Wyllow founder Camille Roistacher. Image by Wyllow.
Wyllow is a female-owned bicultural business that provides socially equitable and environmentally-conscious cannabis cultivars.
According to their website, Wyllow is for the “conscious cannabis connoisseur.”
Part of the company’s commitment to conscious consumption is by honoring diversity on their team and striving to make the industry more inclusive. Additionally, the brand sets their intention with carefully curated and responsible goods. For example, they select cultivars that are distinctive, and come from experienced cultivators who pay attention to the flower “from seed to sale.”
Wyllow’s current lineup features flower, mini pre-rolls and, coming soon, a dispensary.
Founder Camille Roistacher took Wyllow from a pandemic startup to a premium brand dedicated to consumers and connoisseurs. Roistacher launched Wyllow in August 2020.
“People thought we were crazy to start such a company during the middle of the pandemic, but we saw an opportunity to share our passion for rare and terpene-rich cannabis cultivars,” she said.
Roistacher and her team are proud of their brand’s ability to notice trends and thrive today with new projects on the way.
Emerald spoke to Roistacher about Wyllow, her role as a mother and canna-preneur, how the company selects their products, and more.
Emerald Media (EM): What drew you to the cannabis industry?
Camille Roistacher (CR): I have been in the cannabis industry for about four years now. My husband and I started a distribution company. We’ve seen the supply chain transform over the years. We really started to take notice of high-end, indoor flower that looks flawless and hand-trimmed, and we thought that it was something we could bring to market and brand.
EM: How do you select your products?
CR: We’re constantly sourcing and looking at flower hitting the market, and we have farmers that reach out to us as well. We have a partnership with a specific farm out of the Coachella Valley [in Southern California] that’s our favorite. It’s where we like to source the bulk of our flower simply because they match the standards of what we’re looking for: hand-trimmed, tastes wonderful, looks beautiful, and it’s terpene rich. We have a checklist and an internal team that will try the product to make sure that it meets the standards of what we want to put our name on.
Post from @shopwyllow on Instagram.
EM: How does being a female, social equity-owned brand influence the business as a whole?
CR: Every decision I make is informed by my background and where I come from. Representation matters. A lot of our customers that reach out to us mention that there’s not a lot of women that they can support. In almost every meeting, I’m the only woman. I’m hoping I can inspire others to take the leap to start companies because even though it’s a challenging industry, there’s so much opportunity to build something really special.
I’m hoping that I can be an example for others, and then also, the community. I think that there’s a lot of room for growth and a lot of room to help those communities [most affected by the War on Drugs]. That is a big focus of ours.
We are fortunate that we are a social equity brand that has survived. The industry is very, very challenging. There’s a lot of barriers to enter the market. We really try to amplify the community we serve and make sure that we’re giving back because we wouldn’t be here today [if not for those] who worked in the industry prior to its legalization. I think we have to remember that. So for us to have this opportunity to be a social equity brand, it’s really special. We don’t take that lightly.
EM: How has being a mother impacted your entrepreneurial journey?
CR: I used to go into dispensaries and not find a lot of products that were marketed either towards women or people that were looking for more of a luxury-type item. So I think that has really influenced just everything that we do in terms of making sure that we are covering all of our bases. Does the product look and feel beautiful? Are women included in that marketing? Are mothers included in that marketing? Do mothers feel comfortable seeking out cannabis?
Being a mother and running a business has helped me multitask to the extreme. I think that it helps me just be even more organized throughout the day because I’m managing so many different projects, in addition to giving birth in December. I have two kids. So I think being a mother helps everything that I do and definitely influences all of my decisions.
EM: Part of your company’s commitment to building a more equitable industry is by participating in purpose driven causes, like the Black Box Project — a collection of Black-owned brands available throughout February. Are there other projects or causes you support/your customers can watch out for?
CR: The Black Box was a fantastic project that Wyllow was tapped on the shoulder to be a part of. [It highlighted] an inclusive supply chain for Black History Month. That is so special because it’s very challenging to get into stores, get on shelves and get orders as an equity brand. Sometimes the support isn’t there to highlight Black or Brown brands in the industry. So to bring all of us together, we quickly turned around and met all of the deliveries.
I feel like we have this new group that we’re rooting for each other. Sometimes in the cannabis industry, it’s so competitive, so it felt like a genuine opportunity to help the stores and help the brands. All of the stores are also Black-owned and woman-owned, which again, shows very powerful messaging that we just don’t see that often.
There will definitely be additional Black Boxes. Beyond that, there’s probably no specifics that I can share quite yet. There’s discussion of creating a waitlist because so many people came in after it was sold out. There’s the other aspect that there were additional Black-owned brands that we want to highlight that were not in the first box. We’re gathering a larger list of additional brands and figuring out timelines, so stay tuned!
EM: What are some of the challenges of being a female in the industry?
CR: I think people perhaps don’t take us seriously. [When we first started] our business, we talked to potential investors, and I happened to be pregnant at the time with my first son. I met a lot of friction, and even disparaging comments about being pregnant and running a company, but I didn’t let that slow me down. I usually use those moments as opportunities to fuel the fire. I’m proud to say here we are almost four years later, still standing, still thriving and self-funded.
Being a woman, you’re often questioned for things that your male counterparts are not questioned on. You have to be able to look past that and keep pushing forward for your goals. There’s more women joining the industry, which is exciting. I’d love to see more women in the C-suite; more women making decisions; and more people of color in the industry. But we’re slowly making progress, which feels really good.
EM: While being a female canna-preneur certainly has its challenges, what about its rewards?
CR: The network. When there are other women that want to work together with you, that’s really special. Because there are not that many of us, I feel like we gravitate towards each other. That, to me, is really rewarding to be able to uplift other women and collaborate with other women because we’re so eager to help each other.
There are opportunities where investors are looking for women to invest in, or wanting to help people of color, women of color. So there are small moments of opportunities that do pop up, which is nice to see. It’s happening more often.
EM: What is your favorite part about what you do?
CR: I love the creative aspect of branding. You can have a lot of fun with branding. What started as an idea — you can [now] see it in the market, see the packaging, see the flower, see the marketing. Seeing everything from ideas to actual products is very exciting for me.
The other aspect, of course, would be fostering our team of very diverse backgrounds: people that may not get opportunities elsewhere are able to work really hard to prove themselves on our team and build something really special. That’s also very rewarding for me.
EM: What causes do you contribute to?
CR: We’re a part of the Floret Coalition. Basically, it’s a group that brought together an anti-racist collective of small businesses that help fund equity-oriented actions. Every month, they highlight a different business that is servicing the Black, Latino and Indigenous communities. We’re really proud to be part of the Florete Coalition. Their communication is wonderful; they educate us on new groups that we’re not even familiar with, and help us help these groups.
Our whole focus for Wyllow is really to shift the scales for these communities that were negatively impacted by the War on Drugs and highlight different organizations that help. That’s where we put our money towards.
Post from @broccoli_mag on Instagram.
EM: What are your future plans?
CR: We are launching a multi-sensory micro dispensary in a few short weeks. This will be a very unique dispensary because we are leaning into the senses. We want to evoke all of the senses when customers come in and experience Wyllow in person.
We have cone shaped mirrors on the outside of the storefront. It’s inspired by the shape of a pre-roll. We have sleek archways and we have skylights that we’ve installed. We have LED lighting that will be multicolored that we can change. We’ve created a custom engineered ASMR soundtrack, which will be very fun. You’ll have to hear it from directional speakers. You might listen to one part of the soundtrack, and then you’ll hear something different from a different side of the store.
And then I can’t forget about our terpene scent bar-based insulation. We lean heavy into education at Wyllow. So a lot of the time, people are looking for the highest concentration of THC. That doesn’t determine the quality of flower. We got to build a scent installation that will highlight each different terpene that customers can interact with to help decision-making in the shopping experience.
Post from @visitwyllow on Instagram.
EM: What do you wish more people knew about Wyllow?
CR: I wish more people knew how serious we are when it comes to cultivars. So we are not simply a brand that will just slap a nice logo onto packaging and source any type of flower. We’re very meticulous on our sourcing process so that it’s the best of the best and stands out amongst the crowd. We don’t want to simply pick any strain that anyone else can sell, and we don’t want to pick strains that are very [common].
Our farm has over 100 years of combined experience from breeding to growing cannabis. We have access again to really rare cultivars that we’re proud of. If I don’t want to smoke it, it’s definitely not going into our packaging.