A few years back, I had attended a women-only underground cannabis spa day in Chicago put on by a group called High Chic Society that changed my perspective on the cannabis market. It was beyond my wildest dreams, featuring blunts for sale, accessories, edibles galore, a dab bar, massages, a freakin esthetician! I mean, my brows got fleeked while I smoked a blunt WITH the girl waxing them (shout out to Koe at Koesthetics). This event was so curated and so chill and so inviting, so it only makes sense that Jack Jack, the owner of High Chic Society, would be all of those things and more.
Jack Jack is one of those people who can energize an entire room. Her drive to continually grow and thrive is awe-inspiring. Over at the Chillinois Podcast, we were lucky enough to spend a casual Sunday afternoon smoking and chatting with Jack Jack about all things life, lessons, growth, and of course, the story of her battle to reclaim ownership of her pig Kali. You can listen to the podcast, or join us over on YouTube to get a real sense of what it’s like to hang out with this successful entrepreneur.
More than just a manager, Jack Jack is the self-proclaimed owner/CEO/HR/sales rep/janitor/whatever the fuck she does over at High Chic Society. Before we go any further, we want to set the record straight: It’s pronounced High Chick Society, but you better drop that “k” if you want in the club. This female-exclusive brand started in 2016 in Atlanta, where Jack Jack was living at the time. But don’t expect to sneak your male friends into a HCS event, as the exclusively female attendance is very much intentional. “I would have girls literally DM me saying how safe they feel [in the HCS community],” she told us. “When you’re high, you don’t think of yourself as being vulnerable, but you are. You’re not technically in your 100% lucid state of mind.” Despite the welcoming atmosphere, presenting a brand that is owned by women and for women doesn’t come without opposition.
“We’ve been called a sexist weed cult, and I love it!” Jack Jack proudly told us. “We are, I mean, we are a sexist weed cult.” So how did this vivacious young entrepreneur come to be the leader of said sexist weed cult? Her origins may surprise you.
After having been very successful in the restaurant business, Jack Jack decided to prioritize her family over her career. With a reduction in working hours, she found herself smoking more than ever. This increase in consumption sparked an idea: what if I could make as much money off of people as weed dealers do, but in a way that would earn a tax return? The real spark came when she decided to begin creating custom lighters. From there, Jack Jack started to make rolling trays and ashtrays, and it took off from there.
Before long, High Chic Society began getting invites to be vendors at various events and eventually decided to take matters into their own hands, and curate events of their own, the first of which was aptly named “Girls on Drugs.” Girls on Drugs was planned in a matter of two weeks and managed to grab the attention of around 65 attendees. These women packed into a small venue to enjoy the finest luxuries that the underground Chicago cannabis scene had to offer. By all means, Girls on Drugs was a colossal hit (all pun intended).
Sadly, it all almost ended shortly after. “After that successful-ass event, I couldn’t even appreciate it.” While women across the city turned out to turn up, Jack Jack was in the midst of battling depression that nearly took her life. Unsurprisingly, her determination to succeed kept her moving forward. “I went through that whole thing and got out of whatever depression I was in, and I told myself I wouldn’t give up for the girls who were telling me ‘Oh, this was such a great event!’ or they said, “Oh, we love your brand!’ and that was just the beginning.”
From there, HCS went on to curate more events for the women in their quickly growing fan club such as Girls on Drugs 2, Milk n Cookies, and Breakfast Club Sundays. Through all of this, Jack Jack has seen several changes in staffing on her hunt for the perfect team. “I’m a perfectionist, and this is my kid. If you don’t handle my kid right the first time, I’m not interested in giving you another chance.” Her exclusive, hand-picked team of Cigar Girls and supporting staff are the driving force behind the success of the events.
“Every single girl who has come and gone through High Chic Society has contributed in some form or fashion, and they were in my life at a time where I could not afford to pay them. They were dedicating hours of their time to this business that they were just excited to see grow.” Their loyalty has since paid off. Jack Jack has helped to provide funding to help the HCS Cigar Girls in any way she can, from offering creative support to providing the capital needed for a few of the girls to further their rap careers.
Jack Jack’s big dreams don’t end at throwing exclusive parties. If you follow the HCS Instagram page (@HighChicSociety), you’ll see merchandise that lets you show off your participation in the club. HCS offers everything from vibrant custom socks to face masks and shirts to let the public know that you’re a bad bitch who likes good weed. What can we expect to see in the future?
“What I’m aiming for is literally head-to-toe High Chic Society everything. I want merchandise, clothing that promotes buying from women, buying weed from women, supporting women in the business. I’m totally dedicated to getting that and plastering that everywhere.”
So what gives Jack Jack and HCS the audacity to think people would rep her brand? The sales speak for themselves. Every item of merchandise is hand made by Jack Jack herself, and products are flying out of her inventory as soon as they’re available for sale. You won’t find a website with merch offerings just yet, nor will you see an onslaught of promotional photos of the merch. That lack of photos is not done out of laziness. It’s because items sell out so quickly, making it hard to advertise stock that is already gone before it can be offered.
Followers of High Chic Society keep the business moving forward with their ongoing support. “Having all these girls tell me ‘Dude, you could really go somewhere, this is great, this has a lot of potential.’ That’s just reassuring.” Without feedback and support, HCS wouldn’t be where it is today. “The people that support me, they legitimize all this stuff.” No support is more legitimate than becoming a HCS Cigar Girl, though. So how do you get into that profession? The selection process is very, well, selective.
“I look for girls who are marketable in the face, and we go for every ethnicity, so we look for all different types of girls: different shapes, different sizes, different ethnic backgrounds. I look for girls who are of a certain age. I try to have girls that are around 25 [years old]. Younger girls may have school or professional ties that they may not want to associate with, so I consider that as well. A following: I prefer that you at least have a K (thousand) or greater just because of your marketing. Not to say that it’s not impassable, but I prefer a bigger following because I want to reach all audiences. I definitely look for girls that have their own things going on. High Chics is going to promote that. High Chics is going to use High Chics as a catalyst to help push what you have going on.” Sadly, that means this Cannakween is about 950 followers short and a few years too old to be a true Cigar Girl, but I have been blessed with an honorary invite.
If you can pass the rigorous selection process, you’ll find yourself mingling among guests and vendors offering everything from information on the event to clean up, and, of course, rolling blunts for attendees is a must. You can be the baddest bitch there ever was, but if you can’t roll a mean blunt (Jack Jack agrees that there is a distinction between a regular blunt and a mean one), you can’t be one of the elite. My honorary invite is wholly hinged upon my rolling skills.
If you can’t cut it as a Cigar Girl, but you want to be involved in a big way, consider becoming a vendor. The vendors you’ll find at a HCS event have networked themselves into Jack Jack’s good graces and are, like everything else in HCS, owned exclusively by women. Male-owned businesses need not apply. So when you and your girls come up with a product that you need a market for, hit up HCS to ask about becoming a vendor at their next event.
When it comes to events, no dream is too big for HCS. The ultimate goal? A Woodstock-Esque music festival and all-girl smoke out. Jack Jack is dreaming of a major outdoor festival for women across the country to attend with an atmosphere of laid back fun and, most importantly, safety. Beyond that, there’s also a canna women retreat in the works complete with daily mediation, education on how to incorporate cannabis into a successful lifestyle, and more. Jack Jack also plans to release a movie that she’s written and directed by the end of 2020 that she says will be a mixture of a drama and a comedy.
More immediately on the horizon is a boxcar race in Indiana, coordinated with the help of No Free Lunches. “We’re taking it back to Little Rascals. Straight up, all scrap parts, and we’ll have some professional car people there checking things before we go out.” This boxcar race will be the first event of its kind and is sure to be a hit. If you want to participate, you had better start building that boxcar now to ensure it’ll be up to standard by the time this race is announced.
HCS does have some pending events on the horizon and continues to build momentum despite setbacks from COVID. What advice does Jack Jack have to offer to women who are hoping to follow in her footsteps?
“We collab, we never compete,” Jack Jack encourages. “Women just feel like there can only be one. Why? My mentality is a royal court. There can be more than one queen because it’s a court. So, I’m always saying, ‘Just do what’s instinctive to you.’… Anything that you do has to come from within; you have to have passion behind it. Otherwise, you’re just selling anything… My advice is just to do something that you’re passionate about and think of yourself as a consumer. What do you want that you don’t have? What do you need that you can’t go out and buy? Once you answer that, you have a goldmine.”
“There’s a drag queen by the name of Flame Monroe, I watched a comedy special with her, and she said something that hit me right here. She said, ‘No bitch can do you better than you.’ There’s no person on this earth that can do [your business] the way you do [your business]. It doesn’t matter what they do. They can be your exact replica. They can never be the original copy, ever.”
Jack Jack isn’t afraid of competition and is quick to build up any woman doing what she does. She’s learned from her followers and others replicating her business model that women have to work together in the cannabis industry. If you can do something similar to HCS and do it well, she’ll even promote you on her Instagram page. She knows that if you want to rep HCS, you’re going to purchase from HCS, and she doesn’t worry about someone else taking away from her business.
Is there anything that can bring this titan of a business owner down? The answer may surprise you. There is an ongoing battle over ownership of a pig, named Kali, that’s been weighing heavily on Jack Jack. The story of this battle is long and so full of twists and deceit, you’d think you heard the description of an episode of Game of Thrones. We won’t get too into it here, but the full story is included in the podcast, and new developments can be found by following High Chic Society on Instagram. We’ll boil it down by saying, we’re team “Bring Kali Home (#BringKaliBack)” and hope to see Jack Jack and Kali reunited soon.