When did you start Mister Green?
I opened the store about 8 and a half months ago, and I launched the brand almost exactly 2 years ago. When I was in New York, I had the idea because I was kind of doing a similar job, and then was starting to think about my next move. I was really tired of working for other people and knew that I wanted to make some weird thing happen.
What drew you into the weed business?
I’ve always been drawn to it since I was a little kid actually. I grew up in Portland, Oregon, which is a pretty “weed-y” place. It was one of those things where I would walk down the main street by my house and there was this incredible amount of head shops for a quarter mile. I loved them all. Each one would have like unique weird garbage that I was really into. For example, the one that I probably went to the most had Jolt Cola in this little vending machine.
So you opened this shop around spring?
We opened 4/19, very purposefully. The goal of the brand is to encapsulate the spirit of every type of head shop that I’ve ever experienced, but at the same time, break any generalizations that comes from that. On top of that, obviously we make clothing and a bunch of different branded stuff… perfume, things like that. So, it’s just a new perspective I guess. Some people like to say it’s like an upscale head shop, or sophisticated. I disagree. I think it’s just like a totally different perspective.
Do you design all the clothes and merchandise?
I guess the best way to put it is that I do all the concept and design. I try to not get my hands too far into stuff. In this past collection, I hand tie-dyed some shirts but if I can avoid screen printing and doing those types of labor I would definitely do that. The perfume, I have no idea how that’s even made. I met this couple from Portland a few years ago, right when I started. I had no idea how they had even heard of the brand, but they approached me and said, “hey, have you ever considered doing apothecary stuff?” And I had already had a perfume idea that I was sitting on for like two years, and I said, “I know exactly what I want, how it’s supposed to look, everything. And was just like, let’s do this.” And that’s Hippie Shit. It’s kind of been our most popular thing to date.
Are most of your products made in the U.S?
When I can get stuff made in the U.S, I will. It’s not entirely so, it’s a little bit of a hodge-podge. It really just always comes down to is the product good.
Do you get a lot of characters in here?
You saw the big blue Scientology building? Yeah, we have a lot of characters. They keep a pretty close watch on the neighborhood, and occasionally they’ll come through. That whole thing is bizarre. But in general, this is a pretty up-and-coming neighborhood, which I love. I have a phone booth on the other side of the wall. I can just sit on the porch and watch the weird world do its thing. There was a shooting in the alley over there… we get it all. It’s pretty wild, but I also wouldn’t qualify it as dangerous. It’s a fun neighborhood.
Do scientologists smoke weed?
They don’t, they’re really anti-weed. That’s why when I have to deal with them, it’s a little uncomfortable usually. They smoke cigarettes and drink a lot of coffee.
How do you feel about this new wave of weed shops?
When I describe what I do, I always try to say that I’m not doing anything that’s better than anyone else. I don’t want to be pretentious, that’s not my intent here. I certainly don’t want to step on anyone else’s toes. In this sort of new generation of weed stuff, a lot of people have entered in and been like the old way is fucked, this new way is the shit. And that’s a fucking terrible attitude to take if you want to get the support from the people that have basically devoted their entire lives to it. I consider that to be a really irresponsible approach. Any sort of way that I was describing my shop, I’ve sort of had to change the wording around because it kind of sounds like my description is at the expense of others, in a way. Which is not my style at all, because that sucks.