Last year, the brand that I co-founded out West (drinkklaus.com) was awarded a few Clio Cannabis Awards. It was amazing to be recognized for our work. While I was watching all the other talented Clio winners, I noticed the Clio Award-winning work by two creatives from Philadelphia. Their short film, Girls Who Smoke Weed, caught my attention immediately.
And as a kicker, I recognized many of the participants in the short film because they are well-known personalities in the world of California Cannabis, where our company is situated.
Their tangible work exemplifies creativity and passion, and they exemplify the plant that we enjoy for a multitude of reasons. I use her for my eye pressure, others for purely recreational purposes. Whichever way this team captures your imagination, I’m sure they will make their creativity known.
Cannabis-focused real-life couple Calan and Bryce founded Philadelphia-based arts collective 69&Sunny. After her own personal health journey and education with cannabis medicine for herself and her mother, Calan was inspired to begin educating her local community while incorporating art, with the help of her partner Bryce, a musician and illustrator.
Following their Clio-winning music video “Girls Who Smoke Weed,” the duo is announcing their next project: Edwin Eats an Edible, a children’s book for adults celebrating the wonders of cannabis through an alphabet-style illustrated journey brimming with heart and authenticity. Each letter introduces a different problem that cannabis has been known to help with, making it an engaging and educational read. Featuring an intro by endocannabinologist and cannabis medicine specialist Dr. Rachel Knox, the project speaks to 69&Sunny’s passion for creating safe spaces to learn and grow with a sense of humor and curiosity.
Edwin will be released this fall, funded by a Kickstarter campaign running July 27-August 27.
Warren: Please tell me about your craft. Art school? What brought you to the creative field?
Bryce: Calan and I make everything together–music, books, clothes, whatever we need the most. We met about 13 years ago in Philly at Art School. I really liked her.
Calan: I liked him a lot too, and I still do. I didn’t know until later, but Bryce told me he strategically moved his drawing easel closer every class. Senior year, we decided to create our first book together on human extinction, a visual coffee table book that talked about all the ways the world could end. Actually, that was the origin of our cannabis alphabet book, ‘Edwin Eats an Edible.’
Calan: We’re artists at our core, so we’ve always been in the creative field. Growing up, we entertained ourselves by creating something new and different that didn’t exist before. Someone once told us, “Making something out of nothing has always been the coolest trick.” We agree it’s pretty dang cool.
Warren: What brought you to Philadelphia? Please tell me about your company. I saw your shortlist for the Clio Awards; very creative. Nice job. Did this help your company move forward?
Bryce: Thank you! We met here in Philly, and after ten years of living in the city, we decided to try other cities like LA and Pittsburgh, but every time we left, some dramatic life event brought us back (Calan’s Type 1 diabetes diagnosis, our Dad falling off a roof…). Philly felt like a helicopter parent that didn’t want us to leave.
Now we’re realizing there’s a reason we’re here—to build a network of artists and shine a light on all of the unseen talent here. That’s what we’re doing with 69&Sunny. One of our projects, “Girls Who Smoke Weed,” was a music video that brought together 85+ women from around the world (and yes, it got us a Clio!). That win got us more exposure as a creative startup and fueled our next projects, ‘Black Women Are Resting’ and ‘Edwin Eats an Edible.’
‘Edwin’ is an alphabetical picture book featuring all characters that have a relationship with weed. From Dad doing dabs to Mennlay micro dosing muffins (shoutout to a true weed icon), it’s helpful to visually understand ways this plant is helpful to everyday life.
Warren: What are your six and twelve-month goals? What obstacles have you faced? How do you anticipate removing those obstacles?
Calan: We have this larger-than-life, Disney-esque vision, and it all starts with consistent revenue and a team. In six months, we’d love to see ‘Edwin’ selling in dispensaries and book shops around the country, and we believe that the Kickstarter, book sales, and community motivation will help get us there. We’re looking forward to expanding our dream team to create a future of fun, helpful things!
Bryce: Understanding what it takes to build a business and receiving funding for our projects have been our biggest obstacles. We’ve learned it takes the time that it takes. We see the momentum of the Kickstarter aligning us with corporate partners and a community that shares our vision to create 69 artist millionaires by 2030.
Calan: A lot of our obstacles come from getting in our own way, a common barrier for a lot of artists we know. Pair that with a lot of distractions and a short attention span; it seems like we’re counteracting opposing forces daily. It’s pretty exhausting. We’re lucky to have each other; we celebrate our wins often, and if one of us is feeling down, the other supports. Being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, Bryce evolved from partner to my caregiver in many ways. I’m so grateful for him.
Warren: Do you have a mentor? Who? Where is your favorite place to sesh in Philly, and do you have a favorite way of communication?
Bryce: We would love a mentor; anyone out there? Finding someone who’s been down a similar road before and/or sees the potential in what we’re creating would be cool.
Calan: We know you’re out there, mentors. In the meantime, we pull a lot of our guidance from artists that have passed on – Mac Miller, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Prince, Georgia O’Keeffe, Dali, Bowie, Mae West, icons that saw the world differently and communicated that in a beautiful way.
We love to sesh at Sunflower Philly! Previously managed by local legend and our friend, Asher Roth, it’s a cute, low-key park with a garden, hammocks, and music frequently plays, it’s the perfect sesh. Let us know when you’re at Sunflower!
Bryce: The music we make together is our favorite way of communicating; you’ll get to know us by our music.
Warren: What is your passion?
Bryce and Calan: We have all the passions. Teaching through humor, reimagining Philly, getting artists paid to do what they love, making fun, uncensored music, reminding people they’re not alone, and ‘Edwin’ becoming an animated series someday all have been on our latest passion list.
Warren: Thank you for your time and questions; that was fun!
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