The Liv Kit: Liv Alexander
When you mention the name 'Liv Alexander,' a couple of things may come to mind. To some, she may be recognized more for her characters in their favorite movies. Others may know her as the beautiful face of the popular instagram account, @weed.bae. Her name rings bells as an accomplished actress, a dominating ganjapreneur and an all around down to earth, hard working woman.
I sat down with Liv to learn more about the superwoman behind The Crystal Cult, Kush Queens, The Lit Kit and more!
THC: So, where are you from?
LIV: I'm originally from Louisiana, I was born there. And then I moved to Los Angeles when I was thirteen.
THC: Ok, so how did you transfer from Louisiana to California?
LIV: I was an actress and an agent found me in a beauty pageant in New Orleans. I was in a lot of commercials in Louisiana. He basically told my parents, 'You should move to LA, your daughter is really talented.' So we went back and forth for years and when I was thirteen, my parents made the decision that we should move to LA so I could pursue my passion and live a California life. (lol)
THC: What kind of things have done in your acting career?
LIV: I've done So You Think You Can Dance at one point, many years ago my mom was a dance teacher. I've done a lot of independent films and different things but y'know, acting is just not my passion. I think maybe at one point, when I was younger, it was. And then I just got to a level where I was seemingly successful - I did a lot of commercials and I was able to support myself being an actor - but I wasn't happy.
THC: That's understandable. So what inspired your career transition.
LIV: Well, I realized that I sort of wanted to own a business, I just didn't know what I wanted it to be. And then six months later, I started The Crystal Cult.
THC: Wow, how did The Crystal Cult come to life?
LIV: Um, it was sort of.. fate. I was driving down the street and I saw this store called Good Vapor. And I was just like, 'What's that?' I knew vapes from like, smoking Volcano's, but this was when personal vapes were just starting to happen. I had seen the preloaded cartridges in the dispensaries and I thought I don't drink, I don't smoke cigarettes, I smoke weed. So I thought I had to get this, blinged it out, made one. People wanted to buy it off of Instagram, a guy from the shop that I had originally bought it at had told me that he wanted some. Then I just kind of told my dad, 'I think this is it.' And he said, 'Yeah, you should totally start a business.' I literally had $700 and I made $6,000 in the first month.
THC: Omg! To what do you attribute your instant success?
LIV: I didn't know anything about business. I didn't know about vaporizers and selling tobacco accessories online and what that's like. I didn't know that you're not supposed to show the products with weed and you're not supposed to do all of these things. I just did what I wanted to do. I gave my product to people to post it on Instagram, that was the way that I marketed because I couldn't run ads. I showed the vapes with cannabis, which you're not supposed to do. But it made me more successful because people, especially women, were seeing weed with glam.
THC: Amazing. Your product is very relatable to women.
LIV: The Crystal Cult allows women to see my lifestyle, y'know? And that was always my gripe. We'll definitely be at the Cannabis Cup's but, it's just not our perfect experience. I'd like to be at a spa sesh. The male, stoner, 18-35 kind of guy that everybody wants as a customer - that was kind of silly to me. I wanted to show people how I use cannabis in a glam life, not just the dude that wears rasta, even though sometimes I will too (lol).
THC: I love your passion and your mission.
LIV: Thank you, that's kind of how everything happened. Kush Queen, the vaporizer, was so successful that I pursued trademarks for it so federally I own Kush Queen. I am a federally granted Kush Queen, that's why we have the trademarks on the shirts. That was really when I knew that I was going to make it a cannabis brand. I met my fiancé shortly there after, and he was a grower. We just started our agency and all of our Instagram pages right after we met. At that point, I had Crystal Cult for two years.
THC: That is awesome. How did you go about advertising your product?
LIV: I worked with @WeedHumor, he was the only influencer that I knew who had a weed page but wasn't in weed. It always bothered me that I paid him a lot of money to promote cannabis to people who essentially, they didn't even subscribe to it or use it. That's when I was looking to create channels for me to advertise on. I thought, 'I'm not going to buy an ad in this magazine. It won't find my customer, she's not there. She's at raves, she's at the spa, she's at the mall. She needs to be found in Nordstrom, but they're 25 years away from selling vaporizers.' That's when I started my own pages.
THC: How was your growth on Instagram?
LIV: Within three months we have 30K followers. @Weed.photography reached 100K. I have pictures of @buddfeed at like 10K, it's so cool. Then, shortly thereafter, I knew that just owning a business and being an entrepreneur wasn't enough in the cannabis industry. It requires a social engagement side of cannabis' partially social injustice issue, with the Drug War, with cannabis not being recognized as a medicine.
THC: So what came next for you?
LIV: At this point, I was smoking everyday but I was still using pharmaceuticals y'know, taking mood stabilizers and antidepressants. So I had the plant teach me how it was medicine, taking CBD and eating more cannabis. Smoking was just treating my symptoms, it wasn't helping my endocannabinoid system. So I started searching for people who felt the way that I did because we were really isolated, we did not have a network, a community or anything like that. So this girl says, 'I know this lawyer, this bad ass female cannabis attorney. And she has this client that's been in the industry for like 20 years. She's a fucking legend! And they want to have a cannabis party for this convention that didn't have one person from LA on the panel.
THC: So you threw an amazing party for some reputable people?
LIV: Yeah, and we threw this party and that's when I met Mama Saline. Not long after that, she started her show with Merry Jane and she called me and hired me to do her social media.
THC: Since you've pretty much mastered the craft of growing Instagram feeds...
LIV: Yeah, and then I pretty much spent the next year, I spent a lot of time growing people's feeds. I've done creative work for Northern Emeralds, Bhang, different tech companies... I started to learn about the industry from a different perspective.
THC: What's one thing you've learned being in the cannabis industry?
LIV: As an influencer, y'know, I have like three million followers on social. I found it was hard for me to want to grow people's feeds and businesses knowing that I can't control the people that use their products, I can't control if people get sued, I can't control if people don't take care of their employee's... I am an employee, even though I'm an agency so it's a bit different. But that's why right now, it's important for Michael [my fiancé] and I to continuously create original content. We have a couple of new things in the works.
THC: Really? What are some things you're coming up with?
LIV: At the Cannabis Cup in LA, we will be launching our cannabis beer which if what we truly believe is going to change the world. It's called New Frontier, and its the first nanotechnology cannabis product. Nanotechnology is different than edibles because your body is taking in cannabinoids differently. So it's a clear high, a different high and it makes the cannabinoids more bio-available. What we believe is we are taking the thing that is so American, that is something that the large portion of the population that we need to change their minds about cannabis to vote for it so that we can change and rid federal prohibition.
THC: What about The Lit Kit?
LIV: So, The Lit Kit is something recent. I've been selling bath bombs through Crystal Cult successfully for a long time. With the licensing coming online in California, we were actually able to start working with a licensed distributor. We will be manufacturing our products in the coming months, fully licensed, in California. When they signed me to a distribution deal, I spoke to my fiancé about my favorite things to do: smoke a joint, eat an edible, take a bath. My fiancé said 'You get the Kylie Lip Kits, you should make a Lit Kit.' And it's poppin' off, we're going to do different kinds. Kush Queen is coming out with a lot of different products but the Lit Kit is something I'm really proud of and it's a true labor of love.
THC: Such a perfect night in! I love it. So, tell me about your partnership with Mama Sailene.
LIV: Sailene and I met when we formed a group called Elevate LA, which aimed to create a culture around the cannabis industry in Los Angeles. At our first party, I met this vibrant woman who's been around this plant longer than I've been alive who's just given her life to it. After she hired me, I was super proud to be a storyteller of her story through social media and be apart of her building her brand. She's one of my mentors and now I get to say she's one of my business partners, which is even cooler.
THC: So, first it was Elevate LA, then came Priveé Social Club. Tell me about that.
LIV: Priveé Social Club came to be in November of last year when Prop 64 passed. Prop 64 is a gray area. So if you're over 21 and on private property, you can share cannabis. So our members aren't buying anything, there are no sales at the party. But they get to experience things through sharing and that's what your membership gets you. The way Priveé works is you have to know somebody or be invited; it's invitation only. Priveé means private so that's what we're really trying to give our members. And in the next two or three years, when licensing comes on board, Priveé will be like a SoHo house where people can come and enjoy cannabis. Just like a bar, but weed.
THC: So how many members does Priveé LA have?
LIV: Right now, we have about 500 members. Part of Priveé's members are previous members of Sailene's former marijuana delivery service.
THC: About how many parties do you have for Priveé?
LIV: It really just depends. Our parties are held at private venues and mansions. We normally curate a special selection of brands there. Theres sometimes special presentations. The last party we did with 'Save Ocean with Vape Exhale,' we gave a lot of people their first dabs. We try to include an educational component. It provides space for brands, our members, and education.
THC: You're doing amazing things! So you have The Crystal Cult, Kush Queens, Priveé Social Club... What is your affiliation with Third Eye Agency?
LIV: So technically, I'm a co-founder of the Third Eye. I am a part owner in it. Basically, the agency owns the Instagram pages, the influencer network. It manages the entity in which I do all of my content creation, any of the brand content that we sell, any of the branding or packaging, that's what it's done under. I consider it a creative and talent agency. There are a lot of marketers out there but I just didn't find anyone that knows about cannabis. We know about cannabis and we know about marketing. It supports my brand. I have so many of them now that I need to own another company that has a machine that can market them and continue to produce content. And even I feel like I'm not doing enough.
THC: You're not doing enough!? How could you say that?
LIV: We're going to be growing in the next six months again with employees and interns. It's just because you have to be able to scale. Right now, we have about six employees that stay on payroll. I manage a lot of the feeds myself, we shoot a lot of the content ourselves. I'm really hands on, I'm running a lean business. I'm trying to grow, I'm an entrepreneur - if I don't make money, I don't live. We only make money, we don't use money. I'm very self-sufficient, I don't take investors money and play with it. But even still, I do need more help, everybody needs help. And the cannabis industry itself is, as a whole, very under serviced.
THC: I definitely agree. So of all of your endeavors, what would you say that you enjoy the most?
LIV: It's really tough because I love to be at the festivals, selling the product. It's a crazy exchange of energy. I've been at cannabis events where my products weren't hot, that people didn't like. Y'know, you have to get people to your booth. But it's not that now so that's very exciting. But making content, making the videos for @buddfeed truly is my happiest place. I love making content. I love making videos and seeing that come to life. And being on camera, obviously, I enjoy very much because I was an actress. Now, it's just more enjoyable because it's about cannabis. So I'm definitely going to be making more content and just, storytelling.
THC: It's very evident that you love what you do. Is there anything else you would like to share?
LIV: Thank you for interviewing me. I hope people know that I'm a really open and free kind of person and if anyone ever want to reach out to me on social, if you have questions, you can reach out to me. I'm a human, I'm not one of those celebrities who won't respond.