First off, an apology.
As BlazeBags CEO and founders, Amari and I would like to start this blog post off by apologizing! This past summer was a whirlwind and I feel like we have neglected you, our online family. Our online family who gave us the confidence to continue with our fledgling business. Our online family, where everything started for us. For that I am truly sorry. I would like to offer an explanation.
BlazeBags truly believes that Cannabis will be federally legal in the next 5 years or so, so we made the express intention to market ourselves as a cannabis brand of smell proof bags. We shared this intention with you in one of our first blog posts, What Happened to BlazeBags? During this post, we shared with you that our payment processor shut us down on our first day of business and, because we refused to compromise our position, we were out of business for two weeks until we found a processor that would respect our business model and the type of ship we wanted to run.
We eventually found a processor that would allow us to be straight forward about our business model and company values, but that wasn’t the only roadblock we ran into. Because we are an unapologetic cannabis brand, we also ran into hurdles when trying to advertise our products on social media. For online brands, social media advertising is one of the best ways to spread brand awareness and gain traction, especially for a new company, but for us, it was a headache with ad after ad being turned down because of a mention of cannabis here or a pic of a weed leaf there.
During this same time, we were visiting a lot of local cannabis events and making a lot of connections that converted very well into physical sales. We began making wholesale deals, moving our product into local stores and slowly ingraining ourselves into the local cannabis community.
We began doing live shows and getting the brand out in front of people and a strange thing happened. Slowly, we started craving and ultimately got addicted to that human, face to face interaction that the internet has yet to fully replicate. Not to mention the weather was turning and we were tired of being stuck in our basements! (Montana winters are brutal!!),
With those thoughts in mind, we began to slowly pull away from our online activities and focusing on our live sale and networking events. I would like to share these events with you so you can see we were actually working to build and spread the brand and weren’t just leaving you, our BlazeBags family out in the cold. Here is a review of our spring and summer:
420 Block Party Celebration
Our first live sales event was the 420 Block Party Celebration which, coincidentally fell on our first birthday, April 20th. It would be the first time we were physically in front of an audience and getting real time feedback on our products. It was such a nerve-wracking event being it was our first and we were still such a new company. We brought on OC Company to help us plan our booth and create our own BlazeBags event within a larger event. This was a successful show and was our first taste of how live shows could benefit the company. We sold a lot of bags, met a lot of people, took a lot of pictures, and networked with a lot of Montana cannabis companies. We also managed to get our first press spot with Me, Big AK, interviewed by a local station. Check it out!
2022 Extractors Cup
Another event we hit was the 2022 Montana Extractors Cup. This is a Montana industry insider event where you get together with other businesses to network at an out of the way secret location. It is held over three days and is it a treat! There is all you can smoke, catered food, good friends and great connections. At this event, judges are sent away with a ton of dabs, oil, shatter and the like and after a competition a winner is selected for best extracts in Montana and presented at the Montana Hemp Fest. This event was a great one as we got to reconnect with old friends, make some new friends, make connections with other dispensaries in Montana and struck some pretty sweet deals with some of them.
2022 Stoner Olympics
This was one of the more fun events we participated in. The Stoner Olympics, thrown by local Missoula Dispensary Moncanna, was a one-day event that featured a plethora of games to play all the while smoking and getting high. BlazeBags showed up in full force spreading the word to the local community about our mission and our products. At this point, we were still making a local name for ourselves but were starting to gain traction. The Olympics featured games like red light green light, nug on a spoon, exit bag packing, and joint rolling contest to name a few. We had a great time and raffled off three prizes for the audience. It was a smaller, more intimate event, so we were able to spend individual time with everyone there and make true connections in the community. We are looking forward to the next one!
The 2022 Montana Hemp Fest
The last event we participated in for the season was the 2022 Montana Hemp Fest held at the beautiful Lolo Hot Springs. This was a three-day event held about 40 miles outside of Missoula, MT. We rented an RV and traveled to the event as a team where we camped out all three days. We had a lot of fun at this event, made a lot more connections and reinforced our relationships with previous connections. Mike Love and Natalie Rize performed along with Indubious and other great acts! The Hemp Fest is an annual event and it brings people from all over the local area as well as out of staters and it was here that we made some of our biggest connections yet.
Well, the summer season is over and while fall is upon us, in Montana it only lasts a little while before the snow comes. During the winter, we are locked in so we will take this time to rededicate to you, our firsts! Our first supporters. Our first champions. Our first loves. We are going to finish this year with a bang and we want you along with us for the ride!
We plan on upping our blog posts to two to three posts per week. We are upgrading our email systems so we can be in better communication. We realize a relationship has to have two way communication and we vow to be better at reaching out and informing you of where we are and what we are doing. We had quite a few of you reach out to us this summer missing our engaging social media posts and that daily chuckle we used to give you. Well we wanted to let you know its coming back stronger and better than ever!