Van der Pop Founder April Pride On Fashion, Cannabis + Normalization

April Pride is a brand, design & product innovator and the founder of Van der Pop, the leading cannabis digest for discerning women. This June, she will be presenting as part of Cannabis & Fashion: Modern Marijuana Trends in Fashion and Design at the MNP O’Cannabiz Conference and Expo Presented by Tweed

We chatted with her about cannabis, fashion and how the two intersect. 

@lizardfritz/Lizzie Fritz

SDTC: What is Van der Pop all about?

AP: The absolute mission of Van der Pop is in support of a woman’s pursuit of health and happiness. Our contribution to this is providing correct, relevant information on how the cannabis plant can play a role in this pursuit alongside the array of options traditionally (and sometimes not) available to her.

As I hear women relay how they discovered cannabis for themselves or a loved one, a commonality is the fact that cannabis was presented and chosen as a last resort when all other options failed. Van der Pop wants women to consider cannabis much sooner. More acceptance and support in individual choices will reduce suffering, both in duration and degree.

What are your current faves in terms of products/strains/clothing from the cannabis space?

I’m partial but the VdP Pop Sticks are an example of the personalization that is defining individualism in the space. Joints are part of a ritual that will slowly disappear as innovation takes hold in the space. When with friends, a joint is where it’s at. While alone, I love the IndigoPro vaporizer. A pen with punch!

imcannabess cones – @imcannabess/Bess Byers

What is your personal history with cannabis? How did it become a passion of yours?

Upon launching Van der Pop, I unapologetically characterized myself as a recreational cannabis consumer. I used to primarily socialize with alcohol and replaced it with cannabis. That sounds a lot like a recreational user. But my new form of socializing proved positive once the fun was over. No hangover literally or figuratively.

Unlike alcohol, which only complicated an already stretched-thin life, cannabis helped me find true balance across all spectrums of my life. As I immersed myself in the industry and learned the specific ways the plant benefits a woman’s body and mind, I’ve been compelled to share what I learn from other women who are brave enough to share their stories.

Grinder Cards – @jessacarterinstant/Jessa Carter

What are the misconceptions about cannabis use/users that you’d like to dispel forever?

Our beliefs and behaviours around cannabis are related to a combination of what we’ve been told and what we’ve experienced. Any education we’ve had related to cannabis is typically bundled with street drugs as part of an abstinence-based curriculum. Full stop. Cannabis education today forces one to reconsider and reframe everything related to this plant.

Bad experiences also contribute to perceptions that characterize cannabis as a gateway to other bad experiences or as a means to get messed up. Proper dosing, state-mandated labelling, strain info and efficient consumption methods promise more control for today’s cannabis consumers. Put simply: Forget what you know because the cannabis of today offers a very different experience and outcome than that of the past. Even the recent past. It takes 800 joints to overdose, so cannabis is not like “other drugs.”

Photo: David Pike – Poppins Stash Bag @ Tokyo Smoke

What do you find most exciting about the intersection of cannabis with fashion & design? What opportunities do you see there?

The name “Van der Pop” is–in part–a nod to Mies van der Rohe, the father of modernism, whose mantra, “less is more,” is apropos to cannabis. His words also speak to the style represented by the brand’s aesthetic. Great design changes minds and cannabis is certainly a subject that is loaded with prejudice. Our products look as though they belong beside other covetable pieces in a woman’s closet or on her vanity.

Simply fitting in is exactly what normalization is about. When used in contemporary fashion as a design element, the cannabis leaf is intended to illicit a response, make a statement. Cannabis, like any great muse, is a provocateur. This is a movement and–like music, art, writing–fashion is an expression of our times.

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