BREAKING THE STIGMA: AN INTERVIEW WITH TOP KNOT BOUTIQUE OWNER NATALIE
Breaking the Stigma is a curated series focusing on how people from all different backgrounds, professions and interests are embracing cannabis in its many forms, often in ways that challenge the old societal air that historically has surrounded the plant. As we work collectively to embrace cannabis as the truly magical and medicinal blessing it is, we are changing the course of how society views marijuana and therefore impacting how the future will choose to heal. If you are interested in speaking openly about your experience, please get in touch HERE.
I recently stopped by Top Knot Boutique located in eagle rock/la, California to shop through their well curated collection of vintage and chat with the owner, Natalie. This is one of my personal favorite vintage shops. Any piece that I have purchased from Top Knot is a stand out piece in my closet. Every time I walk through the door I know I will receive good vibes, real talk, bomb clothes and good smells. (Voluspa candles are always lit here.) We touched base on a whole spectrum of topics from fashion to cannabis and I am excited Natalie has shared her journey of adding a little green to her routine.
This interview has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.
How Did Top Knot come to fruition?
I was working two retail jobs at 7 days a week for a couple years. I was trucking along and making rent and bills but I was stagnant. On a random day I received a call from a friend to let me know that a space was coming available a block away from my house and without thinking I jumped on the opportunity. Before I knew it I was signing a lease, accumulating vintage (for dirt cheap) from another homie that was getting out of the vintage game, and telling everyone of my next move (just to make it more real). I signed on May 1st and opened my doors for business on June 23rd, 2014.
2. What is your favorite part about being your own boss?
Yes, all of the favorite answers for this i.e. I make my own hours, the shop is my aesthetic and vision wholly, I can bring my dog to work, etc etc etc. But really I love making people feel beautiful. I love the customers. I love the friends that become clients and the clients that become friends. It’s such a magical feeling to be accepted and supported by a demographic that you choose.
3. What do you love most about vintage pieces?
Vintage is one of a kind. You will never see that piece walking down the street on anyone else. The pit stains, the holes, the history that comes with each item will never be copied. These pieces have a style that is their own.
4. Is there any aspect of the beginning stages of your business you miss?
As scary as it was putting it all out there for everyone to judge I do miss the complete fear of being rejected only to find that 99% of the time people loved the space. They loved the clothing. They liked me. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the compliments.
5. Important lesson you've learned in your lifetime
Wow. My lifetime? Hmmmm, well I think that I’m always learning and I’m especially learning from the young kids that come through the shop. I had an 18 year old that worked for me from the very beginning. She knew nothing about vintage. In fact I had to explain to her the difference between ‘thrift’ and ‘vintage’. She was with me for over 2 years. I got her accepted to FIDM. Watched her graduate. Was floored when she was working for her favorite blogger. So proud when she got a great job at a vintage rag mill for a huge Japanese buyer. Watching her has taught me to not be scared. Don’t let the fear of failure prevent you from moving forward rather let the fear catapult you!
6. I recall one of our last conversations and how you mentioned you began taking CBD. Can you tell me a bit about your journey and what sparked you to try CBD?
Now I am not saying that I am fearless! Oh no! I am terrified every. fucking. day. And with that fear comes anxiety. Crippling at times. I had never had that fear before because I had always played it safe. Sooooo after years of insomnia stemming from the stress of opening a business I had to find something that helped calm me. I’m not one to take pills. I needed something that would curb my anxiety and help lull me to sleep without the typical ‘hangover’ from sleeping pills. Enter CBD. I was talking to a friend about my insomnia and she just happened to be starting to work with CBD. Making her own concoctions, drops, tinctures and building a business of her own based heavily on the healing power of CBD. I was one of her first customers and it made such a difference and helped me so much that I turned my family, friends and even my dog onto it. Skin issues, interstitial cystitis, joint pain, insomnia, anxiety. So far it’s helped everyone significantly. Color me impressed and a lifelong client.
Since the original interview Natalie has begun to use THC products as well as CBD products.
7. What has your experience been like with THC products?
Yes, since our last conversation I started using CBD/THC products to help with my awful insomnia and anxiety. It started off as a “holy shit, they deliver weed to your doorstep!?” To perusing the website and within hours the products were in hand. And yes I am hella late to this game but why didn’t anyone force this on me!?! Completely changed my life for the better. I wake up refreshed and ready without the hangover like herbal/melatonin products usually give me. I’m a lightweight so it’s been nice to be able to slowly ease into dosage and brands to find what works for me.
8. Did you have a previous view on the cannabis plant?
I knew nothing about CBD. I trusted my friend and her business, insight and research. Now Slayer (her dog) gets her drops everyday for arthritis and every night my husband and I take our drops and are able to sleep soundly.
9. If so, how has your use of CBD changed your viewpoint??
I’m a believer.
For more information on Top Knot Boutique click here and tell Natalie I sent ya!