Green Queen: Chrissy Hadar - Oregrown Industries
Chrissy Hadar is one of the co-founders of Oregrown Industries - a vertically integrated cannabis company based in Bend, Oregon as well as the Chief Brand Officer and President of Retail, a total boss babe to say the least. This week we sat down with Chrissy after connecting at their Portland flagship store launch to learn more about her mission and fell in love with this unapologetic woman!
Chrissy is fierce and boldly real, leaving all bullshit at the door -- a women we hardcore want in our circle/coven/cult and one you'll want in yours too!
What do you do?
Oregrown is still one of a few notable friends and family owned and operated cannabis groups still left here in Oregon, so everyone in our tight knit team wears many hats. I am certainly no exception. When we first opened the Bend dispensary five years ago, I was cleaning bathrooms, working reception and writing our very first handbook that, to this day, I assist in updating with our growing management team. Today, I oversee daily operations of our Bend and Portland flagship dispensaries— from helping come up with in-store promotions and events to approving purchase orders and ensuring compliance. I also conceptualize and project manage the design, expansion, budgets, buildout, opening and merchandising of existing and future Oregrown dispensaries with our Cannon Beach shop slated to open this March, followed by a Eugene location later this year. In addition, I play a role in all Oregrown brand marketing efforts (in conjunction with our amazing, yet small, in house, creative team) and am in charge of all branded merchandise and the design and sourcing of Oregrown’s Lifestyle Clothing line. In my role as Chief Brand Officer, it is my responsibility to assure that all Oregrown marketing, events we participate in, non-profits we partner with, and goods we produce, buy and sell align with the brand’s core messaging and ethos as they stand today. We see the Oregrown brand as a living and growing organism and it is my job to help continue to direct it in a positive, value driven direction.
With the day to day grind, of running a cannabis company, sprinkled with surprises (good and bad), it is very easy to forget why I got into the industry in the first place, but often I will get these small reminders. For instance, I’ll sometimes (albeit not often enough) find myself stopping mid task, and take a look around at my devoted team, the people who feel like family, that were brought together by means of their love and passion for this plant and their steadfast believe that it should be made available to all those in need for medical purposes and all responsible adults to use at their discretion. It, truly, is a beautiful thing we have created. And by “we” I am referring to everyone that works at Oregrown in retail, cultivation or extraction, our ambassadors, the customers and patients who give us the pleasure of serving them, and those that simply support us in our community outreach efforts as a lifestyle brand that promotes the responsible use of cannabis with the belief that it, too, can be a wonderful addition to an already healthy, active and well rounded life.
A second reminder occurred to me the other day when I was being interviewed by a journalist who used to write for Guitar World Magazine for decades spending much of his time with some of the best guitar players to grace this planet, the type of guy you know has some GOOD stories to share. He mentioned that many of his colleagues were surprised to hear of his career change from “rock and roll” to cannabis. And he explained it like this: 'Just as rock and roll forever changed and defined eras during the ‘60s, ‘70s, etc., he strongly believes that what is going on right now in the legalization and de-stigmatization of cannabis, is equally, if not MORE, important than the influence of Rock n’ Roll, historically, on a cultural level. And WE are a part of that movement, that change, that defining moment of our decade, and that is fucking rad.'
What are you passionate about?
Being a Portland, Oregon native, my husband always jokes that I was born a “bleeding heart liberal.” And I suppose on many fronts that is true — especially with what is going on in the world today regarding women’s issues, specifically in the workplace and gender roles at home. I am a strong believer in a woman’s right to choose, not just about what they do with their body, but what they do with their mind, their lives, their voice, their devotion, their talent, their priorities, their influence and leverage. I am extremely passionate about empowering and mentoring women in this male dominated industry. I’ll admit, perhaps, I cross lines in an effort to pave the way for the next generation by being outspoken, but that is because I care. I also know what I want and that I am entitled to an opinion. And because I was also born with an inexplicable sense of self confidence, I am not afraid to say it and go after it. And, I do not apologize for it as it’s a defining personality trait of mine.
What does authenticity mean to you?
I view authenticity, on a human level, as a journey and less of a final and permanent destination, somewhat akin to happiness. In my experience, I find moments in everyday where I am living my authentic, true self where I say what I mean and mean what I say. Where, I am present in the moment and not worried about the past or what lies in the days and weeks to follow. Where, I don’t care about how others perceive me and I am filled with my innate confidence and sense of self. It’s cherished moments in time that as I mature and grow, I hope to see and feel more of. -- But again, it's not this permanent state of being. As a career driven woman, mother and wife, on occasion, I have to conform to something outside my truest authentic self for the betterment of the given situation at hand. As long as it doesn’t compromise my personal beliefs, morals and ethos, I feel no shame in that, and I don’t feel any less authentic. Implying this isn’t authentic would be saying that me coming home after a long and stressful day at work to a cranky toddler and plastering on a smile and summing up the energy to get through to bedtime would be being somehow inauthentic— because what I really wanted to do was crawl in bed and binge watch some crappy reality show. If there are people out there that claim they are 100% living their truest, most authentic selves, all day, every day, I would like to meet them. Give them my number.
What makes you authentic?
The most authentic people, in my view, don’t realize their authenticity, nor call themselves authentic. So with that said, I am just myself. What you see is pretty much what you get. There is no other way to put it. I am opinionated, outspoken, fiercely loyal, brutally honest, often overshare, confident, and forgiving due to my understanding of human nature and that I acknowledge that I too, am not perfect. I am proud of myself and take ownership of my good, bad and ugly. Being aware of your shortcomings, not making excuses for them, or trying to hide them, gives a person the freedom to love themselves despite all their “flaws.” And loving yourself, before anyone else, I believe is the true path to personal authenticity and something I strive for everyday.
As authenticity pertains to the Oregrown brand, I can tell you that our motto from day one was to offer our customers only products that we would use ourselves, while also improving the world we live in by inspiring our community to be true to themselves and live out loud. This also extends to the Oregrown Lifestyle clothing line, in that we are producing leisure and technical wear that we sport in our everyday lives. We aren’t trying to be something that we aren’t and I think our customers feel that. We don’t head into any branding endeavor with the goal of putting out what we think people want to see. Nothing is forced. We put out what we want to see when it comes to the products and packaging we develop in hopes that it resonates with people of all ages and walks of life.
The presence of brand authenticity, and the feeling your customer gets when buying your product, can’t be bought and has to come from a pure and authentic perspective. It has to come naturally. Oregrown has been lucky to have found a dedicated following in the cannabis space due to our attention to detail and refusing to cut corners when launching a product or opening a flagship store. Everything we do comes straight from the heart of each and every one of our team members.
What is your mission in life?
My personal mission in life is two fold:
To make a positive impact on how cannabis, and those that consume cannabis, are viewed by maintaining a brand and respected business that encourages the responsible use of this sacred plant and protects the rights of those that choose to use it. I want to aid in pushing through federal legalization and see that those that are incarcerated on cannabis related crimes are released. I want to find ways to support further cannabis research as I believe we are only at the very beginning of learning the tremendous physical and mental health benefits that this plant has to offer.
I want my son to see how hard his mother and father both work to leave a legacy in this world and how important it is to have passion, drive, and a strong work ethic. I want to raise a son who views and respects young girls and women as equals and partners in this world. I want him to stand up for injustice, and find his own purpose in life that brings joy not only to himself, but to others as well. I want him to know that there is no set path to life and that he is free to pave his own way. I want to impart on him lessons I have learned, for better or for worse. I want him to know the importance of family, unconditional love and giving back to your community. I want him to know peace, but also what it feels like to struggle. But more than anything, I want him to be happy and live in a world that feels a little less scary than the one we are currently inhabiting.