Imagine the scene: four girlfriends (baby-boomers mind you) were just about to make their way into a Paul Reiser stand up show. Before getting out of a parked Mercedes Benz, one of the women asked if they all wanted to share a quick smoke. A unanimous “yes!” had each of them digging deep into their Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada bags, scrambling to find their stashes, pieces and lighters. An idea was sparked that night and a year and a half later, it has has arrived as what might take the title of the first pot purse ever.
Annabís (pronounced “Anna-Bee”) was founded by Jeanine Moss, 60 and Ann Shuch, 55 as the “first high-fashion brand offering stylishly discreet, odor-controlling accessories for women who want to carry their weed without being stigmatized.”
“After that night, we thought why can’t we just have something nice for our cannabis? Why should we continue to feel like criminals when using legal cannabis? It was a bit of a selfish endeavor on day one, but once we started to seriously explore it as a business, we were shocked that there wasn’t anything out there yet,” Moss shares from her home office in South Orange, New Jersey.
With Moss’s marketing agency and business background matched with Shuch’s career in design, the Co-CEO/Founder’s dove in first with extensive research, also drawing on their personal experience as longtime closeted smokers among their high profile professional circles.
“For so long, we’ve had to keep our cannabis usage close to the vest and feel extremely lucky to be at a place in our careers where we can do something like this. Women are key members of the emerging mainstream culture of cannabis and it’s brands like this that can help usher in this new legal era,” says Moss.
Next, they brought a designer on board who previously worked with fashion houses like Isaac Mizrahi, Halston and Emilio Pucci to build the prototypes. Both mothers of twenty-something daughters, the line was catered to appeal to both ends of the spectrum.
“We’re bag collectors and we share so much as mothers with our daughters. Millennials dig them and it’s so fun to have this generational alignment — especially with cannabis,” says Moss. “And you ladies were all raised by us — not on Reefer Madness!”
The star of the set is “The Chelsea Cross-body ($295),” a smaller version of the classic bucket bag in Italian leather and lined with patterned satin. The six interior pockets specifically store mints, eye drops, hand cream and a lighter with space for everything else. But there’s a secret on the outside beyond the genius external phone pocket. An invisible flap on the bottom of the bag unzips to an airtight compartment for grinders, vapes, pipes, and of course cannabis. Two purple and gold containers for flower are also included along with a spot for a medical card and a removable tray to stage your smoking ritual.
Two smaller accessory pouches — also crafted with Annbís’ patented Odor-Loc technology complete the line: the “Whopee Vape Case” (sold out) and the “Melissa Multi-Case” ($175) are both compact enough to fit anywhere or carry as a clutch on their own.
While we can easily guess (Goldberg, Etheridge, Handler), Moss doesn’t say who exactly each bag was named for but does share, “I’m so inspired by women who are willing to publicly proclaim their support and use of marijuana and we will continue to honor outspoken women when naming new products.”
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Each bag is produced in limited edition quantities and just like many others in your pricy purse collection, includes a dust bag and card of authenticity. For now, Annabís is available online only with immediate plans to expand into select dispensaries and high-end boutiques in Colorado ski towns, Denver, San Francisco and Alaska.
Shop at annabisstyle.com.