Hemp Spotlight - VEGAS CANNABIS MAGAZINE/TAHOE CANNABIS MAGAZINE
LAUREN DAVIS & APPALACHIAN STANDARD
BY STEPHANIE SHEHAN
Casually browsing TikTok, I stumbled upon Lauren Davis who is by far one of the most positive, upbeat and adorable women on social media. Realizing that what she was promoting was her family's hemp farm made her that much more appealing to me.
When asked what she wanted to convey in this feature, she responded with "I think the biggest thing I want to convey to readers is that I am merely a VERY small piece to an incredibly large, beautiful puzzle, composed of many handworking, passionate, intelligent souls. We build each other up out here, with the common thread being our love for getting this beautifully healing plant to the people. People say it takes a village to raise a kiddo, and these sweet hemp babes are no exception."
I mean, come on, what's not to love? I recently had the chance to chat with Lauren about everything going on over at Appalachian Standard. And, I tried their tincture and pre-rolls which are hands down some of the best hemp products on the market.
STEPHANIE SHEHAN: Tell us what led you to the hemp industry.
LAUREN DAVIS: It was actually pretty non-traditional and unplanned, but the best things typically are. I would like to preface it by saying, I'm pretty sure anyone who knew me growing up would probably never have imagined that I would be working with cannabis. I graduated from college with a 4.0 and honors with two degrees, one in accounting and the other in finance. I always had a little birdie (named Amy...aka my mother) in my ear encouraging me to follow my heart and seek fulfillment through my career - if it was accounting, she would be stoked and supportive! If it was working on our family hemp farm to change lives and make history, she would be stoked and supportive! To many, it would be a no brainer to follow the path less traveled and dive into the ever-evolving, hemp world. For me, it was a super challenging decision. After MUCH internal conflict, pro/con lists, and some SERIOUS soul searching, I realized I had to follow my heart and take a risk-a risk of potentially disappointing family, teachers, role models...you name it, for the sake of respecting myself and following my soul covenant. I knew that this plant could change lives, and I've never met a more passionate group of people than this amazing farm family.
STEPHANIE: Appalachian Standard is family owned, tell us about that.
LAUREN: At the core of Appalachian Standard is family. This beautiful farm has been around for nearly 45 years and our Matriarch, Mrs. Susie (The infamous, Mrs. Susie!) has been here for 45 years. And, I must say, watching sweet Mrs. Susie go from pruning houseplants to trimming hemp has been one of the best things ever. My stepdad, Jesse, retired from the Marine Corps, after 20 years of service, on a Friday and began operating a landscaping business that Monday. Growing up, I remember he and my mother would talk about visiting these magical greenhouses, then known as Jack Young Greenhouses. Fast forward a couple years - Jesse was landscaping the greenhouses one day when Jack told him he was going to retire. Next thing my momma and Jesse knew, they were operating 22 greenhouses full of plants. Around that time several of our family members were conquering cancer with the help of this amazing plant, plus, we have always been super passionate about the opioid crisis, PTSD and, now, getting the plant to the PEOPLE! Sure enough, the Industrial Hemp Movement was simultaneously happening in North Carolina, and we organically flowed into the industry. I love working for my family. It has been one of the most challenging, growth-inducing, and REWARDING things I have ever done in my entire life. No matter what we always have the common goal of getting this amazing plant to the people.
STEPHANIE: What products are you guys currently selling? And, are all products available to ship nationwide?
LAUREN: Our hand-crafted goodies come as full spectrum vapes, pre-rolls, salve, hand trimmed flower and full spectrum tincture. Our ladies are all hand-watered, hand-trimmed, hand-packaged, and hand-loved. I swear by our full spectrum tincture and vapes daily for my anxiety. Both our tincture and vapes are extracted using supercritical CO2, which is a total GAME CHANGING extraction method to ensure these babes set the standard. They can also be shipped to all 50 states!
STEPHANIE: You have some amazing females on the farm, please introduce us.
LAUREN: It takes a village. And boy, do we have a farm fam full of passionate, hardworking matriarchs who pour their love, sweat, and tears into these ladies daily. We are here because of all the hustlin' and bootstrappin' our team has done. Susie (who has been here 45 years), Carolyn (33 years), Kim (18 years), and Nikki (she was in Colorado and has been here 16 years). All of these beautiful souls store more knowledge in their pinky nail about growing healthy, stoked plants than I could ever know. Lalena is, quite literally, our Hemp Momma. She nurtures, and loves these babes from tiny cuttings until they grow to the same height as her. Lalena will chant and talk to her girls as she works with them during the day (No joke. It's so special.) She takes such pride in her ladies. Not to mention, she was one of the beautiful souls who encouraged me to begin documenting our ladies on Youtube and TikTok.
Meriah joined the team when we were drowning in orders and our only production crew members were Jesse and Nikki packing rollies for 12 hours a day. Her family is one of the best wedding photographers in the nation, called Mozingo Photography and the pandemic immediately impacted their careers. Having her join the team has been so serendipitous for both parties (Not to mention she takes ALL our amazing photos).
And then, you have my sweet momma. From day one, she and Jesse have worked harder than anyone I've ever met to grow the most beautiful ladies. From sweating her face off in the greenhouse for months to laying in bed at night and researching how to build a brand, my momma has crafted this entire brand, with the help of our amazing designers from Big Bridge Design. Not to mention that she has constantly taken care of the ladies, spearheaded dream boards, and is our one and only salve maker. It definitely takes a village. Our team is the building block of something way bigger than ourselves. Iron sharpens iron, and we all grow together. We grow our standard! (Hey, that's our tagline!)
STEPHANIE: You are so positive. What/who inspires you?
LAUREN: My family really inspires me because it is full of super passionate, selfless, hardworking souls! I'm blessed to have two amazing grandmothers who are really strong women and have both inspired me in really great ways.
My grandma Kay is a Math Professor, City Council Woman, pro hemp flower trimmer and total stoke fest. She would do absolutely anything for you without batting an eye, even if she's worked all day long, just mowed the lawn, finished a city council meeting and is about to head to Asheville to help her family with the hemp harvest. I mean, she is a total babe.
My nana is a total boss as well, and if I can embody at least 1/8th of their passion, work ethic and love, then we are doin' something. Honestly, when I open my eyeballs first thing in the morning, I'm inspired to live the best day ever because I woke up with air in my lungs and a heartbeat in my chest. None of us are guaranteed another day, heck, even another breath, so I'll be damned if I'm bummed out over something trivial for my last breath. Sure, life can get challenging, but as opposed to focusing and marinating in the negative, I really try to see it as a positive. We are always adding to our toolbelt of knowledge as we grow through challenges and move through life.