{ #MCM }: Erasmo & Brian Robles of Official Leaf Clothing talk breaking into the Cannabis industry

…yes, Cannabis, you read that right.

I told y’all I was going to go there… and I like it already.

CANNABIS.

Let’s just jump right into it. I am going to #WCW interview myself next month so we will get into my goals later but one of my long term goals is to be a player in the cannabis world… in two ways. One, involvement in the industry of course, but two? Breaking the stigma.

In order to do so, I have to do my part in lifting the curtain a bit. People have this weird idea that marijuana = lazy stoner, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, many of it isn’t even psychoactive. I have to share knowledge & experiences and tell stories, both mine & other people’s to fight that. It’s funny, you see blogs casually mentioning xanax and shit… but heaven forbid you mention cannabis!

Well, you can find it mentioned here. Regularly. I strongly believe in all the lifetimes after this one (seriously), people are going to be dumbfounded that mmj was illegal for all these years. I also very strongly believe it will be the cure many diseases… yes, even cancer. CBD is pretty close to magic… not to mention, again, it is NOT psychoactive & has stopped seizures instantly.

Also, I think it’s cool to experience the repeal of a major prohibition. FINALLY.

Anyways, one thing that’s really… really, really, really.. REALLY rad about the cannabiz is how supportive & collaborative it is. Kind of like blogging, I strongly believe it will be one of the biggest – if not the biggest – industry in the next few decades so we all kind of lead each other.

That right there is real neat.

I met Erasmo & Brian on Instagram a few months ago. I was instantly drawn to their page & their product, Official Leaf Clothing.

The plant is no stranger in the fashion industry – as seen here by Alexander Wang (as worn by Margot Robbie & Kim K). When done right, I think makes a statement. Official Leaf is done right. They are basic, with an embroidered leaf. Simple, to the point… & dare I say elegant?

Seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw something similar in Brandy Melville & from me thats a compliment (my favourite store)!

It’s seasonless, nods to the industry, and can be as subtle as you want it – even a camoflauge option! Chic. Not only that, but each colour combination are named after a strain (my favourite i girl scout cookies!) which makes it a little cheeky. My favourite are the joggers & the sweatshirt (love to style over my portofinos)!

To be honest, I see their brand as being one of the key players.

Now, this is one of my first cannabiz’s to feature so I had PLENTY of questions. Their interview and story is very inspiring, especially how determined and passionate they are in their business. The key thing to take away from their interview is perseverance & hunger.

Now, let’s talk business, mary jane, & fusing them together!

Without further ado… Meet Erasmo & Brian Robles of Official Leaf!

 

Introduce yourselves:

Official Leaf is the creation of two 20 & 19 year old Southern California brothers called Erasmo Robles & Brian Robles.

Both of us are currently enrolled in 4 year universities, University of California Riverside & California State University of San Bernardino where Erasmo is studying Business Management and Brian is studying Computer Engineering.

We were both raised in the Inland Empire in a small town called Bloomington. We were first introduced to Cannabis at the beginning of college.

Tell me about Official Leaf Clothing & how that came to be.

Official Leaf came to be when we both realized that no clothing line represented us in a way we wanted to be represented. We decided that creating a new image for Cannabis users was necessary.

We wanted to create a new image through apparel so we created Official Leaf. We wanted a clothing line that would incorporate Cannabis and represent hard working people, who go against the stigmas that are placed in society. Some stigmas might include that every cannabis user is lazy and does not contribute to society.

Official Leaf represents the cannabis user who works hard everyday and is bold enough to prove society wrong. {<<< love everything about this!}

You are also in the process of starting a non-profit! Tell me more about that.

We hope in the upcoming months to dedicate ourselves to helping underprivileged students by creating a scholarship fund which we plan to hold every year. A certain amount of money will be reserved for this scholarship which we hope will show to the world that the Cannabis community cares about our nation’s future.

Tell me about balancing a full time company / non-profit and managing a social media presence. What are your tips?

Being able to balance so many commitments at a time is something we give credit towards the determination which we both have to make sure our parent’s sacrifice to immigrate to a new country does not go in vain.

The only tip we have for anyone wanting to know how to balance so many things, is asking yourself how bad do you really want it? Are you willing to lose sleep, stay in most nights, & other major sacrifices? Our company has been built on the principles of hard-work and perseverance, no one has taught us how to create a website or how to maintain a social media presence.

Everything is self-taught from the photography, modeling, and social media management, so our only tip to give is to ask oneself “How bad do I really want it?” {<<< seriously, preaching to the choir here & something I ask myself constantly}

What are your short-term and long-term goals?

Our short term goals are to release our 2017 Winter line at the beginning of January. We are introducing 3 new strains and including beanies, jackets, and a new t-shirt called ‘El Diablo Tee’.

Our long-term goal is to become the leading Cannabis apparel in the world and we believe it is possible through our message. As the pioneers in creating the first premium apparel line for Cannabis we believe our long-term goal will be realized as the Cannabis community grows. Our apparel line is designed to be suitable and make society rethink what a Cannabis user looks like.

Favorite books?

As for Erasmo his favorite book is called “Go It Alone!: The Secret to Building a Successful Business on Your Own” by Bruce Judson. He was reading this book when he came up with the idea for Official Leaf & gives it credit to bringing Official Leaf to life!

As for Brian his favorite book is Moby Dick, by Herman Melville. He fell in love with the book in high school and enjoys the story line. {… i love it too!}

Let’s talk the cannabis industry. This is one I personally believe in & see so much potential. What are your thoughts on it?

We believe the Cannabis industry is going to be the savior of so many people who have lost hope in ever starting their own business.

Every time we go to a secret sesh, we are greeted by small business owners who also tell us that the Cannabis industry has been the best thing that has happened to them because of the amount of opportunities it has to offer. We believe the cannabis industry is a fast growing industry and will revolutionize the world by creating new medical discoveries and begin to replace many things such as paper, with hemp. {<<< AGREE!}

According to an article I read on the Candid Chronicle, San Diego’s own Cannabis newspaper, Latinos are the leading people in this industry and I am very happy to see that my people are becoming involved.

How do you fight the stigmas against cannabis use?

Stigmas against Cannabis use are still common in our society and we believe that we fight them day in and day out with our suitable apparel which presents our love for Cannabis in a presentable manner.

The best way to fight the stigmas against Cannabis use is by simply being hard working individuals who use Cannabis in a positive way.

Other than legalization, where do you see the cannabis industry in the next 5 years?

We believe the legislation of Prop 64 in California will allow for other states to follow in its footsteps. We hope this will lead the Federal Government to remove Cannabis from a substance 1 drug. Cannabis will become a replacement for many prescription drugs & hopefully save the nation from its opiate crisis. We hope Cannabis research will also receive more funds and new cures will be developed to many cancers which plague our world. {<<< 100% agree}

Who or what inspires you or where do you find inspiration?

Our biggest inspiration would be our father who is a truck driver of 25 years.

Seeing him age before our eyes because of his labor intensive job is hard to take. We feel a sense of responsibility to retire our father before it is too late. We find inspiration through his work ethic which has allowed him to make living in the US as an immigrant.

We are both first generation college students, business owners, & Americans so we know that we must work 1000x harder than the average American.

OK SO back to cannabis, what made you decide to pursue that path?

During the summer of 2016 we took a family trip to both of our parent’s birthplace and what we saw changed our lives forever. While on this trip we saw where we would have grown up if it were not for our parents being brave enough to immigrate to this great nation. It was through this trip that we realized how fortunate we were to be born in a country where opportunity is at every corner. We vowed to ourselves we would never let our parent’s sacrifice be in vain. {<<< this is amazing}

We had been doing our research on the Cannabis industry for a while and after this family trip, we decided it was time to enter the industry… we did so with Official Leaf.

Looking back, if you could do anything differently in building your brand, what would it be?

Nothing.

Literally after the first day we wore our shirts in public, we had something to do everyday for Official Leaf and we appreciate our supporters so much! We can’t say we would do something different because the amount of support we have received from family, friends and especially the Cannabis community, has been extraordinary.

..So to answer the question in short, we would not change anything but only wish we prepared better for the warm reception.

For anyone wanting to get into the cannabis world, where should they begin?

We would suggest simply this: be you.

With not even ¾ of the country having legalized Cannabis, this industry is huge and anyone really can have an impact on it. If someone wants to enter the Cannabis industry, we suggest to first do their research then decide how they think they could contribute to it. Definitely use the internet’s unlimited amount of resources to their advantage and just try to be different from everyone else while never straying from who they really are. {<<< ps – everything he said about this, goes with blogging.} 

Currently, what is your favorite social media outlet & why? Any social media advice especially with the cannabis industry?

We both personally love Instagram because of how easy it is to interact with our supporters. A ‘like’ is enough to let our supporters know that we love their content. We’re both @OfficialLeafErasmo & @@OfficialLeafErasmo now and we think it’s amazing how we can let our supporters take a closer look at our lives and get to know us a little bit better. {<<< yes! Love about interacting with supporters!}

Our advice for social media within the Cannabis industry is to post pictures of Cannabis and have a good meaning behind it. Since we are apparel, we do not focus solely on Cannabis but we do try to give our supporters pictures of Cannabis we enjoy looking at ourselves.

Explain your motto:  what ‘Meet the high Expectations’ means and why ‘high’ is italicized.

The phrase ‘Meet the high expectations’ is meant to encourage our supporters to go out and reach those big dreams of theirs and never be okay with doing the bare minimum. Parents are first to come to mind when thinking of expectations and we believe that those expectations exist because they know your full potential.

High is italicized because we believe those expectations can still be met while using cannabis. 🙂 {<<< & maybe even exceeded}

 How do you incorporate strain names with your apparel? and what does Private Reserve mean?

Every strain name we choose is inspired by cannabis strains we have tried. We name our apparel after a strain we think best. The process of naming our apparel happens when we share a unique experience with the strain we happen to be smoking… In other words, each strain has its own story behind it.

Our Private Reserve collection means that it is limited release, only a few individuals will have the chance to wear it. As of right now we have released 5+ items which are going into our Private Reserve collection and which we will never release again. {<<<LOVE the idea of this, biz wise – creates a fam}

What is next for Official Leaf?

We are starting the year off right by releasing our winter line in January! We are also preparing our newsletter to keep our supporters informed about what’s going on and the launching of our Official Leaf Babe/ Ambassador program.

We are preparing on releasing a special edition Private Reserve t-shirt with a grower. There are so many plans next year, so we promise we are not going anywhere… 😉

Who are some of your favorite lifestyle, cannabis, and/or fashion accounts to follow?

Apart from yours {<<< omg you guys!!! thank you!!!!}, we would have to say @gucci because their style is trendsetting and we would love to someday have the same impact they have had on the fashion industry.

As for Cannabis pages we can say we enjoy ALL of them and we mean that literally because Cannabis is a beautiful plant and it deserves the endless amount of pictures. One page in particular which we really enjoy is of this man called @joeyKokomo, a disabled navy veteran who has changed his life through Cannabis. We recommend everyone to read his story, it really is inspirational. His page inspired us both personally because it shows how powerful Cannabis is and how it is already having a positive impact on many people’s lives.

How do you see social media and blogs evolving in regards to the cannabis industry?

We believe Social Media platforms will become more tolerant towards Cannabis images, forums, and blogs because in the past we have seen plenty of accounts be deleted simply because they upload pictures of Cannabis. Cannabis is here to stay and it will only become more popular with the upcoming generations who are seeing the Cannabis revolution happen before their eyes. {<<< agree, it is unfurling every single day with every single post}

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

The best advice we have ever received is: to realize that to start a movement or just anything in life there are ‘STEPS BEFORE THE STEPS”. Meaning that in order to get to that one major step in your life/career you must take plenty of smaller steps before.

Many people believe that they will be able to jump to the top without having to take small steps first & that simply isn’t true. In order to start something you have to take small steps toward your goal and eventually the small steps will accumulate into big steps. {<<< agree 100%}

This single piece of advice has allowed us to continue our movement.

Finally, advice for others who are looking to follow their dreams, but not sure how?

Be persistent, constantly challenge your self, and never ever give up. This is the same advice every successful person gives because it really is the key to it all.

In the first dispensary to carry Official Leaf, Tree House Care, the dispensary owner told us, “perseverance always wins”. Challenge yourself in every aspect of life, we are only here on earth once and you much rather live knowing that you at least attempted something instead of thinking it is impossible.

One last thing we would say is to create yourself and stop trying to find yourself. Everyone has the ability to become what they want, all it takes is perseverance.

Okay, you know I have to – Favourite song? 🙂

Our favorite song is from one of our close friends Eleoth Garcia, an upcoming musician who sings Spanish music. The song is called “lleno de humo” and its about, you guessed it, Cannabis!

He wrote and composed the song and we believe it is going to be a hit single along with the Cannabis industry. It reminds us of our roots and it involves the beautiful plant which unites us all.

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