By Megan Stone, Published February 23, 2018
In late 2016, an old high school friend reached out looking for help. He was part of a sustainable organic cannabis farm in rural Oregon that was vying for their first adult-use retail license. While they knew the story they wanted to tell, they needed someone to help them bring their vision to life. Despite their legendary skills in the art of cannabis cultivation, they were at a loss when it came to crafting a unique, branded retail environment.
Lucky for them, that’s just what my team and I do best. And when we are fortunate enough to stumble upon a client with the passion, authenticity, ethos, and dedication that the Gnome Grown team lives and breathes everyday, well, let’s just say that magic has been known to happen.
The Detail of Retail
Every detail of the Gnome Grown retail experience is inspired by the life story of one of their founders and cultivators. A palette of natural materials, contrasting textures, and cheerful colors come together to create the boutique shopping environments of their two Oregon City, OR stores. One-of-a-kind signature brand elements are woven into the space to create a whimsical experience for each guest and to help them discover the right cannabis product for their needs and desires.
As first impressions can last a lifetime, I wanted to be sure every guest’s first physical touch of the Gnome Grown Brand was unforgettable. We designed custom door pulls created from wood garden tool handles for their stores’ front doors. Each handle is wrapped in hand-stitched leather and attached to the front doors with powder-coated turquoise Gnome heads. They are the first tangible part of the brand that the customer touches upon entering the stores and the last memorable touchpoint that is experienced upon leaving.
The Store Design
Once in the lobby, the feature wall is a warm welcoming to the retail experience. It is a brick wall concept constructed with end grain blocks of old growth Douglas fir, giving a rich textural backdrop for the laser cut steel and copper brand sign. While a distinct element that creates an immediate first impression of depth and beauty, it is packed with meaning and connection with Gnome Grown’s founder. The intricate wood puzzle is a reference to his experience as a master woodworker, with the use of Douglas fir having significance as his favorite wood. The texture, depth and rich color speak to the brand itself – a brand dedicated to legendary organic cannabis cultivation practices, stewardship to nature, and a passion for quality.
Hand-made oil rubbed tin cloth upholstery greets customers at the reception desk and appears again in the product displays in the showroom. This detail was inspired by the founder’s work apparel of choice, Filson, which he has donned while cultivating his plants for many years.
Also in the lobby, custom shadow boxes depict larger-than-life wood insects (a springtail, earth worm, centipede, and soil mite), each part of the “Army of Critters” that are so vital to the soil in organic farming. These characters help tell the story of Gnome Grown’s Legendary Cultivation practices of organic farming, and of the stewardship to nature that is the cornerstone of the brand’s ethos.
A merchandising area more akin to a clothing store than your typical pot shop is positioned in the front of the showroom, greeting customers upon entry with floating cases and elegant glass vitrines that showcase products and provide a browsable self-shopping area.
Colorful powder-coated Mason jar lids –the tried and true storage container of cannabis lovers– display individual buds of flower on custom-designed hickory and linen trays.
A topographic map jumps off of the wall in the showroom, telling the story of the early days of the founder’s training in organic farming, when he would grow in the forests of Oregon and study the interaction of nature, creature, and the cannabis plant.
Gnome Grown is the embodiment of a brand dedicated to legendary organic cannabis cultivation practices, stewardship to nature, and a passion for quality. If you find yourself in Oregon looking for an unforgettable store that sells delicious, unadulterated cannabis, look no further than Gnome Grown. Follow their stores on Instagram @gnome_grown_oregon. Follow their Legendary Cannabis farm @gnomegrownorganics, and be sure to check out our video of the project below.
Peace and Love,