Q+A: HIGHOPES

Who is Highopes?

HIGHOPES Design is a creative studio that focuses exclusively on helping cannabis businesses nationwide unlock their potential through our branding, packaging, web design, and marketing services.

How long have you been in business?

HIGHOPES was officially founded back in 2018 by Thomas Warinner, Mina Johnson, and myself. Although, I first started working with cannabis companies under the business name HIGHOPES back in 2016 when I was still operating it as a side project. Despite the studio only being a little over a year old, Thomas, Mina, and I bring a combined 8 years of cannabis industry experience to the table. Outside of the cannabis space, we carry a combined 13 years working in branding and marketing fields. 

Why did you get started in this venture?

When the idea of starting HIGHOPES came to me it was still something I was solely handling on the side of my day job at an ad agency in Seattle, Washington. Upon moving to Seattle and experiencing the recreational cannabis market for the first time, I recognized an opportunity, and established a passion, for helping cannabis businesses build successful brands. I captured a couple of cannabis clients within Washington and decided it would be best to brand myself as a more established business than just a freelancer to provide more growth opportunities.

Fast forward to the present day and our name, HIGHOPES, is representative of our optimism for the future of the cannabis industry. As fellow cannabis advocates and believers, we relish the thought of nationwide recreational legalization, the continued acceptance of medicinal use, and an overall societal shift in the perception of cannabis. However, we are not growers, producers, or shop owners. We are creatives and strategists, and we use our skills to do our part in supporting the cannabis industry.

What is most important to your company?

Results. Both for our client’s businesses and for the industry as a whole. We bring a higher standard of design and the ability to create engaging brand experiences so that our client’s businesses can achieve their maximum level of success. Due to the nature of the cannabis industry, these types of beneficial strategic and creative services have historically been padlocked behind high agency rates and smaller internal team structures. We are driven to provide solutions to our clients that not only look beautiful but move the needle for their business. 

On a larger scale, we want to see the cannabis industry achieve the nationwide respect and recognition it deserves. Long hidden by the blanket of stereotypes and misunderstanding, the financial (and medicinal) potential of the industry is becoming obvious and exciting. We hope that by providing cannabis businesses the branding and marketing services they need to succeed that we can play our part in getting the industry the positive results that are long overdue. 

How would you describe your business to a potential customer/client?

HIGHOPES is a creative studio that uses our branding, packaging, web design, and marketing services to exclusively help cannabis businesses unlock their potential. We are small, and we are mighty. We know we have one of the best cannabis agency teams — and after working with us, we’re sure you’ll agree.

What makes your business different from your competitors?

There is a cumulation of factors that differentiate HIGHOPES from other cannabis-focused branding and marketing agencies. We use focused data and industry insights, rather than personal preference, to drive our creative solutions for our clients. We have an unparalleled collaborative process we take our clients through to ensure the most successful end result. We are truly invested in our client’s businesses as if they were our won. These are just a few of the reasons we feel we are different from other cannabis-focused agencies but don’t just take it from us. We’ve got some great client testimonials on our site as well. 

Where do you see your company in five years?

Hopefully, within five years we have achieved federal legalization of recreational adult use allowing our team to help cannabis businesses in each and every state nationwide. At that point, we aim to have an additional satellite office in a large North American East Coast market area, like New York, Boston, or Toronto, to better serve our clients. 

Regardless, we anticipate continuing to work with more and more new states as they individually onboard their own recreational and/or medical use laws. We’ve already begun to see interest from international cannabis companies located in countries like Colombia and expect to see an increase in business from those markets as well. 

Where can people find your business?

You can see all our client work, learn more about our studio, and get started on a project at www.highopes.co

Additionally, you can find us on LinkedIn and follow us on Instagram at @highopesdesign