Spotlight Series: Victoria Ashley of Laundry Day
Victoria Ashley is an artist, a maker and a do-er. She recognized that she wasn’t seeing smoking products that were designed to her taste and so she did what any fearless, entrepreneurial artist would do and set out to create what she was missing. Laundry Day is a line of design forward smokeware with a modern spin on a 70’s inspired aesthetic. The pieces are timeless and functional and are garnering praise from all across the cannabis community.
Please meet Victoria Ashley, the woman behind Laundry Day.
How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?
My cannabis journey began about 6 years ago when I had experienced IUD related pain. I was using cannabis as a natural sleep aid and to this day I still use the plant for relaxation and pain relief when needed. When it came to buying smoke pieces, the shopping experience and the products didn’t speak to me or my style at all. So I decided to make my own, and Laundry Day began.
Tell us a little bit about your product or service
Laundry Day is a line of design-forward smokeware with a mission to change the visual narrative behind cannabis use. We have a modern take on 1970s design inspiration and offer products that are sleek, sophisticated and playful smoking alternatives. We aim to add creativity to the cannabis space, and make the products that surround it more inclusive — opening them up to once ignored communities.
What time does your day typically start and what does a normal day look like to you?
I usually wake up at around 8:00 am and get dressed right away. Being self-employed, I find it super important to feel like I’m up and ready for the day. After my Bulletproof coffee (usually made by my partner to help me get up), I light a candle and turn on some music. Creating a comfortable and inviting at-home work environment is crucial to my productivity! Then it’s onto emails – tackling this first always helps me put my priorities into perspective for the day. I’ll then start packing orders, handling customer service inquiries, and working on new product designs.
What is your vision for your company going forward?
I want Laundry Day to be the brand that breaks through the boys-club of cannabis. By providing smokeware that fits into the lives of women who love music, art, fashion, film, decor – and also enjoy THC and/or CBD both on the regular or also more sporadically – Laundry Day is working to change the narrative of who is a “modern stoner,” and normalize a ritual that millions of people take part in every day.
What would an ideal post prohibition society look like to you?
We’re living it right now in Canada! It’s an exciting new chapter, and I hope legalization will encourage more people to be openly curious about the many facets of the industry. I’m personally looking forward to being more open about my own experience. I also hope to see more attention paid to those who have been previously marginalized in the industry. The illegality of cannabis have deeply affected who can safely participate in cannabis-related business. I hope to see that change.
What was your first experience with cannabis like?
I think the first time I tried the plant was in high school, and I was not a big fan of that experience. “Back in those days” there was no access to information on the different strains or uses like we have today. I would like to think of my first experience as the one I had in my adult life, about 6 years ago when my partner introduced me to the plant as pain relief. Since then, I’ve learned how my body reacts and know how to use cannabis in a way that works best for me.
Tell us about some of the challenges you face working in the cannabis industry
It can be difficult explaining my profession to those who don't quite understand the industry. There are so many stereotypes of who uses cannabis: we’re supposedly all lazy stoners, couch potatoes, and high all the time. It can take some major stigma bashing to be able to see a business owner in this space as a motivated hard-worker – who isn’t always high! There are enough challenges being an entrepreneur as a woman – the “stoner chick” stereotypes do not help.
Laundry Day is for all of those women who use cannabis but aren’t necessarily defined by it. I wanted to create pieces for all women who use cannabis, so they can proudly display their smokeware in their home and have it seamlessly integrate with the rest of their lives.
What are some solutions you've found?
Sharing stories is such a powerful way to overcome stigma. With cannabis now legalized in Canada, I’m looking forward to being more open and forthcoming about my own cannabis journey. I use Laundry Day’s blog, Marmalade, to share other women’s stories of cannabis and life in general. The way it’s been kept in the shadows, as something you only do behind closed doors, has contributed to a lot of the negative stereotypes. I want to give a platform to all of the people who are living multi-faceted lives and also incorporating cannabis into their wellness routines.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about cannabis?
I wish people knew that you don’t have to be either a “stoner” or a non-smoker. There’s middle ground, and everyone should have the opportunity to explore what their own relationship with cannabis looks like. Your experience with the plant can be completely different from someone else’s, and it’s important to keep that in mind when finding out what works for you. If someone tries to explain a negative experience they’ve had, be sympathetic, but do not let that discourage you from trying things out on your own.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about your product or service?
No matter what your motivation for using cannabis is, most of us are using it to relax in one way or another. Creating an environment that matches that goal can make all the difference, and I hope people experience that shift with Laundry Day pieces. For so long, I was spending money on vessels that didn’t speak to me or my style. (In fact, I hated them!) Everyone deserves smokeware that is not only functional, but also beautiful.
If you could go back in time and do it all over again, what (if anything) would you do differently?
I actually wouldn't change a thing. It may sound cliché, but every part of this process has made Laundry Day what it is today. I would do it all again in a heartbeat!
What is your favorite way to consume cannabis?
One thing I love about cannabis is that each form of consumption provides a completely different experience. With that being said, when I am winding down before bed I love to use an Indica strain in my Hudson Pipe, which sits on my nightstand.
If I have an evening off and I’ve had a super stressful or busy week, I’m drawn to edibles. I love how they make me feel relaxed, and create that super warm and cozy feeling. I’ve also just gotten into shatter vaporizer pens for when I’m traveling, since they are very discreet and pack easily.
Concentrate or flower? Why?
I would have to go with flower, as it is the most approachable, accessible, and affordable option for both beginners and more seasoned consumers. Though, as I mentioned above, each form has its benefits and I have yet to find one that I dislike.
Do you think cannabis legalization will change the world for the better? Why?
I’m excited for legalization to help take cannabis into the mainstream and make it accessible to more people. Cannabis has allowed me to take control of my own body and how I choose to deal with pain, anxiety, and general wellness. Legalization will also hopefully lead to a more open community – social media has already helped to form an amazing community for users, especially for women. I am excited for other women to be able to take control of their bodies and learn how the plant can help them in similar ways that it has helped me.
What advice would you offer to another woman who is looking to get into the industry?
Reach out to fellow women in this space. I’ve met so many incredible makers, entrepreneurs and activists through this work. Seek out all of the people doing amazing things, we’re stronger in numbers!