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Given this is our first summer truly free of the pandemic, we’re so excited to celebrate Pride Month this year like we used to pre-2020. For the month of June, many companies hop on the bandwagon and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. However, a simple rainbow flag or logo doesn’t really do the trick…
This Pride Month, we all have the responsibility to remember its roots. As we honor the history of Queer Revolution, we want to highlight LGBTQ+-owned brands who have revolutionized an industry through support, self-expression, and downright style. From candles to cannabis to the actual coolest clothes out there, our Queer-owned business round-up reminds us that we all have a whole lot to be proud of year-round. Check out the companies below and be sure to style yourself with a smile and a little bit of self-love this Pride month and beyond.
From candles to cannabis to the actual coolest clothes out there, our Queer-owned business round-up reminds us that we all have a whole lot to be proud of year-round.
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The love we have for Boy Smells candles cannot be quantified, and it’s not just because they smell like pure heaven. The company, founded by partners Matthew Herman and David Kien, defies the boundaries of any old candle company, creating a perfectly perfumed space of inclusivity and self-expression. While actively defying the boundaries of gender expression within their “objects of intimacy” brand, they are also defying the boundaries of Pride. Boy Smells has a lot to be proud of, and we’re happy to be along for the ride.
Self-described as “Designed for different folx who want the best possible smokes,” Stone Road is changing the cannabis landscape one perfectly packaged pre-roll at a time. Lex Corwin founded Stone Road at just 23 years old as a queer-led brand with a mission to make the entire cannabis experience inclusive. The brand’s products are affordable, accessible for a variety of tolerance levels, wrapped in 100% post-consumer recyclable packaging, and even sustainably sourced from a family-led farm. Stone Road makes cannabis consumption part of the path toward making a brighter future full of smiling faces for all.
MI Leggett is the non-binary designer and founder of Official Rebrand, the reworked clothing line reshaping the fashion game with gender-less garments. Known for phenomenal deadstock graphic T’s, Official Rebrand is staying true of its roots with an “Angels Have No Gender” top. Official Rebrand’s mission is to provide the community with a true sense of pride that begins with support and self-expression. Through masterful and imaginative clothing, Official Rebrand reminds the public that Pride is about revolutionary queer culture, and sticking to any status-quo is so out-of-style.
In many ways, Otherwild is the definition of beautiful. The queer-identified woman-owned store brings together artists and designers to create products for each and every magically unique individual.This month, the brand has designed a plethora of Pride-focused goodies including mugs, crewnecks, and totes with 100% of the proceeds going to its Anotherwild Fund, which gives grants to QTPOC makers annually. With stunning aesthetics and a community atmosphere at its studio in LA, Otherwild is rethinking the modern consumer market with an emphasis on real people radically expressing themselves.
The beverage game was forever changed when Cann came strutting in. The queer-founded cannabis-infused tonic brand has taken the world by storm, and its campaign for Pride Month is nothing short of sensational. In the beverage industry, most of the marketing caters to hyper-sexualization of the female body and hetero-normative advertising strategies. Of course, Cann could not stand that. This month, Cann is raising awareness of the issues within the consumer marketing industry by creating a one-of-a-kind campaign featuring drag artists, queer musicians, and models thanks to a wholly queer-led team. Instead of “slapping a rainbow” on their products, Cann is revolutionizing true pride in this industry and creating a landscape of honest human expression. Just like Cann products, the brand’s Pride campaign is refreshing, revolutionary, and right on the money.
Out-of-this-world is the best way to describe the queer/women-owned weed brand, Sonder. Since its start, co-owners and partners Faun Chapin and M. Paradise have made it their mission to raise awareness of the realities of a male-dominated industry. With a new line of products on the way, Sonder is celebrating Pride as it does every other month of the year: by using cannabis to foster creativity and togetherness in a world that drags us apart. Sonder’s newest “space crystals” are a sublingual cannabis product for a smoother onset, and they’re basically adult pop-rocks to remind us all to celebrate ourselves.
Gay Pride Apparel
Reminding us that there are 365 days of Pride, not 30, Gay Pride Apparel is the first-generation Mexican-American & LGBTQ+-owned brand that advocates for authenticity through products that put a smile on your face. Its posters, phone cases, and phenomenal graphic T’s represent the style of all identities. Gay Pride Apparel’s Pride 2023 collection features embroidered phrases such as “proud,” “more love, less hate,” and “sounds gay, I’m in.” Founded on the principle that we all have so much to be proud of, Gay Pride Apparel aims to make customers feel like their most fabulous and accepted selves walking down the street each day. In many ways, the brand simplifies pride as an identity trait to wear loud and proud. It goes with any outfit.
If a brand could win the DTC Academy Award for packaging/unboxing experience it’s definitely Drew Martin in our eyes. When we first discovered this sun-grown cannabis brand, known for combining its pre-roll js with botanicals like lavender, passion flower, chamomile and calendula, we were completely smitten with everything about the brand and its presentation to the consumer. The packaging is a master class in surprise-and-delight, and that smitten feeling extends to the feeling you’ll get when you light up one of their pre-rolls. Meant to be shared among friends, these low-dose j’s keep you “grounded, engaged, and immersed in the moment”. We’ve enjoyed them with friends towards the end of the night when the conversation is flowing and you want to spark without the anxious head-high most club-weed accompanies nowadays. Once we confirmed Drew Martin was queer owned and operated to include them in this round-up, we were hardly surprised, because everything about this brand is truly fabulous, and we’ll certainly be keeping these in tow all summer long.
Freck Beauty is the all-clean skincare brand that feels like a self-love luxury whenever you use it. Founded by Remi, the brand began as a big “F you” to normative beauty standards. Freck’s products allow users to feel like their sexiest selves when they wash off the day or decide how they want to design their look that night. Freck’s product line and promotions feature beauty in all forms, never allowing someone else's look to define your own shine. As Pride focuses on unapologetic self-love, it also allows people to reshape the way we think of queer. Freck Beauty embodies the dynamic definition of queerness, celebrating all that is anti-normative and feeling proud of it.
Explorer Cold Brew
Explorer makes craft coffee concentrate (say that ten times fast). Tongue twister aside, their craft concentrate comes in many exciting flavors, as well as different caffeine levels to suit your unique needs. Founded by Cason Crane, a member of the LGBT community, this brand doesn't just talk the talk, they walk the walk. Explorer is donating a portion of the profits of every bottle sold this month to The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ young people.
Jody Hall founded Wunderground, a coffee and mushroom drink brand, to make “the world’s most ritualistic beverage” more enjoyable – and better for you. With products like “Brain Boost Instant Coffee” and “Hocus Pocus Mushroom Coffee,” everyone’s sure to find something they love and that makes them feel exceptional. Beyond just supporting the LGBTQ community, the brand supports mental health efforts and prides themselves on being “ a purpose-driven company.”
Take the month of June as a reminder to you about what “pride” really means. For many, it may be as simple as a little extra self-love, like some well-deserved self-indulgence courtesy of queer-owned brands that really do it right. Use this list as a guide to rejecting rainbow capitalism and supporting queer-owned businesses that are making a difference, one amazingly scented candle, perfect pre-roll, or trendy T-shirt at a time.