Irisa opens a pop-up for women entrepreneurs

The cannabis brand is hosting businesses and workshops to position itself as a positive, empowering product in the lives of its target.

Irisa is trying to build a cannabis brand that has a positive impact on the daily lives of women, and it’s starting to communicate that message with a pop-up at Stackt Market in Toronto that’s centred around empowering entrepreneurs.

Irisa is one of several cannabis brands owned by the High Park Company, the recreational subsidiary of licensed producer Tilray. Berrin Noorata, VP of communications for the High Park Company, says the brand is built around targeting women, but specifically those who are interested in making cannabis part of their wellness routine, instead of getting a buzz.

“The cannabis industry has been very masculine and targeted towards a more experienced consumer,” Noorata says. “A lot of women are interested in cannabis but don’t want to jump into the whole world of cannabis flowers and rolling. They’re looking for a brand that’s more discreet, lower-dose and something they can easily incorporate into their daily lives.”

On the product side, it serves this interest by selling strains with lower THC doses and focusing on smokeless options like oils. On the brand side, Irisa is positioning itself as a brand that has a positive impact by empowering and supporting its consumers who are looking to elevate their daily lives with cannabis. To that end, it has created “Pretty Elevated,” a platform that focuses on showing support for the goals of women entrepreneurs.

Beginning earlier this month and running until Sept. 22, over 20 women-led businesses will be given space at the “Pretty Elevated” pop-up to promote their brands and sell goods, ranging from jewelry to fashion to beauty products. The pop-up also includes a co-working space for guests to use, which comes with “a curated library filled with feminist literature for inspiration” and sessions with a life coach on Wednesdays. It will also host workshops and community programming, covering topics from investing and brand building to writing and art collecting.

The pop-up is Irisa’s first marketing effort, and the brand is looking for ways to extend the “Pretty Elevated” platform to other cities where its products are currently available. Noorata says the brand wanted to focus its first efforts on an initiative that would have a big social impact, providing free space to entrepreneurs who might not otherwise be able to afford it for their small businesses, giving them the opportunities to build their own communities around their brands. But while the pop-up is hosting small business owners, she adds that the target extends beyond that, with the idea being that other consumers will make the connection between empowering and supporting women entrepreneurs and getting that same empowerment and support in their own day-to-day lives.

“There’s a generation out there that is looking to follow their dreams and take chances in life and to take a shot at something that is more of a creative release,” Noorata says. “That’s a positive and empowering attitude that resonates with a lot of people.”

Noorata says the target for “Pretty Elevated” is broad, since even though the brand positioning resonates with millennials, Irisa’s low-dose, smokeless products and brand that isn’t intimidating gives it wide appeal to older women seeking out an introductory product.

Pomp & Circumstance is handling PR and experiential for the pop-up.