The Herstory of UNI
A Behind The Scenes Look at What It Takes to Build A Brand.
Welcome To UNI
UNI is more than just clothing and canna-cessories. When Desiree had a vision of what she wanted her life to look like, she knew it meant being true to who she was authentically and holding space for others to do the same. UNI was born through her love of plant medicine and desire to help marginalized communities flourish. The road has not been without its challenges. From navigating the complicated world of Citizenship to research and development, festivals, and looking forward to the future, we heard from Desiree herself about what UNI has meant so far and where it is going now.
UNI was brought to life from a desire to show that you can medicate and still handle business. Merging a love of the plant with high-quality goods meant that UNI was serving more than looks. As the team began to grow, more people found their way to the mission of UNI. Living High Above The Stigma was a message that more and more people could get behind. As the pandemic set in, flexibility and adaptability became the game's name. The UNI team went to work and dove deep into development. They decided to spend the time focusing on making the mission increasingly clear: together, you ‘n’ I can break the stigma.
Houston, We Have A Problem
Building the brand has had its share of challenges. The biggest challenge? Being respected. The cannabis space has long been held as a boys club. In recent years, a new echelon of womxn in canna-business has been introduced to pick up the slack. To Desiree, the importance of authenticity is for more than just sales; she explained
“That's why it is so important for people to see me as the face of this company because I want to create a safe and accessible space. Not just saying it's accessible, but actually following through and not gate-keeping information or spaces. It’s hard to enter a space that [is this] male-dominated, but it is even harder being a black, gay woman.”
Access means more than just being available online 24/7. It also means that our path forward is built with inclusivity and inspiration. UNI has more on the horizon, with this summer bringing us new products, places to find UNI, and ample opportunity to join in.
USA or Bust
If you needed another reason to stand with UNI, founder Desiree is a shining example of what dedication can do.
Like many others who found plant medicine the most beneficial, founder Desiree knew she didn’t want to watch those she loved to suffer senselessly. An encounter with her father in their home country of Brazil led her to invest herself in building a brand, legacy, and community she could stand on.
After her father's passing, Desiree took up the mantle for him and others who deserve access to healthcare options like cannabis.
She recently celebrated her United States Citizenship, and with that, even more, opportunity for UNI to grow.
When asked why receiving her citizenship was important, Desiree said it was simple, “being [a] young and black woman in a male-dominated, highly stereotyped, and taboo industry is hard enough. So it’s important for me to do anything possible to minimize my obstacles because of how much I believe in my mission and cause.”
Her road to citizenship did not come without its challenges.
Early in her journey, when caring for her father through illness, she found that while medicating with cannabis alleviates some symptoms, he was still bound to a system of shame and stigma. After his passing, Desiree was fueled even further by a deep need to be of service to others like her father and help them to live high above the stigma through outreach and education.
Community Through Cannabis
Desiree decided that she couldn't be the only one wanting to find a community focused on mutual love and respect for people and plants.
Her mission is working. UNI has found a community through social media and social justice efforts of individuals who have a common goal: elevating a community through compassion and plant medicine.
UNI has a bright future, thanks to those who help our candle shine brighter. Sharing within the cannabis community has brought more adventure and collaboration to UNI than we could have dreamed. Every step forward, together, is a step in the right direction for cannabis reform.
As a brand made up of immigrants, citizens, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, parents, and everyday people, it’s become more critical than ever that we advocate for each other every day, in every way. This is more than the her-story of UNI; it’s the story of us all.