If there is a good witch we’ve met recently in the cannabis industry, it is Amy Yamamura. Though drawn to witchcraft, alchemy and plant medicine at a young age, it is the wellness-based spell of CBD that has captured her longtime love. As she says, “I would not be surprised to see CBD becomes one the most important discoveries of our lifetime because of the transformative power it has.” From her experience in Japanese media to her current position as Creative Director of Wildflower, Amy proves that being a good witch also means being a bad bitch—in the best of ways.
How would you describe a day in the life of a creative director for a cannabis company?
To be quite honest, there is not one day that is like another. We are a start-up company with a very small team, so we all do anything and everything we can do any day of the week. I try to stay agile and open-minded at all times, because we are constantly evolving and growing, there is no time to be fixated on one thing. As the creative director, my job in a nutshell is to create the Wildflower brand. The brand has grown as the company has grown. In the beginning, it started with the name and the logo of the company, then the concept development of our products: naming them, designing the packaging, and creating the catalogues and inserts and all of the marketing material that go around them. I direct the photography and the look for a lot of our images, like Instagram and the website, plus I have a team of photographers I work with. I also have a lot of meetings with our social media advisers about our websites, web shop, SNS strategy, and work with a team that helps us with all of that. Plus, being a mom to one little and another not-so-little girl, life is hectic and full of surprises everyday!
Growing up, did you envision yourself in this type of professional role?
Nope, I had no idea! As a little girl, and throughout my life, I have been really drawn to plant medicine: healing and mystical things like witchcraft and alchemy. I remember wanting to be a good witch that helped people. In an odd way, I guess my dream is at the brink of coming true! But I went to university and another year of school to become a film creator. I did end up doing a little bit of that after going back to Japan where I was also in a collective of artists, musicians and creators. It was there that I learned a lot about cannabis movement in Japan and the benefits of hemp and the delicious food you can make with it—in Japan there are some amazing hemp restaurants! I worked as an interpreter translating American musicians and artists for Japanese TV and media. I also did lots of odd jobs like modeling and teaching English. From there I started to work at a multi-platform agency doing all kinds of things: working with graphic artists, film directors and font houses to collaborating with a giant Japanese apparel company. I learned a lot about production value and work ethics there. But I NEVER thought I could be helping to distribute the benefits of cannabis in such an amazing way, legally and publicly. It truly is a dream come true.
What are the most exciting (and stressful) components of working in a newly legal cannabis space?
The number one stressful thing has been dealing with institutions like banks and payment processors since marijuana is not federally legal in the US. Also, the regulations on what you can say and do in advertising and social media make it challenging to market ourselves. But other than that, my experience working in this space has been very positive.
The most exciting component is getting great feedback from people who use our products. It’s so inspiring and amazing to hear that something you helped put out into the world has helped somebody. And also, I’ve been hearing really kind things about our packaging and design and that just makes me feel like I want to fly. It’s all still quite surreal.
Do you have any advice for those looking to get into the industry?
If you are inspired or curious to work in the industry — GO FOR IT!! There is so much opportunity here. Designer, scientist, SNS, photographer, chef, tour guide, writer, interior designer, marketer, vlogger, influencer, printer … YOU name it! Like any other industry, the cannabis industry needs all sorts of talents and auxiliary businesses as it grows. Until recently for many U.S. states, the sole focus for the people in the industry was just to grow the plant.
What about your work at Wildflower are you most passionate about?
CBD. Every single day I am blown away at the potential this cannabinoid has. It has helped me tremendously to manage my stress, anxiety, immunity, back pain, focus, cold sores—and now my whole family is on it. Even my dog! I think the CBD cannabinoid has massive potential to heal the chronically stressed out as well as those who suffer from inflammation in the body.
I’m serious when I tell people that I would not be surprised if CBD and its benefits become one the most important discoveries in our lifetime because of the transformative power it has. I am a true believer and I am super passionate about it — as you can clearly tell.
What should we expect to see from Wildflower as the industry evolves?
The expansion of our CBD wellness line and our company into more categories and sub-divisions such as animal care, cosmetics, edibles and infused drinks, and potentially even an intimate body care line. We are always talking about our next product and we get approached by so many different companies and people doing lots of amazing stuff with cannabis. We shall see!