Jojo Yang explains why she loves rolling joints, taking her Puffco Peak to parties, and doing electrical engineering while high.
You might not associate dab enthusiasts with mechanical engineering or philanthropy, but maybe you should. Without giving the whole story away, Jojo Yang is a prime example of how possible it is to be a productive member of society while enjoying tiny joints and fat dabs on the daily. If you've ever wondered how to get into concentrates or combine your passions for art, design, and philanthropy into one solid business idea, you've come to the right place.
We had the opportunity to visit Jojo at her home in Los Angeles and chat about all things work, life, and weed. This is Jojo's story as told to Proper.
On being a craft show kid
I grew up in New York, in Westchester. I went to an all-girls Catholic high school. My mom is a pretty conservative Catholic I would say, but also politically liberal, and my dad is an atheist. It might seem like I grew up in a very strict Catholic household when actually it was very 50/50. My mom is also an artist and a ceramicist. On weekends, I would go with my parents to different craft shows around the country and always called myself a craft show kid growing up. And craft show kids would all unite at these craft shows because we all knew each other. I was always forced to go to museums and sketch and all that stuff. So, from a very young age, I was interested in the arts.
I'm kind of weird because I love the arts, but I'm also very technical and analytical, like really good at math. Because of that, my mom steered me towards engineering. Physics was also my favorite topic in high school so it made sense that I would want to pursue mechanical engineering. I ended up going to college in Chicago and never moved back to New York. I went to Northwestern where I majored in manufacturing and design engineering, which was much more challenging than I had expected.
On becoming an engineer and DJ
Like other techies who have some social skills, I ended up trying to be in the consulting industry. I jumped on that train and started working for a consulting company right out of college, Accenture, which is a beast of a technical consulting company. But I got burnt out after two years. For two years straight, Monday through Thursday, I was working just outside of Denver, Colorado, and then flying back to Chicago on Thursday for the weekend. So, I took a year off to DJ.
“I learned that the hustle life wasn't necessarily for me. ”
I started DJing full-time from December 2008 to December 2009. I played Lollapalooza. After I played Lollapalooza, I felt like I had hit a good point in my DJ career where I could buckle down and have a real job again. And I learned that the hustle life wasn't necessarily for me. I happened to get a phone call from a headhunter at another consulting company that was much smaller than the one I was at before. So, I interviewed with them and then shortly after joined that company, Saggezza Inc.
Eventually, I moved to L.A. because I was over the bitter winters of Chicago. I'm happy I lived in Chicago for so long because it really made me appreciate L.A. that much more. Now I work for an American multinational technology conglomerate. But three years ago, my friend and fellow DJ Kyle looked me up and was like, "I have this idea for an app that empowers artists and DJs to fundraise for charities that they love using their music." The concept evolved many times in many different integrations, business models, and formats before we finally landed on SingleServ. With SingleServ, we have these charity campaigns we partner with artists. So, every time a user streams the song, we keep track of that number, and then we donate twice the amount that Spotify pays out to the charity directly. We're at the beginning stages of our app, but we are excited about growing. That's where we're at right now.
On having a rocky start with weed
The first time I tried weed I was in college. I remember the first time I truly got high was when I hit this bubbler. And I was supposed to go to a Jurassic 5 concert that night. I was so stoned that I thought I couldn't control my limbs. I remember hitting the hallway wall with my bag and just sliding down the wall. Like a piece of goop.
“I became more of a weed connoisseur through dating this weed-dealing dog walker.”
After that experience, I was—like a lot of people—turned off by weed. I would dabble here and there, but not frequently. I would smoke on 4/20 and there was this one 4/20 where I had to finish an Electrical Engineering 101 project where it involved creating some sort of breadboard. Long story short, I had a great experience doing this project super stoned and I did really well on it. So, I was like, "Okay. Maybe I can be productive and still be a stoner."
After college, I met my first girlfriend and she was a dog walker/weed dealer, which is actually a very common combination. Since then, I've met a lot of dog-walking weed dealers, but she really solidified my love for weed. She would make me smell the different flowers and try everything. I became more of a weed connoisseur through dating this weed-dealing dog walker.