We had the good fortune of connecting with Skip Stone and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Skip, what role has risk played in your life or career?
My life is a juxtaposition of risks versus predictability. My parents are every conservative, my dad’s an engineer that truly knows it all, and my mom is a farmer’s daughter. We mostly grew up in semi-rural Wisconsin, but at the age of 14 I moved to Madrid, Spain with my parents and my two younger sisters for my dad’s 2 year stint managing General Electric’s biomedical plant there. Spain rocked our world, but in a good way. We were transported from a rural hobby farm with horses, goats, chickens, cats and dogs to the cosmopolitan metropolis of Madrid that spoke a different language. Although there were many culture shocks, the biggest was the lifestyle and attitudes of the Spaniards. Their motto is “work to live, don’t live to work”, which is diametrically opposed to the American Way. Spain has a very social life. They stay up late, sleep-in late, and take mid-day siestas. They don’t have as many “things” as Americans but they’re life is very rich. They prioritize dinner with family and friends, which often includes singing and dancing. That Spanish spirit captivated me and help me realize that there’s more to life than a high paying job and material possessions. My challenge was that I loved skiing, mountain biking, and traveling which all required money, so, I followed in my father’s footsteps and become an engineer. After I had a few years of experience under my belt as an engineering consultant I picked up left Wisconsin and moved to Boulder, Colorado. Boulder wasn’t Spain but it was a step towards a more adventurous life. I landed a good career combining sales and mechanical/civil engineering disciplines and I took that as far as I felt I could. Then Colorado legalized cannabis, which I recognized as a calling for my next adventure. I knew I still had twenty years left to work so I decided to reinvent myself as a cannabis entrepreneur. Cannabis had been a positive thing in my life, I consumed it unwind and relax, to exercise, enjoy music, drink less, and to provide self-reflection, but the negative stigmas weighed on me. I was a goal-driven businessman and not some slacker stoner so I set out to help break the stigma. I wanted to make cannabis more responsible and adult-like by designing products that helped cannabis consumers keep their families safe, in addition to helping cannabis consumers stay more organized and discreet. This was a major career departure, basically a fresh start that might take me to my next adventure. Ultimately, I wanted to recreate my childhood experience for my kids by living abroad. My kids are now 13 and 15 so my original plan of living abroad with them is a bit behind schedule, regardless, I still want to pull it off. Currently, I’m eyeing Uruguay based on my research of something unique, exciting, and fairly safe. Maybe someday I’ll sell STASHLOGIX and make that happen, or maybe we’ll open an office there to boost our South American market. Uruguay was the first legal cannabis market in the world, so my plan isn’t too far-fetched. It’s good to have dreams if nothing else but to keep you inspired.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Stashlogix creates innovative cannabis storage products, handbags, and accessories. We help people be discreet with functional and fashionable products. We’re most known for patenting a built-in lock on our stash bags. I’m most proud of our team. We’re all learning a ton and we’re getting better and stronger every day. What really sets us apart is that we aren’t designing products for the typical “counter-culture” person, we’re doing something new, we’re targeting the soccer moms, professionals, baby boomers, and athletes. We’re helping the new consumers discover the benefits of the plant while helping them avoid the judgment that comes with it. Our brand connects with the Colorado lifestyle, outdoorsy and active people, basically, we’re designing products for ourselves.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
It’s always fun having visitors come to Colorado. Here’s my ideal scenario… First, swing by Eclipse Cannabis, adjacent to North Boulder Park, to pick up some provisions for the week, from there we’d hike up the Mt. Sanitas trail for an hour-long StairMaster-esque hike, along with the rest of the beautiful people from Boulder. Afterward, we’d enjoy a happy hour beer at Vision Quest Brewery, Rayback Collective, or Sanitas Brewery. For dinner, we’d belly up for oysters and fish at Jax’s Fish House. The next morning we’d freshen up with a brisk innertube ride down the Boulder Creek, starting near Eben G Fine Park. This ride is ridiculously fun and free. On the weekends the creek is packed with college kids tubing and DJs are set up along the route for your listening pleasure. Afterward, we’d pack up the bikes and head to Crested Butte for the weekend. Crested Butte is a worthy pilgrimage for any mountain biker. After riding the Reno-Flag-Bear trail we’d head to Secret Stash Pizza (or Ryce or Bones, the same owner and they’re all amazing restaurants) for some post-ride grindage. The Dogwood cocktail cabin is not to be missed either. If we’re feeling extra adventurous we’d throw in a 15 mil hike to Aspen, spend the night, and then hike back the next day. On our way back to Boulder we’d take a quick detour to Red Rocks to show off one of the most iconic concert venues in the country. After that, we’d both need a vacation to recover.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost, my wife Laura! This has not been an easy road. For the past five years, we’ve been raising two young kids in Boulder, Colorado on a teacher’s salary and a startup salary. Previous to starting STASHLOGIX, I was in the water treatment industry for 20 years, as a sales engineer. Things were going well professionally, and financially, not great, but we were comfortable. Then cannabis became legal in Colorado, and that was just too exciting for me to ignore. I knew I had at least 20 more years to work so I felt like I had time to take a chance…nothing ventured nothing gained right? I saw this as an opportunity to reinvent myself, to start over, a brand-new industry with brand new players. I graduated with an engineering degree, I spent years in business, and I’ve been a cannabis consumer for decades. The “lazy stoner” stigma that society believed was wrong and I wanted to help. Cannabis has always been something positive for me and I knew I wasn’t alone. I put my engineering skills to work and developed a product that would help adults be more responsible and organized and it helped families keep their kids safe from cannabis edibles. I was armed with a host of cannabis storage problems to tackle but I was naïve about what would be required to start a business. Being in the cannabis industry (which quasi-illegal) is a risky business, even cannabis storage is classified as paraphernalia and is federally illegal. Now 5 years in, I’m very proud of the business we’ve built, but I need to take a moment to recognize some of the sacrifices my wife has taken to support me. Tons of credit also goes to my teammates, particularly Steve, Blair, Isaac, and Jared, as they’ve been behind the scenes working hard to keep us on track and out of trouble. Steve uses the analogy that we are pushing a rock uphill, the hill isn’t quite as steep anymore, but it’s still uphill, fortunately, we’re getting stronger. The goal is to get the rock to the top so it can begin rolling downhill on its own (the rock analogy is especially fitting because we’re in Boulder and my last name is Stone).
Karen Jacot Elijah Moore Robert Wanderlust