When it comes to choosing a vape cartridge, packaging can be key in the decision-making process. Unlike cannabis flowers or even concentrates, there is no real way to assess the smell or look of the product beforehand, so what’s on the outside becomes a key tool in describing what lies within.
Faun Chapin, the president and co-founder of a new line of vapes called Sonder, acutely understands this design-friendly approach to vape packaging. Chapin has applied her master’s degree in design and branding to an industry she describes as the “family business” with the launch of both single-origin strains and blends in a CO2 vape pen line in May.
With Sonder, it becomes clear that Chapin and her business partner and wife, M Paradise, care as much about the oil itself as the look of their vape. The couple started the design and branding agency Guts and Glory together before founding Sonder in early 2018. Now, they source the cannabis for their vapes from a Mendocino County farm which belongs to Chapin’s brother, Leif Bolin, and his wife, Jessica Bolin.
“As second generation cannabis farmers – each taught by their mothers – these practices have been passed down and combined with modern cultivation techniques to grow 100% pesticide free, sungrown cannabis, rich in flavorful terpenes and cannabinoids,” the Sonder website states.
As their company expands, they’re also looking towards partnering with other cultivators who share their cannabis ethos of producing sustainable, sungrown flowers. But, for now, the cannabis farms they partner with stay exclusively within the family.
“All of Sonder’s current product comes from my brother and his wife’s licensed farm atop a majestic mountain in Mendocino,” Chapin says. “While our farm can currently produce enough flower to meet the product demands of Sonder, we’re open to working with other Emerald Triangle cultivators who share our high standards and who also practice sustainable, organic and sungrown practices in the near future.”
Beyond its eye-catching design, Sonder also uses its packaging to make sure consumers know exactly what’s inside, providing information on THC levels as well as tastes and effects. The company offers single-origin strain selections, such as Gorilla Glue #4 and Deadhead OG, alongside hybrid offerings divided into indica and sativa.
“All of our product on the shelves right now was cultivated, processed, extracted and manufactured by a group of women including M, my little sister Naomi, and myself,” Chapin says. “When I say ‘we’ grow it, extract it, pack it, brand it and sell it, I am literally talking about a tiny group of women that make up the Sonder team.”
Chapin says the company looked to CO2 extraction to create the vape line because of the extraction method’s ability to target and preserve terpenes.
“[CO2 extraction] allows us to create a full spectrum oil with the absolute minimal processing possible, which means we are able to keep all of the flavonoids that create our rich amber-colored oil, whose color comes from all those wonderful orange hairs you can see on the flower,” she says. “It allows us to create small single-strain batches easily and efficiently because we process our small batch oil in less than 10-pound increments.”
While CO2 extraction might not be hardcore dabber’s concentrate consumption method of choice, the taste of the Sonder vape is pretty delicious when compared to other CO2 selections. With 65% THC, it only took a few puffs of the Gorilla Glue #4 to feel a far-off, relaxed effect that facilitated a dreamy headspace. And, as it turns out, that description is close to the goals Sonder is hoping to achieve as a cannabis brand.
“We are personally connected to cannabis because we fiercely believe that cannabis and creativity lead to meaningful connections to yourself, to others, and to the world around you,” Chapin says. “Sonder’s goal is to help build and lead the emerging cultural movement around creativity and cannabis. Cannabis opens the door to being present, and when we are truly present, it’s then that we are able to be our most creative selves.”
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