In the fashion world, while Mata was constantly party-hopping and being offered flutes of champagne as part of her job, she had never smoked weed. Though fashion designers like Jeremy Scott and Alexander Wang has been using the cannabis leaf print in their designs to affect a counterculture appeal, women’s magazines were not yet speaking openly about cannabis in the same way they were speaking about margaritas. Sure, edgy “it” girls like Chloë Sevigny who spoke openly about cannabis were cool, because they didn’t give a fuck—but they were framed as cautionary tales, always flagged with stories of therapy sessions. Back then, it was the only way you could talk about cannabis in New York.
But New York has changed. Earlier this year, GQ published an article outing the Green Angels, a cannabis delivery service made of fashion model-turned-messengers (it’s an attractive alternative to bartending or waitressing). In 2015, Refinery29 wrote about GOODWITCH, an underground Brooklyn-based THC lip balm that counts employees at Vera Wang and Vogue as customers. And in July 2017, Vogue-favorite natural beauty retailer CAP Beauty released a CBD-based food supplement called The Daily Hit, promoting it to beauty editors by sending them CBD-laced brownies. (The first batch sold out two days after launch, and of course, it was featured in Vogue.) Former Lucky editor Verena Von Pfetten is also launching Gossamer, a glossy magazine about weed.
So by the time Mata moved to the Bay Area in 2016, she was ready for cannabis culture—and cannabis culture was ready for someone like her. It helped that her husband’s family has a history of cannabis entrepreneurship in Northern California, where he is originally from. Gladish (towering over the petite Mata at 6’1”) had moved to New York City after college to become an actor, and later switched his career endeavors towards nutrition and yoga. He has the chiseled jaw line of a 90s-era soap star and shaggy California surfer boy hair, which makes him and the equally photogenic Mata the perfect spokesmodels for their products.
They did not meet in yoga class, however—that’s too Californian for their love story. They met at a party in Manhattan back when Mata was still a full-time fashion editor, and in 2011 they eloped to get married at the luxurious Ananda Spa in India, which sits above the town of Rishikesh, the self-proclaimed capital of yoga. Both bride and groom wore all white, and Mata temporarily replaced her precious jewels with flower garlands and a kavala, a simple bracelet made of red string. They’ve since had two kids, currently at one and three years of age, and the move back to Gladish’s hometown was partly propelled by the desire to raise their children on the West Coast, where the culture is more laid-back.
Gladish and Mata have now settled in a routine of healthy moderation that involves cannabis as a wellness supplement and social lubricant. In addition to her collection of chic vaporizers, Mata has a bedtime routine involving her own topicals from Vertly: Every night, she uses Vertly Green (the one with THC, which she thinks tastes better) on her lips and temples. She is also testing another yet-to-be-released THC balm (Mata uses every product for six months before launch). Gladish, for his part, will use CBD oil on his temples before bed. “I put on a topical just before bed, and it’s the most relaxing way to go to sleep,” she says. “And my skin feels great the next morning.”
Mata left her job at W in 2016, and left behind 12 years of full-time work in fashion to begin freelancing as a stylist and creative consultant for fashion and jewelry brands based in the Bay Area, who could use a dose of her New York connections. (Vogue Mexico, for instance, is one of her clients.) She regularly gets drinks or lunch with her jewelry designer friends, like Monique Péan, when they come into town. She also found a home base of fellow former New York City fashion editors who are now San Francisco entrepreneurs, like former Vogue editor Emily Holt, founder of Hero Shop. “I still wear heels when I see them,” she says. But after getting introduced to the world of cannabis by her husband, she knew she wanted to put her creative talents and energy into the cannabis industry. “There are a lot of creative people working in cannabis, just like in fashion, and I was drawn to that,” she explains.
While Gladish helped run his family’s real estate company, Mata began taking classes at Oaksterdam University, an Oakland-based cannabis college that teaches courses like Irrigation Systems, Methods of Ingestion, and Intellectual Property—everything that a budding entrepreneur like Mata would need to know. She also took herbalist classes to learn about creating botanical-infused topicals. “This is something I would buy,” she says, meaning that the products don’t smell like patchouli or cannabis—they’re fresh, clean, understated, and would look at home on the shelves of Sephora.
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