WYLLOW's Camille Roistacher on Experiential Innovations in Cannabis Retail
Camille Roistacher grew up in Pasadena, California, and knew early in her career that her future was in cannabis. Today she serves as founder and CEO of WYLLOW, guiding the brand's growth from a pandemic startup to a multi-faceted cannabis business that produces premium products and a first-of-its-kind immersive dispensary experience.
Camille's perspective as a bicultural woman of color, wife and mother informs her approach to entrepreneurship in a predominately white, cis-male dominated industry. Camille is highly regarded for vertical integration, reimagining the dispensary experience for consumers, and managing high-performance teams composed of BIPOC women, non-binary and LGBTQIA+ people who are invested in uplifting communities often sidelined or minimized in the cannabis industry.
We spoke with Camille for our Higher Calling series, where we chat with leaders in the cannabis space.
Camille, tell us...
Where you grew up, and where you live now.
I grew up in Pasadena, California, and now live in Los Angeles with my husband and two sons.
Your current role in the cannabis industry.
I am the founder and CEO of WYLLOW, a California cannabis brand and multi-sensory, micro-dispensary in Los Angeles. My primary areas of focus include business development, growth, product design and operations.
Your earliest cannabis memory.
I coughed. I laughed. I never looked back.
A story about the positive impact cannabis has had on your life.
Cannabis has always been plant medicine for me, especially as I've navigated the twists and turns of adulthood. As an entrepreneur, wife and mother, I'm constantly juggling priorities, and this is often accompanied by an overactive mind. Cannabis helps me to both focus and relax.
A favorite flower, edible, product or brand.
It should come as no surprise that I love WYLLOW flower since we're so focused on terpene profiles rather than high THC percentages. From a product perspective, I'm really excited about Saucy from Tess Taylor. Her line of infused condiments are a game changer, and the Texas-style BBQ sauce is one of the best I've tasted.
The biggest challenge cannabis marketers face today.
Hands down the biggest challenge cannabis marketers face is capital, at least for startup businesses. We face an endless array of regulations from the state and even more restrictions from the likes of Instagram and Google, so it takes a good deal of money and creativity for us to reach our customers. Thankfully, my team is always flush with creativity.
One thing you're excited about right now in cannabis branding, partnerships or marketing.
This year, California brands have heavily invested in experiential marketing, even on the retail side. We launched WYLLOW, our multi-sensory micro-dispensary, on 4/20 and it redefines the cannabis shopping experience at only 350 square feet. The space was designed by Space Objekt, a design studio known for its immersive art installations. When you visit, you get an experience that stimulates your senses. Outside of retail, I've noticed that brands are popping up at mainstream events like music, food and wine festivals. This crossover helps to reduce stigma and allows cannabis brands to meet people where they are.
A cannabis trade/social justice organization that you support.
WYLLOW is part of The Floret Coalition, an anti-racist collective of small businesses in the cannabis space funding equity-oriented actions that serve a spectrum of needs in Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities. The cannabis industry is dominated by white, cis-males, so I find it imperative to do my part to support BIPOC, women and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs. As a bicultural woman of color, I have experience responding to some of the challenges these entrepreneurs face, so it's important to me that WYLLOW play a role in building equity within the cannabis industry.
A recent project you're proud of.
Last year, Whitney Beatty and Ebony Anderson of Josephine & Billies and Kika Keith of Gorilla Rx had the brilliant idea of collaborating on a gift box for the holiday season that highlighted Black-owned cannabis brands. WYLLOW contributed among other brands to create the Black Box. It sold out in less than 24 hours. Since then we've curated other gift boxes highlighting minority-owned cannabis brands, and every time they almost instantly sell out.
Someone else's project you admired recently.
I really love Miss Grass because their branding and content are so fun, playful and sexy. It's inspiring to see their brand take shape and expand into new markets.
Someone you admire in cannabis who's doing great things.
I like what Drew Martin is doing with his namesake brand. His approach to low-dose products with botanicals is refreshing, and the beautiful packaging is always on-point.
A movie, TV show, music or food you most enjoy pairing with cannabis.
If the kids are asleep or with a babysitter, pretty much everything pairs well with cannabis.
What you'd be doing if you weren't in the cannabis industry.
It's hard to say. I left the tech industry because I wanted a change and because I felt compelled to explore my entrepreneurial side, which loves to create. Whatever it is I'm doing, I always want to bring something positive into the world.
Higher Calling is a weekly series, publishing on Thursdays, where we chat with folks in the cannabis industry about their personal history and taste in cannabis and the future of cannabis marketing. For more about Higher Calling, and our Clio Cannabis program, please get in touch.