The BFF team behind Sundae School talk fashion, channeling creativity, and never re-lighting joints.
What started as a weed-inspired clothing label in 2017 has since evolved into a full-fledged cannabis brand complete with two lines of pre-rolls designed to enhance every occasion. Thanks in part to their refreshing aesthetic and inclusive values, Sundae School is already creating a community for like-minded creatives despite being brand-spanking-new to the scene. We caught up with Sundae School founders Dae Lim and Mia Park at their recent pop-up in downtown Los Angeles to chat about how they met, why they smoke, and what they're looking forward to next.
On Growing Up in Korea
Dae: Mia and I, we've been best friends for 13 years. We grew up together in Korea. We're from the same neighborhood. We actually lived in the exact same apartment complex. Both of us were studying English to come to America, and that's actually how we met. We instantly fell in love with each other. I didn't know I was gay at the time, so I wanted to marry Mia a little. It was just a really organic friendship. We started studying together, and then we made our way to America when we were 14. I went to boarding school here, and then I went to Harvard. I studied math, and then after, I worked in consulting at McKinsey. I thought business is fun but not as fun as I'd like it to be because my passion was retail and consumer experience and consumer goods. So, I started working at VFILES, which is a fashion brand and an agency here in New York. After that, Mia and I got together and we started Sundae School.
Mia: Similar to Dae, I grew up in Korea. I went to college in New York, and then I just stuck around here. I also did some banking and consulting for a couple of years, and just like Dae explained, we were stuck in terms of our creativity and the mundane daily lives of the corporate grind. So, we would smoke a joint on the weekends and start sketching things out. Looking back, I think we were really trying to get over that fear of designing because neither of us has a design background. We really wanted to escape and break the shackles of that fear, and just launch forward with the cannabis creativity. That's how Sundae School was born. We started it as a side project on the weekends, and it started catching pretty organic press. We never started this brand to be the biggest cannabis brand out there. We really just wanted to embody that creativity through cannabis.
On Going from Secret Stoners to Grown Professionals
Dae: The first time I ever smoked was in high school, and I didn't even know what it was, honestly. I thought it was a cigarette that smelled weird. Little did I know it would make me high. I really started getting into weed in college with the formal initiation steps from gravity bongs to mini bongs and whatnot. I quickly realized that I loved the flower experience. Definitely more so than the vape experience. And so I started rolling joints. A lot of them. I actually have an Instagram account called Spliff the Explorer where I travel around the world with spliffs and document it.
“I would always roll the skinniest, tiny joints, and Mia and I would open up a sketchbook.”
Dae: As a grown professional who uses cannabis not to waste time, but to spend time, I really wanted to be conscious about how we smoke and what sort of activity activities we do, whether it's watching a crazy movie or drawing or sketching our new collection. That's when we started to become more mindful about it, especially how much we smoke. I would always roll the skinniest, tiny joints, and Mia and I would open up a sketchbook. That's really how we started to think about developing products for modern-day creative professionals.
Mia: To reflect Dae's experience—AKA not getting too stoned—we created these tiny, 0.3-gram joints. We never finish full joints ever. Even if it was 0.5 grams, the slimmest joints that were on the market, we never, ever finished it. Personally, I hate roaches. I hate the experience of relighting those ashy smelling joints. Back in college, my white friend from Virginia (who my dad still doesn't want to talk about) lured me into smoking weed during Thanksgiving break. We brought a half-lit roach, ultimately got caught, and then got kicked out of school. That really made me hate roaches, hate the whole re-lighting experience. Eventually, I rekindled my relationship with cannabis, but that incident really had a traumatic effect on me.