Behind the Brand: Recreational Use
Meet Abby & Drake Miller
Founders of Recreational Use
What inspired you to start your company? Tell us a little bit about your products and brand.
Drake is an avid woodworker, so we have always gravitated towards wood as our design material of choice. When we were looking for a stylish wood pipe to add to our collection, we couldn’t find anything already in the market — so we launched Recreational Use to fill that gap. While in the past few years there has been an incredible wave of highly designed glass and ceramic pieces, the only wood options we could find were the gimmicky, old fashioned tobacco pipes. We set out to make something more modern, and honestly fell in love after our first puff.
There are so many amazing benefits that come from smoking from wood. The all-natural cherry wood that our pipes are made from holds heat more effectively than metal and glass, allowing you to spend more time puffing and less time lighting. I am someone who always seems to burn the back of my throat and have cough attacks when I smoke from pipes (I know, I’m such a square). The even heat distribution you get from wood means your smoke won’t overheat and create that burning effect you might experience with other pipes. And arguably the most fun benefit of smoking from wood is that it enhances the flavour profile of your smoke. The heated wood adds an amazing smokey flavour to your inhale.
As we look to the future, we have a ton more wood accessories we are currently developing (a stash box, a joint roller, etc.) and we are so excited to bring wood products to the forefront of the industry.
What do you love about your job?
One of the most exciting things about Recreational Use is the absolute creative freedom we have. Prior to starting the business, both of us were working at various agencies and publications, and we found it to be super frustrating to always be creating for someone else’s vision. Whether it was a Creative Director or an Editor in Chief, there was always someone else at the helm. With Rec Use we get to fully own and manage all elements of our creative vision — from new product ideas to branding, we design it all ourselves. It truly has been one of the most fulfilling experiences. Also, the fact that we get to do this together as a husband and wife team has been really fun for us. We’re still navigating the newlywed phase of our relationship and this business has actually been a really great bonding force in our marriage.
What are some of the challenges you face working in the cannabis industry?
We are a New York-based company, so creating cannabis accessories in a state where it has still not yet been legalized has been pretty challenging. All of the strict regulations about how we are allowed to market the product (and even describe the product) have been a total headache. Thankfully, there is a really supportive and close-knit community of other New York-based cannabis brands that have been quick to share advice and tips on how to navigate the fine print so we can stay in business.
What’s your cannabis ritual?
Drake and I have different rituals when it comes to our cannabis consumption. For him, cannabis is a stimulant, and makes him feel more creative and socially charged. For me, cannabis acts more as a relaxant and I use it to de-stress and unwind. But our favourite ritual for cannabis is smoking together as the ultimate date night enhancer. We’re both so busy with the business that sometimes we forget to be a couple, so smoking together helps us connect and get back to that.
Which other brands (cannabis or not) do you love and admire?
We are definitely biased towards other New York brands because the sense of small business camaraderie in this city is really special. We love Veil, which makes an amazing all-natural and non-toxic odour eliminating spray that smells like Aesop heaven. Essential is a women-owned CBD brand that hands-down has the chicest hemp pre-rolls on the market. We also love some of our local storefronts like Alcove and Feels NYC, which carry all of the coolest and most innovative brands (including Rec Use!).
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