-end rank, the cannabis will be sold on the luxury delivery service Emjay.

Kyle Knodell/Courtesy Edie Parker

Although New York has yet to take the same legalization steps as its West Coast counterpart, it is certainly a talking point, and the innovative launch of Flower makes the case that Edie Parker will be one of the key players when it does.

Pictured: Brett Heyman

Edie Parker

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Lead image: Kyle Knodell/courtesy Edie Parker