We are pleased to introduce you to Stephanie Martens, Founder and President of Flamingo Consulting. Steph has spent the last 5 years in the cannabis space, consulting for various brands on Marketing, Communications and Investor Relations. Prior to cannabis, she worked in the Hospitality Industry where she was recognized for operational excellence. Our team had the pleasure to get connect with Stephanie over the last year, and we’re stoked you’ll get to know her too.
Introduce yourself and what do you do?
I am Steph Martens, an entrepreneur located in Vancouver, BC. I have a passion for building startups in emerging industries like cannabis. Professionally and personally, I highly value connection, curiosity, problem solving, strategy, process implementation, brand and marketing strategy. I currently consult for a boutique investor relations agency, irlabs Inc. as their VP of IR & Communications, though we do much more than the standard. I lead the cannabis client files due to my institutional knowledge, understanding of compliant marketing etc. Alongside my career, I always find time for fun, fitness, wellness, nature and adventure. Fun and adventure include roadtrips in my RV, music festivals, camping, moon bathing, forest baths – many reasons I love living in BC as I am originally from Montreal and spent six years in Toronto, which I still visit for business and pleasure.
Can you share any turning points in your career or particular moments of success?
Prior to cannabis I worked in hospitality management, in 2015 the restaurant I ran awarded me recognition for operational excellence. The last five years in cannabis has felt like a decade or more due to its fast pace. It has been filled with an abundance of successful moments, many due to connections I have made and maintained, stemming from trade show floors, networking events, projects and collaborations. I had the opportunity to work on procurement and alongside a commercialization team, launching SKUs for two concentrates brands. A notable highlight was taking a 3 1/2 week RV trip with a colleague in summer 2021 from Toronto to Calgary and visiting a total of 169 cannabis retailers in many cities and provinces along the way – definitely a core career memory and not for the faint of heart. Road life requires discipline while maintaining work priorities along the way.
Describe your cannabis use in 3 words.
It has ebbed and flowed over my 20+ year relationship with the plant. Today I would say: Ritual. Enhance. Expand.
Describe the impact Cannabis has had on your life?
It has had an immense impact on my life and career development. I have been around the plant for 23 years, my first interaction included me stumbling upon a grow in the forest near my family’s cottage in Québec. My brother is 10 years older than I and has been a consumer since his youth, he was and still is a passionate grower, medically licensed in that province. I have always had cannabis around me and it was never stigmatized. I gravitated towards it for creativity, mood enhancement, laughter and as part of a connection or group ritual, and still do. The advantage of working in weed has gained me knowledge than many friends, colleagues, family come to me to access. I provide product and strain recommendations to people often and am grateful to hear it produces the effect they’re seeking.
“I have always had cannabis around me and it was never stigmatized.”
Where and when were you introduced to cannabis for the first time?
Five years old was my first interaction with the full plant. My brother tucked some fan leaves into my dress pockets and presented me to my mother who laughed. At 12 I purposefully went on a forest walk to find similar plants and kept leaves in my high school year book to dry them out. First time consuming via inhalation was 12 years old with two grade school friends on top of a playground structure in a local park.
What’s your favourite post-smoke activity? Workout? Food?
Nature or chilling. I do not have much chill as a type A leaning entrepreneur so I love to consume solo or with friends and lean into R&R. I enjoy consuming and doing yoga on occasion, though it’s not part of my practice regularly.
What music do you vibe to when using Cannabis?
I have a diverse playlist, it’s all over the map. Usually reggae – love some Nightmares on Wax and Fat Freddy’s Drop. Also, electronic. Current favourite is Polo & Pan.
“I like the ritual of a joint and the fact that I can feel its effects sooner so I know what I am getting, also the flavour profile experience. “
If you could sesh with one person dead or alive, who would it be?
Sue Johanson – iykyk
What are your favourite ways to consume cannabis (joints, vapes, edibles, beverages etc.) and why?
Joints and/ or edibles. I like the ritual of a joint and the fact that I can feel its effects sooner so I know what I am getting, also the flavour profile experience. Edibles are great for a night out and always produce laughs, one of my main goals when consuming cannabis, with the added bonus of no hang over.
Is there anything interesting that you’d like to share with the Choklit Park community? (feel free to share any important projects or exciting news you’d like our community to know!)
As mentioned above I own an RV with one of my best friends, who I met working at my first cannabis start up in 2018. We became business partners in 2021 and took our 29 foot motor home on the road lots last year, over 12,000 kms and five music festivals. It is fully equipped – shower, fridge, two double beds, kitchen and a retro style. We are deeply passionate about adventure in both life and career. We bought it as a business opportunity, with a goal of renting it to others so they can experience the freedom that life on the road offers. There is a bit of work to do on it, fortunately ourselves and our network will come together to complete that early this year. My Mz. Frizzle plan came to fruition in 2022 and I hope to share it with others this year.