Today we’d like to introduce you to Jae Graham-Anciso.
Jae, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have been in the cannabis industry for about ten years now. It all started when I was taking my ill father to his doctor’s appointment. We both saw a now hiring sign in front of a nearby shop; we giggled about it, and well, I was looking for employment, so I made my way inside. I was hired and became a Manager/ Buyer where my duties were to purchase for specific departments. One of them being the “Smoke Shop” department, where there was only 1 case. My supervisor sent me to my first tradeshow, where he said,” Let’s see what you do with it.” I filled that one case and everything sold pretty quickly. That one case turned into a dozen, and that dozen turned into purchasing for 16 stores. I had found my calling! I loved to shop for others, and people gravitated to what I picked out.
While I was working full time, I was also my father’s full-time caregiver. He was in his 70’s and dealing with cirrhosis of the liver and prostate cancer. I would see him in pain most of the time, which caused him not to have an appetite and not sleep well. That’s when I decided to share my knowledge of cannabis with him. It was something that helped me daily, so why not share that with him and see if that could help him. I remember my brother and I sitting with him, rolling his first joint, and just talking. He started to feel a little light-headed, so I laid him down to rest. About 20 minutes later, I checked on him to see if he was ok and he raised his head from the pillow and said,” Honey, can I get Kerbey Lane, a chili cheese dog with extra onions and a drink from Sonic?” As I laughed, I told him, “You can have anything you want.”
To see a man so skinny and frail who could not eat or keep anything down to eating anything and everything. Wow, what a special moment for our family. Cannabis truly gave him a quality of life! Before his passing on October 27, 2015, he told me, “Please share cannabis with everyone, especially older people like me.”
Fast forward to 2016, I was depressed, and my life was at a standstill. I had lost my best friend, and I didn’t know how to cope. That’s when my partner Francisca who had also helped me take care of my father, said to me,” Let’s sell everything and help people like your father understand cannabis better.”
We opened MARYJAE in 2017.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The struggles come from every angle and almost daily. From day to day operations to banking issues within the industry to even growing too fast.
My advice would be, stay true to yourself, do what you love, and never underestimate yourself.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about MARYJAE – what should we know?
We are a Boutique CBD/ Cannabis Dispensary in Austin, Texas. We specialize in curating the best products we can find that are lab tested, high-quality, and trusted by us. We were also just named Best CBD Purveyor by the Austin Chronicle.
I am most proud of the community we have created. #InMaryWeTrust
What sets us apart is our passion for people, the plant, and the experience you receive when you walk in the doors.
Which women have inspired you in your life?
My business partner and fiancé Francisca.
She inspires me to be strong and a better leader. Without her in my life, I would still be that depressed woman, mourning for her father. She pushed me outside my box and is the core reason why MARYJAE is still standing. She is my yin to my yang.
- Address: MARYJAE
2110 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
- Website: www.ShopMaryJae.com
- Phone: 512-731-0076
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ShopMaryJae/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShopMaryJae
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShopMaryJae
Photographer: Regina Blancas