Courtney Trop has long been a household name in the fashion industry. Under her alias Always Judging she presents looks from established and emerging designers in a sometimes weird but fun way, making luxury fashion feel more accessible and wearable.
Recently she launched her CBD brand Stevie with the aim to reduce everybody’s stress levels. We chatted with her about the process and idea behind her new endeavor.
Hi Courtney, we love your project and especially to learn that its sourced from a female owned hemp farm practicing organic-regenerative agriculture. How did it come about ? How has your project started ? How did you come up with it ?
More so than being female owned it was important to me that we sourced our product from a biodynamic and organic farm, I wanted to make sure my product for Stevie was very high end, not only in the design but in the product that people will be consuming.
The female owned part is just a nice bonus since this industry is mostly operated by men, I love to see more women in cannabis! I started Stevie because I wanted to of course launch something with my platform alongside my fashion career, and I wanted to make sure it complimented everything I’ve done and will continue to take part in, moving forward.
The idea of starting a brand or even a beauty brand seemed silly since the market is oversaturated. The only thing that I thought really complimented the fashion industry that I promote mainly, was a wellness brand that would chill people out. Fashion is a very stressed out group of people that desperately need something calming. Cannabis has also been long rooted in my blood from childhood, I won’t go too much into detail for the safety and privacy of my family members.
We feel like Hi Stevie is breaking the stigma about cannabis as for only stoners. How do you do it ? How can we end negative stigma around CBD in general?
My main goal is to educate my customers and future Stevie customers by sharing testimonials from people who have used CBD or cannabis and specifically Stevie. When I designed the packaging I wanted to make sure it didn’t look like everything else that is being sold in the Cannabis + CBD market place, and use my luxury fashion and beauty background to do so.
What products in skin and body care or maybe technology helps you to achieve relaxation ?
THC edibles, vape and joints, and all of my own CBD products on our website. I also get acu-pressure once or twice a week, Lymphatic massages, hot yoga, hiking, I take vitamins, lots of sleep- I love being lazy and laying around, try to be happy and not consume too much hateful or stressful information online or anything that makes me angry which keeps my stress level low.
Why is Hi Stevie called Hi Stevie ? Any particular thought, event behind it ?
It’s just Stevie, but sometimes people refer to it as Hi Stevie, because its like saying hi to a long lost old friend who is there for you and can help you solve painful or stressful moments in your life. I love Fleetwood Mac so that’s how I got the name!
You are established as a fashion blogger. How did your love for fashion begin and how does it intertwine with cannabis aspects ?lWhat has this journey been like for you?
I started playing around with clothing when I was probably 3 years old, it started with jellies my mom would buy me in the late 80’s. Ever since then I was really obsessed with styling myself starting with pre school!
I’ve always been obsessed with style as armor to take on the weird world we live in. I feel like I answered this question above but exactly my point, seeing someone who works with luxury brands who is successful promote cannabis and CBD is good for normalizing and making it not look like a stoner drug!
The products of Stevie are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Can we then say it's recreational ? How do you want your clients to use CBD ?
In my experience CBD has helped me with menstrual cramps, trouble sleeping, anxiety and a warrior for inflammation in general. We have to say the above statement in your question because it is not federally legal therefore has not even properly tested in trials that pharmaceuticals undergo, so unfortunately we have to say the statement in your question. We can only share personal experiences.
Do you think that work in fashion is stressful and Stevie might help them with dealing with day to day ? Does it help to participate in stress reducing activities ?
Absolutely! Unless you’ve been to Paris Fashion week, you will never understand how stressed out everyone is! Haha :-)
How does the Stevie make you feel ? We would love to try it ourselves. Shall we test it when in pain ?
It’s supposed to be like a strong supplement, or just a little relaxation at the end of your day. Think about taking vitamins, you take Stevie the same way. If you’re using it for stress or anxiety, or to sleep you notice it right away very subtly. Sure! Use it for pain, or anything of the things I mentioned above.
What advice do you have for women entrepreneurs or women who may be in the position of wanting to start a business?
I would say make sure you know what you’re getting into because it isn’t easy! I think that’s very helpful advice and I say it in a way where I don’t want to discourage anyone, I just don’t think anyone should waste their time if they don’t understand how much work, time and money having your own business is! This was very different than blogging which also has its ups and downs.
I’m happy I did it and would do it again, but there were some moments where I wanted to quit. Finally the brand is starting to really take off and we’re seeing our sales go up every day. There are three of us and we aren’t paying ourselves a dime yet, every single penny goes back into larger re-orders etc.. I’m grateful I launched a brand that helps people feel better, and brings them some de-stressing.
I even get messages sometimes about how the pre-rolls or oil has helped peoples parents or grandparents during chemo. I usually cry when I read them because I’m SO emotional.
What is a day like “in your heels?”
Every day is different for me. I don’t really wear heels during the day, I’m a sandal or sneaker girl haha… I wake up sometimes at 7:30 for yoga, other days when I’m exhausted I sleep in until 10 or 10:30. I try to do yoga every other day, I run errands, I ship orders, shoot projects for my blog. Every day is different! I like to be social at night and see friends, go to dinner, I don’t really cook so I usually eat out. I go through phases where I cook at home for a week then I’ll eat out for a month straight haha..
How do you connect to your Stevie community ? It seems to be so authentic, we especially love models putting funny faces. How do you stay attuned with your followers?
We mostly connect via IG asking ?’s and asking for feedback. I also share personal experiences on my own personal IG with all of our products. THANK YOU!! I’ve been smoking cannabis and taking CBD for years and years and years so this felt authentic to me, which makes it come across more organic probably.
What's the next step for Stevie in a broader sense ?
We are going to do a few pop-ups, moving into a new office space in LA, and I really want to launch CBD sodas!
Are you planing a physical Stevie experience in the near future, like a pop up or event where we can meet you and the product ?
YES!!!! Absolutely! I would love to, its just a question of finances :-). Everything we have right now is going toward product and fulfillment and keeping up with our orders that are growing every single day. We weren’t funded at all, me and my partner Renzo put in our own money to start the brand. This is a very honest answer, and really important for people to understand how everything works.
I would love to sell off half of the company in the near future to help it grow. I think hoarding 100% of your own company sets you back and the most successful companies are those to sell most of it and get the funding to grow exponentially. Stevie is also helping so many people, I would love to grow the number of people we can help!